Browsing the archives for the Japanese tag

How an Ice Butterfly Taught Me Time

When I was about ten years old, my parents traveled from Pennsylvania to California. Naturally, they took me to Disneyland. I learned an important lesson that day. Not how to dress like a princess, or that it takes willful suspension of disbelief to enjoy myths re-imagined for the purpose of merchandising.I learned about time. The […]

Flower Crowns: Ancient & Modern

The interwebs are an ever-changing culture, and the blooming trends of today will have withered by next week. Nevertheless, the recent fad of Photoshopping “flower crowns” on popular figures from TV, film and other media has caught my eye. It’s a consciously ironic way of claiming ownership of a cultural icon, expressing devotion while showing […]

Androids, Electronic Sheep, Psychology and Mythology

Many science fiction authors have written about androids — robotic humans simulating human intelligence with powerful software — and as usual, science fiction (20th century mythology) is becoming reality. The term “android” was popularized, I think, by prominent science fiction writer Phillip K. Dick, whose Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? short story was one […]

Godzilla, Akira, Mononoke: Japan’s Fear

Professor Peter Winn Kirby of Oxford has a thoughtful and painfully spot-on essay about how the original Godzilla movies, far from being mere campy horror flicks, in fact were fictional dramatizations giving a voice to Japan’s visceral fears of radioactive contamination. Once again, mythology and stories put a face on things which are almost unthinkable. […]

Namazu, Japan’s Quake Maker

I’ve been following the heartbreak in Japan along with everyone around the world.¬†At such times, people often turn to art to express the unspeakable. One artist, @dosankodebbie on Twitter, has created a few collages of namazu, the mythical catfish that stirs in the mud and shakes their island chain. Recommended Link: “The Catfish Stirred“ by […]