robertogreco + japanese   150

Zuihitsu - Wikipedia
“Zuihitsu (随筆) is a genre of Japanese literature consisting of loosely connected personal essays and fragmented ideas that typically respond to the author’s surroundings. The name is derived from two Kanji meaning “at will” and “pen.” The provenance of the term is ultimately Chinese, zuihitsu being the Sino-Japanese reading (on’yomi) of 随筆 (Mandarin: suíbǐ), the native reading (kun’yomi) of which is fude ni shitagau (“follow the brush”).[1] Thus works of the genre should be considered not as traditionally planned literary pieces but rather as casual or randomly recorded thoughts by the authors.”

[via: https://warrenellis.ltd/isles/zuihitsu-or-follow-the-brush/

“I have long had the notion that zuihitsu is, in fact, the sort of writing that weblog software best enables. That these are not diaries but fragments. Zuihitsu and fragment writing has fascinated me for a long time. I created the jotter category here to try and give myself permission for “casual or randomly recorded thoughts.”

I tend to re-read HOJOKI and ESSAYS IN IDLENESS once every year or two. A previous writing location of mine, Morning Computer, was intended as a home for this kind of fragment writing, but I found myself constrained by a place that was just that. I may be Full Hermit Forever, but I still need to be able to send signals out into the world, and it gives me pleasure to be able to draw your attention, reader, to the things in the world that I like.

We in the Isles of Blogging should consider ourselves allowed to follow the brush more.”]

[See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dj%C5%8Dki ]
zuihitsu  japan  literature  writing  howwewrite  essays  words  place  surroundings  japanese  hojoki  idleness  hermits  warrenellis  diaries  classideas  jottings 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
Why Do Japanese Still Use Kanji? Complicated Writing System... - YouTube
"Why Do Japanese Use Kanji? Japanese is known for its complicated writing system, but why do we use kanji? Can't we just use hiragana and katakana? Is it possible to abolish kanji?

- Hiragana and Katakana are phonetic characters.
- Kanji (literally meaning Chinese letters) is like a symbol.
- Japanese has a lot of homophones and homographs and kanji helps to distinguish them.
- We have a set of official kanji on the joyo kanji list.
- There has been a number of attempts to abolish kanji in Japanese history.
- Once, John Pelzel from the Allied occupation of Japan tried to completely romanise Japanese after WWII.

[Here's a bit of history of people who tried to abolish kanji]

1866 - Hisoka Maejima, a Japanese statesman, was said to send a proposal to the shogun, insisting on abolishing kanji.
1872 - Yukichi Fukuzawa, Japan's prominent figure featured in the current 10,000 yen bill, wrote about his idea of abolishing kanji.
1881 - A group of people started a movement to promote the use of kana letters in place of kanji.
1946 - Naoya Shiga, a famous Japanese novelist, suggested that Japan should adopt French as the official language.
1946 - The Yomiuri Shimbun, one of the most popular Japanese newspapers, published an editorial arguing that adopting Roman alphabet would be key to democratise the country."
japanese  kanji  hirgana  katakana  srg  2015  history  languages  language 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
Hiragana & Katakana: the voice of Japanese typefaces - YouTube
"Osamu Torinoumi, Reiko Hirai
ATypI 2016 • Warsaw, Poland
Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw ASP

The Japanese language is unique in that its written form combines four different scripts concurrently: Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji (Chinese characters) and Latin. The huge character set and the complexity of the composite Japanese script make its explanation challenging, with the result that most explanation are either basic or partial. This presentation digs deeper. A comparison of the frequency of use of Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji and Latin character in a Japanese text shows the dominant role of Kana (Hiragana and Katakana). This means that Kana most influences the tone of a paragraph, and determines the characteristic of a typeface. In spite of this importance, Kana presents challenges to designers, as there are no defined alignments like those in other scripts. Within the singular guideline of a square which encloses the form, there is considerable variation of form. Osamu Torinoumi argues that the key to understanding Kana design rests in the history of the script, from its inception in the 8th century, to current digital forms. The importance in designing Kana is to consider the inherent shape, stroke and rhythm of each Kana letter. Translation and English presentation will be handled by Reiko Hirai from Monotype."
japanese  srg  hiragana  katakana  typography  osamutorinoumi  text  graphicdesign  kana  reikohirai  typefaces  fonts  languages 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
MUJI’s design philosophy is emptiness, not minimalism, says Kenya Hara — Quartzy
"Ku is not a poverty or absence of ideas or materials. Indeed, it’s a much richer concept than the Western understanding of “emptiness.” It’s a stance—a readiness to receive inspiration from outside. “To offer an empty vessel is to pose a single question and to be wholly ready to accept the huge variety of answers,” says Hara. ”Emptiness is itself a possibility of being filled.”"
ku  japan  japanese  kenyahara  muji  emptiness  minimalism  2017 
may 2019 by robertogreco
Pico Iyer Reflects on a Quarter-Century of Life in Japan - The New York Times
"In Japan, he notes, people accommodate themselves to small spaces, and so he and Hiroko have for a quarter-century. The transposition from a bustling office tower in Manhattan to a suburb of “the sleepy old city” of Nara has felt to him “as if I’ve walked out of a cluttered warehouse into a simple bare room with a scroll on the wall, everything so singular that emotion is brought to a pitch.” All this is part of what Iyer sees as an aesthetic of enhancement through subtraction, “the Japanese art of taking more and more away to charge the few things that remain.”

The book attempts a similar paring down, composed as it is of brief ruminations, notations, vignettes, descriptions. What holds everything together, besides Iyer’s elegantly smooth prose style and gift for detailed observation, is a circling around the theme of autumn in Japan and this autumnal period in his life. Self-described as having a restless “‘birdlike’ traveler’s temperament,” he spends half the year tending to his aging mother in California or reporting on subjects like “the warlords of Mogadishu,” but tries to get back to Japan each fall. This season teaches him the lesson of impermanence, the inevitability of decay, and “how to hold on to the things we love even though we know that we and they are dying.” Not much plot to speak of here: We watch Iyer going through his daily rounds, dropping in on his Ping-Pong club, visiting his mother-in-law in her nursing home, recalling scenes from the past. His wife, questioning him apprehensively, says, “Like Ozu movie? … Your book, nothing happening?” “Not exactly nothing,” he replies. “It’s in the spaces where nothing is happening that one has to make a life.” And indeed, he references Ozu films numerous times, particularly the way that cinematic master will cycle through the seasons as a metaphor for the changelessness of the nonhuman world within stories of human change and suffering. Of course, it’s harder to pull off on the page, without sublime actors like Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara to embody the effect.

Iyer’s wife makes for a marvelous presence, zooming away on her motorbike to her job in a boutique, cleaning the house briskly like a tornado or dashing off to honor dead ancestors at shrines and grave sites. Hiroko is the book’s motor, and Iyer is in awe of her energy, even as he says, a bit condescendingly: “It’s one of the qualities I most admire in her: She doesn’t stop to think” and “I have a wife who reminds me with every gesture that the only impulses to trust are the ones that arise without thought.” Hiroko strikes me as more quick-witted than thoughtless, but perhaps Iyer is aspiring, on her behalf, to the Buddhist ideal of the blank mind.

His own self-portrait is dimmer. He comes across as a modest, kind, gentle man, somewhat colorless, as though trying to practice spiritual erasure of the ego. He had moved to Japan “to learn how best to dissolve a sense of self within something larger and less temporary” — an admirable pursuit, though problematic for autobiographical writers. He admits he finds “belief” in general difficult, and says he doesn’t consider himself a Buddhist, but treats with fascinated respect his wife’s conviction that spirits and ghosts exist. He’s a big proponent of his own ignorance, saying he doesn’t choose to learn more than a smattering of Japanese because he needs mystery and “a sense of open space in life, something to offset the sense of the familiar.”

In a way, his attraction to Japan can be seen as an attempt to hold onto its exotic, eternal appeal — to his partly idealized picture of what the East has to offer a Western man in the way of healing. “Autumn Light” isn’t the book to turn to for an account of the political, social and economic problems of today’s Japan. Now in his 60s, Iyer feels free to communicate his tentative revelations about life. There’s much wisdom in what he says, though some of it comes close to platitude. But then, perhaps it’s the nature of hard-earned wisdom to sound like something we’ve heard many times before."
2019  picoiyer  japan  autumn  seasons  fall  impermanence  small  japanese  language  familiarity  ozu  buddhism  spirits  ignorance  familiar  subtraction 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Are.na / 間
"‘Ma’, the Japanese concept of space between, the gap, pause, has also been described as “an emptiness full of possibilities, like a promise yet to be fulfilled”, and as ”the silence between the notes which make the music”"
japan  ma  space  silence  gaps  emptiness  possibility  words  japanese  music  sound 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Gram Cafe’s fluffy Japanese souffle pancakes come to Stonestown Galleria - SFChronicle.com
[See also:
https://gramcafeusa.com/
https://sf.eater.com/2019/4/5/18295403/gram-pancakes-cafe-souffle-japanese-san-francisco-stonestown-open
https://sfist.com/2019/04/10/japanese-souffle-pancakes-currently-all-the-rage-at-stonestown-mall/
https://www.yelp.com/biz/gram-cafe-and-pancakes-san-francisco-3 ]

"Jiggling stacks of Japanese pancakes are about to flood Instagram feeds.

Popular Japanese chain Gram Cafe & Pancakes will open its first U.S. outpost in San Francisco’s Stonestown Galleria on Friday.

Located on the ground floor of the mall near Nordstrom, the all-day cafe occupies a hefty, 2,700-square-foot space, outfitted with a fake tree and a giant stack of plush pancakes primed for selfies.

Will there be lines? You bet.

The first Gram Cafe opened in Osaka in 2014. Now, there are more than 60 across Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong, with locations planned for Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.

San Francisco resident Dorothy Wong, a former pastry chef, owns the Gram franchise in California, licensing the name from the Japanese company. San Francisco has a proven affinity for Japanese restaurant chains like Ippudo and Marugame Udon, which is part of what made it seem like a promising candidate for Gram’s first American location.

On a recent trip to Japan, she tasted the souffle pancakes from Gram and decided it was the perfect thing to bring back to the Bay Area.

“Everything from Japan is detail and quality,” she said.

At Stonestown, diners will need to line up for tickets to access those coveted souffle pancakes ($16 for three). Only 30 orders will be available at three times per day: 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

“It’s not a gimmick,” Wong said. “It’s not like we want people to stand in line. It has to be precise, delicate, labor intensive.”

