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Japancast https://www.japancast.net Fri, 27 Apr 2018 19:40:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.japancast.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/NEW_Japancast_Square800x800-54535e86_site_icon-36x36.png Japancast https://www.japancast.net 32 32 Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net! Anime otaku, Japanophiles, martial artists, fans of Japanese food, and more will all find something at Japancast. We skip the boring Japanese you learn in school and cut right to normal conversation. Visit Japancast.net and join the fun! Japancast clean Japancast fusionfilms@gmail.com fusionfilms@gmail.com (Japancast) Fusion Digital Productions LLC Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net Japancast https://www.japancast.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Japancast-V3-Ep-001-mp3-image.jpg https://www.japancast.net fusionfilms@gmail.com Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net! Anime otaku, Japanophiles, martial artists, fans of Japanese food, and more will all find something at Japancast. We skip the boring Japanese you learn in school and cut right to normal conversation. Visit Japancast.net and join the fun! TV-G 97937303 Japancast V3 – Episode 003 https://www.japancast.net/2017/01/japancast-v3-episode-003/ https://www.japancast.net/2017/01/japancast-v3-episode-003/#comments Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:58:35 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=15125 Valentine’s Day, White Day, Office Ladies and stupid people! Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net

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Japancast V3 – Episode 002 https://www.japancast.net/2017/01/japancast-v3-episode-002/ https://www.japancast.net/2017/01/japancast-v3-episode-002/#respond Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:43:24 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=15091 We talk about youkai, bakemono and mononoke this week. We answer a Facebook question from listener Marko, and talk about Amazon’s new monk delivery service. Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net

https://www.japancast.net/2017/01/japancast-v3-episode-002/feed/ 0 We talk about youkai, bakemono and mononoke this week. We answer a Facebook question from listener Marko, and talk about Amazon’s new monk delivery service. Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net We talk about youkai, bakemono and mononoke this week. We answer a Facebook question from listener Marko, and talk about Amazon’s new monk delivery service. Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net Japancast clean 17:04 15091
Japancast V3 – Episode 001 https://www.japancast.net/2017/01/japancast-v3-ep-001/ https://www.japancast.net/2017/01/japancast-v3-ep-001/#respond Mon, 02 Jan 2017 21:32:08 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=15059

Stick to your New Years resolutions, learn how to bully someone in Japanese, and much more. Learn Japanese @ Japancast.net

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Shodou – Japanese Calligraphy https://www.japancast.net/2016/06/shodou-japanese-calligraphy/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/06/shodou-japanese-calligraphy/#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:04:42 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=14737

This year I started to take an interest in calligraphy. Seeing some of the amazing creations out there really inspired me. But in western calligraphy, it’s all about the nib – the metal thingy at the end of a fountain pen. In Shodou – Japanese calligraphy – there is no pen at all. To me, Japanese calligraphy is much closer to watercolor painting than western calligraphy.

First you have the fude or brush. Fude come in many different sizes and shapes. Traditionally the brush is made from animal hair like horse, goat, sheep and even weasel and squirrel hair! You pick the brush depending on the size of the artwork you’re creating as well as the type of character(s) you’ll be writing. Kanji usually require a larger, stiffer brush while hiragana & katakana would use a thinner, softer brush. Also, a traditional fude brush has a bamboo handle.

Of course you don’t have to stick with tradition at all. Today many companies make fude brush pens. Some still have an actual brush tip, but others have a soft, flexible foam tip that simulates a brush. They work great for creating dynamic ink lines when drawing manga or western comics, as well as practicing your Japanese handwriting.

If you are a fan of Mushi-shi, you may remember the episode called “The White Which Lives Within the Ink Stone”. In the episode, some kids sneak into a doctor’s shed and find a suzuri (ink stone) that contains a mushi. We find out that every person who ever used this suzuri has died.

Hopefully any suzuri you might use will be free from any supernatural beings. But regardless, the suzuri is where you place a bit of water, then rub the sumi (ink stick) to create the ink you will use. And, for those who are impatient, you also can simply purchase pre-made sumi ink, called bokuju. Just keep in mind, in Japan when you study shodou, only children use bokuju and serious students stick to tradition by using sumi and creating their own ink.

Beyond that, when you prepare to practice shodou, you first lay down a shitajiki (no that’s not the name of a mushroom), which is basically a piece of felt. On top of that you lay your hanshi (traditional paper) and you put a bunchin (paper weight) to hold the paper still while you work. You also need a mizusashi (water container).

One thing to consider about shodou is, you don’t necessarily have to know how to speak, read or write Japanese to study it. It’s much more like water color painting where you need to develop your technique and practice your craft. There’s no reason anyone should be held back from giving it a try, regardless of your native language.

So what do you think? Will you make learning shoudou your next craft project?

For those of you who have Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, you can get an excellent book on learning Shodou here:

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Love Mochi? Check this out! https://www.japancast.net/2016/06/love-mochi-check-this-out/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/06/love-mochi-check-this-out/#respond Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:53:17 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=14690
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Golden Week – the worst time for business or travel in Japan https://www.japancast.net/2016/04/golden-week-the-worst-time-for-business-or-travel-in-japan/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/04/golden-week-the-worst-time-for-business-or-travel-in-japan/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:57:40 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13312

An “OL” in Japan refers to an “Office Lady” and is not considered derogatory.

Carp streamers celebrating Boy’s Day.

Japanese people are known as some of the most diligent, hard-working people on earth. But every year from April 29th until May 5th or 6th, Golden Week arrives and nearly everyone in Japan takes a vacation. If you do business in Japan or want to travel to Japan, this particular week is the worst possible time to do so.

It goes like this:

  • April 29 – Until 2006 this previously was celebrated as みどりの日 midori no hi, Greenery Day. Now it is 昭和の日 Showa no hi, for Showa Emperor Hirohito’s birthday. On this day the Japanese are supposed to remember the 63 years of hardships of the Showa Era.
  • May 3 – 憲法記念日 kenpou kinebi. A day commemorating the 1947 ratification of the post-war constitution.
  • May 4 – みどりの日 midori no hi. Moved from April 29th, it’s an environmental holiday to enjoy all the gifts of nature. The original April 29th holiday was created because the former emperor loved plants and nature.
  • May 5 – こどもの日 kodomo no hi. Although kodomo translates as child, this day is actually considered The Boy’s Festival. Families pray for the success of their sons, display samurai dolls and fly koi streamers.

