allaboutgeorge + japan   40

Japan crises echo its pop culture disaster narratives -
"That's sort of the key to understanding what's going on in Japan," LaMarre said, "this kind of sense that obviously you want to be bailed out, you want to be rebuilt, you want things reconstructed. But at the same time there's a desire for a definite break with the past.... And as we all know, Japan's been having a lot of economic problems for a long time, and there's growing problems with immigration, unemployment, aging. And so there's a strange sense of not knowing whether to want things to go back to the way they were or to really have change through these catastrophes."
japan  disaster  tsunami  earthquake  culture  books  movies 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Japan as a rice culture? Not so quick, says anthropologist | The Japan Times Online
"The power of the rice ideology meant that non-agrarian populations were written off from history. To say that Japan is a rice culture is to deny the presence of others," she said.

By the 20th century, though, rice was firmly entrenched in the national diet — and with the rise of Japan's militarism, its aggressions in mainland Asia, and then World War II, the humble seed's symbolism took a darker turn.

"Agrarian ideology was ruthlessly used by the military government," wrote Ohnuki-Tierney in her 1993 book. "White rice, that is, domestic rice, was construed to represent the purity of the Japanese self.
food  japan  asia  ritual  history  power 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback; The Sorrows of Empire, Dead at 79 |
In one of my fondest memories of Chalmers and Sheila Johnson at their home with their then Russian blue cats, MITI and MOF, named after the two engines of Japan's political economy -- Chal railed against the journal, Foreign Affairs, which he saw as a clap trap of statist conventionalism. He decided he had had enough of the journal and of the organization that published it, the Council on Foreign Relations. So, Chalmers called the CFR and told the young lady on the phone to cancel his membership.

The lady said, "Professor Johnson, I'm sorry sir. No one cancels their membership in the Council in Foreign Relations. Membership is for life. People are canceled when they die."

Chalmers Johnson, not missing a beat, said "Consider me dead."
foreign  empire  military  economy  japan  news  politics  power  geography  books  nonfiction  obituaries 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Aimee Mann clicks into a disturbed world | The Japan Times Online
"I'm always interested in the same thing," she says. "I like to write about messed up people who have relationships where the dynamic is strange. People are interesting, and most are fairly disturbed. I don't know anybody who you would call well adjusted. I know people who are flawed and who are trying to improve, and I applaud that." [...]

"I have a lot of compassion for people," she says briskly. "It's not easy being a person. I even feel sorry for giant celebrities. I think it's a tougher gig than people give them credit for." [...]