These souffle pancakes are made to order, and Wong estimates they take about 30 minutes to prepare. The process takes over almost the entire kitchen: Chefs pipe the stiff, egg white-rich batter into tall paper molds on the griddle, then cover each with a dome-shaped lid to create steam.

Gram chef Teruyuki Yasumura flew in from Japan to train the staff, demonstrating how to carefully pipe, flip and cover to ensure an evenly cooked, unusually fluffy and extra tall pancake. He places three on top of one another just so, ensuring an eye-catching jiggle without any toppling over.

The pancakes are finished with a dusting of powdered sugar, a sphere of butter and dollop of whipped cream. Then, servers will rush them over to guests before they start to slowly cool and collapse.

Gram sparked a souffle pancake craze in Japan, and the trend has recently begun to hit the U.S. In San Francisco, Sugarhill Kitchen and Derm Restaurant are already serving them, but Wong is confident Gram will stand apart.

“This is the original,” she said."
sanfrancisco  food  togo  srg  2019  pancakes  japanese 
april 2019 by robertogreco
okonomiyaki
"Okkon Japanese Street Food is an Oakland based husband and wife team interested in sharing okonomiyaki, a popular street food from Japan.

The basic pancake comes with pork belly, mountain yam, cabbage, tempura, green onions, egg and flour. The dashi broth is made with four types of fish and kombu seaweed. Okkon cares deeply about the quality of the food, so organic and local ingredients are used as much as possible."

[See also: https://www.instagram.com/okkonpopup/

via: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt9GuaJBUFm/ ]
food  oakland  pop-ups  togo  restaurants  japanese  okonomiyaki 
february 2019 by robertogreco
An Essay by Miho Nonaka | Kenyon Review Online
[So good. There's really no good way to quote this one, so here are just a few sections.]

"Heavenly Worm

Mrs. Itō, our fourth-grade teacher, drew a new kanji character on the board: 蚕. “Worm from heaven,” she announced, “as you can see.” Heaven splits open like a curtain (天) and inside it dwells the worm (虫). For each student, she took out five worms from her basket and put them in a small paper box to take home. Having just hatched from their eggs, these worms were still covered in little black hairs. That’s why at this stage they are called kego (hairy baby), Mrs. Itō told us. To feed these dark babies, julienne your mulberry leaves first."



"Platinum Boy, 2006

After decades of research, Japanese silkworm breeders discovered a reliable method of hatching exclusively male silkworms. Female silkworms eat more, sleep more, take up more space, and are measurably less efficient in transforming mulberry leaves into silk. The verdict was clear: female silkworms are inferior for silk production.

Silk spinners and kimono weavers are unanimous in their praise of male silk: their thread is consistently finer, sturdier, glossier, whiter, and their cocoons are easier to harvest when boiled.

The birth site of Platinum Boy is literally black and white. When you look at a piece of paper where silkworm eggs are laid, white eggs are the empty shells from which male larvae have already hatched. They will thrive on the diet of tender mulberry shoot which, combined with their spit, will eventually turn into raw silk, translucent like frosted glass. The dark eggs contain female larvae that will never hatch and only keep darkening."



"Ten Thousand Leaves I

Compiled in the mideighth century, Man’yōshū (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) is the oldest Japanese anthology: more than forty-five hundred poems in twenty books. In the sweltering heat of the attic, I wasn’t looking for any particular motif when I happened on poem No. 2495, composed by Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, a low rank courtier and one of the “Saints of Japanese Poetry”:
like my mother’s
silkworms confined
inside cocoons,
how can I see my love
who lives secluded at home?

Poem No. 2991 is almost the same poem by another poet, simply tagged “unknown”:
like my mother’s
silkworms confined
inside cocoons,
sadness clouds my heart
when I cannot see her

The motif of a silk cocoon as the inaccessible, lyrical interior goes back to the dawn of Japanese poetics. The cocoon encases the image of the beloved, the poet’s longing that keeps building inside, and in my poem it holds the mother as a mythical seamstress, stitching blue in each wrist of her unborn daughter."



"職人 I

I used to blame my grandmother on my father’s side, who was described to me as fierce, frantic, funny, a destructive visionary and unsuccessful business entrepreneur during the critical times of the Second World War. When I felt defeated by the radical pull of my own emotion, I would attach them to the face of the woman I had never met in person, only in a fading picture where she stands next to my young father without glasses, still a student with surprisingly gentle eyes.

My father recently told me during one of our late-night international calls from Tokyo: “Your grandfathers were both shokunin (craftsman), remember? It’s in your DNA, too.” His father had come from a large family of silk farmers. After he left home, adopting the newly introduced Singer sewing machines, he began manufacturing Japanese cloven-toed socks, the traditional kind that used to be hand-sewn, and during the war, he took the assignment to sew parachutes for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. While he worked under dimmed light, my young father put up his primitive drawing of warplanes on the wall, covered in fine grains of sand."



"Small Things

They say (I love the convenience, but who are “they”?) that attention to detail is a characteristic of the Japanese. I am drawn to small things: tadpoles, silica beads, star sands in a vial, a notebook the size of a thumbnail, fish scales, a nativity scene inside half a walnut shell. I am terribly myopic like my father, and I like things that are near. Large things loom over and terrify: airports, Costco, churches in Texas, the Tokyo Skytree, Mount Rushmore (those granite faces I once believed had surfaced in response to the historic atomic bombing), and that elusive word “global.”"



"Komako

It didn’t occur to me until I tried translating a few passages from Snow Country that the young geisha’s name Komako (駒子) means Pony Child. What inspired the author Kawabata to portray his heroine as a woman of equine grace? We don’t know her family name. On the other hand, we don’t know the first name of Shimamura, who is referred to only by his last name.

I imagine if your family name is a gate to the house, your first name must be its interior. In the days when the first book of Man’yōshū was composed, asking a maiden’s first name was synonymous with proposing to her. Knowing it meant possessing the person.

Komako’s body is translucent like a silkworm, and an unearthly room encloses her fruitless passion like a white cocoon. While writing Snow Country, Kawabata says he distanced himself from Shimamura, who serves merely as a foil to Komako. “As an author, I entered deep inside the character of Komako, but casually turned my back to Shimamura,” he writes in the afterward. “Especially in terms of emotion—Komako’s sadness is nothing other than my own sadness. . . .” And so it is; his heart has become subsumed into her heart."



"Body

I find it impossible to talk about the body (mine and everyone else’s) without sounding embarrassed or oddly distant. I don’t mean to self-deprecate, but it has been almost too fashionable, too charged a topic for me to feel safe around. (A cowardly thing to say—the truth is, no one is safe.)

I won’t pretend my body is a plain blockhouse, or a slab of flesh aching with desire or lack thereof. Who could have taught me to stay at home in my own body all the while I traveled from one country to another, turning from the spontaneous, if careless, music of my mother tongue to the cautious economy of English, reaching out, in the hope of actually reaching and being reached?

For the subjects most critical to me, I find no teachers. Perhaps there is not enough demand? I believe I am badly behind everyone and that I missed an opportunity to ask questions long ago. People my age in this country sound fluent in the body, discussing it with just the right amount of sarcasm and laughter without revealing much, like they have been on intimate terms with it since they learned to speak. I suppose I should have listened to the body harder, without ulterior motives."
mihononaka  silk  essays  canon  howwewrite  2017  silkworms  multispecies  japan  japanese  language  gender  via:ayjay  poetry  writing  fabric  textiles  srg  glvo  insects  history  cocoons  craft  translation  languages  childhood  change  materials  process  form  details  weaving  texture  morethanhuman  shinto  bodies  body  small  slow 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Sayaka Murata - Wikipedia
[See also Convenience Store Woman:
https://groveatlantic.com/book/convenience-store-woman/
https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/sayaka-murata-eerie-convenience-store-woman-is-a-love-story-between-a-misfit-and-a-store
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/23/books/review-convenience-store-woman-sayaka-murata.html ]

"Sayaka Murata (村田沙耶香 Murata Sayaka) is a Japanese writer. She has won the Gunzo Prize for New Writers, the Mishima Yukio Prize, the Noma Literary New Face Prize, and the Akutagawa Prize.

Biography
Murata was born in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, Japan in 1979. As a child she often read science fiction and mystery novels borrowed from her brother and mother, and her mother bought her a word processor after she attempted to write a novel by hand in the fourth grade of elementary school.[1] After Murata completed middle school in Inzai, her family moved to Tokyo, where she graduated from Kashiwa High School (attached to Nishogakusha University) and attended Tamagawa University.[2]

Kashiwa High School
Her first novel, Jyunyū (Breastfeeding), won the 2003 Gunzo Prize for New Writers.[3] In 2013 she won the Mishima Yukio Prize for Shiro-iro no machi no, sono hone no taion no (Of Bones, Of Body Heat, of Whitening City).[4] In 2016 her 10th novel, Konbini ningen (Convenience Store People), won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize,[5] and she was named one of Vogue Japan's Women of the Year.[6] Konbini ningen has sold over 600,000 copies in Japan, and in 2018 it became her first book to be translated into English, under the title Convenience Store Woman.[7]

Throughout her writing career Murata has worked part-time as a convenience store clerk in Tokyo.[8]

Writing style
Murata's writing explores the different consequences of nonconformity in society for men and women, particularly with regard to gender roles, parenthood, and sex.[9] Many of the themes and character backstories in her writing come from her daily observations as a part-time convenience store worker.[8] Societal acceptance of sexlessness in various forms, including asexuality, involuntary celibacy, and voluntary celibacy, especially within marriage, recurs as a theme in several of her works, such as the novels Shōmetsu sekai (Dwindling World) and Konbini ningen (Convenience Store Person), and the short story "A Clean Marriage."[10][11] Murata is also known for her frank depictions of adolescent sexuality in work such as Gin iro no uta (Silver Song)[12] and Shiro-iro no machi no, sono hone no taion no (Of Bones, of Body Heat, of Whitening City).[13]"
srg  japan  japanese  sayakamurata  howwewrite  conveniencestores  tokyo  asexuality  celibacy  marriage  gender  sexuality  nonconformity  parenthood  genderroles 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Between Two Languages: An Interview with Yoko Tawada
"Among the finest of Tawada’s works are short stories about adapting to new cultures, both physically and linguistically. The daughter of a nonfiction translator and academic bookseller, Tawada learned to read in over five languages; she speaks English, but doesn’t write it. “I feel in between two languages, and that’s big enough,” she told me. Her stories often turn on feeling outside the culture, as an immigrant, as a citizen witnessing great national change, or even as a tourist."



