Archive for July, 2007


The wise man of Osaka has a great piece on Japan’s smoking rules. The comparison of the smoking warnings is spot on.
When will the Government of Japan, and other Asian countries, catch up with the West and start being more pro-active on smoking – rather than just banning smoking on the street?!

Election Fatigue

I’m suffering from it and I can’t even vote. Yes, it is polling day again, for what, the 3rd time in a year?
The BBC is trying to seem interested. I guess it will be like a referendum on Abe’s post-Koizumi reign.

UPDATE (July 30):
Well the people have spoken. It was a Bloody Sunday for the ruling Liberal Democrats (LDP), with the opposition Democrats (DPJ) winning a majority in the Upper House for the first time in its history. The one-party system in Japan seems to finally have come to an end.

Sumidagawa Hanabi


Originally uploaded by hakluyt.

Tonight will see 22,000 fireworks launched over the Sumida River in Tokyo. The festivities go from 19:10 until 20:30. Get more info at the website.
Which is your favourite spot for the fireworks?

Bloggers Walk Tokyo

Follow Sean, Joi, Jim and others round central Tokyo.

Fuji Rock

Anyone off to the Fuji Rock Festival, which kicks off today at Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata? It doesn’t seem to have been affected much by last week’s earthquake.
I’ll have to get to the festival one year; the setting is supposed to be stunning. By the way, yes, it was originally held near Fuji but was relocated to Naeba in ’99.


cartoon of man sweating under hot sunI just got back to Tokyo from a month and a half in wintry Australia and blimey! The heat is overwhelming. It was 25+ degrees over night and like a Sauna out there again today. I don’t know whether to go drinking to cool down or just to stay off the sauce altogether. A hang-over is the last thing you need in this heat…
Luckily the Japan Times has some tips on how to avoid succumbing to heat exhaustion, 夏ばて- pronounced NATSUBATE.
They include Sleep, Exercise, Sobayu, eel, cold fish soup and no nastubating(!).

Martin has some more tips.

Thanks to Houston for the image.

Pecha Kucha


Last weekend I have been to the great SuperDeluxe club to attend the evening session of Pecha Kucha University Vol.1, a cooperation between the regular Pecha Kucha Night (organised by Klein Dytham Architecture) and Temple University. It was a very interesting night with so much input that I needed some time to get things in my brain in order to write about it. The overall topic of this first Pecha Kucha University was “Youth and Imaginative Labour: East Asia and Beyond”. There were in the fashion of the Pecha Kucha Night several speakers and every one of them had the time of 20 slides à 20 seconds (6min40sec) to present their idea, paper, research, whatever in connection to that topic. Most talked about various efforts to earn money with the internet, some were representing their favourite niche of youthculture and I didn’t really see the connection to the term “labour” all the time. But who cares, most of the prestentations were quite interesting and some very entertaining – like the one by a guy who was costumed as Goku from Dragonball. He came with a dancing crew of mostly male (!) cosplayers dressed in “moe” style who performed their dance two times – because of the great response from the audience… But there were also informative and rather academic lectures, all held by students from abroad (mostly Korea and HongKong). I wonder why there were no Japanese speakers?! Because the speech had to be hold in English, I guess.. the old problem.
After those presentations followed the screening of the fantastic movie Avalon, introduced by THE guru in the field of Japanese cinema, Donald Richie.
And as if all that wasn’t input enough there was a HipHop afterparty hosted by Zulu Nation Japan, with a Spoken Word performance by Marcellus Nealy and live painting by Rinpa Eshidan. I strongly recommend to have a look at their website – their work is amazing and they are something like “youtube celebrities” with one of their videos been watched more than 2 MILLION times.

As I said, this was Pecha Kucha University, not the regular Pecha Kucha Night, which is about architecture and design. If you are interested in that, going to SuperDeluxe club should be your plan for tonight, when young designers, architects and so on meet there again for another round of Pecha Kucha. And for all those of you who are not in Tokyo: Pecha Kucha Night has spread all over the world and you can attend it in more than 80 cities! All of upcoming events are listed on their website.

4-3 (1-1) Japan-Australia

0-0 so far after 45 minutes. Asian Cup’s most interesting game? Australia beat Japan last year in the World Cup, so there has been some talk about this being a “grudge” match, but the play has been all fair. And Australia lost 1-3 to Iraq a few days ago, so a lot is at stake in this quarter final.

PLUS it is 35 degrees at the My Dinh Stadium in Vietnam: very very hot.

0-1 (69 min) Australia’s Aloisi scores after a nice corner kick.
1-1 (72 min) Japan’s Takahara equalizes right away, great goals!

…and we have 1-1 in full time, and 30 minutes extention.
…and penalty shout-outs! Veteran keeper Kawaguchi saves the first one! And Neill misses Australia’s second one! 3-2 after Takahara misses his shot. Japan wins in the end, after Nagata scores 4-3.

Andy Mueller at Adam et Rope in Shibuya


I just found out that my friend Andy Mueller from LA has a solo photography show opening at a gallery in Shibuya tomorrow night. The show is called “Point + Shoot” and consists of about 100 photos
> taken between 1994-2007. More info on the gallery’s own website.


今回の写真展では、「Pictur Taker」と題した写真集を限定で20冊販売致します。
『The Quiet Life』の商品も一部展開致しますので、どうぞお楽しみに!



Axl Rose says Sayonara Tokyo… Tonight!


Not sure how public this info is, but, well it is now. Just got tipped off that Axl Rose / Guns And Roses are doing some after party thing tonight… Should be a scene for sure. Here’s the scoop:

Yo! So the rumours has been out and yes! Axl Rose is going to have a Sayonara party with his band members at Le Baron tonight after his last show at Budokan.

We have been told that he will ACT JUST LIKE A NOTORIOUS ROCK STAR and be surrounded by beautiful chicks and tons of booze. No cameras allowed!!! and you can only watch from out side the cage!!! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

I’m not going because I live in Los Angeles and get to see Axl Rose look like a turd in public all the time, but for everyone who doesn’t live in Los Angeles this is your opportunity and you should go for sure. More details after the jump.

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