Monday, March 31, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kurama Tengu

Ack. Just when I am trying to control my budget Digital Meme announces a pre order discount for their forthcoming release of early Kurama Tengu films. Digital Meme discs are region free, have benshi accomaniment and subtitles.

I can't wait to see Kurama Tengu protecting the patriots of Japan against the evil forces of the shogun!

Talking Silents 5: Kurama Tengu and The Frightful Era of Kurama Tengu featuring Kanjuro Arashi

Kurama Tengu
Produced by Arashi Kanjuro Productions, 1928
71 minutes / 24 fps

Directed by: Teppei Yamaguchi
Cast: Kanjuro Arashi, Takesaburo Nakamura,
Reizaburo Yamamoto, Kunie Gomi and Keiichi Arashi

Kurama Tengu Kyofu Jidai (The Frightful Era of Kurama Tengu)
Produced by Arashi Kanjuro Productions, 1928
38 minutes / 16 fps

Directed by: Teppei Yamamoto
Cast: Kanjuro Arashi, Reizaburo Yamamoto, Kunie Gomi and Keiichi Arashi

Monday, March 24, 2008

Been shopping

Took a break today and headed into downtown Berkeley.

The new Cody's Books has opened on Shattuck and while I was there I picked up a copy of:

Cavaye, Ronald; Paul Griffith, and Akihiko Senda
A Guide to the Japanese Stage: From Traditional to Cutting Edge

I figured a survey book would be too general for me. A quick glance proved me wrong this little book is dense with interesting information.

Afterwards I wandered to Anime V where I picked up 5 Centimeters Per Second.

Then a quick jog over to The Other Change of Hobbit to get a book I had on hold, The Best of Xero. It is a gift for an animator I know in Japan and I'll get the authors to inscribe it for him.

Then on to Comic Relief , just cause I was in the neighborhood. From there I caught the bus back home.

It is so nice to have so many cool stores in one neighborhood.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wakeful Nights

I got Wakeful Nights in the mail yesterday and popped it in the DVD player.

Great stuff, not for the prudish, very earthy.

The box has the following justified warning:

"Contains adult situations and language, disgusting puns, sick jokes, filthy karaoke and a tramatized manta ray."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Foxy yokai stuff

This week I decided to flood the supplement with three entries dealing with kitsune, the Japanese fox.

kitsune no yomeiri (fox giving the bride, fox wedding procession)

kitsune nyôbô (fox wife)

kitsunebi (fox-fire)

Plenty more yokai stuff to go so expect some here and there over time. I'll try to do one a week for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lots of new books

A busy week for book buying. My budget is going to feel this one, yes I have to buy the books and videos I write about. As I rarely do reviews only a couple of companies send me stuff.

In any case here is what I bought.


No Borders no Limits: Nikkatsu Action Cinema - Mark Schilling

- I started it this morning so far a great little book on a major studio that produced some of my favorite Japanese films.

Nakamura Jakuemon IV: The Art of Onnagata Acting - Sasaguchi Rei

- I found this one by accident, it looks really interesting with plenty of pictures and the bits of text I have read are informative.


Naoki Urasawa's Monster v.13 - Urasawa Naoki

- The latest on this masterful work of suspense.

Orion - Shirow Masamune

- OK I have the 1st English edition but I just had to pick up this one, the 4th, which is unflipped.

Vagabond v.27 - Inoue Takehiko

- The end of the battle against the Yoshioka sword school which started in the last volume. If you have not seen this work do check it out, great art and a masterful adaptation of the famous Musashi novel on the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.

Phoenix v.12 Early Works - Tezuka Osamu

- A Phoenix volume that is a collection of interesting early short stories with the Phoenix from the 1950s. Very different in tone and style than the rest of the series.

Metro Survive v.1 - Fujisawa Yûki

- I've only glanced at this one, picked it up on the recommendation of a staff person at Comic Relief in Berkeley.

Voices of Love - Hazuki Kanae

- A collection of romance manga tales for women that is rated 18+ and not about guys on guys. Actually there is little sex but I figure I should check this our.

Monday, March 17, 2008

From a yokai to a priest to a major sect of Buddhism

This week I started with the entry on kitsune-tsuki, then I realized while I had an entry for Nichiren Buddhism I needed an entry for Shingon, then I realized I needed an entry for Kukai.

What were the other two entries I had originally planned to do?

Well I won't say but they shall appear soon, that is within the next few months.

kitsune-tsuki (fox possession)

Kukai (Kōbō-Daishi)

Shingonshû (Shingon sect of Buddhism.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yôkai, yôkai, yôkai!

This week all three of the entries are yokai.

I decided a little excess was called for.

They are:

azuki arai (azuki bean washer)



As it is difficult to find information published in English on yôkai I will be updating these as I find new information sources. I will try to note such updates here.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New book out on Japanese pop culture

Just got my copy of Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime edited by Mark W. MacWilliams, published by M.E.Sharpe.

It has an essay by me "Contemporary Anime in Japanese Pop Culture" with pretty pictures.

Monday, March 3, 2008