During this time, airfare is at it’s highest, hotel’s charge the most and every destination is completely packed with people.

Many businesses completely shut down, leaving not even a skeleton crew.  In America, especially in retail, we’ve gotten used to the idea that shops stay open nearly 365 days a year, so it can be quite a culture shock to find out how serious the Japanese take Golden Week.

What do you think?  Is the idea of nearly all businesses shutting down for a week a good idea or not?

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The Ainu – Japan’s indigenous people https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/the-ainu-japans-indigenous-people/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/the-ainu-japans-indigenous-people/#respond Mon, 21 Mar 2016 13:06:28 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13328

The Ainu in Japan were only recognized as indigenous in 2008.  Back in the 17th century they were essentially enslaved by the Japanese government.  The government banned the Ainu language, forced them to take Japanese names and encouraged them to marry Japanese people in order to assimilate them into society.  They were further prohibited from observing their daily customs and instead forced to abide by Japanese customs alone.  In fact, in 1899 they were granted Japanese citizenship; not as a benefit, but as a way of keeping them from being recognized as indigenous.

As you can see from these Wikipedia images, the Ainu look nothing like the Japanese of today. They were and are an ethically different people group.

Despite everything, the 2008 declaration by the Japanese government acknowledged their past mistakes, stating,  “The government would like to solemnly accept the historical fact that many Ainu were discriminated against and forced into poverty with the advancement of modernization, despite being legally equal to (Japanese) people.”   Below is a video provided by the Ainu museum of women performing traditional Ainu dances.  You can find more information at the museum website here:

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Megumi Ishitani – Oh Dear! https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/megumi-ishitani-oh-dear/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/megumi-ishitani-oh-dear/#respond Fri, 18 Mar 2016 16:35:01 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13866

Tokyo University of the Arts graduate student, Megumi Ishitani, presents her 1st year project: “Oh Dear”.

What I find interesting with Japanese animation students in general is, how they mix the supernatural and bizarre into their animations without making it feel forced or phony.  In this case, I immediately thought of “Mushishi” and the diverse mushi that live in the Mushishi world.

What do you think?

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Studio Ghibli animates the worlds oldest manga https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/studio-ghibli-animates-the-worlds-oldest-manga/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/studio-ghibli-animates-the-worlds-oldest-manga/#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2016 23:56:10 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13352

Choujuu Jinbutsu Giga is considered to be the earliest manga ever discovered. Japanese energy company Marubeni Shin Denryoku hired Studio Ghibli to animate the manga for a campaign to demonstrate how the beauty of the past can influence the beauty of the future as a way to focus on their green energy efforts.

Have a look and let us know what you think!

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Want to be “Spirited Away”? https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/want-to-be-spirited-away/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/want-to-be-spirited-away/#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2016 13:31:39 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13336

One of the marks of a true anime otaku is to seek out and visit locations from their favorite anime.  In the case of the Dougo Onsen, you can visit the magical bathhouse of Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi.  Miyazaki used the exterior as the basis for his designs for the film.  The onsen itself has been around for over 1000 years, and is located in an area that has a 3000 year history of hot spring spas.

Dougo Onsen is open most days of the week from 6am until 11pm.  It’s located at 〒790-0842 Ehime Prefecture, Matsuyama, 道後湯之町5−6.  They offer rooms for rent and “Dougo-kan” specific food in their restaurant.  Furthermore they have a tea room, bar, and souvenir shop.

As we’ve mentioned previously in our podcast, tattoos are normally associated with criminal activity in Japan and many onsen will not allow you to use the facilities if you have any visible tattoos.  If you have a tattoo, it would be extremely wise to contact any onsen before you visit to know their policies.

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Happy Mondays – it’s not just a band, it’s the law! https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/happy-mondays-its-not-just-a-band-its-the-law/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/happy-mondays-its-not-just-a-band-its-the-law/#respond Mon, 14 Mar 2016 13:30:30 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13325

In America, politicians write laws like “The Uniform Monday Holiday Act”, but in Japan something so serious sounding just wouldn’t do. So when Japanese politicians wanted to start moving holidays so they would land on Mondays and give everyone a 3-day weekend, they came up the idea of ハッピーマンデー制度 – The Happy Monday System.

Is Japan unique in the world when it comes to cute names for legislation or can you give an example of another?

I hope your next Monday is a Happy Monday!

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Tokyo is not Japan…. THIS is Japan https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/tokyo-is-not-japan-this-is-japan/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/tokyo-is-not-japan-this-is-japan/#respond Thu, 10 Mar 2016 22:54:51 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13274

People always ask me how much I loved Tokyo and I always reply, “not very much!”.  The reason is fairly simple.  In my opinion, other than Akihabara, there is not much in Tokyo I couldn’t see in Manhattan.  I didn’t go to Japan to hang around with a bunch of non-Japanese people, I went to Japan to experience traditional Japanese culture.

And nothing could be more Japanese than the Kasedori Festival in Yamagata prefecture.  The festival takes place in February when it’s freezing cold.  People dress up in straw costumes that are supposed to resemble birds.  As these “birds” dance, make bird sounds and shout out things like “take care with fire” and “prosperous business!” they are drenched with buckets of ice water.  Clearly being a fire prevention festival it makes sense to drench them with water, but I have no idea why they’re birds….

But it’s these kinds of festivals that make Japan great.  If you plan a trip to Japan, don’t spend your time in Tokyo.  Head to the small towns and villages throughout Japan and try to experience traditional Japanese culture.

The Kasedori festival happens each year in February.  It starts at the Kaminoyama Castle and ends at a local onsen.  Check out the YouTube video below as well as a link to the official Yamagata website for more information.

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Visit Yamagata

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FREE Conversation Lessons! https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/free-conversation-lessons/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/03/free-conversation-lessons/#respond Tue, 01 Mar 2016 17:55:20 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13262 Are you interested in practicing conversational Japanese?  If your answer is yes, then today is your lucky day!  I am going to start offering FREE one on one chat session once a month.  


The first session is on: Saturday, March 19th at 10:00 – 10:30 AM (US Eastern Time).  

We can use either Skype or Google Hangouts!  


Send me an email if you are interested.  hitomi(at)japancast.net

I am looking forward to speaking with you!


