movie "0.5 miri" (2014, Japanese)

IMDB.com has an entry for this movie, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3825360/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1, which refers to a line by one of the characters toward the end of the film.
He talks about the power of human will - if enough people concentrate they can move a mountain _rei ten go miri_ (0.5 mm).
This full-length feature film presents a series of vignettes shining a light on a range of elderly people's experience in their twilight years.
So if you are looking for a possibly quirky take on contemporary life in regional and rural Japan, take a look at 0.5 miri.


vivid Japan photos for public use

If you need luscious photos, or if you're up to the challenge of deconstructing national presentation of "who we are" then these pictures may serve the purpose.
This comes via Senseionline yahoogroup:

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry just launched a gorgeous website full of photos that are under the "Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License" - Which means you can use them for anything, anytime.   https://photo.kankouyohou.com/


art in daily life - Japan's manhole covers

The Japan Times publised a story about local government making special designs for their covers.
It began in the 1980s to improve the public image about sewage systems! Perhaps the 12,000 images are online by now, but if you are in Japan then you can request a set of collector's cards.

[excerpt from news story]

...Ishii's is among a growing legion of hobbyists enchanted by what he sees as the beauty manhole cover design. Enthusiasts are taking to social networking services such as Twitter and Instagram to share their joy, and the photos fly back and forth.

"They are works of art. The designs embody details and subtlety of the Japanese aesthetic," said Hideto Yamada, a leader with Gesuido Koho Purattofomu (Sewerage Promotion Platform), a group of professionals and enthusiasts that includes officials from local governments and the infrastructure ministry's sewage management department.


video, Tokyo Olympics promotional segment

Lots of eye candy, concluding with clever homage to video game icon Mario, played by PM Shinzo Abe at Rio summer Olympics closing ceremony, https://streamable.com/mh3w
Security from human calamity and preparedness for natural disasters will be well in place, one imagines!


series this week on Japan's 27% elderly population - National Public Radio, Ina Jaffe

On the Sunday morning show, "Weekend Edition - Sunday," there was a segment on Japan being the oldest society these days with 27% at age 65 or older; life expectancy 5 years longer than USA; replacement birth rate falling short, 'scarecrow village' south of Tokyo where once 300 lived now there are just 3 and all the scarecrows planted around the space once occupied by daily lives.

The transcript is posted a few hours after the broadcast story, http://www.npr.org/2016/08/21/490820273/how-japan-is-dealing-with-impacts-of-supporting-the-oldest-population-in-the-wor
One of more of the series coming throughout this next week could make useful classroom discussion openers, or writing prompts.
And if you are not shy about engaging online in public discourse, then you can leave comments to the stories.

==excerpt from Sunday episode, 21 August 2016

MARTIN: So what's it like to just spend some time in that country? I mean, do you see evidence of that aging population?

JAFFE: Oh, you do. In the cities, for example, (laughter) one of the places you see it is convenience stores. And one of the things they're doing to compete is finding ways to cater to their aging clientele. You'll find products there you'd never see in your local mini mart like prepackaged meals for people who have trouble chewing. But really the place that you see aging of Japan most clearly is in the rural areas. There's a term you hear in Japan, it's village on the edge, as in village on the edge of extinction. I went to one a few hundred miles south of Tokyo where the population has gone from around 300 people to just 30.


photo blog; travel writing - Japan (lonelyplanet)

<><> The "tips and articles" section for Japan gives a series of articles, including lots of gorgeous photos.

For students of Japanese language and life, reading the text with a critical eye is a good exercise: ask "what context is missing" or "what limitation or bias does this writer seem to have." https://www.lonelyplanet.com/japan/tokyo/travel-tips-and-articles/1437 is a good starting place, but as you scroll down to the end, then the next article will load; or a link to "next up: ______" will display in the browser window at lower right corner.

<><> Related is the photo blog by a man long residing in Tokyo, but originally from the Boston area of USA, http://shoottokyo.com/
Same thinking exercise for students of Japanese language and life, apply a critical eye and ask "what context is missing" or "what limitation or bias does this writer seem to have."


kyara Ben (character Bento)

Feature story Sunday morning on National Public Radio (USA), web version includes photos:


Packing your child's lunch calls for a whole different level of preparation in Japan. There, moms often shape ordinary lunch ingredients like ham or rice into cute little pandas, Pokemon or even famous people's faces

       It's called character bento, and there's considerable pressure to produce these cute food creations. Tomomi Maruo has been teaching how to make character bentos, or "kyaraben" for short — at her home for the past 13 years.

       "My kid brought kyaraben to the kindergarten and his friends saw the bento and moms started asking me how to make kyaraben so that's how I started teaching," Maruo said.

