Stefano’s Stuffs

6 things that I really like about Japan

What are the 6 things that I really like about Japan?After years, I can clearly see the defects so now I can better explain the merits:-D

Number one : The artificial lights

Every middle/big size Japanese city change completely its appereance when the sun goes down. The explosion of neon, signs, banners, colors in contrast with a large amount of dark corners is unbeatable.

Number two: The Architecture

I come from the country that shares with the World the 80% of the monuments from the past, where the historical centers of the cities are “untouchable” to preserve all the things from the passage of time, so it’s obiouvsly that I like the architectural layout of a country where it seems that anyone can build what they want: every height, every color, every different – cacophonous – passive fire protection ignored pattern is possible…;-)

 

(image courtesy of arewde.com , Bob Tazar, Bruno.Nihon and publikhair.com)

 

Number three: The Music

Although Japan is the cradle of pure pop music business, with an easily visible “music mafia” (where you can see everywhere on the media the same artists, produced by the same labels etc.etc.), japanese musicians are often really talented and they produce tons of good music (sometime related to Anime or videogames).

 

Number four: The variety of eating possibilities

In Japan, eating out could be very funny. Tokyo for example has more than 80.000 different restaurants, from the 8 mq. standing bar in Golden Gai to some dirty/very clean izakaya to a 1st world class shabu shabu. There’s every type of “Gelateria”, every type of ethnic food, every type of food chain, every type of “all you can eat”, every type of “theme” restaurants (watch the last video with Zimmern to better understand). All streets have food smell. Beautiful.

 

Number five: The Kanji love/hate feel and their role in graphic layouts

I hate Kanji. General MacArthur instead of freeing the Unit 731 , would abolish japanese kanji;-). They are an incomprehensible maze for western people who uses 20-25 letters in the alphabet but during years they slowly become more easy to learn. But with Kanji the “graphic feeling” of japanese can explode: magazines, books, signs are packed with tons of Kanji in each direction. Superb. Japanese editors completely satisfied my eyes!

 

Number six: the unbeatable public safety, zero delay trains, etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.etc.

No more to tell about. You can count the money in your wallet on the street without fear, you can travel at night safely in the 99% of the cases and you don’t need to worry about train delay. There is no delay.

 

And what I dislike?I love Japan and japanese people very much but of course there are also a lot of bad things in Japan, but this is a post about what I like so it’s not the right place to speak;-)
Ok, I’ll tell you only one  thing at the moment, and it is not the usual you can listen:  I cannot tolerate a matter that can be summarized by japanese words イタい勘違い外国人. I have a lot of foreign friends in Japan and they are really fantastic but at the same time, there’s a incredible large amount of foreigners who stay in Japan for nothing, for trivial reasons, for study, for a job that they would never do in their country (or cannot do)  and they are the masters of “put on airs”, act snobbish and feeling important for some unknown reasons. I know a good number of  foreigners who live in different countries and I have never met one of them who can feel so comfortable, powerful and brag about himself/herself  like some gaikokujin can do in Japan. Please, relax!;-)

 

 

 

 


 

 

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December 8, 2010 Posted by | Japan | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Heretic Body

On http://www.casadeilibri.com I saw a very interesting book, “Il corpo eretico” (The heretic body) about a japanese performer/dancer that I didn’t know: Tatsumi Hijikata.
He reached Tokyo from the countryside and he found a city that tries to revive after the WWII; in this path he developed a type of dance named 暗黒舞踏 (Ankoku Butou – The dance of the darkness) explained with word like taboo, nostalgic, awful, grotesque, full of absurd environments and often performed in full-white body makeup. Hijikata became a sort of heretic who had a project about “body insurrection” and a point of reference for japanese intellectuals and artists of that time.

On the italian site www.casadeilibri.com I saw a very interesting book, “Il corpo eretico” (The heretic body) about a legendary japanese performer/dancer : Tatsumi Hijikata.
He reached Tokyo from the countryside and he found a city that tries to revive after the WWII; in this path he developed a type of dance named 暗黒舞踏 (Ankoku Butou – The dance of the darkness) explained with word like taboo, nostalgic, awful, grotesque, full of absurd environments, performed in full-white body makeup. Hijikata became a sort of heretic who had a project about “body insurrection” and a point of reference for japanese intellectuals and artists of that time.

poster Hijikata

Photo by Hiroshi Yamazaki, Design by Ikko Tanaka(C)1998

July 22, 2009 Posted by | Japan | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to Go