"I like to write in the first person but from somebody else's point of view," she explains. "How would it feel to be doing what they're doing, or feeling what they're feeling? The best way to do that is to figure out how you are alike. Maybe you take a person who you think isn't like you and it's not your story, and you start telling their story and discover the part of it that is your story."
songwriting  japan  music  livemusic  attention  writing  creativity  story  celebrity  psychology  relationships 
august 2009 by allaboutgeorge - Articles - New Study Explores Technology, Media and Youth Brands
The study also found that respondents had a favorite channel that they always tune into (80 percent in U.S., 73 percent in the U.K., 70 percent in Germany and 88 percent in India). The exception was Japan, where just 38 percent of youth have a go-to TV channel.
television  marketing  youth  japan  india  uk  usa  germany  media 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Opinion - The Public Editor: Newspapers dying? Not if you take a global view -
"'Internet advertising revenues – not just newspapers online, but all Internet advertising – was up 32.45 percent over one year and 200 percent over five years,' the report said."
newspapers  media  journalism  business  corporations  world  europe  asia  japan  china  india 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
El Oso » Blog Archive » Thoughts on Media Attention, Development, Ninjas, and Chivas
"We should be learning new languages, we should be introducing our friends in one country to our friends in another. And we should always drink at least three mojitos when we do."
world  nigeria  japan  ninjas  media  attention  identity  war  drinking  cinema  film  africa  globalization 
june 2008 by allaboutgeorge From the Author - John Burnham Schwartz
"By stubbornly, needfully going back, we are asking to be relieved of our strangeness, when strangeness is the whole point. [...] And arms may indeed embrace us, and stories may get told. But in the end they won't keep us, and we can't stay."
travel  families  identity  behavior  story  japan 
february 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Buddhist Channel | Buddhism News, Headlines | Japan | Buddhism forced to turn trendy to attract a new generation in Japan
"There was a time when people would go to their local temple for advice on all sorts of problems, not just spiritual matters. This bar is just the same, a place where people can come and talk freely about their problems."
via:jbrotherlove  buddhism  religion  spirituality  japan  asia  alcohol  beverages  psychology 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Losing an Edge, Japanese Envy India’s Schools - New York Times
“Until now, Japanese saw China and India as backwards and poor. As Japan loses confidence in itself, its attitudes toward Asia are changing. It has started seeing India and China as nations with something to offer."
japan  china  india  education  asia  asian  identity  globalization 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
In Laos, Chinese Motorcycles Change Lives - New York Times
"Mr. Gu said he could tell a Japanese brand, made in Thailand, just by listening [...] Some Thai-made Japanese motorcycles can go 10 years without an engine overhaul. Chinese bikes, he said, usually need major repairs within three to four years."
china  japan  marketing  scooter  oil  transportation  asia 
december 2007 by allaboutgeorge
A New Sensation in Iraq: Motor Scooters - New York Times
“The Japanese ones, they never have defects. But the Chinese ones, their electric wiring always goes.”
scooter  iraq  china  japan  transportation  cities  urban  oil  marketing  asia 
december 2007 by allaboutgeorge
..::Black PR Wire, Inc. - Car designs cater to the public
"Honda was listed as the sixth car maker out of the 10 most purchased brands for African Americans in 2005 yet experts believe that Honda can climb higher up the ranks if focused more of the black consumers’ expectations and self-perception."
marketing  cars  japan  black  race  identity 
december 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Young Drivers Steer Toward Foreign Cars
"About 60% of buyers under 25 rated fuel economy as an extremely important reason to purchase a particular vehicle; vs. 47% for 25 to 34 years old; or 40% for those 35 and up, the firm said."
cars  japan  germany  usa  marketing  energy 
october 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Cars with the Oldest and Youngest Drivers - BusinessWeek
"Want a good idea of why Detroit is struggling? Ford dominates the market in the over-60 category, while imports own the youngest demographic."
cars  usa  japan  germany  marketing  aging  identity  detroit 
october 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Sex in the Park, and Its Sneaky Spectators - New York Times
"My intention was to capture what happened in the parks, so I was not a real 'voyeur' like them. But I think, in a way, the act of taking photographs itself is voyeuristic somehow. So I may be a voyeur, because I am a photographer."
art  nyc  photography  japan  aesthetics  public  sex  presence 
september 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Jazz Messenger - Haruki Murakami- Books - Review - New York Times
"Inside my head, though, I did often feel as though something like my own music was swirling around in a rich, strong surge. I wondered if it might be possible for me to transfer that music into writing. That was how my style got started."
books  fiction  japan  jazz  literature  music  writers  writing  creativity  aesthetics  identity 
july 2007 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Raw
"Sushi had started as a form of preservation but it was becoming precisely the opposite: a way of using the infrastructure of modernity to chaperone a delicate dish around the world."
food  japan  usa  globalization  marketing  farming  culture  books 
june 2007 by allaboutgeorge
WaPo: Japanese Working Women Still Serve the Tea