"I look like a person who cannot think when I wake up, because I’m still quite between the sleep and the dream and the waking, and that’s the best time for business."



"Being multilingual is tricky. I feel more as though I am between two languages, and that feels like enough. To study that in-between space has given me so much poetry. I don’t feel like one of those international people who juggles many tongues."
yokotawada  language  languages  bilingualism  2018  interviews  japan  japanese  howwewrite  dreams  sleep  liminality  betweenness  littoralzone  liminalspaces  multilingualism  dualism  srg 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Hafu | the mixed-race experience in Japan
"Synopsis

With an ever increasing movement of people between places in this transnational age, there is a mounting number of mixed-race people in Japan, some visible others not. “Hafu” is the unfolding journey of discovery into the intricacies of mixed-race Japanese and their multicultural experience in modern day Japan. The film follows the lives of five “hafus”–the Japanese term for people who are half-Japanese–as they explore what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in a nation that once proudly proclaimed itself as the mono-ethnic nation. For some of these hafus Japan is the only home they know, for some living in Japan is an entirely new experience, and others are caught somewhere between two different worlds.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, one in forty-nine babies born in Japan today are born into families with one non-Japanese parent. This newly emerging minority in Japan is under-documented and under-explored in both literature and media. The feature-length HD documentary film, “Hafu – the mixed-race experience in Japan” seeks to open this increasingly important dialogue. The film explores race, diversity, multiculturalism, nationality, and identity within the mixed-race community of Japan. And through this exploration, it seeks to answer the following questions: What does it mean to be hafu?; What does it mean to be Japanese?; and ultimately, What does all of this mean for Japan?

Narrated by the hafus themselves, along with candid interviews and cinéma vérité footage, the viewer is guided through a myriad of hafu experiences that are influenced by upbringing, family relationships, education, and even physical appearance. As the film interweaves five unique life stories, audiences discover the depth and diversity of hafu personal identities."

[See also:

"Project Hafu
🎌A community for the rare and wonderful Japanese hafu 💖🇯🇵"
https://www.instagram.com/projecthafu/

"Hāfu2Hāfu
Worldwide 📸 project about #hāfu, or mixed 🇯🇵 identity.
Everybody has one identity related question for you.
All 📸 by @tetsuromiyazaki"
https://www.instagram.com/hafu2hafu/

Hāfu2Hāfu
https://hafu2hafu.org/

"Hāfu2Hāfu is a unique project photographing hāfu (mixed roots people with one Japanese parent) from every country in the world and sharing their most significant questions about identity, sense of belonging or growing up with two different cultures.

Every portrayed hāfu was asked:

“What is the one question you would like to ask other half Japanese?”
Hāfu2Hāfu wants to give hāfu, inside and outside of Japan a voice, bring them closer together and create more understanding for their identity issues by facilitating (online) dialogues with their peers, families, friends, classmates and colleagues.

In order to present a complete image of being hāfu, Hāfu2Hāfu will try to document portraits and questions of hāfu of different ages, genders, places of residence and of all 192 combinations of nationalities with Japanese (there are 193 sovereign countries)."

"A mission to capture the full range of half-Japanese experience — in 192 photos"
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2017/10/08/issues/mission-capture-full-range-half-japanese-experience-192-photos/ ]
afu  japan  japanese  ethnicity  identity  srg  instagram  photography  mixed-race  film  documentary 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Japanese Dictionary for iPhone, iPad, Android | iThinkdiff.net
[see also: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/japanese-dictionary-translator/id504762414 ]

"Bilingual dictionary translate words and phrases from English to Japanese and Japanese to English. Over 156,000 English and 194,000 Japanese words in an offline dictionary, with offline pronunciation of English words and online pronunciation of English & Japanese words. Includes single player and multi-player vocabulary training games.

Key Features:
—————————————
• Translate individual words, phrases, or whole sentences
• Scan English text in image by pointing your device camera to search in dictionary
• Cross search feature. Touch a word for a while for the menu [Copy | Define | Search | Pronunciation]
• Bookmark and Recent History for instant recall
• Multiple games to help students improve their English or Japanese vocabulary
• Online & Offline Pronunciation for English & Japanese text
• Flash Card & Word of the Day for vocabulary learning
• Phrase Book

Detailed Description
—————————————
Designed for students, professionals and travelers using any iOS device, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Japanese Dictionary will automatically optimize itself for both Universal displays and Retina displays to ensure text is easy to read.

Users can customize the font for both English and Japanese to ensure the text is readable. Definitions include Wiktionary word information, including historical uses of the word and synonyms to help students find the most appropriate word for any sentence.

Users can copy and paste translations into any other app or send the translation directly by SMS text message—plus the translation can be sent to Twitter as a tweet, Facebook as a status update, or LinkedIn as a network update.

The optional Word Of The Day uses a notification to send students a random most useful English word and definition to help the student expand his or her vocabulary.

Flash card, multiple choice, and word guess games test students on their existing vocabulary and help them quickly learn new words.

Additional online games and feedback encourage study. Word Fight Multiplayer pits two students against each other online to see who has learned the most. Achievements and Leaderboard track the most advanced users, rewarding students for effective study."
ios  dictionaries  japanese  srg 
november 2018 by robertogreco
‎imiwa? on the App Store
"This application is a multilingual Japanese dictionary that does not require an internet connection.

Imiwa? was created using the amazing JMdict files from the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group based on the work of Jim Breen on the EDICT project.

While some definitions are available in 4 languages (English, French, Russian and German), only the English translation is guaranteed for all entries in the JMDict dictionary. Initiate a search in any of those 4 languages, in Japanese or in romaji and imiwa? will do the rest.

imiwa? Also includes a rich database of kanji (KanjiDic), examples (from tatoeba.org) and conjugations as well as tools suitable for beginners.

Use the Traditional Chinese character recognition keyboard included in the iOS system for drawing kanji on screen."
ios  japanese  dictionaries  srg 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Japanese
"Lost in translation?
Not anymore.
Japanese is the ultimate study companion for any Japanese learner. Discover the language, learn the grammar and master it with flashcards."

[See also: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/japanese/id290664053 ]
japanese  dictionaries  ios  srg  android 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary
"Jisho is a powerful Japanese-English dictionary. It lets you find words, kanji, example sentences and more quickly and easily.

Enter any Japanese text or English word in the search box and Jisho will search a myriad of data for you.

Here’s a few example searches to give you a taste of what Jisho can do.

• Great English search: house
• Text reading assistance: 昨日すき焼きを食べました
• Inflection information: 走った
• Multi word search: 日 sunlight
• JLPT N3 adjectives: #jlpt-n3 #adjective
• Grade 1 jōyō kanji: #grade:1 #kanji
• Common words that end with 家: #word #common ?*家
• Convert Japanese years: 昭和52
• Convert Japanese numbers: 4778万

There are more examples and explanations on the search options page."
japanese  srg  dictionaries 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Inari Ōkami - Wikipedia
"Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神, also Oinari) is the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal kami of Shinto. In earlier Japan, Inari was also the patron of swordsmiths and merchants. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century.

By the 16th century Inari had become the patron of blacksmiths and the protector of warriors, and worship of Inari spread across Japan in the Edo period. Inari is a popular figure in both Shinto and Buddhist beliefs in Japan. More than one-third (32,000) of the Shinto shrines in Japan are dedicated to Inari. Modern corporations, such as cosmetic company Shiseido, continue to revere Inari as a patron kami, with shrines atop their corporate headquarters.[1]

Inari's foxes, or kitsune, are pure white and act as their messengers."
japan  foxes  kitsune  japanese  shinto  srg 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Shoshin - Wikipedia
"Shoshin (初心) is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind." It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.[citation needed]

The phrase is also discussed in the book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, a Zen teacher. Suzuki outlines the framework behind shoshin, noting "in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."[1]"

[via: http://bobbyjgeorge.com/about ]
buddhism  neoteny  zen  education  learning  japanese  words 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Kodomo No Kuni. | Present&Correct
"A children’s picture magazine published in Japan 1922-44. We just found a site with a full archive, over 9000 images. [http://www.kodomo.go.jp/gallery/search/index_e.html ]"
children  illustrarion  japan  japanese  srg 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Black Buddha | Nothing is Lost
"Black Buddha illuminates the best destinations, experiences and underground voices around the world."



"Black Buddha is a brand dedicated to creating premium video content that illuminates the best destinations, experiences and underground voices around the world. Like a trusted friend with the keys to the city, we are the source for inspiration, entertainment, and insight for the millennial minded urban explorer."
travel  video  japanese  english 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Haibun - Wikipedia
"Haibun (俳文, literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem,[1] short story and travel journal.

History
The term "haibun" was first used by the 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō, in a letter to his disciple Kyorai in 1690.[2] Bashō was a prominent early writer of haibun, then a new genre combining classical prototypes, Chinese prose genres and vernacular subject matter and language.[2] He wrote some haibun as travel accounts during his various journeys, the most famous of which is Oku no Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Interior).

Bashō's shorter haibun include compositions devoted to travel and others focusing on character sketches, landscape scenes, anecdotal vignettes and occasional writings written to honor a specific patron or event. His Hut of the Phantom Dwelling can be classified as an essay while, in Saga Nikki (Saga Diary), he documents his day-to-day activities with his disciples on a summer retreat.

Traditional haibun typically took the form of a short description of a place, person or object, or a diary of a journey or other series of events in the poet's life.[3] Haibun continued to be written by later haikai poets such as Yosa Buson,[4] Kobayashi Issa[5] and Masaoka Shiki.[3]

In English
Haibun is no longer confined to Japan, and has established itself as a genre in world literature[6][7] which has gained momentum in recent years.[8]

James Merrill's "Prose of Departure", from The Inner Room (1988), is an earlier example.

The first contest for English-language haibun took place in 1996,[9] organized by poet and editor Michael Dylan Welch, and judged by Tom Lynch and Cor van den Heuvel. Anita Virgil won first prize, and David Cobb won second prize. The contest resulted in the publication of Wedge of Light (Press Here) in 1999. As credited by Welch,[10] the first anthology of English-language haibun was Bruce Ross's Journey to the Interior: American Versions of Haibun (Tuttle), published in 1998.[11][non-primary source needed]

Jim Kacian and Bruce Ross edited the inaugural number of the annual anthology American Haibun & Haiga (Red Moon Press) in 1999; that series, which continues to this day, changed its name to Contemporary Haibun in 2003 and sponsored the parallel creation in 2005 of Contemporary Haibun Online, a quarterly journal that added Welsh haibun author Ken Jones to the founding editorial team of Kacian and Ross.

