Home sweet home

2 02 2008

I stumbled on a online gold mine. A talented guy named Tomoyuki Sakaguchi took some amazing photographs of his neighborhood. In his new photo book entitled Home, he captures 84 pages of Tama, the largest planned residential development in Japan.

Tama is a prefect of Tokyo. It’s famous for the Sanrio Puroland, the indoor, Sanrio theme park. It’s also the setting for that crazy anime movie, Pom Poko. Tomoyuki took all of these when the town was asleep. I think it give the photos a sort of magical look. My favorite time of day is that twilight time when you can’t tell if the sun is rising or setting.

“I had done a lot of central Tokyo photographs in the past, skyscrapers and trains,” says Sakaguchi, “and so I wanted to try a different location. I went to normal homes and photographed them at night. When I saw the results I was surprised, I felt as if I was looking at another world.” – Tomoyuki in a Japan Times article

Sakaguchi was a runner up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize. His book would make a perfect coffee table book. Purchase it here. Visit his Web site for more photos.


I’m still alive…

22 01 2008

I’m very sorry that I haven’t posted in a long time. At school, everyone wants a piece of my time, and it has been hard trying to get all my priorities straight. I promise you that from this day forward you will get at least one post from me per week if not more. I have a lot of great things to talk to you guys about so stay tuned!

Hey, do you think I should buy this Buff Monster print? I have been debating it for a while. There are only 50 prints so I think the $40 asking price is reasonable.

Why women should not fall asleep outside

2 01 2008

UPDATE: This video was taken off YouTube. Took them long enough.

*Don’t worry: Nothing nasty happens in this video.

While Google is very anal about inappropriate content on the English side of YouTube, I guess they get a little lazy about finding foreign videos documenting questionable content. Sexual harassment? I think it’s kind of sleep at your own risk. If you are on a bench asleep with your legs wide open then, yeah, don’t be surprised if your stuff is on YouTube the next day. The crazy thing is that these shots were taken by a woman. Imagine how the guys must be.

Welcome to the Year of the Rat!

2 01 2008

From Metropolis magazine:

Welcome to 2008, the year of the Rat

People born in the Year of the Rat are thought to be go-getting charmers. They work hard to acquire the objects of their desire then keep them close. While often successful, they tend to gossip and are easily angered. Notable people born in the Year of the Rat include actress Scarlett Johansson (1984), rapper Busta Rhymes (1972), singer Kyosuke Himuro (1960), hockey legend Bobby Orr (1948) and designer Yves Saint-Laurent (1936). Last year was Year of the Pig, and it sometimes seemed all the attention was hogged by the many skyscrapers and mixed-use complexes that sprang up around the city. Whatever 2008 has in store turn the page for our forecast we at Metropolis would like to wish you health and happiness throughout.

Best wishes this new year, guys! Watch a video of New Year’s greetings from Japan Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. His Liberal Democratic Party recently created a YouTube channel. Click here for an article about it.

Revenge of the Nerds: Kanye, Lupe, & Pharrell form new music group!

24 12 2007

Here’s a song they did together from Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” mixtape directed by Pharrell’s rumored girl, Va$htie

News straight from my favorite hip-hop Web site, Concreteloop.com: Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Pharrell Williams, A.K.A. my favorite non-conventional rappers in the game, have formed a musical group called CRS, Child Rebel Soldier. All of these guys have taken some inspiration from Japanese pop culture. They are suppose to be coming out with an album together. In the meantime, make sure you pick up Lupe’s new album, The Cool, which hit stores last week.

About 40% of Japanese Men Sit To Tinkle

19 12 2007

Photo from Flickr; The amount of adult Japanese men who admitted to sitting while peeing has grown from 15 percent in 1999 to now 49 percent, according to Fuji TV. Image from Japan Probe

As I have said before, newspapers do not have to worry about disappearing in the digital age because many blog posts stem from news articles. This is the case with this awesome nugget of little known Japanese fact. Mainichi Daily News reported that about 40 percent of adult Japanese men sit on the toilet to urinate, according to a survey done by Matsushita Electric Works Ltd., a manufacturer of Western-style toilets.

The survey, which was conducted with 518 men as well as 518 women, shows that mothers and wives encourage the men in their families to sit down so as to avoid unnecessary spraying and urine cleanup. I guess we know who wears the pants in those households. Since 1999, the number of Japanese men who sit to do number 1 has skyrocketed. Matsushita started designing toilets with larger holes years ago to accommodate male sitters.

The number of men sitting while peeing is probably larger than what Matsushita is reporting. Not all men probably want to admit to the habit because they fear that they would appear feminine. Japan Probe was one of the first blogs to post about the article. They also included interesting graphics and a video from Fuji TV news, who did a report on the findings.

Read more after the jump!

A year to forget

18 12 2007

All photos from Flickr

There were definitely things I don’t remember about my 21st birthday party the other week. Mostly I don’t remember anything that happened after 11:30. In Japan, there are parties where everyone is suppose to forget. They are called “Bonenkai” or “forget-the-year parties.” These office parties, which start around December 10th and normally last until the end of the month, are held to help people forget the unpleasantries of the last year and to start fresh with the new year. The Japanese workplace is normally pretty stiff and strict, however, at these parties the bosses and the rest of the employees usually get ridiculously drunk, and all decorum gets thrown out the window or the cubicle or whatever.

Read more after the jump!