[related story-1These Parents Make Lovely Lunch Bag Art. Not Everyone Is Pleased


[related story-2] In Japan, Food Can Be Almost Too Cute To Eat


visual essay - Japan's exclusion zone around Fukushima reactors

This visual essay appeared July 14, 2016 at Digital Photography Review
Compare the interactive media essays at Magnum Photos,
<> Walking Kesennuma after the 2011 tsunami, part 1, http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/essay/tsunami-streetwalk-1-kesennuma

<> Kesennuma streetwalk, part 2, http://inmotion.magnumphotos.com/essay/tsunami-streetwalk-2-kamaishi

[excerpt from DPReview, http://www.dpreview.com/news/6195625964/photographer-captures-the-ruin-of-fukushima-s-exclusion-zone]

Keow Wee Loong, a Malaysian photographer currently based in Thailand, snuck into the zone with his fianceé to document the current state of Fukushima's abandoned towns – and what was left behind. From a supermarket picked over by wild animals, forgotten laundry at a laundromat and a wall calendar forever frozen on March 2011, his photos show the eerie remains of daily life brought to an abrupt halt.

You can see more of his Fukushima photos and his photography on his Facebook page.


case studies 2011 Japan, disaster reconstruction

This special issue of the online journal includes 3 articles that focus on Japan after the disasters of 1995 (Kobe earthquake) and 2011. As well, there are two short video links.

Asian Ethnology. Guest edited by Philip Fountain, Levi McLaughlin, Patrick Daly, and Michael Feener. 

The authors suggest new theoretical perspectives on guiding frameworks such as "religion," "disaster," "development," and "Asia" as they provide case studies of religious responses to recent disaster events in Asia. Many of the special issue's articles focus on Japan.
In particular, the pieces by McLaughlin, Miichi, and Graf discuss ways Japanese religion has transformed in the wake of the 1995 and 2011 disasters.

The articles in the issue are as follows:


    Salvage and Salvation: Guest Editors' Introduction [1-28] Vol 75:1 2016


    Puripetal Force in the Charitable Field [29-51] Vol 75:1 2016


    Buddhist Disaster Relief: Monks, Networks, and the Politics of Religion [53-74] Vol 75:1 2016


    Sevā, Hindutva, and the Politics of Post-Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction in Rural Kutch [75-104] Vol 75:1 2016


    Hard Lessons Learned: Tracking Changes in Media Presentations of Religion and Religious Aid Mobilization after the 1995 and 2011 Disasters in Japan [105-137] Vol 75:1 2016


    Playful Relief: Folk Performing Arts in Japan after the 2011 Tsunami [139-162] Vol 75:1 2016


    Mennonite Disaster Relief and the Interfaith Encounter in Aceh, Indonesia [163-190] Vol 75:1 2016


    Religion and Reconstruction in the Wake of Disaster [191-202] Vol 75:1 2016


    Research Note: Documenting Religious Responses to 3.11 on Film [203-219] Vol 75:1 2016

  • In addition, Tim Graf (Heidelberg) produced two short vignettes to accompany the issue. The first documents a new festival at the temple Jōnenji that grew out of temple-based relief efforts after the March 11, 2011 tsunami in northeast Japan, and the second introduces a training program for "interfaith chaplains" that is led primarily by Buddhist priests and is now underway at Tōhoku University in Sendai.

    Asian Ethnology is open source. Please click on the link below and select "Vol. 75" for Salvage and Salvation. Click on the Vimeo links for Graf's film vignettes:


  • https://vimeo.com/141396760 and https://vimeo.com/141380269 


visual treat - cultural landscape

The group of images for the matsuri food vendor stalls, the family crests, and the decorative envelops all can be shared and used for discussion among students.

theme, "typology" (sets of related images)

[kanban, stall signs at festival time]
Many festivals are held in summer in Japan. There are lots of street stalls, and each shop has colorful shop curtain. --Kotoko Nomoto

[kamon, family crests]
Japanese family emblems.   --Hikaru Kokami

[kinpu, money envelops]
This envelope is used celebrating event. For example wedding ceremony. If you use them, you have to follow the manners. --Minami Takagi


on the occasion of the Fukushima anniversary

Japanfocus.org has high-level, but short essays each week.
Here is one about the 5th anniversary of the triple disaster, centering on N.E. Japan

[excerpt from the text]
...People whose suffering-at no fault of their own-is becoming invisible. Soon when we talk about Fukushima we will reduce the human impact to a quibbling over numbers: how many cases of thyroid cancer, how many confirmed illnesses. Lost-hidden-forgotten will be the hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes, in many cases permanently, and try to rebuild their shattered lives. Public relations professionals and industry scientists will say that these people did this to themselves (see here, and here). And the curtain will draw ever downward as we forget them.