Characteristics
A haibun may record a scene, or a special moment, in a highly descriptive and objective manner or may occupy a wholly fictional or dream-like space.[citation needed] The accompanying haiku may have a direct or subtle relationship with the prose and encompass or hint at the gist of what is recorded in the prose sections.

Several distinct schools of English haibun have been described,[12] including Reportage narrative mode such as Robert Wilson's Vietnam Ruminations, Haibunic prose, and the Templum effect.

Contemporary practice of haibun composition in English is continually evolving.[13][citation needed] Generally, a haibun consists of one or more paragraphs of prose written in a concise, imagistic haikai style, and one or more haiku. However, there may be considerable variation of form, as described by editor and practitioner Jeffrey Woodward.[14]

Modern English-language haibun writers (aka, practitioners) include Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross, Mark Nowak, Nobuyuki Yuasa,[15] Lynne Reese,[16] Peter Butler,[17] and David Cobb, founder of the British Haiku Society in 1990 and author of Spring Journey to the Saxon Shore, a 5,000-word haibun which has been considered seminal for the English form of kikōbun (i.e., travel diary).[18]"

[via: "So I've been experimenting with writing haibun lately, and as a lifelong diarist (who's recently slacked in a major way but is now jumping back into it!) this form is opening things way up for me. Shoutout to Bashō."
https://twitter.com/gumbo_amando/status/1017249109416267776 ]
japan  japanese  journals  journaling  srg  haibun  poetry  prose  haiku  writing  diaries  essays  autobiography  bashō  classideas 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Craig Mod en Instagram: “Today a shop worker spoke to me in Japanese from behind and I had the distinct sensation of being not myself. They spoke with a confidence…”
"Today a shop worker spoke to me in Japanese from behind and I had the distinct sensation of being not myself. They spoke with a confidence that rarely presents itself to you as a non-Japanese. They spoke Japanese as if they knew me and knew I would understand. The out of body feeling was a momentary blip, a spliced-in frame of me as no longer the other. I knew it wasn’t true — I knew I was still the me always and forever not looking the part. Regardless, it was nice to luxuriate in mutual deception if just for a moment."
japan  bilingualism  craigmod  cv  japanese  dualism  language  acceptance  infiltration  deception 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Different languages: How cultures around the world draw shapes differently — Quartz
"How do you draw a circle? We analyzed 100,000 drawings to show how culture shapes our instincts"



"Did you start at the top or bottom? Clockwise or counterclockwise? New data show that the way you draw a circle holds clues about where you come from.

In November, Google released an online game called Quick, Draw!, in which users have 20 seconds to draw prompts like “camel” and “washing machine.” It’s fun, but the game’s real aim is to use those sketches to teach algorithms how humans draw. By May this year, the game had collected 50 million unique drawings.

We used the public database from Quick, Draw! to compare how people draw basic shapes around the world. Our analysis suggests that the way you draw a simple circle is linked to geography and cultural upbringing, deep-rooted in hundreds of years of written language, and significant in developmental psychology and trends in education today.

Circles, a universal form

Revered by the ancient Greeks, essential to Islamic art, and venerated in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, circles are a universal shape. No matter where you begin, there are really only two ways to draw a circle, a single stroke heading clockwise, or a single stroke heading counterclockwise.

Google’s dataset contains 119,000 unique circles drawn by people in 148 countries, and includes coordinates for the path traced by each player’s finger (or mouse). Applying some simple geometry to data from the 66 countries that submitted over 100 circles, we identified the circle-drawing directions favored by different nations.

Americans tend to draw circles counterclockwise. Of nearly 50,000 circles drawn in the US, 86% were drawn this way. People in Japan, on the other hand, tend to draw circles in the opposite direction. Of 800 circles drawn in Japan, 80% went clockwise. Here’s a random sample of 100 circles people drew in each country:

[image]

British, Czech, Australian, and Finnish circles were drawn in the same direction, with the same consistency, as American ones. Some countries are even more regular—around 90% of French, German, and Filipino drawers submitted circles drawn counterclockwise. In Vietnam, a full 95% were drawn this way.

[image]

Most of the world, it seems, draws circles counterclockwise, with just two exceptions from our dataset: Taiwan and Japan."



"There are countless ways that we subtly, unconsciously carry our cultures with us: the way we draw, count on our fingers, and imitate real-world sounds, to name a few. That’s the delight at the heart of this massive dataset. To test our theories, we approached colleagues, friends, and family who write in Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese, and, feeling a bit silly, asked them to draw circles. They gladly jumped in, wondering what their fingers would do, and eager to feel part of something larger.

But there’s still plenty we don’t know. Interest in shape-drawing seems to have gone out of style in psychology. With one exception, all of the research we found on cultural shape-drawing and the torque test was from before 1997. Increasingly, people around the world communicate by typing and tapping, but while the art of handwriting might someday get lost all together, perhaps we’re already forming a whole new crop of keyboard-led cultural differences."
us  japan  japanese  srg  circles  classideas  2017  culture  taiwan  chinese  scripts 
june 2017 by robertogreco
“Blue” for Go? Exploring Japanese Colors | Nippon.com
"Shifting Color Meanings

“Blue” traffic lights come as a shock to many students of Japanese. If one learns that midori is “green” and ao is “blue,” it is surprising to find that the clearly green traffic lights at Japanese intersections are described as aoshingō. This demonstrates that even common words may not have simple translations. Japanese traffic lights are not actually blue; they are ao, a word that usually means “blue” but can also mean “green.”

Ao, one of the oldest color words in Japanese, was once much broader in application. In several still common words, it denotes the vivid green of fresh vegetation, as in early summer. Examples include aoba (fresh foliage), aona (leafy green vegetables), aomame (green soybeans or peas), and even the prefectural name Aomori, which according to one explanation originally referred to the green juniper bushes covering a small hill in what is now the prefectural capital. The word ao has also been used historically for a broad range of colors tending toward other shades, including black, white, and gray.

The shifting meanings of the past can be fascinating, if potentially confusing. In the earliest records of the Japanese language, ao and aka (now red) were indicators of brightness. While kuro (black) denoted darkness and shiro (white) light, ao was used for darker and aka for brighter shades in between. Just as kuro and kurai (dark) share the same etymological root, aka is related to akarui (bright).

Long after much of this early linguistic uncertainty had settled down, the use of ao to mean “green” persisted into the age of traffic lights. Japan’s first electric traffic light was installed in Hibiya, Tokyo, in 1930. It was imported from the United States and featured the three standard colors. The original legislation actually designated the “go” color as midori, but the Japanese public insisted on calling it ao and the naming stuck. In 1947 aoshingō was written into Japanese law as the official name of the “go” signal.

A Colorful Tradition

English influences colors as it shapes other parts of the Japanese language. It might seem unlikely that burū (blue) and gurīn (green) could ever replace ao and midori, even though the katakana terms are now often heard. Yet orenji (orange) is arguably more used than the traditional daidai, which takes its name from a similar citrus fruit. Pinku (pink) is also firmly entrenched in the language, and more common than its loose synonym momo (peach).

The Japanese color shu (vermilion) is sometimes described simply as “red” or occasionally “orange,” the lack of precision reflecting its lesser importance in the English-speaking world. In Japan, though, as in other parts of East Asia, it is deeply rooted in the culture. It is the color of torii gates at Shintō shrines, the shuniku inkpads paired with personal seals, and the ink used by calligraphy teachers when annotating students’ work. It is also a common color for lacquerware.

Shu is one color to catch the Western visitor’s eye, but Japan has many more traditional hues. Murasaki (purple) was long the color of clothes worn by the ruling class. In the Heian period (794–1185), the pale purple of fuji (wisteria) became prominent, in part through association with the powerful Fujiwara clan. Author Sei Shōnagon repeatedly praises the flower in her classic Heian collection The Pillow Book, as when she includes “long, richly colored clusters of wisteria blossom hanging from a pine tree” in her list of “splendid things.”

The Heian aristocracy’s keen interest in color is epitomized in the jūni hitoe ensemble worn by ladies of the court. The name literally means “12 layers,” but the number was not fixed and could reach as high as 20. The colors were visible at the sleeves and hems, where progressively shorter layers overlapped, and matching them aesthetically was a fine art. There were complex rules about what colors were suitable for each layer based on the season, the occasion, and the wearer.

A contemporary equivalent to the rule-makers of the past may perhaps be the organization that runs the Shikisai Kentei, a popular test of color knowledge. By creating multiple choice questions for budding designers and artists in a range of fields, it acts as a force for standardization. This includes quizzing test-takers on exact shades for traditional colors as defined by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee.

Standardization makes life easier, but the pleasures of language lie in its idiosyncrasies. Although it may seem odd to native-English learners that traffic lights are “blue,” accepting this encourages a new viewpoint on the world. Each new point of knowledge about a different culture represents a small step along the road to a broader perspective.

[with image]

A Palette of Traditional Japanese Colors

beni (crimson) moegi (yellowish green)
momo (peach) hanada (light blue)
shu (vermilion) ai (indigo)
daidai (orange) ruri (lapis lazuli)
yamabuki (kerria) fuji (wisteria)
uguisu (bush warbler) nezumi (mouse)

Note: This table displays shades defined by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee. Historically the colors may have varied widely, especially when named after dyes, where the process can greatly affect the final color. They may also vary on different monitors. Not all have common English names."
srg  japanese  japan  color  blue  green  meaning  significance  symbols  words  language  names  change 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Kintsugi: The Art of Broken Pieces on Vimeo
"Perhaps we might take a cue from Latin Americans, who are organising alternative visions around the indigenous concept of buen vivir, or good living. The west has its own tradition of reflection on the good life and it’s time we revive it. Robert and Edward Skidelsky take us down this road in his book How Much is Enough? where they lay out the possibility of interventions such as banning advertising, a shorter working week and a basic income, all of which would improve our lives while reducing consumption."

