Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another from history

This week I add another person from history. A man who sought to change the course of Japanese history.

Yui Shōsetsu 由井正雪

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snowy Boozy

We only get snow every few decades in the Oakland area. But if we do I'll grab some glasses, bundle up and head to the porch with some bottles and start inviting neighbors to join me.

This week I have a respected custom:

yukimi (snow viewing) 雪見

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fruity Boozy

This week I turn to a beverage for those of you of legal drinking age.

chûhai チューハイ or 酎ハイ

Not the highest class of drink but good for casual drinking with friends.

The holiday season is upon us and things are very busy so I'll stick with easy, likely food and drink entries until the new year is rolling.

As always I'll take requests.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food and sports, two more recommended titles

I've been adding titles all too slowly to my recommended manga list.

The most recent I highly recommend:

Oishinbo A La Carte by Kariya Tetsu (story), Hanasaki Akira (art). This one is relatively short at 7 volumes.

Real by Inoue Takehiko. Real is a work on progress with 9 volumes out to date and I find it one of the most exciting dramatic manga in English.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Foxy Food

This week I do two food items which are so similar that the wording is almost identical.

kitsune soba 狐そば or 狐蕎麦
kitsune udon 狐うどん or 狐饂飩

Gotta order some the next time I'm in Japan.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ticket to see ya off

This week I have a transport related item.

I don't have an actual instance of such an item being bought, seen or used but there are many cases were one had to have been used.

The item:

nyūjōken (platform ticket) 入場券

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Babes, Gals and School Girls

I opened the door Saturday evening and there it was. A humble box which when opened reveals a small treasure.

Three DVD box sets from Nozomi:

Dirty Pair Part 1, Super Gals The Complete Collection and Maria Watches Over Us: 4th Season.

I of course started with the Dirty Pair TV series, a title I had been waiting for someone to license for about 2 decades. I was not disappointed, the TV show is pure Dirty Pair, sure some of the stories are a bit cramped and could have done better as an OVA or two parter, but even so there is plenty of fun for fans and those new to the series. Serious science fiction fans will have fun picking out the references to other works scattered throughout the series.

I watched Super Gals when it was first released in two box sets, the first season by ADV and second by The Right Stuf, I am planning to re-watch it again in this new release of the entire thing in one box. AND WHAT A BOX, the case is clear plastic and curved on the right and left edges so it fits your hand nicely as you hold it. You open it like a book with each season in it's own half of the case in hinged leaves. Whoever came up with the idea for the case being like this did a great job.

And the 4th and final season of Maria Watches Over Us, quite the contrast to the other two series but a sweet series of school years in a Catholic girl's school in Tokyo. Yumi now has to choose her own sœur. When I first started watching Maria Watches Over Us it was out of curiosity but I was soon drawn in. With the great characters in this series it is hard to stop watching.

So many discs and so little time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sticky prep

Here's one for you food fans.

mochi-tsuki (mochi pounding) 餅搗

I'll leave the comments at that. I've been fighting a nasty cold/flu since Saturday and only just got the entry up. Usually I have it up much earlier in the day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kalendars and Keepers

Gads. The fact that it is November has sunken in.

This year I'm planning to start my end of year cleaning early so it will be done by the New Year. I figure if I do something each week, preferably each day, there will be little to do when the calendar clicks around.

This week for the Anime Companion Supplement I have another official position that of jōdai (keeper of a castle) 城代. Ever wonder who took care of stuff like castles when the boss was gone? This is who.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dirty Pair TV Series DVD Collection 1

The first of two boxes for the Dirty Pair TV Series is out. I'm too excited to wait until they arrive in my mailbox to write about them.

If you are a newer fan and have not heard of the Ditty Pair you are in for a treat. This is pure unpretentious, tongue in cheek, science fiction action.

A few days ago Brian Ruh posted a review of the two Dirty Pair books that are available in the US in his column on the Anime News Network website. Brain Diving: A Lovely Angel.

Hopefully my box will arrive soon and I can do some serious viewing.

Then there is the official Dirty Pair web site.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This week I have a martial arts related term.

I had done most of the work on this one but had to lay it aside while I was waiting for a book on the subject to arrive.

tameshigiri (sword test cut) 試し斬り, 試し切り, 試斬, 試切

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stuff bought

Lately I've been buying more than usual.

This week for books I picked up:

Demery, Leroy W. Jr et al.
Electric Railways of Japan: Interurbans - Tramways - Metros Vol.3 - Western Japan.

Demery, Leroy W. Jr et al.
Japan by Rail: Published as a Supplement to Electric Railways of Japan.

Obata Toshishiro
Shinkendo Tameshigiri: Samurai Swordsmanship & Test-Cutting.

Vaporis, Constantine Nomikos
Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo, and the Culture of Early Modern Japan.

Then there were the videos:

Ghost Hound DVD Complete Collection

You're Under Arrest: Full Throttle DVD Collection 1 and 2

I got the DVD discs on sale from The Right Stuf, I'm trying to keep my spending under control so I often hold off on getting releases right away.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Burned and the Aroused

I was going to add a new yōkai entry, however I have found out about a couple of books published overseas that could be useful for writing such entries. So I am holding off until they arrive to post more.

However fans of Moyashimon and Spirited Away will gain a little knowledge in this week's entries.

And they are:

imori no kuroyaki (charred newt) 井守の黒焼

kuroyaki (charred plants & animals) 黒焼

I did buy a few books this week, I picked up volume 6 of the Lucky Star manga and for the non-fiction side Art of Edo Japan: The Artist and the City 1615-1868 and the first two volumes of Electric Railways of Japan: Interurbans - Tramways - Metros.