This is the tradition of nuclear forgetting.
Recommended citation: Robert Jacobs, "On Forgetting Fukushima", The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 14, Issue 5, No. 1, March 1, 2016.

journal that includes photo essays among its articles

This call for authors to submit articles may be of interest to those keen on visual communication, but to those wishing to view examples, too, this article points to a place to see stories published to date:

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, a quarterly, open-access online journal, is accepting proposals for photo essays for the September 2016 and March 2017 issues (and beyond).

     Photo essays include: 1) 20-40 high-quality images with descriptive captions and complete source information, 2) a curator's statement, and 3) a longer non-peer reviewed essay (8-15 pages) contextualizing the photographs and highlighting their significance for current trends of inquiry in Asian studies. This essay can be written by the curator or by an invited scholar. To view archived Cross-Currents photo essays, please click here.

     The photographs should be taken in China, Korea, Japan, or Vietnam. They may be contemporary images taken as part of the curator's research or archival materials. Please consult the Cross-Currents mission statement to determine whether the proposed essay fits within the journal's historical and disciplinary scope. Obtaining copyright permissions for all images is the responsibility of the curator.

     Proposals should include: 5-10 sample images (as a single PDF); a one-page description of the theme of the essay and the timeliness/importance of the images to scholars of Asia; a brief bio paragraph about the curator; and complete contact information. 


anthropology thinkers in Japan

A complete list of the past 15 volumes of the Japanese Review of Cultural Anthropology (JRCA), the official English-language publication of the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology (JASCA), is online at


All JRCA articles are open access and may be downloaded free. If you are interested in what is going on in the Japanese anthropological community, please take a look.

Takami Kuwayama, Editor-in-chief for the JRCA
Hokkaido University


high school summer Japanese support

annual program via Youth For Understanding:

spreading the word to students about opportunities to apply for the 2016 Youth for Understanding
scholarships to study in Japan this summer.

 Links to the scholarships are below. Note the first two on this list
 require a $3,000 contribution towards tuition but the Kikkoman Scholarships
 are full scholarships (student pays Visa fees and needs personal spending
 money). There are 3 Kikkoman National full scholarships and 14 Kikkoman
 FCCLA full scholarships (students must be dues-paying members of Family
 Careers and Community Leaders of America).

 Please let me know if I can provide any additional materials for you or
 your organization. We do have brochures, posters, flyers, etc. and I am
 happy to have them sent to you. Please let me know if you are interested. I
 would greatly appreciate any thoughts you may have on how to recruit high
 school students of Japanese for these scholarships.

 Japan-America Friendship Scholarship ($3K contribution by student)

 Japan-US Senate Youth Exchange ($3K contribution by student)

 Kikkoman National Scholarship - Full Ride (3 in total)

 Kikkoman FCCLA - 14 full ride scholarships for members of FCCLA

Field Director - Illinois
 Youth For Understanding USA
 (p) 815.274.5253 (f) 989.777.3270 | yfuusa.org


Digital image collections at Lafayette College's Skillman Library

Digital image collections at Lafayette College's Skillman Library
 730 High St, Easton, PA 18042 telephone (610) 330-5000

[<>] The Truku-Japanese War Commemorative Postcard Collection
The Truku-Japanese War of 1914 was the culmination of Japan's 20-year campaign to disarm and assert sovereignty over Taiwan's Indigenous Peoples. This 100-postcard set provides an intimate photographic portrait of camp life, logistics, battles, terrain, and Japanese interactions with Taiwanese conscripts, allies, enemies, and objects of ethnographic interest. From May to August of 1914, the government deployed 3108 soldiers, 3127 police, and 4840 laborers (over 11,000 people) against a Truku population of roughly 10,000 people. The goal was to avenge previous uprisings and to finalize the conquest of the island colony. After burning several Truku villages, taking prisoners, confiscating rifles, and killing countless combatants, the Japanese declared victory on August 23, 1914. Mr. Fang Hsien-hui 方���� lent these items to the Puli Municipal Library for a November 2014 exhibition. The Library's Mr. Chen Yi-fang ��x方 arranged the transfer of digital images to the East Asia Image Collection, as well as providing invaluable advice. We also thank Dr. John Shufelt and Dr. Wang Peng-hui 王�i惠for their contributions to this project.