[via: https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-illuminating-the-beauty-in-our-broken-places/ ]
kintsugi  repair  seams  scars  fixing  wabi-sabi  japan  japanese  words  beauty 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Adapting to a more global, more diverse Internet » Nieman Journalism Lab
"“Thanks to denser networks that foster better pipelines for attention, the Internet gives communities a pathway directly to newsrooms.”

According to Quartz’s Next Billion vertical, Internet use is projected to double — from 2.5 billion to 5 billion — between 2012 and 2016. That’s next year, and already, the global diversity of the netizenry and how they use the Internet is starting to change people’s relationship with the news. Much of this growth is expected to occur in Asia, while the fastest growth will be in Africa. These so-called “next billion” Internet users are often different from the first 2.5 billion in their background and lifestyles, representing a plethora of languages, cultures, incomes, and methods of technological access. And the implications, I think, will reach many different aspects of journalism.

The news will break on many networks, and these networks won’t be open.

After the explosions in Tianjin this year, GIFs, photos, and videos circulated on Twitter, Facebook and Sina Weibo. But the first person to break the news did so through a private messaging group on WeChat, posting video of fire outside the chemical plant just minutes before the explosion. For minutes afterward, the mobile-first, private platform was the primary place for sharing and discussing.

Increasingly, eyewitness media is discussed and disseminated on private networks like WhatsApp, Line, KakaoTalk, Snapchat, Viber, and Facebook Messenger. This is already having significant effects on newsgathering. At the recent TechRaking conference at MIT, journalist Andy Carvin and others pointed out that, when media do surface on the open web, it’s incredibly difficult to find and source the originator, as the images are often stripped of metadata, compressed, and of indeterminate provenance.

Digital journalism, so accustomed to APIs and tools that aid discovery and aggregation, will likely have to adapt. Partnership and advocacy efforts are likely right — platforms can do more to facilitate journalists’ efforts, and newsrooms can build better tech for these platforms. As well, the technological approach to digital journalism will need be supplemented by the traditional relational skills of newsgathering: cultivating sources, building relationships, and fostering trust.

It won’t be enough to speak just one language, or even three.

As news and reports of the Paris attacks rippled through social media, journalists captured and reported on eyewitness media shared in both French and English. Just a day before, a flurry of tweets and Facebook posts in Arabic, French and English discussed the worst bombing in Beirut since 1990.

News reports of the Paris attacks in French were translated to English:

[tweed embeds]

To Chinese:

[tweet embed]

To Arabic:

[tweet embed]

From French to English and then to Italian:

[tweet embed]

Meanwhile, false reports of a tsunami heading for Japan triggered the trending topic #PrayForJapan. An earthquake had indeed happened, but the Japanese-language reports clearly stated it wasn’t strong enough to trigger a tsunami:

[tweed embeds]

In the hecticness of the day, Spanish newspapers picked up a selfie of a Canadian Sikh man Photoshopped to look like he was wearing a suicide bomber’s vest. In Baghdad, a real suicide bomber killed 18 people. It was a day for hashtag prayers for multiple corners of the world:

[tweet embed]

Every day, global trending topics on Twitter alone appear in multiple languages and scripts — when I glance at them at different times of the day, they frequently appear in Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, and French, often outnumbering the English-language trending topics. English speakers, once the dominant group on the Internet, will soon become just one of many language speakers online.

Global communities will be talking back to media — and demanding better representation.

In recent years, we saw the transformation of #BlackLivesMatter from a hashtag and a nascent movement to a core question in the presidential primary debates. This year also saw #SomeoneTellCNN re-emerge as a satirical hashtag in Kenya in response to the network calling the country a “terror hotbed.” In the past, these tweets yielded minor changes in coverage; this year, a senior executive personally flew to Nairobi to apologize for the statements. And after Facebook turned on Safety Check for citizens of Paris, Beirutis asked why they didn’t get a Safety Check feature, even though their city had just been bombed a day before.

We can expect more of this. Geographically far from most media outlets, people in many regions of the world have historically had few avenues to attempt to improve global reportage of their issues. Thanks to denser networks that foster better pipelines for attention, the Internet gives communities a pathway directly to newsrooms. At its worst, call-out culture can be destructive and foster a herd mentality against the less privileged in society. But at its best, when people organize and amplify their voices to punch up rather than down, they can make real changes in media and media representation. What can we do to listen more effectively?

GIFs won’t be icing: they’ll be the cake.

[gif embed]

Let’s go back to Tianjin. Some of the most powerful images that circulated on WeChat were, in fact, GIFs. While livestreaming video tools like Periscope will push the boundaries of high-bandwidth, high-resolution video, the humble GIF is also on the rise, with built-in tools on sites like Tumblr and Instagram and autoplay features on Twitter now making it easier than ever for people to generate and share compelling moving images.

This matters for global Internet users because GIFs, in addition to being eminently shareable, consume less data — and less data charges. They also work well with smaller screens, whether that’s a low-cost smartphone or an Apple Watch. While cats and dogs will always have a special home on animated media, so will the mews, er, news."
anxiaomina  journalism  2015  messaging  internet  web  socialmedia  language  languages  news  translation  gifs  kakaotalksnapchat  viber  facebook  whatsapp  lineapp  andycarvin  digital  digitaljournalism  online  twitter  arabic  french  english  chinese  mandarin  italian  portuguese  japanese  spanish  portugués  español 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Reading Right-to-Left | booktwo.org
"At a conference I attended recently, one of the speakers noted how the US army trains observers to “read” a landscape from right to left. The idea is that, as Anglophones accustomed to reading left to right, reversing the direction of attention brings more concentration to bear on the situation. Moving from right to left disrupts the soldier’s instinctual recognition patterns, and so they are more likely to spot things. This skill has apparently migrated from soldiers to photographers:
“One of the first tricks I learned many years ago had nothing to do with photography, but was drilled into me by an army sergeant. It only took a few smacks up the back of my head to learn how to look from right-to-left when scanning a landscape in an effort to see the hidden “enemy” in our mock battles. This process of reverse reading forced me to slow down and read each tree as if it were a syllable I was seeing for the first time. Even today, about thirty years after I called that sergeant every adjective not found in a decent dictionary, I still find myself scanning a landscape from right-to-left.”

The conference speaker contrasted this way of seeing, and the assumptions explicit within it, with the Japanese way of reading, which may be right-to-left, or vertical:

[image]

One might also, in the context of today’s military operations consider the right-to-leftness of Hebrew and Arabic script (and Farsi, and Urdu) – and from there consider the verticality and three-dimensionality of text and thought online, the way it branches and deepens, how it recedes through the screen, through hyperlinks, into an endless chain of connections and relationships.

This reversal and inversion of language patterns has many historical and thus military uses. In Reality is Plenty, Kevin Slavin relates a tale told to him by a photography professor, who was trained as a World War II radar operator.

When radar signals were received aboard an aircraft carrier, they were displayed on a radar oscilloscope. But in order for this information be used in the midst of battle, the positions needed to be transcribed to a large glass viewing pane, and as part of this process they needed to be inverted and reversed. To perform this operation quickly and accurately, the radar operators were trained and drilled extensively in “upside down and backwards town”, a classified location where everything from newspapers to street signs were printed upside down and backwards. This experience would not so much create a new ability for the radar operators, as break down their existing biases towards left-to-right text, allowing them to operate in multiple dimensions at once.

[image]

This process, in Kevin’s reading and in mine, is akin to much of our experience of new technology, when our existing frameworks of reference, both literary and otherwise, are broken down, and we must learn over once again how to operate in the world, how to transform and transliterate information, how to absorb it, think it, search for it and deploy it. We must relearn our relationship not only with information, but with knowledge itself.

And I was reminded of this once again when I found myself at the weekend defending, for the first time in a long time, but certainly not for the first time ever, the kind of thinking and knowledge production which is native to the internet. In this oft-rehearsed argument, whether it be about ebooks or social media or news cycles or or or, the central thrust is that x technology is somehow bad for us, for our thought, our attention, our cognitive processes etc., where x always tends towards “the internet”, as the ur-technology of our time.

And the truth is that I cannot abide this kind of talk. I know people don’t read books like they used to, and they don’t think like they used to, but I struggle to care. Most of this talk is pure nostalgia, a kind of mostly knee-jerk, mostly uncritical (although not thoughtless) response to entirely rational fears about technological opacity and complexity (this nostalgia, of course, was the basis for the New Aesthetic). But this understandable reaction also erases all the new and different modes of attention and thought which, while they are difficult to articulate because we are still developing and discovering the language to articulate them with, are nonetheless present and growing within us. And I simply do not see the damage that is ascribed to this perceived “loss” – I don’t see the generations coming up being any less engaged in culture and society, reading less, thinking less, acting less, even when they are by any measure poorer, less supported, forced to struggle harder for education and employment, and, to compound the injury, derided at every opportunity as feckless, distracted, and disengaged. I see the opposite.

I’m getting more radical in my view of the internet, this unconsciously-generated machine for unconscious generation. I’m feeling more sure of its cultural value and legacy, and more assertive about stating it. We built this thing, and like all directed culture of the past, it has an agency and a desire, and if you pay attention to it you can see which way it wants to go, and what it wants to fight. We made that, all of us, in time, but we don’t have full control of it. Rather, like the grain of wood, it’s something to be worked with and shaped, but also thought about and conceptualised, both matter and metaphor.

It’s possible, despite the faults of data and design, to be an unchurched follower of the internet: undogmatic, non-sectarian, wary of its faults, all too conscious of its occupation by the forces of capital and control, but retaining a deep faith in its message and meaning. A meaning which it is still up to us to explore and enact, to defend where possible and oppose when necessary. If there is progress, if things can be improved, then they must be improved by new inventions, by the things we have not tried before. No going backwards to the future."
culture  knowledge  internet  japanese  arabic  howweread  understanding  noticing  books  reading  meadia  online  socialmedia  newaesthetic  future  bookfuturism  control  change  data  design  technology  criticalthinking  kevinslavin  observation  seeing  howwesee  waysofseeing  perspective  rewiring  attention  knowledgeproduction  society  difference  cv  canon 
october 2015 by robertogreco
A Quiet Taco Revolution is Happening in South L.A. | The Nosh | Food | KCET
"Now that bulgogi tacos are de rigueur and foie gras tacos are back, the taco landscape is expanding once again. Introducing North African tacos via Revolutionario Tacos in South Los Angeles.

Chef and owner Farid Zadi worked in fine dining for years and taught at Le Cordon Bleu, but the French Algerian chef from Lyon is returning to the cuisine he knows best: the food of his childhood. In the case of one Tuesday afternoon, it's shakshuka.

