Posts Tagged: japan

Size Matters: An Interview With Anne Ishii

In Our Lady of the Flowers, Jean Genet posited: “A man who fucks a man is twice a man.” His bluntness invites multiple interpretations—is the man becoming engorged, or dissolved? Gengoroh Tagame’s intense, sadomasochistic porn comics test that hypothesis to extremes, as if trying to break maleness itself. The book designer Chip Kidd discovered them during a trip to Japan in 2001. This was gay manga, but not the yaoi or “boys’ love” most familiar in North America, with its epicene beauties primarily drawn and read by women. (The female counterpart is called yuri.) Butch-looking, often hairy, the men had precise taxonomies of size, from gacchiri (muscular) to gachimuchi [...]


Finally, A Wine Just for Cats

"B&H Lifes decided to develop the drink for those wanting to celebrate birthdays or Christmas with their beloved cats." Gewürztrameower? Clawdonnay? [Kotaku]


Treading the "Water Trade"

I was awkwardly dancing with a middle-aged man to rockabilly in a subterranean Tokyo club called Oldies (located in one of the red-light districts) when I asked myself: “What am I doing here?”

The rockabilly band, all sharp suits and pomaded coifs, launched into a slow jam, which my partner, Tomo, took as an opportunity to wrap an arm around my waist and dip me backward. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrored wall and cringed: a twenty-something gaijin slow-dancing with a man old enough to be her father.

It’s so obvious I’m a hostess, I thought to myself.

Tomo was wheezing from his efforts on the dance [...]


"The future of shop displays"

This nameless female robot, capable of "a range of emotions,"* is currently "waiting for you" in a shop window in Japan. She may eventually be headed this way, though, despite her ill-fitting shoes.

*Spookily vacant, vacantly spooky, and 58 more.



The Japanese Town Populated by Life-Size Dolls of the Dead and Gone

"Now there are only 37 people here," says 64-year-old dollmaker Ayano Tsukimi. "And many times more dolls."


Watch the Trailer for Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises

Miyazaki's new film, already out in Japan, is less in the realm of fantasy than you might expect: it's a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero fighter plane, which was a Japanese military staple during World War II. The subject's been relatively controversial, as the current Prime Minister of Japan is currently trying to revise the constitution to "ease the country's prohibition on military aggression," and Miyazaki has publicly denounced Shinzo Abe's plan. In a 2011 interview, he said that he was inspired to make The Wind Rises after reading a quote of Horikoshi's: "All I wanted to do was [...]


How to Use a Japanese Love Hotel

1. Research hotels. If you’re planning on engaging in hotel exploits in Osaka (which you should be, because it has the best LH district in Japan), you’ll be confronted with dozens and dozens of establishments with names like Pink Lips, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the best.

2. Choose Hotel Pamplona, because your boyfriend enjoys the connotations of bulls, and it has the most creative themed rooms.

3. Don’t be gay (sorry). Japanese society still largely ignores the existence of same-sex-sex, and Love Hotel receptionists are within their rights to refuse you entry.

4. Be as Japanese as possible. If you are a tall, freckled redhead [...]


Abstinent Nation

The number of single people has reached a record high. A survey in 2011 found that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship, a rise of almost 10% from five years earlier. Another study found that a third of people under 30 had never dated at all. (There are no figures for same-sex relationships.) Although there has long been a pragmatic separation of love and sex in Japan – a country mostly free of religious morals – sex fares no better. A survey earlier this year by the Japan Family Planning Association (JFPA) found that 45% of women aged [...]


Ramens of Japan

"Here I stayed at a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) where I was served another teishoku that was brought to my room by the innkeepers promptly at 6pm. It included the usual rice, fish, tempura, some smoked pork, but also a small bowl of fried grasshoppers. Another great slice of historic Japan. After the meal I went promptly to bed at 7:30pm because the sun went down and there were no lights!" —If you can't get to Japan, you can at least scroll wistfully through beautiful internet slideshows chronicling the wonderful things people ate there. There's also a bourbon hot dog.


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, "Candy Candy"

It's true what she says about chewing!

The 19-year-old Japanese model-turned-fake-eyelashes-entrepreneur is also responsible for "Tsukematsukeru" and the unforgettable "PonPonPon."