A Short Tour Of Akihabara, With Some History

Akihabara News is posting short videos of the Yamanote line station chimes along with short video tours of the Neighborhoods.

I’m doing a larger post of the stations, but it’s likely that doing all the stations will take some time and the people at Akihabara New provided this great link about the history of Akihabara.

What does Akihabara mean?

I didn’t know that there was an elevated freight station at Akihabara.

Here’s my main Akihabara post.



Update: more history.


A Trip Through Dying Japan

Ran into this article in the Washington Post and thought about it. The valley is one of those magical places that you run into in Japan.  The kind of place where you expect Miyazaki characters to come out in front of you.  Of course anime characters may be the only people left.  That’s the sad tale of contemporary Japan.

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Another Kokeshi Post

Last year I posted a video of a man making Japanese Kokeshi dolls.  Here’s another one. I’ve wanted to do a longer post about these wonderful wooden dolls. When I was doing Ebay years ago, I encountered these wonderful wooden dolls in tag sales and sold a couple of them. So I had done some research on before  and I wanted to share the fruits of that research.

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The President Didn’t Need To Apologize To The Japanese

he atomic bomb at Hiroshima was a horrible thing.  But it was not the beginning of horrible things, but the end.  Why the world went on it’s horrible spasm in the 1930’s and into the 1940’s will probably never be known. The people responsible for all the decisions are long dead and gone.

For what ever reasons, the people who had just survived the greatest war of all time after 1918 went right back to the old arguments as soon as they could, in new places.  If the first war was fought in Europe, well the new would start in China and  Spain.  With the turmoil stirred up by new players who learned nothing from the first war and the big players of the first war trying as hard as they could to “give peace a chance” when the new players wanted terror, death and monstrosities, what happened was inevitable.

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Making Sheet Metal Toys

After the “Ghost” post I did a little more research on sheet metal toys for an upcoming post on sheet metal fabrication I’ve been working on for the “Let’s Build” series. I thought that I would share the videos I found. Here’s a video of the entire process.

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Kawaii Culture

A while back I posted an entertaining interview Adam Savage did with science writer Mary Roach.


Among the things that was talked about was Japanese Kawaii culture.  Since I have an interest in most things Japanese it piqued my interest and I followed up on the discussion.   I did a quick google search and came up with this article from Wired.

To anyone who knows Japan, the assumption seems apt. There, the pull of the cute is a powerful and omnipresent force. The Japanese are born into cute and raised with cute. They grow up to save money with cute (Miffy the bunny on Asahi Bank ATM cards), to pray with cute (Hello Kitty charm bags at Shinto shrines), to have sex with cute (prophylactics decorated with Monkichi the monkey, a condom stretched over his body, entreating, “Would you protect me?”).

They see backhoes painted to look like giraffes and police kiosks fixed up like gingerbread houses. Each of Japan’s 47 prefectures has its own adorable mascot, as do the Tokyo police and the government television station. Home-run-swatting ball players are handed a plush stuffed animal when they cross the plate. Well-heeled city women are dropping yen by the millions on a Kansai Yamamoto couture line called Super Hello Kitty. Teenage boys tattoo themselves with Badtz-Maru, the Sanrio company’s mischievous, lumpy-headed penguin. Salarymen otherwise indistinguishable with their gray suits and cigarettes buy novelty cell phone straps adorned with plastic charms of their favorite cute characters: Thunder Bunny, Cookie Monster, Doraemon the robot cat. Cute is everywhere. They’re soaking in it.


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