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Time to go to Tokyo for a month (and stop posting on Flickr and WordPress during this period)…My “wishlist” is incredible poorly this year because of the euro/yen rate (a really dramatic event!:-() but I hope to buy at least some interesting M42 lenses…Instead I’ve some new things to do this year:

1 – See some friends, old and new ones

2 – Visit the St.Mary’s Church in Sekiguchi, made by Tange Kenzo

3 – Visit the legendary Parasitological Museum in Ueno

4 – Visit some used camera shops, like Fujiya in Nakano

5 – Find a way for take a photo with Ueno Juri, Ikuta Toma and Shingo from Smap (ok, I appreciate too much some recent J-Dramas…..:-))

Here a graphic related to the Euro/yen crazy rate in the last 6 months (follow the black  pois…)

graficoeuroyen

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Japan | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paris Syndrome

From Wikipedia:

Paris syndrome (French: syndrôme de Paris) is a constellation of symptoms primarily affecting mood which affects visitors working and vacationing in Paris, France. Japanese visitors are observed to be especially susceptible. First noted in the French Nervure journal of psychiatry by A. Viala, et al. in 2004, it is classified as a form of Stendhal syndrome (French: Syndrome du voyageur). From the estimated six million yearly visitors the number of reported cases is significant.

The authors of the journal cite the following matters as factors that combine to induce the phenomenon:

  1. Language barrier – few Japanese speak French and vice versa. This is believed to be the principal difficulty and is thought to engender the remainder. Apart from the obvious differences between French and Japanese many everyday phrases and idioms are shorn of meaning and substance when translated adding to the confusion of some who haven’t previously encountered such.
  2. Cultural difference – the authors state that the large difference between not only the languages but the manner in which Latin populations communicate on an interpersonal level in comparison to the rigidly formal Japanese culture proves too great a difficultly for some Japanese visitors. It is thought that it is the rapid and frequent fluctuations in mood, tense and attitude especially in the delivery of humour that cause the most difficulty.
  3. Idealized image of Paris – it is also speculated as manifesting from an individual’s inability to reconcile a disparity between the Japanese popular image and the reality of Paris.
  4. Exhaustion – finally, it is thought that the over-booking of one’s time and energy, whether on a business trip or on holiday, in attempting to cram too much into every moment of a stay in Paris along with the effects of jet-lag all contribute to the psychological destabilisation of some.

This is interesting, even my japanese wife knows it and spoke to me about this disease, that hits especially japanese mature men and women at their first European trip…The idealized image of Paris (or Rome, for example), a city where everyone is well dressed, drink noble wines, speak perfect french (or italian) and so on is soon destroyed by the real face of a normal big dirty metropolis, with homelesses, garbage, thiefs and other stuffs. As I often tell to other people, Japan is a true Disneyland where everything works flawlessly like an Ubuntu server;-), at least for tourists (don’t think about foreigner permanent residents or people who knows japanese society); I can easily understand why a japanese who has no experience about “The World” could remain shocked about any other places than Japan…And it sounds so strange for me in the 21st century…I remember that the first thing my wife (who had at least some experience about trip all over the world) told me at our local italian train station: “Why there’s a column on the board dedicated to the delay of the train???Does the train really delay sometimes?”:-))

But remember: “Paris (or Rome, London, Budapest, Prague and so on) c’est toujour Paris!” and I love this city!

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Senza Categoria | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best drama ever

(thanks to goblissm)

It’s too easy to say: “Lost”.”Prison Break”.”Star Trek”…I say: “Nodame Cantabile”. I recently bought the dvds, this serie is pure genious and a lot of people told me that the manga is really good, too…But the drama has Ueno Juri, a true gift of God!In N.C. she reaches the summa of all the stereotypes of kawaii, cuteness, sweetness of otakus imaginary girl:-)). Tamaki Hiroshi is another great actor, hope to see him in other tv programs!

October 8, 2008 Posted by | TV | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unholy bath

(thanks to Japanprobe)

What a performance…

October 7, 2008 Posted by | TV | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Cornelius video – Omstart

courtesy of strictlypablo

June 25, 2008 Posted by | Senza Categoria | , , , , | Leave a comment

QR / 2D codes

This is the QR / 2D code for my Flickr Webpage.

From Wikipedia:

“A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional code.”

This “old”technology is really cool and I like so much barcodes -QR codes – RFID and all the things related; in Japan (but also in other countries, in Italy they’ve started to appear on newspapers this year) you can see QR on everything, even on business cards or t-shirts. For read them use your cameraphone with a software like Quickmark and produce them with some net tools like Kaywa webpage .

June 22, 2008 Posted by | Senza Categoria | , , , , | Leave a comment