A local TV station in Japan makes a stupid mistake onscreen.
One story that suddenly got picked up in the last couple of days by the overseas, not-in-Japan media in the last couple of days is the case of the town of Minamisoma or Minami Soma, a small city in Fukushima prefecture located about 25km from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. It says quite a lot about the inability of these media sources to keep up with current events in Japan.
The cultural background of Genpatsu-Kun, aka Nuclear Reactor-kun, a viral video explaining how a nuclear reactor accident like the one in Fukushimaa works.
Besides that last blog post, something else that Satoshi Kon posted on his blog - on August 18th, just a few days before he passed away - was a list of the 100 movies that were "chosen by the Yume Miru Kikai team".
There may be some things about Satoshi Kon's last words that may be puzzling to non-Japanese readers, so I'm going to attempt to clarify some of them. Note that this is not based on any kind of personal knowledge of Mr. Kon or his family, but just on general principles that are atari mae, commonly held mores and principles, in Japanese culture.
Satoshi Kon, the director of anime movies Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, Millenium Actress and Paprika, as well as the TV series Paranoia Agent, died on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 at the age of 46. (NY Times obituary.) He left behind a rambling but extraordinary document, which his family has posthumously posted on his blog.
They're the last words of a supremely talented artist who knows he is dying very soon, with work left unfinished. It's been the talk of the Japanese internet, and it struck me deeply.
There is no official translation into English of the text, so I have translated it in its entirety, trying to keep the spirit and tone of the original. It is indeed rather long and rambling - he wrote it like that. I'm sure he didn't sit down to outline it before he wrote it. It's not authorized in any way, and if I receive objections from interested parties or see a formal translation up somewhere I'll take this down. (Note: as of April 2012 this hasn't happened, so chances are this is the only English version you'll ever see.) In any case, these are the words of a dying artist, waiting for his flight to come and transport him away.
Soon after I posted this translation, it was linked to by many sites worldwide. Several people translated it into other languages; you can find a list of the versions I know of at the bottom.
The most recent Mad Men episode reminded me of my father's experiences as a Japanese businessman in Europe and the U.S. back in the late '60s to '70s.
It was quite heartbreaking to see Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang have to pull out of his Olympic event due to injury. I have to admit that I am now very curious to see how his country reacts to a fallen hero with such big expectations on his shoulders.
This Japanese blog post ran across the virtual desktop of my life today. (It was on the del.icio.us/popular list.) It tells a tale of unbelievable service by Nintendo. Here's a rough and somewhat abbreviated translation:
(English speakers, please excuse me. This rant is in Japanese.)