Tag » Japanese
Last spring I got the opportunity to tour California with a singing group that I am a member of, and afterwards I spent a few days in San Diego, just sightseeing and wandering around.  One evening on my way back to the hostel where I was staying, I stumbled across San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art. It was closed for the day, but I saw a sign through the window that placed the admission price for "museum-goers 25 and under" at the low price of free. ... Read More
What do swimming pools, sexual voyeurism, elevators, and eco-terrorist extraterrestrials have in common? They’re all the subjects of songs on Hotel Valentine, Cibo Matto’s first release in 15 years. Much of the album is written from the perspective of a wry ghost who haunts a hotel and delivers deadpan lines like, “I had some cheese and seedless grapes for lunch and floated around for the rest of the afternoon.” The band’s ... Read More
It is no exaggeration to say that I am obsessed with Hello Kitty. My bedroom is saturated with stuffed animals and wall decals. The first thing I see every morning is an image of Hello Kitty on an airplane adventure, the words “It’s a wonderful day... Hello Kitty” flying alongside her.    But not all of Kitty’s days have been wonderful; like the rest of us, she has faced her fair share of criticism. The Japanese Kawaii aesthetic ... Read More
Beate Sirota Gordon, an integral advocate for women’s rights in Japan, passed away on December 30 at the age of 89. At 22, Gordon became the only woman on the American board that wrote the post-war Japanese constitution. She created the portion on women’s rights and, having witnessed the inferior treatment of Japanese women for ten years, was focused on protecting and improving their quality of life. With no education pertaining to constitutional law, she ... Read More
Masked under hair and everyday objects, is Mitsuko Nagone. But Nagone isn’t just playing hide-and-seek for fun (although it might appear that way). Her self-portrait series, “I Am More Than My Face,” seeks to underscore the dysmorphia of the media generating our identities.  "With this project, I intend to create myself, instead of finding my identity," Nagone states. "People often ask themselves, 'Who am I?' However...the definition of ... Read More
I didn’t become a fan of Japanese animation until I was in college, (my mom forbade me to watch Sailor Moon as a kid because she thought it was sexist) and while I’m not a huge fan of anime/manga, I'm in love with the Studio Ghibli films. Co-founded by genius writer/director/animator Hayao Miyazaki, the studio won an Oscar for Best Animated Film in 2003, with Spirited Away. If you didn't catch that flick, you may have seen the amazing Ponyo, Princess ... Read More
I found myself in the art/ photography publication section of a Borders this morning; where on the cover of Color Magazine the face of Kimiko Yoshida was discovered gazing back at me. The art nerd in me lost it to her technique: the neon green and highlighter yellow layered over a matte grey, the choice of tonal variations within a monochromatic field, the fact that somewhere in this latticed color landscape is a distinct, yet sinking, shape of a woman peering ... Read More