[<>] Japanese Imperial House Postcard Album
This postcard album is titled "Haeyuru kōshitsu," which means "the Glorious Imperial House." It contains 78 picture postcards. The album appears to have been compiled in Japan just after the Shōwa Emperor's enthronement ceremonies in November, 1928. Photographs of the Meiji, Taishō and Shōwa emperors and empresses, artistic renderings of the various state Shintō ceremonies associated with Japanese kingship, the celebration of imperial matrimony, and the Crown Prince Hirohito's 1923 visit to Taiwan are the main themes. - See more at: http://digital.lafayette.edu/collections/eastasia#sthash.bJ5yr1cm.dpuf

[<>] T.W. Ingersoll Co. Stereoviews of the Siege of Port Arthur
These one hundred images from the Russo-Japanese War are mostly set in Dalian, away from the battlefront. The lengthy descriptions on the backs, reproduced in the "description.text.english" field, display a strong pro-Japan bias. Russians are absent in the imagery and maligned in the text. Local Chinese purveyors of goods and services are featured as enterprising, eager, and well treated by the Japanese. Laudatory portraits of Japanese officers and Western war-correspondents are also prominent. Descriptions of major battles are found throughout the sub-collection. This complete set of stereoview cards was generously donated by Richard Mammana.

[<>] Imperial Postcards
The Imperial Postcard Collection consists of imagery from Japan and its colonies, wartime China, and selected areas of the wider imperialized world, from 1900 to 1945. "Manners and Customs" cards from Manchuria, North and Central China, Korea, Taiwan, Honshu, and Hokkaido are prominent. Also included are images associated with the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), the Manchurian Incident (1931) and the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937), as well as portraits of Japanese heroes, royalty and statesmen. 1,194 postcards, 18 envelopes and two trading cards. - See more at: http://digital.lafayette.edu/collections/eastasia#sthash.bJ5yr1cm.dpuf

[<>] Tsubokura Russo-Japanese War Postcard Album
These 105 picture postcards were purchased as an album that appears to be correspondence "from the battleground " �榈丐瑜� by one Tsubokura Monnosuke 坪�}�y之助 to Tsubokura Jirō 坪�}二郎, both of whom resided in Yotsuya Ward, Tokyo. Monnosuke was enlisted in the Fifth Army's Third Assistant Porter Company 出征第五���獾谌��a助��a�. A majority of these cards are government-issue commemorative and soldier's consolation cards, while twenty-one of them are "pin-up girls." The 73 cards with legible postmarks were mailed between June 5, 1904 and April 15, 1906. A few of these cards were to and from other addressees and senders.

[<>] Sino-Japanese War Postcard Album 1 and 2
     <1>From the July 7, 1941, dedication: "This postcard album was published with war relief contributions....Thus, it is hoped that it will accompany troops and be used for mementos." These postcards are watercolors of scenes from China, painted by Mutō Yashū 武藤夜舟, Kojō Kōkan 古城江�Q, Seno Kakuzō ��野��i, Kobayakawa Atsushirō 小早川�V四郎, Kojima Matsunosuke 古�u松之助, Mikuni Hisashi 三��久, Mikami Tomoharu 三上智治 and others. There are 92 postcards in this album.
     <2> This album shares publication details with "Sino-Japanese War Postcard Album 01." Michael J. Stosic (1914-2010) presumably collected this album during his tour of combat, as a member of the 317th Troop Carrier Group, which was stationed variously in New Guinea, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines, Okinawa, Korea, and Japan. The original owner was Satō Kichinoshin. 53 postcards, including images of Chinese Treaty Ports, Arawashi Japanese fighter planes, and other Chinese themes.

[<>] Lin Chia-Feng Family Postcards
The Lin Chia-feng (林佳��) Family Postcard Collection contains 370 colonial-era postcards (1900-1945)  from Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China. Industry, tourism, colonial governance, monuments, festivals, and public works are prominent themes. Noteworthy sets include: "Famous Places of Niigata 新��名所", "Commemorative Postcards of the Yilan Waterworks 宜�m水道通水�念", "Japanese Police Inspection of Canton ��|��兵��书��g", "The Ancient Ruins of Gyeongju �c州古�E", "40 years of Colonial Rule in Taiwan Commemorative Exhibition 始政四十周年�念台湾博�E会", "Yamagata Aquarium 山形�h水族�^" and "Luodong Timber Industry �_�|�恿炙�." These postcards were lent to Lafayette College by Lin Shuchin and John Shufelt and were collected by Lin Chia-feng.

[<>] Japanese History Study Cards
This set of 48 playing cards was designed to help children memorize phrases and terms related to "national history." They were published in October 1935, as Japan was putting itself on a wartime footing. The army was ratcheting up pressure on the Nationalist government of China by stationing troops ever deeper into areas south and west of the puppet state of Manchukuo, which had been under Japanese occupation since September 1931. The cards are thus all related to soldiering and martial values. It was published by the Jinseidō company in Kanda, Tokyo, and sold for 15 sen and promised to "make entrance examination preparation truly fun." These cards were generously donated to Skillman Library Special Collections by Richard Mammana.

