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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s another post on the “controversial” choice of Scarlett Johanssen as Motoko Kusangi in the forthcoming Ghost In the Shell movie. The problem is that when you can’t escape the cultish thinking and progressive grey goo that comes out of the modern university, you self drain any possibility of joy in anything.
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.