Weekly Links

MJG Uncategorized Leave a Comment

BBC– A Florida couple pay $150,000 to clone their dog. Crazy. It’s really happening. Tokyo Otaku– Great post on the Tocho- government building in Shinjuku. I’ve got my own photos and post lined up, won’t post for a few weeks though now. Mike’s Blender– Crazy old Mike reviews chocolate-covered squid. He actually eats it. Respect. Youtube– Japanese TV show mime-attacks people in Osaka with mime-gun and sword, people react, funny.

Memories of Nichitsu 4. The Dr.’s brain in a jar

MJG Ghost Towns, Haikyo, Hospitals, Saitama 26 Comments

Nichitsu is a tiny little village huddled in a chilly mountain pass, far from the nearest population center. Come an emergency the Doctor’s office would have been the only ER, so its few rooms were crammed full of equipment, now forgotten and lying in shadow: rusted iron operating tables, toppled X-ray machinery, birthing stirrups lying in puddles of water and moss, leather dentistry chairs ripped and spewing foam, ancient defibrillators on window-sills, walls lined with shelves stocked with bottles of nondescript pills and musty tinctures, documents sheafed and scattered everywhere, surgical clamps in heaps and organs floating in formaldehyde jars. …

Fortune City

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 2 Comments

I started talking out loud around 3, I think. It’s a sweltering day, but that’s no excuse. It’s more to do with the height, I think. The wind rushing in my ears and I couldn’t hear a damn thing I was thinking. What was I saying? Oh. I started saying things like this. “I really want a tuna sandwich, I don’t know if I can do this without a tuna sandwich, I think I really need one. perhaps I should call the vets and make an appointment for Barney the goldfish. I want a sandwich. The knife is digging into …

Yoyogi Poodlers

MJG Japan, People / Culture 2 Comments

Yoyogi Park is the consummate Japanese melting pot- perhaps the most varied and vivid spot in the whole country. On any given weekend you’ll find Cosplayers and Rockabillies near the entrance, frisbee throwers and spinners, hula-hoopers, and dudes doing comedy in leather face masks in the first stretch, African drumming groups, badmintonners, the artist with the stereo, the cyclist with the drums, folks rehearsing a musical with brooms in it, and all kinds of instrument-players and circus-skills practisers by the empty water pools, couples canoodling, photographers, dog-fanciers, partying gaijin, kite-flyers, hacky-sack-ists and more on grass beyond the fountain. Oh, and …

Nanchatte Orange Soy Sauce

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 5 Comments

Soy Sauce is ubiquitous in Japan- the Japanese splash it on everything with gay abandon: fried fish, chicken bones, california rolls, potatoes, ice cream, tea. You name it- they condimentize it with soy sauce. Some soy sauce companies- perhaps following their brethren in the candy and snack world- have taken to augmenting their soy with extra awesome flavors; in this case- Nanchatte Orange, by Cheerio. Yum.   Soy Sauce surrounded by little empty plastic fish- which come in bento lunchboxes filled with a single serving of soy sauce.

DoCoMo Tower, Shinjuku

MJG Architecture 6 Comments

The Docomo Tower in Shinjuku soars over the Southern exit / Yoyogi area like a great pink middle finger, thumbing its nose at the graceless cluster-bomb mess of old-modern Shinjuku with its super-sleek lines, haute-couture design domination, and clean parallels to other auspicious buildings like Big Ben and the Empire State Building. At 492 feet high, it houses 28 stories of pure DoCoMo goodness, capped with the Gothic-esque bell-tower clock-face, complete with flying buttresses. From the bridge over the tracks in front of Takashimaya.

Ikebukuro Jingle Key-Chain

MJG Japan, Toys / Games 18 Comments

Train Stations in Japan have jingles; at least the stations on the JR Yamanote line do- when the trains pull in and when they pull out. They’re bright, cheery, and last about 10 seconds. I suppose they let us know- OK, now it’s time to get on the train. Now it’s time to get off. Oops, mind the gap! Each train station has a different jingle – Buddha alone knows why, perhaps so the blind know where they are – but now an enterprising toy-maker has produced a range of collectible key-chains that burble out the full range. Who needs …

Weekly Links

MJG Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Yoyogi Rockabillies – Excellent music video showing the Yoyogi Rockers teasing their hair, getting set, revving motorbikes, and of course- dancing. Tokyo Green Island– Tokyo Photo-shopped to be paved with grass. Nice- I saw these first at the National Art Museum’s ‘Media Arts Festival’ near Roppongi. Ugly Tokyo – Billy West takes shots of ugly city wires and bad city-planning. That’s it for this week.

Nichitsu 3. A fire truck in the ghost town

MJG Ghost Towns, Haikyo, Saitama 5 Comments

Nichitsu Ghost Town stretches for around a kilometer, from the semi-functioning mine shacks at the mouth of the last tunnel, up past the Junior High School, the heavily dilapidated wooden apartments, and buildings stacked off the steep hillside on concrete supports, round a hill of white lime-chips, past the Doctor`s office hidden somewhere in the thicket of buildings, up to the Lower School, dorm, and warren of walkways. Dis-sheveled buildings.

Universal Time

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 2 Comments

I’m working the deep 7 run again. Last time I was out here, must’ve been pre-schism. Before the split, and opinion divided the universe. -Blah blah. That’s what my mistress says, when I try to discuss politics. -All I can hear is blah blah. I suppose she reckons I don’t know more than anybody else, but maybe that’s not true anymore. I move in high places now. I deal with leaders of worlds. I see their colonies, their technologies, their lives, as part of the whole. I can still see the Empire, in the echoes, while all they see is …