[<>] Pacific War Postcards
The Pacific War Collection contains 36 postcards sent from Japanese civilians to surrendered Japanese soldiers in the Philippine Islands, Sumatra, and the South Seas. All of these postcards were processed by the Civilian Censorship Detachment (CCD) of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (also known as SCAP). Each record contains a postcard and its contents (usually personal communications to family members), an English translation of the address, and the backs of the cards, which contain postal information and the CCD's censorship stamps. Identifiable postmarks range from August 19, 1945 to March 10, 1946.

[<>] Michael Lewis Postcards
517 colonial-era (1895-1945) postcards from Japanese governed Taiwan. Various postcard companies, genres, printing formats and time periods are represented. Noteworthy are several official commemorative sets 台湾�t督府始政�念 issued by the Taiwan Government General 台湾�t督府, and dozens of b/w cards published between 1900 and the 1920s. These older cards contain several thematic elements and represent postcard companies that drop out of the historical record by the mid 1930s. These postcards were lent to Lafayette College for scanning and publication by collector Michael Lewis.

[<>] Gerald & Rella Warner Postcards
These items were collected in Taiwan by Gerald and Rella Warner during Gerald's service as US Consul between August 26, 1937 and March 8, 1941. Warner Taiwan Postcards contains 201 postcards and 139 b/w commercial photographs from that period. Many of these images also appear in colonial-period albums such as Suzuki Hideo  �木秀夫, ed., Taiwan bankai tenbō 台�侈�界展望. (Taipei: Riban no tomo, 1935) and Katsuyama Yoshisaku �偕郊�作, ed., Taiwan shōkai saishin shashinshū �_�辰B介最新写真集 (Taipei, 1931). Gift of Dallas Finn.

[<>] Gerald & Rella Warner Dutch East Indies Negatives
US Consul to Taiwan Gerald Warner and his wife Rella created these 275 photographic negatives between June 11, 1938 and July 27, 1938. Most (257) were taken in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) during a vacation from consular duties in Taiwan. The remainder were taken in Hong Kong harbor (17) and Shantou (1). The following themes are most prominent: working conditions and equipment in ports and harbors, tourist attractions (including Borobudur, Balinese drama, and temple architecture), agricultural scenes, village life, and local markets. The captions for these images are taken from hand-written comments in the Warners' photo albums. Gift of the Estate of Gerald and Rella Warner.

[<>] Gerald & Rella Warner Manchuria Negatives
US Vice Consul to Mukden (Shenyang) Gerald Warner created these 298 photographs between March 22, 1934 and August 2, 1935. Noteworthy are images of a parade for the 30th Anniversary of the Russo-Japanese War 日露�檎�, complete with floats, Japanese revelers in Russian costumes, and crowds celebrating victory. Pictures from Manzhouli �褐堇�, with its mixture of Russian, Manchu and Chinese architecture, are also prominent. The North Manchuria Railway, the Zhaoling 昭陵 and Fuling 福陵 Mausoleum complexes, Shisheng Temple, life in Shenyang's old and new quarters, and several other topics--from coal mines to military drills--are also depicted.  Gift of the Estate of Gerald and Rella Warner.

[<>] Gerald & Rella Warner Taiwan Negatives
US Consul to Taiwan Gerald Warner and his wife Rella created these 369 photographic negatives between August 26, 1937 and March 8, 1941. Depicted is the daily life of the dwindling and besieged Western community on the eve of the Pacific War. Just as prominent are urban and rural scenes of Japanese, Taiwanese, and expatriate life in Taiwan. The Warners' short trips to tourist destinations in Tainan 台南, Taroko Gorge タロコ峡, Sun Moon Lake 日月潭, Mount Kappan 角板山,  and Orchid Island �t�^�Z (Lanyu) are also illustrated. Unposed photographs of the neighborhoods, festival life, and pastimes of the Japanese residents of Taipei are noteworthy. The captions for these images are taken from hand-written comments in the Warners' photo albums. Gift of the Estate of Gerald and Rella Warner.

[<>] Gerald & Rella Warner Japan Slides
567 color slides from the personal collection of US State Department official Gerald Warner and his wife Rella Warner. The great majority were produced between 1947 and 1951, during the US Occupation of Japan. Included are scenes of postwar reconstruction, urban and village life, military reviews, May Day parades,  and portraits of formal and informal aspects of Japanese-Western diplomacy. Pictures of domestic life and scenery in Karuizawa �X井�g, Yokohama 横浜, Kobe 神�� and Tokyo, as well as photos of Yoshida Shigeru 吉田茂, Ikeda Hayato 池田勇人, Douglas MacArthur, Syngman Rhee, Lyndon Johnson, and Ural Johnson, are also included. Gift of the Estate of Gerald and Rella Warner.

