Will Geisai Miami bite the dust? Your guess is as good as mine.

17 12 2007

Maria Adelaida Lopez’s doll house covered with vacuum cleaner dust. Photo from: Critical Miami

I was really excited when I found out that the popular, bi-annual, Japanese art show, Geisai, was coming to the States. The talented Takashi Murakami has been on the grind the last few months. Geisai Miami, the first edition of the Geisai art festivals in the country, appears to have been a dollar store of unknown art. But alas, nothing is as good as the original. There was more reporting done a few months ago about the artists being selected than reviews of the event itself. My advice to Takashi: Keep Geisai in Japan.

Read more after the jump!


Appetizing: Sushi named after a street

10 12 2007

Yummmm. Eel. I went out for some sushi the other day, and here’s what I got:


I think it’s named after Lombard Street in San Francisco. The street consists of sharp turns down a hill so steep that if it wasn’t for the curves cars would roll down and crash. If I remember correctly in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas they did a pretty good job recreating this street in the game. Does anybody else remember that?


Photo and screenshot from GTAGaming.com

C’mon, Kyoto, you can do better than this

7 12 2007


All of the large Japanese newspapers have bureaus if not their headquarters in Tokyo. Some people forget that Tokyo was not always the center of activity in Japan. The city of Kyoto, which means “capital city,” was Japan’s capital from 794 until the late 19th century.

The Kyoto Shimbun News is a community newspaper that focuses on the cities of Kyoto and Shiga. The paper has a company mission of upholding “justice, freedom and truth.” The Kyoto Shimbun Web site looks like something your novice programmer designed, however, its simplicity and to-the-point features are appealing to foreigners.

The site is offered in both Japanese and English. The English version of the site is regularly updated with three “fluffy” main stories on the home page. While that’s not a lot of content, the way that the page is designed with images and article summaries make it okay visually and easy to read. The articles are extremely short. They are more like news briefs than articles. I think that they could afford to fit more of the articles on the home page. They could also invest into making slide shows which visitors would find helpful. I like the “Guide,” “Photos,” and “Festivals” navigation. These are topics that they don’t have to spend time maintaining. The Japanese version of the site is a little more meaty in order to better inform the paper’s main readership – one of the 1.5 million Kyoto inhabitants. Still I think it leaves a lot to be desired.

Just to be fair, let’s compare this site to that of an American community newspaper that serves a similar amount of people – Philadelphia.

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Nigo keepin’ it fresh like raw fish

7 12 2007

Photo by Jeff Minton for Portfolio

Portfolio magazine did a feature on Nigo, the ultra-rich creator of A Bathing Ape clothing brand. I blog for Portfolio.com once in awhile, and I was surprised to find that they would cover Nigo. The magazine tends to be a little “bougie” but apparently someone there thought this was important enough to give it a lot of space in the magazine.

Nigo, whose real name is Tomoaki Nagao, is at a crossroads in his career. He can either be a sellout and make Bape a much more international brand by opening more stores and pursuing other lucrative projects (Bape cologne? Bape sports drink? Bape condoms maybe?) or he could make the line more exclusive and go back to his Japanese underground roots.

The secret to Nigo’s success is that he fights to keep Bape fresh “as in raw-fish-in-a-refrigerated-case fresh. The clothes and footwear are intended to be seen as perishable; rare; manufactured that morning, perhaps; and presented for you in a sushi-bar-style display.”

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TV Tokyo, The Small Station With The Big Heart

5 12 2007


So I have to write a blog post about the Web site of a local news station. I thought it would be cool to review TV Tokyo’s site. There’s only one issue – it’s in Japanese.

This does present a problem, however, technically if the Web site is organized in the right way I might be able to still discern if it’s a good site or not.

TV Tokyo is the smallest of the Tokyo television networks. It’s nicknamed “Teleto” = terebi (television) + Tokyo. It’s known for it’s anime. TV Tokyo is responsible for broadcasting some of my favorite cheesy anime such as Bleach, Naruto, Love Hina, and Pokemon.

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Kanye Mixtape and Happy Birthday to Me!!!

5 12 2007


Kanye’s mixtape cover, photo from HipHopDX; Me and 9th Wonder at his album release show

Twenty-one years ago a beautiful little girl came into this world – it was moi! Your girl is finally legal. I had an awesome b’day party last night to celebrate turning the big 21. Of course I had to have karaoke, another great Japanese invention. For my b’day I will give yall a present. I got my hands on Kanye West’s mixtape a while ago, but I didn’t get a chance to post it. I hope Kanye is doing okay right now. His mother’s unexpected passing must be killing him; he hasn’t updated his blog in a while. Rest in peace Dr. Donda West.
The mixtape entitled The Graduate is WAY better (and longer) than the official Graduation CD. It’s all due to the mixing geniuses of Ohio-born Mick Boogie and Terry Urban not to mention my man, Carolina’s finest, 9th Wonder. This mixtape is SO DOPE. There’s some Nas, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Weezy, Biggie, Busta Rhymes, Lupe, Dr. Dre, Common, Talib Kweli, Ludacris, and Little Brother. Damn, even Patti Labelle? Talkin about pulling out all the stops, Takashi did some new cover art. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite songs. You really are suppose to listen to the tracks back to back. If you want to listen to the whole thing go here. Before you guys pounce on me about illegally downloading and sharing songs I will have you know that Kanye released this mixtape for free and wants people to download it. Make sure you go buy 9th Wonder’s new album and Little Brother’s new album. I’m going to see LB perform on Friday. For my b’day, can y’all get me a Takashi skateboard?

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New posters and more than 2,000 page views!

3 12 2007

Hey, everyone! This is a busy few weeks for me because of finals. I just wanted to thank you again for your continued support. Black Otaku has more than 2,000 page views! To show my appreciation I want to share with you some recent additions to my cinder-box apartment I call a dorm.

I don’t normally buy things online, but I decided to give it the old college try when I discovered that Giant Robot has a pretty rad online store. I suggest you go take a look at what they are selling. There were a lot of products to pick from. I’ve kinda gotten into this art phase where I am really interested in prints and posters by emerging artists. Looky what I got!

Read more after the jump!