Parasite Singles
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Michael Hoffman writes in this week's Tokyo Confidential column about parasite singles ,financially independent single women, who live with their parents, and have affairs, typically with married men. The twist? These women pay the way.

Tsukiji Sells American Delicacies
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Wow. Maybe I don't have to go back to Japan to get really good seafood. According to this article in the Japan Times, some of the most expensive delicacies sold at Tsukiji Jogai Shijo are from the Gulf of Mexico. I could probably pick up some good yellowfin tuna at Central Market.

Wearable PCs
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Information becomes fashionable in Tokyo where the computer is woven right into your clothes. See In Tokyo, Street Fashion Goes High-Tech

Related

In Britain, you can use similiar technology to find the nearest pub.

Big Eye Stadium
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Update: From arcspace.com, the people who brought you the Big Eye stadium, here is the Blur Building , a pavilion made of a fine mist of filtered water giving it an appearance of a cloud floating above a lake. This is not science fiction; it is now under construction for the Swiss 2002 Expo. After all, they really built the Big Eye stadium in Oita-ken.

In my mind Oita-ken has always been an average, rural prefecture. I was shocked when I returned to Beppu-shi in 1996 and saw the new Beppu convention center (B-Con Plaza) sticking up like a giant...hmm?...words fail me. (The name is a pun on "beacon".)

I was even more dismayed when I recently saw some photos of the new Prefectural Sports Park in Oita-shi. But upon reading the architect's (Kisho Kurokawa) comments and seeing the plans and more photos, I've become a big fan of the Big Eye.

The Big Eye Stadium an impressive work of modern architecture. But where did they find room for it?

Oh. This site answers that question. Click on the frame marked "access" (in katakana) for a map showing the location of the Big Eye stadium. (Also known as Oita SpoPark21.)

Culture Wars
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

An interesting analysis of Japanese history used to illustrate why the US war on terror might need to be, despite protests to the contrary, a war on Islam.

Inter-generational culture wars continue with the rise of the Thumb Tribe.

Four Seasons
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Natural Dissonance

Oita Forever
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

More Info on the World Cup in Oita

If you are visiting Oita for the World Cup, you can find information (in English, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, and Spanish) at the official 2002 FIFA World Cup Oita site.

If you drink too much, before, during or after the match, there is nothing better for a hangover than a hot bath and sushi. Get thee to Beppu-shi.

Update: June 7, 2002

The Japan Times asks the question I've been asking myself. What is the World Cup doing in Oita? Snide remarks about country bumpkins aside, I did learn from this article that my very own Beppu-shi used to be a yakuza stronghold. I never heard that before. The article also mentions Bar Brown, a bar in Oita City that I've actually been to. It also mentions that that there is now a Starbucks in Oita City. I have no trouble imagining Starbucks in Tokyo, but in Oita? Talk about world-wide domination.

Continue...

Safari
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Downloaded Apple's new browser, Safari, and wow! is it fast! Zoom. Zoom. I also took an immediate liking to the slick silvery interface which mirrors the elegant simplicity of my titanium PowerBook. I guess it's the silver Porsche of browsers compared to IE's SUV.

Using the toolbar's Google search feature, I was able to type Japanese characters directly into the search box (using Apple's kotoeri). I typed in shushou (prime minister) and Google quickly returned Koizumi's official site. There's an English version, too, with all sorts of interesting links to explore.

The only downside to Safari I've found so far is that it isn't rendering my individual entry pages on this site correctly (although my other sites seem all right). This site was one of my first designs, so now I have to see whether it's my fault or one of Safari's known bugs. (It is only in beta after all.)

The weather is really too beautiful today to be behind the keyboard. So troubleshooting will have to wait.

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Oita International Information Plaza
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

I received a letter yesterday from the Oita Prefectural Government Office. What a surprise! They have my name as a "former JET participant". Turns out, today they are launching a new online information center, the Oita International Information Plaza. It's in both English and Japanese. Amazing. I can now find out more about Oita virtually than I ever could when I was actually there. I look forward to visiting the "Comment Exchange Plaza" and hearing what's up these days.

Old Photographs
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

The Nagasaki University Library has its collection of over 5000 Japanese photographs from the Bakumatsu-Meiji Period (1860-1899) available online. The photographs are hand-tinted. The archive is accessible both in Japanese and English.

Youth is So Young
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Dobie Theatre, near the University of Texas, is hosting a Kurosawa/Mifune film festival this week. So I posted the info on the whiteboard before Japanese class this morning. To my complete amazement, most of these people had no idea who Akira Kurosawa was. One guy asked me if the films were live-action or anime. I guess I wouldn't expect the average Texan-on-the-street to know, but these are college students studying Japanese. (sigh) Maybe my expectations are skewed by my son (who saw his first Kurosawa film, Yojimbo, at 8) and my step-son (who's watched The Seven Samurai on DVD every time he's comes to visit us since he turned 10).

But what did I know when I was 18? Probably not much. I can't remember ever being that young. I guess once you learn something it's easy to believe that you've always known it.

janken
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Scissors, Paper, Stone

Connections
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

A few weeks ago Rantor, a fellow South Austinite, had some kind words to say about my garden post on Tulipa clusiana. Looking through some of his blog entries for the last month, his mention of transcript of Daniel Deronda caught my eye. The transcript is on Mitsuharu Matsuoka's home page at Nagoya University. He's very interested in Victorian English literature including Elizabeth Gaskell. (There's a Gaskell Society of Japan? Who knew?) So he links to Knutsford, which just happens to be the nearest town (about 3 miles) to Mobberley Village where AJM grew up. If you look at the map of Knutsford, you'll see it's basically two main streets that look very much like they did in 1845. The Knutsford site has lots of great photos comparing past and present views. I can hardly wait until our visit this summer.

Asian Art Museum San Francisco
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Posting from the JavaOne conference in San Francisco. AJM is attending and I'm here today on a guest pass. This is the first time I've had a chance to go online since last Sunday--it's a strange feeling. Although I've been to San Francisco once before, this time I find it difficult to adjust to the rhythm of the city. The number of homeless people is shocking and rather intimidating to a small town girl like myself. On the other hand, the sheer number and variety of people on the streets is exhilarating.

photo: Asian Art Museum

I spent a happily exhausting day yesterday at the Asian Art Museum which has moved into its new home in the old Main Library building in the Civic center. The building is a beautiful blend of old and new--they termed it "adaptive reuse". And, of course, the collection is tremendous.

photo: Asian Art Museum

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Design Revolt in Old Japan
Posted by Jeanne Belisle Lombardo.

Great article in today's NY Times. If I can't live in an urban area that gets this stuff, at least I can read about it!

Panorama
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

M. Murakami has published some beautiful panoramic shots of Japan. Be sure to check out the Night Views of Seto.

Beppu's Hot
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

I was surprised to see this article in last Saturday's Japan Times Hoteliers striving to put Beppu back on the map. I wish they'd play up Beppu's old-fashioned charm, but it doesn't sound like it. I do find the idea of Onsen Meijin (becoming an onsen virtuoso) interesting. The goal is to bathe in 88 onsen around Beppu. I probably bathed in less than a dozen...I tended to stick to tried and true favorites. But it would be fun going down a list and checking them off. I lived in Beppu for more than 700 days...even if I had only gone to a different onsen each weekend, I could have visited 88.

Valentine Sushi
Posted by M Sinclair Stevens.

Mmmm. Valentine sushi. Chocolate confections in sushi shapes.

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