[<>] Gerald & Rella Warner Souvenirs of Beijing and Tokyo
These sixty-one hand-colored b/w prints and lithographed postcards were collected by Gerald and Rella Warner during State Department postings in China (January 1932 to August 1935) and Japan (July 1948 to June 1950). Included are forty commercial photographs and twelve postcards of tourist sites in Beijing from the "Nanjing Decade" (1928-1937), when Beijing was also known as "Peiping." Also included are eight photos of landmarks in Tokyo during the period of U.S. Occupation (1945-1952).

[<>] Woodsworth Images
These 25 prints and 18 postcards of colonial Taiwan were collected on-site by David Woodsworth (1918-2010) in the fall of 1940. Woodsworth's brother-in-law and host Donald Bews (1911-2008) was director of the McKay Memorial Hospital in Taipei from 1939 to 1941 and intimate of US Consul Gerald Warner (1907-1989). Prominent are images of Taiwan Indigenous Peoples, their artwork, architecture and natural environment. Also featured are pictures of the Sun Moon Lake resort area. Images scanned and used with the permission of Andrew Woodsworth.

[<>] Scenic Taiwan Book
'Taiwan no fūkō' (Scenic Taiwan) 台湾の�L光is one of many photo albums published in the 1930s that depict different areas of the Japanese Empire. This particular volume was published in Wakayama Prefecture in or after 1938, though it appeared in a less censored form in 1934. Its editor, one Yamazaki Kin'ichirō (or Kane'ichirō) (1897-1985), published several albums of Taiwan, Manchuria, and Hokkaidō photographs in this same decade. 'Scenic Taiwan' extols the good results of Japanese colonial rule, both in picture and in text. This digital version features the editor's translations of all captions, along with the original Japanese, providing a resource for studies in colonial architecture, discourse, and East Asian folkways.

[<>] Taiwan Photographic Monthly Periodical
- See more at: http://digital.lafayette.edu/collections/eastasia#sthash.RFSm3U5h.dpuf


scenes from Japanese Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan - video clips 1-2-3

Formal title - Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden

Panorama & snapshots to follow separately from Frederik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park.
Newly opened on 13 June 2015, the 8-9 acre space features a dozen archetypic Tei-en elements: yatsuhashi (zigzag walkway over pond), misaki (peninsula in pond), cha-ya (tea ceremony hut) and nearby machi-ai, island, wisteria bower, waterfalls, rustic (natural) space, dry garden (zen-style), bridges, and so on. It is a sort of model home park, but instead of all the styles of family dwelling on view, there are all the key elements from garden design in Japan - all in one large, winding space.
Official websitehttp://www.meijergardens.org/attractions/japanese-garden/

Zen garden, kare sansui

Pond overview

North waterfall close-up sounds


summer & Japanese Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan

5 design concepts built in to this garden are given in this blog article, https://meijergardens.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/five-main-concepts-for-understanding-the-richard-helen-devos-japanese-garden/


project, Tohoku kara no Koe

   [cross-posting from H-Japan 26 Dec 2014, D. Slater at Jochi-Dai/Sophia Uni]
Voices from Tohoku, http://tohokukaranokoe.org/
Over the past 3+ years, we have collected video oral narratives from more than 10 communities in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. We have more than 500 hours in total, making it one of the largest such archives we know of. Most of the interviewing has been done by undergraduates at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, Tokyo. 

"Voices of Tohoku" is a Japanese website that features a collection of clips taken from our full archive, each with Japanese transcriptions and thematic tags. These clips were first provided to our primary audience--the Tohoku informants themselves--as some record of how people felt during the unfolding of events within community life in post 3.11 Tohoku. The stories are not always happy but one informant suggested that we make them available to the public. "After all," she said, "we only told you these stories so you would tell the world what really happened." The website is not fancy but it is functional, a work in progress. (Of course, we have full release forms for all material.) 

During the data collection, we returned to each site for repeated visits for at least a year, always doing volunteer work to better understand the specifics of the community. Rather than focusing on the often horrific tales of destruction on "the day of," we tried to give our informants a more expansive chance to talk about their lives in more detail. Wanting minimal interruption, we often asked only three questions during our interviews: what was your community like before 3.11; how has it been from the disaster until today; what is your vision of the future? 

We are not collecting any more Tohoku narratives, not because the situation is in any sense "over"--it is not--but because we do not have any more money to send people into Tohoku. We are currently translating the interviews into English and looking for a way to make the full archive open to other scholars in a responsible and effective way. 

We gratefully acknowledge support from Sophia University, the Toyota Foundation and a JSPS grant from the Japanese government. Also, we thank the many graduate students, post-grad scholars, colleagues, NPO leaders and of course, our many interviewees and collaborators in Tohoku, who have helped us make the archive what it is so far.


multimedia source, "Re-envisioning Japan"

[cross-posted from H-Japan 20 Dec 2014]

 introducing Re-Envisioning Japan: Japan as Destination in 20th Century Visual and Material Culture at http://humanities.lib.rochester.edu/rej/.