In the kitchen, Zadi seasons layers of onions and red and green bell peppers with his homemade ras al hanout, a staple of North African cooking. He recites what goes into his spice mix: "Lavender, saffron, paprika, cumin, coriander. Some people put garlic powder, but I don't."

While he goes through his spice shelf, he continues: "Cumin, coriander...."

Zadi loses his train of thought when it's time to add the tomatoes and he re-seasons the sweating vegetables. "I'm making shakshuka in a wok, so I call it wok-shuka," he says.

He's also making a large stock pot of harissa at the same time, occasionally stirring the mixture of chilies. It's also made with what seems like an infinite number of spices: "Coriander, turmeric, lavender, saffron, sumac, anise seed, fennel seed, Spanish paprika, chili powder," he says. "I use three types of chilies: chile de California, chile de Mexico, and chile de árbol."

As the shakshuka cooks down, he takes it all in. "Now this is starting to smell like my childhood."

The smells swirling around the kitchen are of the Maghreb, the North African region that includes Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria. And while most of us may be familiar with typical North African fare like Merguez sausage, lamb tagine, brik, and mint tea, Zadi uses ras al hanout and harissa in a very accessible, knowable way for Angelenos. His tacos, which include smoked beef and lamb smoked outside for four hours, are topped with his red, green, and Habanero harissa. Zadi says these flavors are very similar to Mexican food, due to the cultures' shared Spanish and Moorish influences.

Zadi and his wife and partner Susan quietly opened Revolutionario Tacos on May 31. They didn't do any marketing, but they already have something of a following from Zadi's pop-up events around town and from his previous restaurant Cafe Livre et le Marche in Culver City.

Weekends started to pick up and they've added weekend brunches in collaboration with chef Rui Mateo to make Japanese Peruvian-inspired food: ceviche and tiradito.

That might sound fancy, but they're still going to keep the prices down. As Susan puts it, their no-frills restaurant is a "quirky model" meant to challenge the fast casual dining experience. They want to provide convenient, fresh, and affordable meals for their new South L.A. community. Their menu includes a value menu of tacos under $2, but points out that a fuller meal won't cost any more than $10. They're also eager to get other chefs to do the same, but so far, no one has taken on their #FastFoodRevolution challenge when they put the call out on social media.

They're also trying to accomplish what other restaurants in this neighborhood aren't doing: cooking fresh vegetables that people crave. They say that 70% of their orders are vegetarian dishes, the blacked eyed pea falafel taco being the most popular.

They have a small table devoted to garnishes, pickled vegetables, and chilies. Perhaps thumbing their noses at high end establishments, a sign reads: "We source water locally straight from the TAP."

As Zadi finishes simmering the chilies, he strains some of the liquid and processes it until it becomes a thick paste. This should be enough for the week.

"I want to do something different," he says when he talks about his new restaurant concept. "But I'm still a purist in some ways. Everything needs to be properly cooked."

*********

Recipe: Preserved Lemons

From Chef Zadi: "You can use preserved lemons in any number of Mediterranean and Latin American soups, stews, and braises. Depending on how salty you want a recipe, you can use them un-rinsed with the pulp, or discard the pulp, rinse the skin, and finely chop the lemon quarters."

6 Meyer lemons
2/3 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 pint size mason jar or other food safe glass jar with non-corrosive lid

Wash and quarter lemons.

Put a layer of lemon quarters inside the jar and sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt. Repeat until you have added all the lemons. Pack them down, as much as you can, while adding more salt. There should be enough juice from the lemons to completely submerge the lemons. If not, add more lemon juice to top off.

Seal the jar and let it preserve for at least 30 days before using."
tacos  food  losangeles  2015  faridzadi  recipes  northafrica  morocco  tunisia  algeria  glvo  ruimateo  japanese  perú  restaurants 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Ikigai - Wikipedia
"Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being". Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one's ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.

In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as "a reason to get up in the morning"; that is, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner referenced ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives."
japan  words  pupose  ikigai  via:mattarguello  meaning  satisfaction  life  living  okinawa  japanese 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle - The Morning News
"Sometimes a bowl of noodles is big enough to absorb conversation, literature, and the love lives of those nearby."

"Our series continues where we ask novelists to dine out, then write us something that 1) is a restaurant review; 2) is not a restaurant review."

"Tsujita slept on a piece of cardboard as he waited for his broth to set up. He tried different materials and formulations. He once climbed into an empty stock pot to find out what it felt like to be soup."
noodles  losangeles  japan  food  ameliagray  japanese  stories  storytelling 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Hayao Miyazaki- Nature, Culture, & Character on Vimeo
"A closer look at the storytelling techniques of one of Japan's greatest animation directors, Hayao Miyazaki. For non-commercial and educational purposes only.

Voiceover- Gacinta Moran, vimeo.com/user25329456
Editor- Zackery Ramos-Taylor

Music:
Joe Hisaishi-
"A Road to Somewhere"
"Day Of The River"
"The Sixth Station"

Footage:
Hayao Miyazaki- A Tribute (2014)- vimeo.com/102392560
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)- youtube.com/watch?v=0JEh8-py4WA
Inside Out Trailer #2 (2015)- youtube.com/watch?v=_MC3XuMvsDI
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)- DVD
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)- DVD
Ponyo (2008)- youtube.com/watch?v=_7fjxESbTU0, youtube.com/watch?v=YTrEECZhpL0
Princess Mononoke (1997)- youtube.com/watch?v=4OiMOHRDs14
Sailor Moon (1995-2000)- youtube.com/watch?v=RK4ZJWGfkYw
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)- youtube.com/watch?v=HchZQ1CAS3s
The Simpsons (1989- )- youtube.com/watch?v=R94Q6NhuS3A
Spritied Away (2001)- DVD
Toy Story 3 (2010)- youtube.com/watch?v=gscNB7ULFTA
The Wind Rises (2013)- youtube.com/watch?v=vh57zcmI3WQ, youtube.com/watch?v=gQIZVh60YpQ
Hayao Miyazaki in Conversation with Roland Kelts (2010)- youtube.com/watch?v=wZWmOYq3fX4 "
hayaomiyazaki  via:tealtan  animation  film  filmmaking  nature  culture  character  narrative  philosophy  spiritedaway  ponyo  princessmononoke  thewindrises  kiki'sdeliveryservice  2014  gacintamoran  zackeryramos-taylor  society  technology  civilization  children  tradition  storytelling  religion  totoro  myneighbortotoro  work  duty  culturalrehabilitation  self-sacrifice  endurance  customs  characterdevelopment  identity  gender  japan  japanese  studioghibli 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Mono no aware - Wikipedia
“Mono no aware (物の哀れ?), literally “the pathos of things”, and also translated as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō?), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life. “Mono-no aware: the ephemeral nature of beauty – the quietly elated, bittersweet feeling of having been witness to the dazzling circus of life – knowing that none of it can last. It’s basically about being both saddened and appreciative of transience – and also about the relationship between life and death. In Japan, there are four very distinct seasons, and you really become aware of life and mortality and transience. You become aware of how significant those moments are.””
via:caseygollan  japanese  culture  language  ephemeral  ephemerality  impermanence  mononoaware  sadness  wistfulness  life  japan  words  transience  things  beauty  mortality  death 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Kintsugi - Wikipedia
"Kintsugi (金継ぎ?) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い?) (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum a method similar to the maki-e technique.[1][2][3] As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise."
art  design  japanese  japan  words  seams  scars  repair  kintsugi  repairing 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Spring Dawn: one-of-a-kind art ["ASL Rhyme in "Spring Dawn""]
"The artist myself translated the poem below into ASL. This poem was written originally by Meng Hao-jan in Chinese. It was translated into English (by unknown), and as it was again translated, interesting rhymes have arisen by the artist myself."



"Handshape rhymes

If you look closer, you can see the rhymes in this ASL version. Based on the image above, read from the top to the bottom, from the left to the right, counting 19 ASL words/signs."



"It has been said that grammar in ASL is closer to that of Japanese or Chinese than English. Chinese in its written form and ASL in the verbal form share the medium: visual-spatial, unlike other phonetic languages."

[via http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/09/20/asl-courses-a-sign-of-the-times-at-berkeley/
via http://ucresearch.tumblr.com/post/53385378040/the-universal-language-is-in-our-minds-as-a-deaf ]
rhyming  asl  signlabguage  japanese  chines  english  language  rhyme  translation 
june 2013 by robertogreco
積ん読 - Wiktionary [tsundoku]
"(informal) the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with such other unread books"

[via: https://twitter.com/nowowl/status/310200463322660864
http://other-wordly.tumblr.com/post/27429067169/tsundoku ]
words  books  reading  antilibraries  japanese  libraries  tsundoku 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Mottainai - Wikipedia
"Mottainai (もったいない, 勿体無い?) is a Japanese term meaning "a sense of regret concerning waste when the intrinsic value of an object or resource is not properly utilized".[1] The expression "Mottainai!" can be uttered alone as an exclamation when something useful, such as food or time, is wasted, meaning roughly "Oh, what a waste!" In addition to its primary sense of "wasteful", the word is also used to mean "impious; irreverent" or "more than one deserves".[2]"

[See also the Tsukumogami entry linked within: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsukumogami It contains a lits of "Known Tsukumogami"]

"Understood by many Western scholars[1] as a type of Japanese yōkai,[2] the Tsukumogami (付喪神?, "Kami of tool") was a concept popular in Japanese folklore as far back as the tenth century,[3] used in the spread of Shingon Buddhism.[4] Today, the term is generally understood to be applied to virtually any object, “that has reached their 100th birthday and thus become alive and self-aware,”[citation needed] though this definition is not without its controversy."
slow  cv  simplicity  affluence  affluenza  thriftiness  consumption  consumerism  conspicuousconsumption  frugality  words  mottainai  environment  waste  japanese  japan  tsukumogami  objects  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Tokyo Tanuki: Learning from Mythical and Real Urban Animals | This Big City
"Investigating urban animals offers unexpected insights for remaking city life so that it is more adaptable and responsive to interaction and sharing. Like buildings and people, animals also have a history in the city, with dimensions that include layers, time, and context. Animal architecture helps us look past materials and structures, and turn our focus to cohabitable microspaces, pleasures, pranks, and cross-species relationships."
fruit  architecture  landscape  structures  malleablestructures  habitat  japanese  myth  relationships  cross-speciesrelationships  pranks  habitation  microspaces  context  time  layers  animals  urbanism  urban  japan  jessmantel  jaredbraiterman  chrisberthelsen  tanuki  multispecies  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
UMAMI MART OPEN « Umami Mart
"We did it! With the loving support from our friends, family, and community, Yoko and I have opened Umami Mart, a retail shop in Oakland, CA, specializing in kitchen + barware from Japan.

