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December 26, 2017, Posted by : James

The Special Japanese Skill of Copying Stuff

Articgiant

I was watching a video about the original Fleischer Superman Cartoons from 1942, as one is wont to do at a job with ample free time, and I was kind of amazed at the quality of the episodes. Apparently these were pretty ground-breaking animations at the time, when cartoons were still considered childish and nobody had ...

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Why does Japan have such a positive image in the west?

November 14, 2017, Posted by : James

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I couldn't help but think about all the articles saying that "trains are never late in Japan" this morning on the packed platform at my train station in central Tokyo, while waiting for my late train.

When I finally got on, it was muggy and hot. It's always muggy and hot on the train. The reality that Japanese ...

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Reverse Culture Shock

November 02, 2017, Posted by : James

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Tomorrow I fly out of Narita for the long quest back to the States. It wouldn't be wrong to call it a voyage. It's an hour long bus ride to the airport, 12 hour flight to a hub, hour flight to my hometown, and a 45 minute car ride from there to my actual hometown. All in all, it generally takes about 18 hours total.

The low hum of plane engines, and the stale in-flight air aren't ...

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Safety in Japan

October 03, 2017, Posted by : James

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While walking through the Shizuoka countryside last weekend, I noticed all the open windows, unlocked doors, and occasional bikes unlocked on front porches. This isn't necessarily uncommon in small towns in any country, but Japan enjoys a great image of having a low crime rate and peaceful society.

Police officers here seem to spend more time yelling through megaphones at crowds ...

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Matsuri Festival Season

September 07, 2017, Posted by : James

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My favorite thing about Japanese summers is going to matsuri.

Matsuri are Japanese street festivals of varying sizes that happen in every nook and cranny of Japan. In Tokyo, most individual areas have their own small shrines, and shrines have mobile temples housing local gods. The locals dress up, get drunk, eat street food, and carry these mini temples through the ...

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