This open-access critical archive is a multimedia project using travel, education, and the production and exchange of images and objects as a lens to investigate changing representations of Japan and its place in the world in the first half of the 20th century. Re-Envisioning Japan makes available a wide range of ephemeral objects (e.g., films, postcards, brochures, photographs, stereographs, and guide books); please see the menu tabs under 'Research" for more detailed background and other information. The site is also a versatile pedagogical tool. As author and editor, I've been using it in the curriculum of "Tourist Japan," a course in which tourism and tourist culture is used to illuminate the relationship between modernization processes and identity formation. Using Re-envisioning Japan, students build their own exhibits linking cultural objects generated by tourism and education with evolving concepts of nationalism and cultural identity.

Re-Envisioning Japan is inherently ongoing: I work continuously on adding metadata and contextualization. The addition of a 16mm Timeline (See "Moving Images") is the most recent development. I am currently working on descriptions for each film and fair use excerpts of titles with complex copyright issues; some titles not yet uploaded await copyright permission. Similar Timelines for 8mm film formats are planned for the end of January. In 2015 we'll be migrating the entire site to an Omeka platform in order to make it even more interactive. In the meantime, if you have any information about any of the objects that you would like to share with others, please contact me at joanne.bernardi[atrochester] dot edu. Feedback and suggestions are also most welcome.


set of short videos from Japan Tourism Agency

The one about values or aesthetic highlights four features of social life,

Taking the collection of short videos as a Cultural Text, it is interesting to reflect on the (collective) self-image being presented.
After all, foreign observers and social analysts have been writing and producing their views for decades, and Japanese also engage in similar pursuits.
But there are a number of divergencies in outsider and insider views, depending on the intended audience: foreigners writing for compatriots, Japanese writing for foreign (tourists) vs. writing for themselves.


rare color photos postwar Japan

cross-posting from H-Japan at www.h-net.org

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside has received a generous donation of 260 beautiful, color slides of 1950s Japan, and they are now free to view online. The photographer, U.S. Army non-commissioned officer Charles Nicholas Johnson (1923-2005) was stationed in Tokyo from fall 1954 to September 1957, during which time he took hundreds of color photos. They feature streetscapes, landscapes, shops, festivals, vehicles, people, objects, artwork, cultural landmarks, and more. The slides were painstakingly cleaned, digitally scanned, and we now invite you to please help us identify them.
     Can you name any of the places, objects, people, or cultural activities captured in these photos? If so, please contact Ms. Melissa Olson, the Digital Initiatives Librarian at UW-Parkside, at olsonm@uwp.edu. Users can email her a simple list of notes, or receive login access to the development site, where they can tag and describe multiple photos online.
Please also contact Melissa for permission to use or reproduce these images – we ask that you please credit the UW-Parkside Library and the Charles Nicholas Johnson Slide Collection.
     To view the Collection, please visit: http://archives.uwp.edu/items/browse?collection=3

The Collection homepage is: http://archives.uwp.edu/collections/show/3


about the 50 years of Shinkansen service


opening paragraph of this essay, 

Japan of 2014 is clearly a troubled nation -– and I will remind the reader about only a few key components of its peculiar situation. The country is still rich by any global standard but its national debt is far higher than that in any other affluent country, and rising, and in 2014 its economy has been chronically close to, or actually in, a deflationary recession. Japan is still the world's third largest economy, but after decades of huge trade surpluses it is now running substantial trade deficits. The cause of these deficits goes beyond the post-Fukushima need for higher imports of oil and gas: offshoring of Japan's manufacturing has seen widespread loss of capacities and jobs, and many jobs have become part-time and temporary. Japan is still home to famous global brands (Toyota, Honda, Nikon) but performance of some of these companies has been tainted by poor quality products and corporate scandals (financial fraud by Olympus, massive recalls of Toyota cars, Takata's deficient airbags installed in millions of vehicles) and some firms that were previously pioneers of widely admired technical advances and the envy of corporate managers (Sony, Panasonic, Fujitsu) now face chronic difficulties, if they are not nearly bankrupt.


short, substantive articles 2014

Both JapanFocus.org (the home of the weekly digest, Asia-Pacific Journal) and Asia-Pacific Memo
provide short articles with solid scholarship. Here are a few examples to lead curious readers to the searchbox for archived articles:

1. This week at A-P Journal includes, http://japanfocus.org/events/view/233
 Extremists Flourish in Abe's Japan (Nov. 20, 2014 by Jeff Kingston) The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 44, No. 2

2. List of selected articles from recent years (66 tagged Japan, 32 tagged Korea, for example)
















art in the 1950s - Japan's protest painters

http://japanfocus.org/-Linda-Hoaglund/4203 is connected to the MIT Visualizing Cultures project and includes video and many images.
For teachers of Japanese this rich visual material tells about important times in Japan. For students of Japanese, as well, this chapter of Japanese life is worth knowing.
 [excerpt from the introduction in the article itself]

The image-driven VC explorations of protest in Japan begin in 1905 and end with the massive "Ampō" demonstrations against revision of the U.S.-Japan mutual security treaty in 1960. The four treatments that will be reproduced in The Asia-Pacific Journal beginning in this issue are as follows:

1. Social Protest in Imperial Japan: The Hibiya Riot of 1905, by Andrew Gordon. We reprint this article with this introduction. Other articles will follow in the coming months.