The idea for starting a brick-and-mortar shop really derived from necessity. We had been running our online shop for nearly two years, and the inventory was eating up Yoko’s apartment, ie her life. I’d walk into her place and there were boxes everywhere, packaging products, human-size rolls of bubble wrap — the entire online shop resided in every nook and cranny of her apartment. She was about to lose it (Skylar style). It was time for some breathing room."

"For Umami Mart, he [Anders Arhøj] envisioned a bright space where Shinto meets Scandinavian minimalism. He designed all the furniture, logos, graphics — everything."

"We created this space on a shoe-string budget of $10k, using mostly birch plywood."
joeperez-green  devinfarrell  manuallabor  hamaya  andersarhøj  popuphood  japan  kitchen  design  art  food  japanese  bayarea  oakland  cafes  openstudioproject  interiors  plywood  lcproject  glvo  srg  retailspace  retail  2012  umamimart  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
Ichi-go ichi-e - Wikipedia
"Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会, literally "one time, one meeting") is a Japanese term that describes a cultural concept often linked with famed tea master Sen no Rikyu. The term is often translated as "for this time only," "never again," or "one chance in a lifetime."

Ichi-go ichi-e is linked with Zen Buddhism and concepts of transience. The term is particularly associated with the Japanese tea ceremony, and is often brushed onto scrolls which are hung in the tea room. In the context of tea ceremony, ichi-go ichi-e reminds participants that each tea meeting is unique.

The term is also much repeated in budō (martial ways). It is sometimes used to admonish students who become careless or frequently stop techniques midway to "try again," rather than moving on with the technique despite the mistake. In a life-or-death struggle, there is no chance to "try again.""
sennorikyu  japanese  ichigoichie  ichi-goichi-e  uniqueness  philosophy  mindfulness  teaceremony  transience  mistakes  japan  buddhism  scrolling  from delicious
june 2012 by robertogreco
Everything you know lost in translation - Bobulate
"Japanese used to have a color word, ao, that spanned both green and blue. In the modern language, however, ao has come to be restricted mostly to blue shades, and green is usually expressed by the word midori (although even today ao can still refer to the green of freshness or unripeness — green apples, for instance, are called ao ringo). when the first traffic lights were imported from the United States and installed in Japan in the 1930s, they were just as green as anywhere else. Nevertheless, in common parlance the go light was dubbed ao shingoo, perhaps because the three primary colors on Japanese artists’ palettes are traditionally aka (red), kiiro (yellow), and ao. The label ao for a green light did not appear so out of the ordinary at first, because of the remaining associations of the word ao with greenness.

But over time, the discrepancy between the green color and the dominant meaning of the word ao began to feel jarring. Nations with a weaker spine might have opted for…"
history  symbolism  symbols  description  guydeutscher  language  color  blue  green  lizdanzico  japanese  translation  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Information Architects – Kenya Hara On Japanese Aesthetics
"A Japanese cleaning team finds satisfaction in diligently doing its job. The better they do it the more satisfaction they get out of it.

The craftman’s spirit, I think, imbues people with a sense of beauty, as in elaboration, delicacy, care, simplicity (words I often use). Obviously, this also applies to bento-making and the pride people take in making them as beautiful as they can.

There is a similar craftman’s spirit (“shokunin kishitsu” or “shokunin katagi”) in Europe. Yet in Europe I can see it coming alive only from a certain level of sophistication. –In Japan, even ordinary jobs such as cleaning and cooking are filled with this craftman’s spirit. It is is common sense in Japan.

While Japanese are known for their particular aesthetic sense, I would say we also have an incapacity to see ugliness. How come?

We usually focus fully on what’s right in front of our eyes. We tend to ignore the horrible, especially if it is not an integral part of our personal perspective."
bento  bentoboxes  knives  shokuninkatagi  shokuninkishitsu  glvo  craft  craftsmanship  via:tealtan  2009  design  japanese  minimalism  culture  kenyahara  simplicity  aesthetics  japan  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Endangered Languages
"Of course, even under the previously mentioned worst-case scenario, the Japanese language itself is currently in Category (3), "safe" languages. However, the answers to the questions of whether Japanese will continue to be safe forever, and whether the Japanese people will maintain an adherence to established forms (kodawari) of their language, are by no means certain. The term kodawari has come to have a positive meaning in recent years (as seen in advertising by companies who use it to stress their pursuit of excellence in their products), but in the past, it used to have an exclusively negative connotation as a sort of stubborn reluctance to alteration. Might that not be why the Japanese, lacking much of a kodawari toward their traditional culture, have been so receptive to the foreign and the heterogeneous, in response to the times, their situation, and the countries they are dealing with? The uncritical acceptance of foreign loanwords may be one example of this phenomenon…"
extinction  linguistics  loanwords  craft  adaptability  languages  language  osahitomiyaoka  kodawari  via:tealtan  japanese  japan  from delicious
march 2012 by robertogreco
Sagashitemiyo! | Benesse’s new iPhone app for little explorers | Spoon & Tamago
"I love the idea behind this new iPhone app for kids called Sagashitemiyo! (さがしてみよ!), or Let’s Search! The simple interface starts off by prompting little explorers to search for objects based on certain criteria like something “round,” “white” or “sparkly.”

The kids then set off on an expedition, capturing objects with the phone’s camera.

The app then allows you to catalog your discoveries into a virtual field guide of things around you. You can even share your discoveries with friends who are also using the app."

[See also http://kodomo.benesse.ne.jp/enjoy/iapl/search/ AND http://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/id484416695 ]
viewfinders  cameras  photography  seeing  looking  benesse  virtualtinboxes  search  searching  sagashitemiyo  observation  2012  noticing  emptytins  discovery  japanese  japan  children  applications  ios  iphone 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Shelf Life: "Translation as Detour"
"Professor Rubin shared one anecdote that involved his current project translating the first two volumes of 1Q84 for Haruki Murakami. He assured us that this isn't a spoiler, but some of the characters see two moons in the sky. These folks are in the minority, as everyone else sees a single moon. But in Japanese, there is no distinction between plural and singular nouns. So the struggle, for him, has become sorting out how many moons each character sees. It occurs to me that only a certain kind of person will think that's funny, or even remotely interesting, but I'm absolutely of that variety."
plural  japanese  japan  language  2010  translation  harukimurakami  jayrubin 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Tortoise General Store
"When we visited one of the islands in Hawaii, we came across a "general store".

It was very local and community-based, which we rarely saw in Los Angeles. Nowadays with big chain stores spread in the cities, you can get decent variety of products with decent service anywhere you go.

But when we walked into the small "general store" we felt a very friendly, established presence in its local community.
In the "general store", their products were what was minimum required in daily life. Less variety of what big chain stores carried. But we felt that was just enough.

At "TGS / Tortoise General Store", based on Tortoise' basic philosophy, we would like to introduce wider, more "general" service, not just products.

We like to create a "General Store" that may not be "cool" but a place where it feels familiar, or be unique in its own way."

[See also: http://www.tortoiselife.com/ AND http://www.tortoiselife.com/trts/ ]

[Reminds me of Yuzu, once a favorite place in Pasadena]
losangeles  gifts  home  japanese  japan  shopping  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Book Review: '10 Billion Days And 100 Billion Nights' : NPR
"The book 10 Billion Days And 100 Billion Nights by Ryu Mitsuse has been called "the greatest Japanese science-fiction novel of all time.""
1967  2011  translations  japan  japanese  literature  scifi  sciencefiction  ryumitsuse  toread  books  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
Nemawashi - Wikipedia
"Nemawashi (根回し) in Japanese means an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. It is considered an important element in any major change, before any formal steps are taken, and successful nemawashi enables changes to be carried out with the consent of all sides.

Nemawashi literally translates as "going around the roots", from 根 (ne, root) and 回す (mawasu, to go around [something]). Its original meaning was literal: digging around the roots of a tree, to prepare it for a transplant.

Nemawashi is often cited as an example of a Japanese word which is difficult to translate effectively, because it is tied so closely to Japanese culture itself, although it is often translated as 'laying the groundwork.'"

[via: http://speedbird.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/my-back-pages-what-is-hotel/ ]
nemawashi  change  culture  tcsnmy  consent  consensus  management  japan  japanese  social  design  business  frontloading  conversation  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
Learn 40 Languages for Free with Free Audio Lessons | Open Culture
"How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 40 languages, including Spanish, French, English, Mandarin, Italian, Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you’re good to go."
languages  language  learning  arabic  spanish  bulgarian  catalan  chinese  mandarin  danish  dutch  english  esperanto  finnish  french  free  gaelic  german  greek  hebrew  hindi  hungarian  indonesian  irish  italian  japanese  korean  latin  lithuanian  luxembourgish  maori  norwegian  polish  portuguese  romanian  russian  swedish  tagalog  thai  ukranian  urdu  vietnamese  yiddish  lessons  māori  catalán  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: Palm-of-the-Hand Stories (9780865474123): Yasunari Kawabata, Lane Dunlop, J. Martin Holman: Books
"Nobel laureate Kawabata is best known in the West for such novels as Snow Country and Thousand Cranes, yet his short stories, written over 50 years, seem to contain his essence as a writer. Here sensitively translated are 70 of them, most written in Kawabata's youth and usually no more than a page or two in length, though the last one, "Gleanings from Snow Country," is somewhat longer and was written just before Kawabata's suicide in 1972; it is a miniaturization of the highly praised novel of the same name. The tales are variously realistic, allegorical and fantastic; and, as in the novels, the principal themes are love, loneliness, social change, man's relation with nature and death. Each story exhibits some sharp and often subtle perception of life (in Kawabata's world, stillness can "resound" and men listening to a woman's laugh can experience "a strange kind of aural jealousy"); and each, like a haiku or classic Zen painting, suggests far more than it states."
books  via:maryannreilly  literature  shortstories  japan  japanese  yasunarikawabata  toread  haiku  loneliness  death  socialchange  nature  love  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Manga Artist’s First Foray into English | PRI's The World
"A few days after the earthquake and tsunami, the New York Times published an illustration by Mizuki on its op-ed page. It shows a hand emerging from an eddy at sea, outstretched, grasping for help.