Hitomi (^_^)/


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Resuming Private Japanese Lessons! https://www.japancast.net/2016/02/resuming-private-japanese-lessons/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/02/resuming-private-japanese-lessons/#respond Thu, 18 Feb 2016 20:12:54 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13218 Quite a few people had asked me if I was still doing private lessons.  I took a little break last year to focus on my personal training study, but now I am back!   For those who have asked, I just sent you an email.  Check your inbox!  In case you are not one of them, (you might be new to Japancast) but are interested in learning Japanese, here is the email I sent them.



I am back!!!  I am finally ready to resume my private lessons.  Thank you for your patience and support.  (^_^)

Everyone is unique.  The reason YOU have started learning Japanese might be totally different than your friend’s.  You might be into anime, but he might be into Aikido.  Yes, there are classes and programs out there to teach you Japanese, but are they customized to suit your needs and interests?  If your answer is “No, not really …” then let me help you!

I am here to discuss your needs.  I love helping people achieve their unique goals and can’t wait to start studying with you!

Brief information about my private lessons:

★Lessons are done by using Skype or Google Hangouts.


★60 minute one on one lesson – $50.00 per lesson

★30 minute one on one lesson – $25.00 per lesson


★When you purchase ten  60 minute lesson package – $45.00 per lesson

★When you purchase ten 30 minute lesson package – $20.00 per lesson


※ All lesson materials and unlimited email support are included in the prices above.


Most students prefer 30 minute lesson twice a week since you retain more what you have learned that way.  However I know a lot of people have very busy schedule, so I offer 60 minute lesson as well.    Just pick whichever one suits your needs better.

Japanese is a beautiful language and I am so happy that you have decided to learn it.

If you are still interested, please email me at:  hitomi (at) japancast.net


一緒にがんばりましょう! (いっしょにがんばりましょう!) (issho ni ganbari masho!)

= Let’s study hard together!   We got this!  




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What is this? https://www.japancast.net/2016/02/what-is-this-13/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/02/what-is-this-13/#respond Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:48:36 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13107 Part of my birthday gift from Hitomi included this bottle.  Without using Google, can you figure out what it is and what it’s used for?


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東京オーレ! https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/%e6%9d%b1%e4%ba%ac%e3%82%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%ac/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/%e6%9d%b1%e4%ba%ac%e3%82%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%ac/#respond Thu, 28 Jan 2016 02:20:13 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=13080 Did you know that Flamenco is immensely popular in Japan? Thousands of pilgrims visit Andalusia in Spain to practice the unique Spanish art form. Many Japanese Flamenco students have returned to Japan to open dance studios where the heart-and-emotion driven dance and music style are taught and perfected. In fact, some of the world’s best Flamenco dance and music performers are Japanese.

Doña Manami (pictured) is one such student of Flamenco as well as foreign studies. She recently performed at an international festival on the outskirts of Tokyo. She sends her greetings from Kanto.


Dona M

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成人式 (関西) – [Coming of Age Day Ceremony] Part II https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/%e6%88%90%e4%ba%ba%e5%bc%8f-%e9%96%a2%e8%a5%bf-coming-of-age-day-ceremony-part-ii/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/%e6%88%90%e4%ba%ba%e5%bc%8f-%e9%96%a2%e8%a5%bf-coming-of-age-day-ceremony-part-ii/#respond Tue, 12 Jan 2016 10:46:23 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=12890 成人式

冬ー春ー夏ー秋 … the four seasons of life


Continued …

Upon bidding farewell to sweet Matsuda-san, Osaka Ali crossed the railroad tracks on his way to city hall. More brightly colored kimonos signaled to him that he wasn’t too late. Immediately he was captivated by the image of a dashing young man wearing a white kimono and golden hakama …

秋 –

Chontesei from Suita made a friendly introduction and invited O.A. to be a part of the festivities. He cajoled until he could ride the bike and get his picture taken. What, the intrepid JapanCast reporter asked, did the young man see in his future? For Chontesei-san, the answer was simple: to personally be happy, to share happiness with mankind and to care for a loving family.

冬 –

Uehara, Yamaguchi and Fujimoto are childhood friends and inseparable. Their interviewer wondered aloud if their friendship could survive into adulthood. Fujimoto-san’s ambition was to become filthy stinking rich in the inu-eat-inu world of Japanese financial firms. His steely gaze and equanimity-oozing poker face sort of convinced that he had the wherewithal to pull it off. The dame in the knockout fur and pink blossom outfit was the greatest altruist of the three; her declared future is in the hospitals and care wards of Western Japan; Yamaguchi-san aspires to be a nurse. Finally, her other escort to her right, Fujimoto-san, stood as firm as Rokko mountain. What field would he enter? He dreams of being the hero, in other words, a firefighter. Osaka Ali wished them all the best of success.

春 –

This group of young ladies didn’t want to think of tomorrow, but to enjoy their special day in a carefree moment of blissful reminiscence and fun. Cute, no?

夏 –

And then, finally,  there was the ‘wild bunch’. Ryoutarou, Daiichi, Ryusei, Dai, Shinya and Gupi have in their youth lived by the motto, ‘work hard, play hard’ (or is it ‘play hard, play harder’?). Anyway, they were tickled to be interviewed for an international audience, and wished you all peace today and in the future. They have a strong fellowship, and their only wish is to share fellowship with their countrymen and folks around the world. To prove this point, they invited Osaka Ali out to the after-party festivities that would begin in earnest that very night. Uncertain that he had the stamina to ‘play’ that ‘hard’, this writer gracefully declined [maybe ‘rainen’?].

All light-heartedness aside, the scene in front of the ceremony and the location of these interviews was made all the more poignant by the background music; an instrumental of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. It is said that there are a set of lyrics in Japanese written for the familiar New Year’s melody; but the mood in the Nihongo version is just as you may be accustomed to. This tune is played at this same ceremony in towns throughout Kansai and perhaps the rest of the country. The meaning is the same. Goodbye to ‘times gone past’, welcome to days to come.

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成人式 (関西) – [Coming of Age Day Ceremony] Part I https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/%e6%88%90%e4%ba%ba%e5%bc%8f-%e9%96%a2%e8%a5%bf-coming-of-age-day-ceremony-part-i/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/%e6%88%90%e4%ba%ba%e5%bc%8f-%e9%96%a2%e8%a5%bf-coming-of-age-day-ceremony-part-i/#respond Mon, 11 Jan 2016 22:30:30 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=12831 Today is coming of age day, and Osaka Ali was on the scene at the local city hall to document the festivities. Newly minted young men in their traditional wear or western-style suits and new women in elegant kimono graced the downtown, bidding farewell to childhood and hopefully expecting what awaits them in their life as adults.

