Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Around the new year I start getting excited. You see this is the time of year when NHK starts advertising their new Taiga Drama series. Now I don't live in Japan, but I do live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we get the shows on regular TV with subtitles.

Cable? Cable? We don' need no stinkin' cable!

Of course we have to wait until the US stations get their subtitled version of the show which means we start watching in late January or early February rather than early January.

But in any case I get excited.

This year I'm even more excited as the program is about Sakamaoto Ryoma one of the most famous figures in Japanese history and almost totally unknown outside Japan.

So this morning, after being away from the internet for a week, I checked the Japan Times website and spotted this article:
"Legendary, dirty samurai gets makeover ". A good little teaser about the show, damn I want it to start sooner!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two for Kannon

This week I have two entries as next weekend I will be doing Xmas stuff with family.

Both of these deal with the major Bodhisattva Kannon, also known as Kuan Yin etc.

Kannon 観音

Shōkannon Bosatsu 聖観音菩薩

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Ōoku related entry

This week I do a historical personage, something I tend not to do as I figure other items may be of greater interest.

However a woman such as Kasuga no Tsubone 春日局 is such a unique individual that she gets special treatment.

By the way if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area channel 26 (8 on cable) will be showing a subtitled Japanese movie about her on Jan 1 in the afternoon.

Marx and Macias on Japanese fashion

Currently listening to:

"Harajuku Requiem: Marxy x Patrick Macias on Tokyo Fashion Past and Present"

W. David Marx and Patrick Macias discussing Japanese fashion.

If you think Harajuku is still the center of Japanese fashion you should listen to this.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Inside the castle

I got caught up in chores yesterday and missed putting up the notice for the new entry I uploaded earlier in the day.

Another one for those interested in the Edo Period.

Ōoku (Great Interior) 大奥

Friday, December 4, 2009


Recently read volume 2 of Ôoku.

This is an alternative history of Edo Period Japan in which a severe disease has hit the country that kills most males during their adolescence. Japan is able to close it's borders before the Europeans find out and a new society grows where women take a dominant role and men are treated with great care. In this Japan the shogun is now a woman.

In the first volume you are introduced to this Japan, in the second it goes back to the early history when the red pox was fairly new. What's fun for me is that many of the characters are from history and the author has done considerable research on the persons and customs of the times.