When I asked Mizuki to explain it, he said, “Modern Japan is drowning. It’s lost its sense of traditionalism. Though,” he reflects, “during World War II, Japan might have been too Japanese.” Mizuki believes perhaps Japan is now entering an international era.

Somewhere between being subsumed by the rest of the world, and being too Japanese, Mizuki sees a middle space, where the bright lights of modern Japan don’t blind its citizens from the past. And where a story like the one Mizuki tells in “Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths” may inspire younger manga artists address Japan’s many current challenges."
shigerumizuki  manga  japan  illustration  english  japanese  ww2  wwii  classideas  history  future  traditionalism  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Los idiomas de Borges « Eterna Cadencia
Nos hemos acostumbrado a tal grado a afirmar que Jorge Luis Borges fue un “escritor universal” que esta expresión y el nombre de Borges han pasado a ser casi sinónimos. Famoso y reconocido por la amplitud y la profundidad de sus obras, Borges fue un escritor a la vez profundamente argentino y cosmopolita.  En sus poemas y cuentos aparecen  compadritos del viejo Buenos Aires, sacerdotes mayas, vikingos de las sagas nórdicas o reyes anglosajones largamente olvidados. El conocimiento que Borges tenía de las diversas literaturas del mundo era poco menos que enciclopédico y las múltiples y diversas fuentes  de su inspiración continúan siendo investigadas por la crítica. Sin embargo, un hecho que a menudo se pasa por alto es que Borges logró acercarse a muchas de estas obras gracias a las numerosas lenguas que estudió durante toda su vida."
borges  language  universality  universalism  cosmopolitanism  languages  english  german  french  italian  portuguese  icelandic  japanese  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Without Thought | Metropolis Magazine
"At IDEO…international interdisciplinary team…included engineers, designers, and even a clinical psychologist."

"tossed around the idea of inviting weekly speakers to make meetings productive. Fukasawa…thought it would be more useful if team members spoke about their own philosophies & how their cultures influenced them. They all agreed on one condition: that Fukasawa go first."

"…result was a presentation on hari…Eastern philosophy, distilled down into design language…"usually translated as ‘tension,' but that’s not correct…It’s very hard to explain.” [Explains.]"

"“That’s why it was important for him to go back to Japan,” Brown says. “One of the things that released him was the ability to work and tell the story of his work in his own language. Naoto has gone from somebody who crafts objects to somebody who crafts relationships with objects.”"

“I think objects or things are shifting toward the surrounding walls for integration or otherwise into our body for integration,”
design  interview  japan  philosophy  hari  tension  naotofukasawa  glvo  ideo  via:preoccupations  reflection  identity  culture  howwework  conversation  leadership  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  language  japanese  objects  evocativeobjects  muji  simplicity  slow  presentations  meetings  relationships  socialobjects  architecture  industrialdesign  craft  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Fred Korematsu: Statewide California holiday honors civil rights hero Fred Korematsu - latimes.com
"Fred Korematsu, a young man who refused to be hauled away during World War II because of his heritage, took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, six years after his death, a statewide holiday honors his courage."
fredkorematsu  california  japaneseamericans  japanese  us  history  classideas  internmentcamps  civilrights  ww2  wwii  via:javierarbona  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
LA Sewers: Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant
"The Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant combines advanced wastewater treatment technology with the beauty and tranquility of its landscaped gardens. The Japanese gardens are irrigated with reclaimed water from the plant and are open to the public on a year round basis.

The plant provides reclaimed water to many users in the San Fernando Valley and the Department of Public Works is collaborating with other City departments to expand this program."

[See also: http://www.lacitysan.org/japanesegarden/noflash/gardenopening.htm ]
losangeles  gardens  japanese  tovisit  japanesegardens  sanfernandovalley  via:britta  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
jun igarashi architects: layered house
"two-storey dwelling for a family of four located east of hokkaido in the old city district of saroma-cho. the design designates long slices of the floor plan to separate programs, creating with a linear compilation a house that is literally layered from one end to the other…

the series of buffer spaces created by the terrace, sun parlor, and guest room act as volumetric layers that diffuse the light. semitransparent curtains between these spaces give the inhabitants control over how connected the interior is to the exterior. this element of layers becomes a motif for the house and is able to be seen from multiple rooms through square apertures and openings. "
architecture  design  japan  japanese  homes  light  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s man behind Mario : The New Yorker
"Miyamoto has told variations on the cave story a few times over the years, in order to emphasize the extent to which he was surrounded by nature, as a child, and also to claim his youthful explorations as a source of his aptitude and enthusiasm for inventing and designing video games."

"The Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, in his classic 1938 study “Homo Ludens” (“Man the Player”), argued that play was one of the essential components of culture—that it in fact predates culture, because even animals play. His definition of play is instructive. One, play is free—it must be voluntary. Prisoners of war forced to play Russian roulette are not at play. Two, it is separate; it takes place outside the realm of ordinary life and is unserious, in terms of its consequences. A game of chess has no bearing on your survival (unless the opponent is Death). Three, it is unproductive; nothing comes of it—nothing of material value, anyway. Plastic trophies, plush stuffed animals, and bragging rights cannot be monetized. Four, it follows an established set of parameters and rules, and requires some artificial boundary of time and space. Tennis requires lines and a net and the agreement of its participants to abide by the conceit that those boundaries matter. Five, it is uncertain; the outcome is unknown, and uncertainty can create opportunities for discretion and improvisation. In Hyrule, you may or may not get past the Deku Babas, and you can slay them with your own particular panache.

The French intellectual Roger Caillois, in a 1958 response to Huizinga entitled “Man, Play and Games,” called play “an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money.” Therein lies its utility, as a simulation that exists outside regular life. Caillois divides play into four categories: agon (competition), alea (chance), mimicry (simulation), and ilinx (vertigo). Super Mario has all four. You are competing against the game, trying to predict the seemingly random flurry of impediments it sets in your way, and pretending to be a bouncy Italian plumber in a realm of mushrooms and bricks. As for vertigo, what Caillois has in mind is the surrender of stability and the embrace of panic, such as you might experience while skiing. Mario’s dizzying rate of passage through whatever world he’s in—the onslaught of enemies and options—confers a kind of vertigo on the gaming experience. Like skiing, it requires a certain degree of mastery, a countervailing ability to contend with the panic and reassert a measure of stability. In short, the game requires participation, and so you can call it play.

Caillois also introduces the idea that games range along a continuum between two modes: ludus, “the taste for gratuitous difficulty,” and paidia, “the power of improvisation and joy.” A crossword puzzle is ludus. Kill the Carrier is paidia (unless you’re the carrier). Super Mario and Zelda seem to be perched right between the two."
games  nintendo  miyamoto  shigerumiyamoto  design  art  inspiration  videogames  childhood  exploration  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  wonder  children  play  unstructuredtime  gaming  mario  japan  history  edg  srg  glvo  unschooling  deschooling  topost  toshare  classideas  narratology  ludology  adventure  rogercaillois  johanhuizinga  work  gamification  asobi  funware  music  guitar  self-improvement  kyokan  empathy  collaboration  japanese  jesperjuul  janemcgonigal  animals  focusgroups  gamedesign  experience  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World
[via: http://caterina.net/wp-archives/39 ]

"1. Toska [Russian]: At deepest & most painful…sensation of great spiritual anguish, often w/out any specific cause. At less morbid levels…dull ache of soul, longing w/ nothing to long for…

2. Mamihlapinatapei [Yagan (indigenous to Tierra del Fuego]: wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start

3. Jayus

4. Iktsuarpok [Inuit]: “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

5. Litost 6. Kyoikumama 7. Tartle 8. Ilunga 9. Prozvonit 10. Cafuné 11. Schadenfreude

12. Torschlusspanik [German]: means “gate-closing panic,” but…refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages."

13. Wabi-Sabi 14. Dépaysement

15. Tingo [Pasquense]: “act of taking objects one desires from house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.”

16. Hyggelig 17. L'appel du vide 18. Ya'aburnee

19. Duende: “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.”

20. Saudade"
language  translation  culture  linguistics  words  hyggelig  duende  saudade  tingo  wabi-sabi  schadenfreude  Mamihlapinatapei  toska  litost  tartle  cafuné  portugués  portuguese  español  spanish  russian  german  french  danish  arabic  time  age  precision  art  glvo  scottish  japanese  czech  inuit  yagan  milankundera  vladmirnavakov  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Portmanteau - Wikipedia [bookmark points to the Japanese section, but also see the "Portmanteau word/morph (linguistics)" section]
"There are many examples of borrowed word blends in Japanese. The word パソコン (pasokon?), meaning PC, as in personal computer, is not officially an English loan word. The word does not exist in English; however, it is a uniquely Japanese contraction of the English personal computer (パーソナル・コンピュータ, pāsonaru konpyūta?). Another example, Pokémon (ポケモン?), is a contracted form of the English words pocket (ポケット, poketto?) and monsters (モンスター, monsutā?).

Sometimes Japanese and English words are blended together. One very famous example, karaoke (カラオケ, karaoke?), is the blend of the Japanese word for empty (空っぽ, karappo?) and the English word orchestra (オーケストラ, ōkesutora?)."
japanese  words  language  portmanteau  classideas  wordplay  japan  pokemon  karaoke  linguistics  pokémon  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
komorebi | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"The light was coming through the trees just perfectly today!
It's called "komorebi" in Japanese.
You know, when the sun kind of pokes through the little spaces between the swaying leaves and reflects and glitters and...."
komorebi  japan  japanese  words  light  leaves  sun  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Is Apple Making Us Japanese? | Hybrid Reality | Big Think
"Everyone is mesmerized by Apple’s ability to revolutionize the way we think about IT products. With the iPhone, for example, Apple has morphed a mere communication device into a platform that includes a music player, a video recorder, a note transcriber, and the capacity to handle thousands of other apps that each bring the phone tantalizingly close to a personal computer.

But Apple is doing something far more radical to us as a nation, something that might even outlive the innovative firm itself: it is singlehandedly transforming us into a society that will one day feel comfortable having emotional relationships with machines."
apple  machines  relationships  japan  japanese  robots  emotion  evocativeobjects  glvo  objects  love  disruptivetechnologies  clatchristenson  innovation  experience  utilitarianism  anime  manga  astroboy  future  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
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