On the way, Ali met Matsuda-san, who was rushing home to a party to be held in her honor. She sends greetings from Osaka.


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Vampillia – Lilac (bombs Jun Togawa) https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/vampillia-lilac-bombs-jun-togawa/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/vampillia-lilac-bombs-jun-togawa/#respond Mon, 11 Jan 2016 16:41:05 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=12835

Toshikazu Tamura and ONIONSKIN present the animated music video “Lilac (bombs Jun Togawa)” by Vampillia.

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Free Lesson 1 – Reading https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/free-lesson-1-reading/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/free-lesson-1-reading/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2016 15:01:59 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=12832 Happy Monday!

Here is our 1st Free Lesson using one of the One-Punch Man episodes!

File_000 (1)

What does this image say?

Read it and translate it!

Ganbatte ne! = Good luck!  (^_^)/


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New Lessons and New Episode Coming Soon! https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/new-lessons-and-new-episode-coming-soon/ https://www.japancast.net/2016/01/new-lessons-and-new-episode-coming-soon/#respond Fri, 08 Jan 2016 20:01:22 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=12827 Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that your new year is off to a good start!  Here at the Japancast studio, I have been busy creating new Japanese lessons.

Paul has been busy preparing for our new podcast.   We are hoping to upload our first episode by the end of January. We are thinking about doing a giveaway and all the details will be found in our first episode, so keep an eye out for that.



If there are any topics you want us to cover in our podcast, feel free to drop us a line!

Have a wonderful week!



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Miss out on a t-shirt? Check Redbubble! https://www.japancast.net/2015/09/miss-out-on-a-t-shirt-check-redbubble/ https://www.japancast.net/2015/09/miss-out-on-a-t-shirt-check-redbubble/#respond Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:57:12 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11448
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Out of stock?

Often we get emails from people who missed out on a particular shirt and want to know when we’ll do another print run.  Unfortunately, in order to do a run of shirts we have to print hundreds and hundreds to keep the cost down, so we don’t do it as often as we’d like & when a particular size runs out, there’s nothing we can do.

However, a while back we started posting our shirt designs on Redbubble.  Not only can you order a shirt that’s no longer in stock, but you actually have more options for customization!  Plus, you’re not limited to shirts – they offer phone cases, pillows, duvet covers, coffee mugs and a lot more. So if you were disappointed that a particular shirt sold out, head over to the Japancast Redbubble page and check it out!

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Love Japan? Love to animate? Here’s your chance to combine them! https://www.japancast.net/2015/08/love-japan-love-to-animate-heres-your-chance-to-combine-them/ https://www.japancast.net/2015/08/love-japan-love-to-animate-heres-your-chance-to-combine-them/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2015 15:31:45 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11428

The Animation Artist in Residence program, put on by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, has opened it’s Call for Applicants for the 2016 program.  It’s your opportunity to learn and create animation while immersed in Japanese culture.

The program covers some or all of your travel expenses, living expenses, insurance, rent, and workspace.

The catch?  You must be between the ages of 20 and 35, must NOT live in Japan currently and must be conversational in Japanese.

For more information check out the program’s website HERE.

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Japancast HD Video Episode 111 https://www.japancast.net/2015/05/japancast-hd-video-episode-111/ https://www.japancast.net/2015/05/japancast-hd-video-episode-111/#respond Fri, 29 May 2015 19:48:18 +0000 http://b394c627-2b1e-4f77-95d0-33b0130c9f67 We talk about "gi" as well as why it's sometimes not a good idea to call yourself "otaku".  Plus we need your help!  Head to http://patreon.com/japancast for more info!

Make sure to visit us:

https://japancast.net – our main page

http://facebook.com/japancast – FB fan page

http://shop.japancast.net – anime t-shirts, messenger bags, and more.

http://u.japancast.net – Japancast University – inexpensive Japanese lessons.

https://www.japancast.net/2015/05/japancast-hd-video-episode-111/feed/ 0 We talk about "gi" as well as why it's sometimes not a good idea to call yourself "otaku".  Plus we need your help!  Head to http://patreon.com/japancast for more info! Make sure to visit us: https://japancast.net – our main page http://facebook. We talk about "gi" as well as why it's sometimes not a good idea to call yourself "otaku".  Plus we need your help!  Head to http://patreon.com/japancast for more info! Make sure to visit us: https://japancast.net – our main page http://facebook.com/japancast – FB fan page http://shop.japancast.net – anime t-shirts, messenger bags, and more. http://u.japancast.net – Japancast University – inexpensive Japanese […] Japancast clean 15047
Japancast HD Video Episode 112 https://www.japancast.net/2015/05/japancast-hd-video-episode-112/ https://www.japancast.net/2015/05/japancast-hd-video-episode-112/#respond Fri, 29 May 2015 19:48:02 +0000 http://b84718b4-0687-49e4-82e5-23b35d0b5d15 White Day, Japanese shortcuts & perfect versus just right.  Plus we need your help!  Head to http://patreon.com/japancast for more info!

Make sure to visit us:

https://japancast.net – our main page

http://facebook.com/japancast – FB fan page

http://shop.japancast.net – anime t-shirts, messenger bags, and more.

http://u.japancast.net – Japancast University – inexpensive Japanese lessons.

https://www.japancast.net/2015/05/japancast-hd-video-episode-112/feed/ 0 White Day, Japanese shortcuts & perfect versus just right.  Plus we need your help!  Head to http://patreon.com/japancast for more info! Make sure to visit us: https://japancast.net – our main page http://facebook. White Day, Japanese shortcuts & perfect versus just right.  Plus we need your help!  Head to http://patreon.com/japancast for more info! Make sure to visit us: https://japancast.net – our main page http://facebook.com/japancast – FB fan page http://shop.japancast.net – anime t-shirts, messenger bags, and more. http://u.japancast.net – Japancast University – inexpensive Japanese lessons. Japancast clean 15046
Matcha-latte Bear … https://www.japancast.net/2015/04/matcha-latte-bear/ https://www.japancast.net/2015/04/matcha-latte-bear/#respond Wed, 08 Apr 2015 06:34:09 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10984 IMG_2465

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Live Action Attack on Titan – prepare to be AMAZED! https://www.japancast.net/2015/03/live-action-attack-on-titan-prepare-to-be-amazed/ https://www.japancast.net/2015/03/live-action-attack-on-titan-prepare-to-be-amazed/#respond Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:48:10 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11330

Will you be the first in line to see the live action Attack on Titan movie?  To us, it looks AMAZING – what do you think?

