How-to book for doing Neo Tokyo for “Otaku” freaks

robot welcome girl for the 2005 Expo
The Dark Side of the Cool Stuff
Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo, published this month by Stone Bridge Press.
“One (purpose of the book) is to give you something to do once you get here,” Macias says. “If you go to every place mentioned in this book you’re going to have a pretty great trip. It’ll be pretty shocking, it’ll be pretty twisted, but it’s definitely off the beaten path…..

“Howl’s Moving Castle” ready to conquer the world

Howl's Moving CastleYahoo! Oscar-winning animator’s new film wows Japan, readies to take on world
TOKYO (AFP) – Animated fantasy “Howl’s Moving Castle”, which broke a box office record on its debut in Japan, will be released in 50 countries amid hopes it will be a global blockbuster…

‘Tokyo is like Blade Runner, without the flying cars’

Tokyo garbage truck ninja
Dr Tue – 11.30.2004 Take a walk (and a beer) down Memory Lane
When I am taking visitors out and they start on the whole tired of “Tokyo is like Blade Runner, without the flying cars” thing, I usually just nod and take them to Shinjuku Nishiguchi…..
….It’s impossible not to experience at least some level of self-sufficient ‘I-bet-they-don’t-mention-this-in-lonely-planet’ pride when you walk through that uber-authentic remnant of post-war Tokyo, trying to catch your breath amidst the carcinogenic fumes of kushiyaki barbecues and slaloming between drunk salarymen and people sitting at the street-side stalls in an alley that is barely big enough to walk with your arms outstretched…..

Coming to Japan: preserving an umbilical cord in acrylic resin to make a personal “hanko” seal

umbilical cord
Golden umbilical cords to keep birth memories
….Parents can preserve their child’s umbilical cord in acrylic resin to make a personal seal or even have it gold-plated. In this Confucian society where family values are highly prized, suppliers also offer services for parents to have traditional Korean calligraphy brushes made from their child’s hair….
… Agamo, which makes calligraphy brushes from human hair and preserves umbilical cords in personal seals, hopes to branch out to Japan. “We got the idea from mothers just storing umbilical cords and navels in an album or what-not,” said Agamo’s Suk Tae-jino….

Hentai Manga Gears Up For World Exposure

manga girl
Sake-Drenched Postcards
WARNING: Adult content on this link
Hentai Manga Gears Up for World Exposure

….Toshio Maeda’s work, whether it be manga comics or anime (animation), is classified in the genre known as hentai, meaning perverted. Though there is a certain level of perversion in nearly all forms of manga, whether the genre be sports, history, literature, or romance, in hentai, perversion is the point. Storylines are at best secondary, or, perhaps more realistically, tertiary.

Japan Movie Fund Starting Strong

Yahoo! News – Japan pic fund starting strong
(Variety) — TOKYO — Japan’s first film fund for private investors was off to a strong start Tuesday, when shares in the 1.5 billion yen ($14.4 million) Shochiku production “Shinobi” (Heart Under Blade) went on sale through three securities firms.
“As expected, we’re enjoying very strong demand,” said Morito Ito, general manager….

Japanese game makers mine the past

telstar game
Asahi.com : Video game makers rely on oldies as new titles flop

Video game software developers are struggling to survive in a shrinking domestic market. They’ve been hurt by a lack of success with new titles, and are relying instead on sales of updated versions of well-known titles…..

Where the rubber meets the (virtual) road

Gran Turismo 4, Mini Cooper in Japan
Fool.com: Where the Rubber Meets the (Virtual) Road [Commentary] November 30, 2004
…..we’d have up to four brand new street race [games] for this holiday season, on top of Sony’s (NYSE: SNE) grand simulator Gran Turismo 4….there is now room for all five games to have their own varying degrees of success….Namco released Street Racing Syndicate in September. While that game was fun, it got played out in about four days, and gamers were ready for another title…..

It’s Karate, Kid The Musical

It’s Karate, Kid the Musical
It’s KARATE, KID! The Musical is an outrageous and unconventional riff on the beloved 80s film. Under the manicured guiding hand of a mystical
maintenance man, Daniel-San Larusso wages war against pill-popping, white trash deviants; well-styled, bloodthirsty karate students; rampaging hormones and many more unsavory things….
Karate, Kid the Musical

Floating Christmas tree in northern port of Japan

snow train
NHK WORLD DAILY NEWS — A huge floating Christmas tree is attracting visitors to a historic warehouse area in the northern Japanese port city of Hakodate….After being decorated with 36,000 miniature bulbs at Hakodate port, the tree was loaded onto a transport vessel by crane on Monday. It was taken to a seaside tourist spot lined with red-brick warehouses….
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