2. Political Protest in Interwar Japan: Posters & Handbills from the Ohara Collection (1920s~1930s), by Christopher Gerteis (in two units).

3. Protest Art in 1950s Japan: The Forgotten Reportage Painters, by Linda Hoaglund.

4. Tokyo 1960: Days of Rage & Grief: Hamaya Hiroshi's Photos of the Anti-Security-Treaty Protests, by Justin Jesty.


online segments (science news)

Good listening practice; cross-posting from Senseionline (yahoo groups), thanks to Mio T.

series of science news for children on you tube. There are 45 episodes. 
One of them is 「紅葉の季節がはじまる。」   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tr4PjdjK9s 

Program list at the science channel, http://sc-smn.jst.go.jp/M100002/ 


Urban sites abandoned in Japan

Yet another side of Post-Industrial society is the collection of discarded, abandoned and defunct facilities.
   Opening lines of article follow here,
As with any populous country that's experienced a shift in demographics over the past century or so, Japan is littered with abandoned locations devoid of human population – a phenomena known as "haikyo."

Urban exploration involves actively seeking out and documenting these places in photographs and videos for all to see. Enthusiasts risk personal safety and being caught by authorities to bring the rest of us some amazing sites.

Here are some highlights from Japan, home to some of the oddest abandoned locations.


online photos - Okinawa; Ryukyu collection

cross-posting from H-Japan of 2014 September 3:

Resources on Okinawa/Ryukyus online

The University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and the University of the Ryukyus Library are pleased to announce the availability of the digital archives site for the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection.Over hundred items of 218 digitized titles are now online at the University of the Ryukyus Library Ryukyu/Okinawa Special Collections Digital Archives. In addition to content summaries & explanations in English & Japanese, special features such as a glass view function, modern language translations, and text reprints of the original language will be added at a later date. Please stay tuned for the rest of the digitized titles to be online early 2015.

List of the titles of the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection online
The University of the Ryukyus Special Collections Archives
The University of Hawaii at Manoa Library's Sakamaki/Hawley Collection


matsuri (Kyoto area) - photos & video clips

Nice photo story at exposure.co with brief description, many vivid pictures and a few video clips:


Tokyo statues

Public art on the streets of Seoul is diverse and numerous, but Tokyo has some notable statues, too, according to this article from AtlasObscura.com where an eclectic mix of stories appear with the search term     japan.


documentary - Buddhism response to Tsunami 3.11

http://soulsofzen.com includes 2.5 minutes (trailer)

 [background to this visual project]
This documentary explores the role of Buddhism in care for the 3/11 bereaved and the dead based on attention to the everyday lives of Buddhist professionals in the disaster zone. Shot from March to December 2011 with a focus on Zen and Pure Land Buddhism, the film captures Buddhist temples and local communities in their struggles to rebuild. By contextualizing the triple disaster within recent rapid transformations in Buddhism and Japan's enduring tradition of ancestor veneration, Souls of Zen reflects on the complex role of Buddhism in a society shaped by natural disasters, religious pluralism, and demographic change.

Tim Graf is a Ph.D. candidate at Heidelberg University (Religious Studies), and a Ph.D. candidate and Research Associate at Tohoku University (School of Law). He worked at the Collaborative Research Center Ritual Dynamics at Heidelberg University and conducted fieldwork on Zen Buddhism as a JSPS fellow at the University of Tokyo. His research interests focus on transformations of Buddhism in contemporary Japan and more broadly deal with the interplay of religious practice and modern social change.
 [cross-posted from H-Japan announcement for screening in Tokyo at Sophia U. in June 2014]


"Tower of the Sun"

From the 1970 World Expo near Osaka at Suita-city and near the grounds of Minpaku.ac.jp, the National Museum of Ethnology:

Short blog article and photos.


Fwd: views of Kuril Islands and brief history in 20th century

Short photo story from the editors of AtlasObscura.com this week,


newspaper PHOTO database (free)

Mainichi Shimbun_ has a PHOTO DB that one can search freely, MAINICHI PhotoBank - 毎日新聞社