  • Attack on Titan Backpack – Olive & Tan Canvas

  • Attack on Titan Survey Corps Backpack – Double Strap

  • Attack on Titan Messenger Bag – Beige & Brown

  • Dragon Ball Z Backpack – Orange & Blue

  • Naruto Backpack – red & black double buckle

  • Fairy Tail – Black Canvas Backpack

  • Akame ga Kill Messenger Bag

  • Hozuki’s Messenger Bag – Houzoki no Reitetsu

  • Naruto Kanji Backpack

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鬼は外! Oni, get out! https://www.japancast.net/2015/02/%e9%ac%bc%e3%81%af%e5%a4%96-oni-get/ https://www.japancast.net/2015/02/%e9%ac%bc%e3%81%af%e5%a4%96-oni-get/#respond Fri, 06 Feb 2015 13:17:08 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11316 IMG_3396

This past Wednesday, Japanese children throughout the country celebrated the Setsubun (節分) holiday by casting out Oni () for good luck in the new year. This fierce-looking Oni Mask (の仮面) was handcrafted by Osaka Ali’s friend, Kido-san. If you’re holding some dried soybeans or roast peanuts, toss them at the screen for good luck.

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The Japanese Emperor’s Birthday is Today … https://www.japancast.net/2014/12/japanese-emperors-birthday-today/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/12/japanese-emperors-birthday-today/#respond Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:32:31 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11287 600px-Japanese_Imperial_Seal.svg

Seal of the Japanese Imperial Household

26平成 (The 26th Year of the Heisei Era – 2014)

The Japanese emperor’s birthday is observed around the whole of Japan today. It’s a national holiday and many institutions and business take the day off. Can you name the current Japanese emperor?

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Nagoya castle in flames … https://www.japancast.net/2014/12/nagoya-castle-flames/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/12/nagoya-castle-flames/#respond Sat, 13 Dec 2014 05:28:58 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10885 220px-Burning_Nagoya_Castle-2IMG_2316Image credit Haywood S. Hansell, Jr.

During the horrible events of the Pacific War, the city of Nagoya was mercilessly bombed at great cost of life and property. It was chosen as a target due to its centrality as an industrial source of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service’s aircraft. One of the targets was the Nagoya Castle, symbolic centerpiece of the city as well as object of architectural and historic heritage. Nagoya Castle was also being used as a military headquarters at the time. It is hard to make out this photo, but that is the roofline of the beautiful castle structure in flames. As can be seen in the grainy photo (part of the Nagoya Castle’s Museum collection), flames completely engulfed the wood structure of the main castle keep on the evening of May 14, 1945. The rusty steel disc in the photograph above is a remaining fragment of an E-46 Incendiary Bomb that caused the fire. The last image is an archived photo of U.S. Army Air Corps crewmen loading bombs into the bomb bay of a B-29 Superfortress.

The lesson? War is a terrible thing to be avoided at all costs.

Nagoya Castle regular hours are 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Entrance to the donjon until 4:00 p.m.) and open year-round except December 29 – January 1

U.S. Army Air Corps Crewmen Loading Ordnance on Saipan Island Image by Haywood S. Hansell Jr., USAF (ret.)

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Okinawa Loom Weaving … https://www.japancast.net/2014/12/okinawa-loom-weaving/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/12/okinawa-loom-weaving/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 04:53:32 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10913 IMG_1036IMG_1037IMG_1038

On his way passing through Okinawa not long ago, Osaka Ali happened upon the chance to try out some authentic loom weaving. The Ryukyus (the historic name for the Okinawan royal diaspora) has a rich history of crafts, not the least of which is a collection of textile traditions which are unique to each locale and island in the chain. The pattern that this young journeyman is fashioning is probably a ‘Shuri Hana Ori’ pattern. You can learn more about traditional Okinawan textiles here: http://www.ryukyutextile.com/kasuri/Okinawan_textiles.html

Plaza House Shopping Center hosts frequent arts and crafts festivals. If you’re in Okinawa or planning to visit, check it out at 3-1-12 Kubota, Okinawa City, Okinawa, Japan

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Illustration by Osaka Ali


Japan as a nation seems to be in a funny place right now (not ha-ha). People’s outlook is very cautious, at least here in Kansai. Recently, a significant tax was introduced on all consumer goods and an unexpected recession seemed to result. Just last week, the Japan Times reported on the effect that these changes have had on the country, especially its young people (http://goo.gl/EUjIWq). The response by the government was to postpone a scheduled further increase of the tax, but some think that this is just going to delay the inevitable crisis that is coming.

It is in this environment that Osaka Ali ventured to downtown Umeda, the business and commerce district in central Osaka. There at Knowledge Capital (http://kc-i.jp/en/) Ali and his companion, Ms. Yuko, attended a presentation by the renowned Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Ando Tadao, sensei. You may remember an article a while back on one of Ando’s earlier works in this JapanCast post (https://www.japancast.net/the-ibaraki-kasugaoka-church/). Ando also has the distinction of being the supervisory architect of the tallest structure in Japan, Tokyo Sky Tree.

Venturing through the cacophony of sights and sounds offered by the Umeda cityscape, Ms. Yuko asked what Ali thought of the signs and signals offered by the city; were they clear or disorienting, readable or unreadable? He had to admit a certain unnecessary complexity, even when compared to other Asian cities like Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur. Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, on the other hand, sometimes seem needlessly unclear or complex, almost blindingly so. The signs and maps one encounters and relies upon to find one’s way around these cities can cause something more than culture shock.

Curiously, Ando’s theme in the lecture was his opinion that the Japanese had all the means, resources and know-how to make a great future for themselves and people around the world. But they can’t move out of conceptual inertia. An example that might support his argument could be seen in the rapid development of web-based technologies and their derivatives, technologies that have been, are and will be transforming societies, cultures, knowledge and the globe. In many ways, Japan is a follower in these areas, not a leader.

