Japan’s abandoned animatronic John Wayne

MJG Featured Story, Haikyo, People / Culture, Theme Parks, Tochigi 10 Comments

Japan’s abandoned wild west theme park Western Village (closed in 2007) is filled to the tip of its ten-gallon hat with animatronic cowboy dolls. A Stagecoach-era John Wayne with cyborg heart exposed stands by the park entrance, silent now that the tourists have stopped coming. Animatronic John Wayne with hair peeling back to reveal flesh-toned speakers reprises his Stagecoach (1939) …

Western Village: Japan’s Abandoned Cowboy Theme Park

MJG Featured Story, Haikyo, Japan, Theme Parks, Tochigi 30 Comments

Western Village is a quantum pocket of the Old West Disneyfied and transplanted wholesale from the American collective unconscious, replete with a $29 million replica Mount Rushmore, Western saloon, ghost house, jail, post office, shooting gallery, actual fake Rio Grande, and vast Mexican barrens. It was built in 1975 and shut down in 2007, likely due to its remote location …

Killin Jack the Malakite

MJG Featured Story, Jabbler's Mons, Stories, Writing 0 Comments

by Michael John Grist It was gone All Hallows by the Grammaton’s gong when Killin Jack the Malakite mobbed down the last of the Bunnymen. He was stalking spires up the Seasham cathedral that night, hopping from ladder-top to gargoyle round the copper-roofed cloisters, swerving in to the dome-top graveyard in the middle. The Bunnyman was knelt in a moonlight …

Tokyo’s Urban Battleship

MJG Architecture, Featured Story, Haikyo, Japan, Residential, Tokyo-to 15 Comments

Tokyo’s urban battleship glides through the ever-changing cityscape like a predatory shark- its mad crescent fin stocked with slate-grey torpedoes and radar foils- hunting out fresh prey for the saw-blade teeth ratcheted down its flat-iron side. Built in 1970 by the retired Imperial Navy general Watanabe Youji, the urban battleship building (GUNKAN) was apparently inspired by a World War 2 …

Clay Head

MJG Featured Story, Stories, Surreal, Writing 2 Comments

by Michael John Grist There’s a giant head in my living room. It’s made of grey clay and it sings through the night. It sings songs about America. Sometimes boogie-woogie or the Big Bopper. It sings Buddy Holly. It sings about the plane that crashed and sometimes the song about the crash. It sings about whiskey and rye. I don’t …