"There is a 27-year-old man who does almost exactly what I do, and he is already making more than me. I've been with the company for 42 years. And the court says that's fair? Well, I strongly disagree."
japan  work  jobs  feminism  law  beverages 
march 2007 by allaboutgeorge
A foreigner links Japan to its soul - International Herald Tribune
"At a time when Japan was obsessed with gaining material wealth, it took a foreigner to warn that it was losing something else. Lafcadio Hearn is a way for Japan to regain touch with its soul."
japan  story  public  nonfiction  writing  asian 
february 2007 by allaboutgeorge Life | Geisha grrrls
"They hear this stuff from their moms, And they're like, 'Once you get married and have kids, you're locked into an 18-year job.' If you can delay that, then you can travel, you can learn languages, you can make your own money, do your own thing."
women  gender  feminism  work  corporations  japan  asia  men  nonfiction  interviews 
january 2007 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Escape From Japan
“It was so hard in Japan to have the confidence to say, ‘I can be what I want to be, I can do what I want to do.’ New York is very free. I thought, ‘If I want to do this, I can do it. In Japan you have to follow the rails.”
japan  identity  travel  usa  dance  nyc 
october 2006 by allaboutgeorge
LAT: The Stars Realign in Japan
"The Hollywood brand isn't the best anymore, and Hollywood actors aren't effective enough anymore. Consumers are in favor of singers or artists who are familiar, rather than foreign movie stars."
hollywood  japan  asian  television  cinema  marketing 
september 2005 by allaboutgeorge
WaPo: Men in Land of Samurai Find Their Feminine Side
"Japan has never really stressed the concept of being macho in a Western sense, but what we find now is that men are actively seeking the soft and smooth look that is considered so attractive now. They aren't scared of getting their hairs plucked."
japan  men  women  aesthetics  identity  gender  marriage  asian 
september 2005 by allaboutgeorge Try a mix of saké and salt
"Pale skin in Japan has been historically associated with royalty, wealth and purity. Brown skin meant that you were from a lower socio-economic status, working manually in the fields and being exposed to the sun."
japan  aesthetics  identity  beauty  work 
september 2005 by allaboutgeorge
LAT: For Politicians in Japan, Net Is No-Go Zone
"I need to get to the people in the area and I keep thinking: If only I had the freedom to use phone mail, photo mail, viral marketing and ring tones to get my message across. But most Diet members don't know how to use the Internet."
japan  weblogs  weblogging  internet  politics  social 
september 2005 by allaboutgeorge
WaPo: In Tokyo, a Ghetto of Geeks
"I think we have a long way to go before the otaku themselves are considered cool. But the motifs of otaku culture have permeated Japanese society and beyond. Just look around you. They are everywhere."
japan  marketing  men  cities  aesthetics 
june 2005 by allaboutgeorge
Guardian UK: One in ten fish is eaten in Japan. So why don't they know there's a shortage?
"The British are lightweights when it comes to fish eating. We only manage 20kg each a year - the world average is 16kg. The Japanese put away 10 per cent of the global fish catch - 69.1kg of fish each a year. That's 19 fishfingers a day, every day."
japan  food  uk  environment  oceans  conservation  fish 
april 2005 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: True to Her Orthodox Beliefs, if Not to Her Roots
"The meaning of the words are very beautiful. I'm Japanese. And Jewish. And American, just as American as anyone else who was born here. I don't consider myself a princess, but I consider myself worthy for the first time in my life."
judaism  asian  japan  usa  theater  identity  religion 
february 2005 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Girl Power Fuels Manga Boom in U.S.
"Manga is bringing back the very same subjects, but with a twist, a 21st-century Japanese sensibility. The girls are cute, they're never insulting, and they never have big breasts."
manga  japan  asian  cartoons  women  marketing 
january 2005 by allaboutgeorge
This American Life: Lee Sandlin's "Losing the War"
"All my life I've heard people say 'war is insanity' in tones of dramatic insight and final wisdom, and it took me a long time to realize that what they really meant was 'war is an activity I don't want to understand, done by people I fear and despise.'"
germany  history  japan  usa  war 
december 2004 by allaboutgeorge
SFGate: Whiteface, puppets make Caucasians the 'other' / Three productions reverse the usual racial stereotypes
"I took the visual ideas from the ukiyo-e illustrations that were around at the time the 'black ships' came to Japan. They depict distorted features and figures of Americans, basically showing how the Japanese perceived Americans at the time."
aesthetics  asian  ethnicity  identity  japan  race  theater  white 
december 2004 by allaboutgeorge
Guardian UK: Travels in the floating world
"Over the next few weeks Charley rented Kikujiro a number of times, and although I was with him when he did so, I had no idea how powerfully he'd been affected, not until he said, quietly, en passant, 'When I grow up I'm going to live in Tokyo.'"
aesthetics  identity  japan  travel  uk 
november 2004 by allaboutgeorge
WaPo: Old, but Not Retiring
"People over 65 here are climbing mountains, going to China to plant trees, traveling abroad to teach Japanese. It's about diet, it's about exercise. . . . It's about making the most out of a long life."
aging  japan  usa 
october 2004 by allaboutgeorge
Seattle P-I: Wabi-sabi has a laid-back appeal
"Wabi-sabi is a Japanese phrase that can be translated several ways. Sometimes it is interpreted as 'charming oldness,' as 'casual imperfection' or even 'relaxed goodness.'"
aesthetics  gardening  japan 
september 2004 by allaboutgeorge
Eric Rice :: My own personal NPR
"Because as humans, we adapt. That's what we do." Beats the hell out of the alternative.
japan  mp3  mpaa  radio  riaa 
august 2004 by allaboutgeorge

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