Ando Tadao states that the problem is a lack of vision. The Japanese, he states, are suffering not from the effects of recent natural and man-made disasters, technological upheaval or economic woes. They are starving for vision. Vision in this sense is the kind of imagination and courageous creative initiative displayed by geniuses and vitally vibrant cultures. Understanding that life is short, he expressed the desire to use the remainder of his career to promote a fostering of vision amongst the Japanese.

Ando sensei also discussed communication and expression. It is in this thread that Osaka Ali sees a possibility. Increasing numbers of outsiders are seeking to build bridges of intellectual, economic and cultural exchange leading to and from Japan. The wealth of vision and imagination that they have to offer can serve to inform, if not nourish, the well-spring of creativity. This well-spring is one which the Japanese so urgently need to prime and drink from. The challenge is the barriers to communication that can be seen in the confusion of signs in Japanese metropolises. It can also be seen in the lack of understanding of Japan from the outside as well. The situation’s made worse by the ‘Japan is a strange curiosity’ attitude held by Westerners as well as other Asians, Africans, etc.. Inspiring vision, curing blindness and improving cultural literacy could yield great things inside and outside Japan. Neglecting to do so might be disastrous.

グランフロント大阪 〒530-0011 大阪市北区大深町4-1


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Doraemon American Cable TV debut … https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/doraemon-series/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/doraemon-series/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:09:17 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11003 IMG_2350IMG_2348IMG_2351IMG_2349IMG_2347

Your favorite robot-cat-pet-mentor anime ambassador from the 22nd Century has been brushing up on his English skills at the eikaiwa and is TOEFL’d and ready for prime time. Osaka Ali mentioned a few articles ago that Doraemon got hired by Mickey Mouse and is now entertaining audiences on the Eastern side of the Pacific Ocean. The Disney XD network has listings for the latest adventures of Doraemon, Nobita (Noby) and the rest of the gang in english. Visit http://watchdisneyxd.go.com/doraemon for listings, episodes and more.

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M _ _ _ _ … and Happy Holiday! https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/manju/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/manju/#respond Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:29:09 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11008 IMG_2568IMG_2567IMG_2563IMG_2561IMG_2564IMG_2559

Aren’t these babies lovely? Man I wanna eat ’em up, each one is like a door to a fleeting visit to the halls of paradise. They’re sculptural, subtle, delectable works of art to be savored on the tongue as well as by the eyes. 饅頭 – Three guesses to what they are …

Oh, and Happy Labor Thanksgiving Day, by the way … (新嘗祭)


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Pasmo … https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/pasmo/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/pasmo/#respond Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:25:05 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11010 IMG_1399

A Pasmo card is an indispensable tool when you’re a frequent commuter in the Kanto area (Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama). It works like a kind of debit card, credit it with cash at an automated station kiosk after purchasing it for about 1000円(yen) and then tap it on the magnetic card reader located on top of the turnstile as you enter the station on your way to the platform. The the IC chip in the Pasmo keeps your trip data and balance information which you can extract at the same machine where you purchase it.

Although Pasmo is not the only rider fare card in Japan (or even Tokyo) it is recommended and well worth the price for its convenience and utility. You can even use it to buy tasty beverages from selected vending machines. それは便利だ。

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Japan UnMasked … https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/japan-unmasked/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/japan-unmasked/#respond Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:48:45 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10921 IMG_1059

Hundreds of years since the initial breakthrough contact between the ambassadors of Western countries and the Japanese, an honest assessment of the relationship between Japan and the outside world is probably useful. While much progress in cooperation, understanding and transformation has occurred in the intervening years, conflicts and misunderstanding still arise, even today. In order to aid in developing concord between Japanese and Western mind , Boye Lafayette De Mente has written ‘Japan UnMasked’, a brilliant work in the Nihonjinron genre.

Nihonjinron is the term describing the study of ‘Japanese-ness’. More specifically, it is the academic discipline that seeks to explain what makes the Japanese, japanese. The global catalog of Nihonjinron literature could fill many shelves. This study initially was developed by native scholars and researchers, but now has been shouldered by outsiders as well, and has been enriched as a result.

For readers of Japancast, Nihonjinron can be a source of increased insight into the cultural depths that hold such magnetic attraction.  The title of this particular work of Nihonjinron itself is telling; the Japanese are famous for their reserve and for not being forthcoming with their true feelings, thus the ‘mask’ motif; De Mente seeks to remove the obscuring factor through his book.

“The Japanese are probably the most knowable and predictable people on Earth”

-George H. Lambert

From this optimistic starting point, the author begins constructing a picture of the character of Japan through a series of essays. The Japanese way is unlike that of any other people in the world. That is part of its attraction for many gaikokujin (foreigners) but also a great part of its frustrating impenetrability. This anthology of essays explains its subject viewing fragments of the whole. It describes the unique form that the Japanese sensibility and soul impress upon religion, education, business, the criminal underworld, xenophobia/xenophilia, psychology, social life and outlook. It covers varying topics in its chapters with titles like:

Dispelling the Enigma Myth of Japan, The Challenge of Being Japanese, The Challenge of Speaking Japanese, A Japanese Dilemma: Policies vs. Principles, Beware of Using Logic in Japan, Can the Japanese Really Tap in to Cosmic Energy?, Cultural and Extralegal Barriers Facing Foreigners in Japan, Dealing with “Godless” Japan, Doing Business on Japan’s Permanently Tilted Playing Field, How the Inept and Mediocre Rise to the Top in Japan, How the Japanese Perceive and Use Knowledge vs. The Western Way, Japan’s “Moral Hazard” Syndrome, Japan’s Victim Mentality and Avoiding Responsibility, Japan’s Inferior-Superior System, “Soft” vs. “Hard” Management, Japan’s Suicide Syndrome, Japanese Culture vs. Scientific Management, The Japanese Corporation of the Future, The Eight Golden Rules of Japanese Management: Are They Doomed?, The Japanese “Allergy” to Westerners, The Japanese Obsession with Becoming “Un-Japanese”, The Mindset of Japanese Bureaucrats, Why Actions in Japan Speak Louder Than Words, Yakuza: The Story Behind Japan’s “Honorable” Gangsters, Zen’s Contribution to Japan’s Economic Power, How Japan Became an Economic Superpower, How the “Black-Mark” System Rules Japan, Ijime: Terrorism in Japan’s Schools, Japan’s “Hell” Schools, More on the Crisis in Japanese Management, Nihonteki: One of the Secrets of Japan’s Success, Selling Sex in a Glass: Japan’s Pleasure Trades, The Japanese Way of Striving for Perfection, Japan’s Myth of Internationalization, Tuning in to Japan’s Cultural Telepathy, The West’s Why/Because vs. Japan’s Wa/Sa Approach, Understanding the Japanese Business Mind, aaannd Strengths and Weakness of the Japanese.

There are many insights of interest. One that stands out comes from the chapter titled, ‘How the Japanese Perceive and Use Knowledge vs. the Western Way’. In it De Mente writes:

“… Japanese people have traditionally looked at life and all of its facets, including knowledge, as part of a continuous flow of events, all interrelated, all essential to each other … Japanese treat the search for and utilization of information as an ongoing thing, without end, regardless of how or when they intend to use it. This trait led the Japanese to automatically take an active rather than reactive approach to information.”

Each chapter could be an entryway into its own unique field of study, but for the neophyte there are some wonders, delights, mysteries and hard truths to be discovered in De Mente’s book. Despite the density of information, this is not an intensely intellectual book and is an easy read.

Not every idea or opinion in this book hits the bulls-eye everytime, in my opinion. There are no footnotes or endnotes as can be expected in an anthology of loosely connected essays. Given that, you ought to take the author’s point of view with a grain of salt. However, Osaka Ali has found the book to be a source of great use after revisiting it numerous times.

After reading will you find the Japanese to be knowable or unknowable? Read and find out …

Japan UnMasked: The Character & Culture of the Japanese by Boye Lafayette De Mente is published by Tuttle Publishing



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文化の日 (Happy Culture Day!) https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/%e6%96%87%e5%8c%96%e3%81%ae%e6%97%a5-happy-culture-day/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/%e6%96%87%e5%8c%96%e3%81%ae%e6%97%a5-happy-culture-day/#respond Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:54:59 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11085 IMG_2546

Today is a special day in the Japanese calendar … Culture Day. This is a day that Japanese use to celebrate their rich culture. In honor of this special day, Osaka Ali is sharing this photo of a beautifully colored Japanese Beetle in a wabi-sabi milieu. To join the celebration, you can sample Japanese food, watch some Anime, read some Japanese fiction or appreciate Japanese music and art. Happy Culture Day!

This Japanese Beetle was found making his way not far from 34.776814, 135.541622.

]]> https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/%e6%96%87%e5%8c%96%e3%81%ae%e6%97%a5-happy-culture-day/feed/ 0 11085 Yakuza, I don’t want YOU! https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/yakuza/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/11/yakuza/#respond Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:23:35 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10905

The pose of the figure in this public service announcement may appear to be vaguely familiar to you. To Osaka Ali, it resembles James Montgomery Flagg’s ‘Uncle Sam’ recruiting poster from World War I (‘I Want YOU’), even down to the color scheme. The message is not an appeal for enlistees, though. Actually, it is a reprimand of criminals and a warning to Yakuza (ヤクザ) that they and their illegal activities won’t be tolerated. The poster hangs in some post offices and banks around Osaka. Beware evildoers, wherever you are!

This poster was sighted near 34.821553, 135.425811


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Japanese Maple on the road … https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/%e3%82%ab%e3%82%a8%e3%83%87/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/%e3%82%ab%e3%82%a8%e3%83%87/#respond Sun, 26 Oct 2014 01:32:06 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11045 IMG_2547


カエデ(槭) or ‘Kaede’, the Japanese Maple, changes color this time of year and soon will fall in great numbers across the landscape … Osaka Ali captured this moment not wanting a fleeting moment of the passing of the season to be lost. This leaf fallen on an aged road marking strikes one as a kind of contemporary example of ‘wabi-sabi’ (侘寂). Wabi-sabi is the typically Japanese aesthetic appreciation of transient imperfection that precipitates a phenomenon of subtle, yet striking, beauty …

This moment unfolded near 34.776814, 135.541622.

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Matcha-latte Heart-Faced Smile … https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/matcha-latte-heart-faced-smile/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/matcha-latte-heart-faced-smile/#respond Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:10:28 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10986 IMG_0819

I really like my Japanese barista’s take on the art of latte-foam art, here executed on my delicious Matcha latte. Matcha, or powdered green tea, goes great with milk and sugar and is a flavorful delicacy served at the local Italian-styled coffee shop in town. A clever mixture of Japanese refinement and Italian mastery of palette pleasure. From our heart to yours.

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Doraemon and friend … https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/doraemon-friend/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/doraemon-friend/#respond Fri, 17 Oct 2014 01:14:41 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11006 IMG_2352

Noteworthy news was announced last spring. Disney made it public that they have purchased the rights to Doraemon, your favorite robot-cat-pet-mentor from the 22nd Century. You may have already seen Doraemon episodes translated into English, linguistically as well as culturally. This is good to hear given that Doraemon provides humourous and heartwarming tales with an uplifting message for young and old audiences alike.

Osaka Ali bumped into Doraemon and his friend (photo above) on a recent visit to downtown Kansai. His eyes have a hint of weary anxiety, like a Movie Star recently enriched with Hollywood money. Good thing he has his wing-man, Mini-Dora Red by his side to provide security. Hold on tight, Doraemon!

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体育の日 Taiiku no hi (Sports Day) https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/%e4%bd%93%e8%82%b2%e3%81%ae%e6%97%a5-taiiku-hi-sports-day/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/%e4%bd%93%e8%82%b2%e3%81%ae%e6%97%a5-taiiku-hi-sports-day/#respond Mon, 13 Oct 2014 07:02:44 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11016 Osaka Marathon2

Today is a very special national holiday … Sports Day. All over Japan, students will participate in athletic events, both serious and more light-hearted ones, for fun, excellence and bonding. Foot-races, potato-sack type races, human pyramid building (ah! safety police) are among the many competitive events that the students engage in with teachers and parents officiating.

Sports day is observed annually on the second Monday in October (十月).

Wherever you are, you too can enjoy your own sports day (Unless the weather <tropical storm warning> gives you the big kibosh!>

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Doraemon 3-D Movie … https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/doraemon-movie/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/doraemon-movie/#respond Sun, 12 Oct 2014 15:00:32 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=11001 IMG_2353

This past summer witnessed the opening of a new Doraemon feature film. It was the 21 century robot feline’s first foray into 3-D computer animation. Titled ‘Stand by Me ドラえもん (Doraemon)’, Osaka Ali had to capture this promotional cutout from his trip downtown and share it with you all. You can check out the cute trailer here – http://youtu.be/RP-KqRkDWS0

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Izakaya Lantern Day and Night … https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/izakaya-lantern-day-night/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/izakaya-lantern-day-night/#respond Fri, 10 Oct 2014 08:03:35 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10925 IMG_1390


Osaka Ali was visiting the old neighborhood one afternoon in Saitama and while waiting for the next bus, spotted this brightly colored lantern. Wanting to see what it looked like when it was illuminated, he returned one evening to see the colors vividly come to life. The loud colors and dynamic imagery fit better with the cacophony of sounds that emanated out of the clubs and izakaya nearby at night more than it did the sleepy train depot across the street that operated by day. Kanto is full of charms like this one.

(This photo location is not far from 35.828056, 139.690556)

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Rikishi banners in Nagoya … https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/sumo-ka-banners-nagoya/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/sumo-ka-banners-nagoya/#respond Wed, 08 Oct 2014 09:37:02 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10883 IMG_2344

Like the cacophony of neon roadsigns announcing an array of casinos on the Vegas strip, this series of banners grabs our attention. But the draw isnt gambling, it’s Sumo (相撲). Each brightly colored banner announces the name of a top level Sumo wrestler (Rikishi – 力士). They seem to do it proudly and beautifully, I think. Don’t you agree?

You can see these banners displayed near Nagoya Castle Park’s Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium for the annual Summer Sumo Tournament. If you’re in town next July, check it out.

(Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium is located in Meijo Park in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture; the entrance to the park and stadium are near Shiyakusho Station (市役所駅))

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Okinawan Natural Mosquito Shield … https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/okinawan-natural-mosquito-shield/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/10/okinawan-natural-mosquito-shield/#respond Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:50:38 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10873 image-1

It is October and the autumn season is in full effect here in Kansai. Full effect except for the persistent existence of a disturbingly healthy population of mosquitos. And so we picked up this 100 millilitre bottle of all natural mosquito spray made in Okinawa.

お肌のナチュラルガード or “Natural Guard for Skin” lists the following ingredients: distilled peachleaf essence, Kume Island Seawater, ethanol, glycerine, citronella essential oil, lemon eucalyptus essential oil, lemon grass essential oil, tea tree essential oil, peppermint essential oil and peachleaf essential oil.

How well does it work? It seems to be doing a good job of keeping the mosquitos at bay although it seems to require a generous application to achieve best results. If you’re looking for some mosquito relief and you can get your hands on a bottle, give it a try. http://www.kosodate-ryouhin.co.jp/SHOP/1.html

Got any advice for keeping mosquito attacks under control?

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Dream of creating your own anime in Japan? https://www.japancast.net/2014/08/dream-creating-anime-japan/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/08/dream-creating-anime-japan/#respond Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:31:41 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10853 Are you an animation student who’s always dreamed of working in Japan? Each year the Cultural Affairs office in Japan offers animators worldwide this chance.

The Animation Artist in Residence program is an intensive 70 day program, starting January 7th that gives you the opportunity to work directly in the Japanese animation system.

They cover your travel expenses, give you a living allowance, and a place to live.


However, there are some fairly tough requirements to apply.

You must be able to communicate in both English and Japanese.

It’s only available to students ages 20-35.

And you must have had an animation appear at an international film festival or similar event.

If this sounds like you, hit the link below and fill out your application!


A-AIR Tokyo 2015 – Application Guide
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Ping Pong anime – Flash animation techniques https://www.japancast.net/2014/08/ping-pong-anime-flash-animation-techniques/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/08/ping-pong-anime-flash-animation-techniques/#respond Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:51:11 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10448
For me, Ping Pong was an absolutely brilliant show to watch. The animation team clearly wanted to break with tradition and create something uniquely their own. If you haven’t watched Ping Pong, I highly recommend it.

What I was surprised to find out was that they used Flash to create their animations instead of something like Toon Boom Harmony or even more traditional methods.

Below is a sample Science SARU has posted to give you an insight into their animation techniques. If you’re interested at all in animation, it’s absolutely worth a look. 

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Takashi Ohashi gives us some retro vector animated goodness https://www.japancast.net/2014/07/takashi-ohashi-gives-us-retro-vector-animated-goodness/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/07/takashi-ohashi-gives-us-retro-vector-animated-goodness/#respond Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:01:56 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10437 Most of you are probably too young to remember the home video game called the Vectrex, but it’s clear Takashi Ohashi has fond feelings for it.  His latest music video puts a 3D spin on the retro Vectrex look.


What do you think?

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Alien Bird Satellite Moonface Statue? https://www.japancast.net/2014/07/alien-bird-satellite-moonface-statue/ https://www.japancast.net/2014/07/alien-bird-satellite-moonface-statue/#respond Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:01:39 +0000 https://www.japancast.net/?p=10430 File this under “only in Japan”.

Taro's TowerIf you have the opportunity to visit Osaka, be sure to head to “Expo Commemoration Park” (万博記念公園) in Suita where you’ll find this spectacular statue, created by Taro Okamoto.  Okamoto created the statue as the symbol of  “Japan World Expo ’70” in 1970.  He named the tower the “Tower of the Sun” and during the 1970 Expo visitors could enter the tower and visit an art gallery called the “Tree of Life”.

The tower stands nearly 230 feet tall, is over 65 feet wide at the base and it’s arms are each over 82 feet long.

The golden face at the top of the statue (which is actually not supposed to look like a satellite dish) is 36 feet in diameter and represents the future (or at least the future as seen in 1970).  It’s eyes light up at night and the antenna is supposed to be a conductor.

The face at the middle of the statue between the two arms represents the present.  On the back of the tower is another face that represents the past.  There also was a face located in the basement of the statue called “Sun of the Underworld”, but it was removed.

The red lines across the statue represent lightning bolts.


So what do you think?  Is it amazing art?  Weird 1970’s junk?  Or something else?  Let’s hear your opinion of Taro Okamoto’s “Tower of the Sun”!


If you’re interested in visiting Expo ’70 Commemorative Park or just want to know more, click the link below.



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