Oh yes the two books related to yōkai I mentioned?

They are:

The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia and Mythical Beasts of Japan. I'll post more about them when they arrive.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Food bringer of fuzziness

This week I have another yōkai entry. I actually have 32 others prepped and ready to write so expect more over time.

This one a a bit boyish and if he offers you a taste of his product politely decline.

Tōfu Kozō 豆腐小僧

I wonder in these modern times if he shows up in the basement food sections of department stores.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This week's books

I picked up three new books this week.

Flynn, Brian, Joshua Bernard & Jeff Dey
Tokyo Underground 2
San Francisco: Super7: 2010

A great guide to stores in Tokyo for those interested in popular culture related items such as toys, anime and manga.
NOTE: This is the second edition of the book, not a second volume.

Harrison, Edward & John
Idle Idol: The Japanese Mascot
New York: Mark Batty Publisher, 2010

Before this book came out we only had Matt Alt and Yoda Hiroko's Hello, Please!. The two books have almost no overlap so both are worth having.

Lent, John A. (ed)
Animation in Asia and the Pacific
Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2001

A great looking anthology, the contents look like a who's who of writers in the field,

Monday, October 11, 2010

The final Ku

For some time I have wanted to add an entry to the Anime Companion Supplement for Katsushika-ku. Alas while there are famous anime and manga that are set in this part of Tokyo none have been released commercially in English.

So I kept my eyes open and one day I realized I had an entry regarding an area of Katsushika-ku, specifically an interchange on a highway.

So here you are the final entry for the ku of Tokyo, I now have all of them represented.

Katsushika-ku 葛飾区

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Been shopping

This past week I picked up more books that usual, and one DVD series.

I got most of these at the Cartoon Art Museum shop in San Francisco.


Ghost Talker's Daydream
I ordered this one from Robert's Anime Corner Store as it is out of print.


But I'm Your Teacher by Row Takakura
I figure I had to have one BL title in my collection. Heck I may even take the shrink wrap off some day.

Black Blizzard by Tatsumi Yoshihiro

Kingyo Used Books vol.1 by Yoshizaki Seimu

Books on Japanese culture:

Warring Clans, Flashing Blades: The Samurai Film Companion

The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts

Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Mizayaki and Isao Takahata

Secrecy in Japanese Arts: Secret Transmission as a Mode of Knowledge

Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Right Stuf Dirty Pair Official Site now up

The Right Stuf has announced that their official Dirty Pair web site is now up.

They are gearing up for the release of the first box set in less than a month.

Check it out to see what they have.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Samurai relations

Samurai culture was hierarchical. Not only in titles and ranks but who was vassal to who within an organization. This was different than modern ranks, it was in relation to who your vassals were and who you were a vassal to. Without this status based structure a samurai was just a warrior among other warriors.

This week's entries are:

baishin (vassal's vassal) 陪臣

jikisan (direct vassal) 直参

Friday, September 24, 2010

Topping 700 or rank administration

A couple of months ago I wrote an entry on an Edo Period administrative office that referenced another office so I wrote related entry, which then referenced yet another on a samurai rank so I wrote an entry on it and so on. I kept writing entries over the weeks and prepping them to add to the supplement pages.

This week I present 21 new entries, which bring the total of entries in the supplement to over 700, and a little earlier than usual as I'll be in Minneapolis for Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits for the weekend.

Here you are:

bugyō (magistrate, commissioner) 奉行

dōchū bugyō (commissioner of highways) 道中奉行

Edo machi bugyō (Edo city commissioner or magistrate) 江戸町奉行

gokenin (vassals, housemen) 御家人

jisha bugyō (commissioner of temples and shrines) 寺社奉行

kanjō bugyō (commissioner of finance) 勘定奉行

karō (house elder) 家老

kobushin 小普請

Kobushin-gumi 小普請組

machi bugyō (city commissioner or magistrate) 町奉行

machi-bugyōsho (town magistrate office) 町奉行所

machi-doshiyori (town elder, alderman) 町年寄

metsuke (inspector, censor) 目付

Nagasaki bugyō (Nagasaki Commissioner) 長崎奉行

ōmetsuke (inspectors general) 大目付

rōjū (elder) 老中

rusui (caretaker, keeper) 留守居

shugo (military governors) 守護

toshiyori (elders, community leaders) 年寄

wakadoshiyori (junior councilors, young elders) 若年寄

yoriki (assistant magistrate) 与力

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spooky stuff

I'm not waiting for October to get here to post some spooky stuff, after all Summer is the time for such things in Japan.

This month I bring you:

Gazu hyakkiyagyō (Illustrated night procession of 100 demons) 画図百鬼夜行

Enjoy and expect more spooky things in the next several weeks.

Monday, September 13, 2010

From the far past

This week I have an entry for a military position that goes back well before modern times, in fact well before the Heian Period.

sakimori (border guard) 防人

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The light and the heavy

This week I cover a religious teaching from Shintō.

ame-tsuchi (Heaven and Earth) 天地

Not much else to say other than that the supplement is approaching 700 entries and that I may actually get there before the end of the month if a particular batch of related entries is done in time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Brain Diving - Short Term Memory

Brian Ruh, a well known scholar of anime, has started a new column over at the Anime News Network called: Brain Diving - Short Term Memory

For his first column he looks at one of the Ghost in the Shell novels, The Lost Memory by Junichi Fujisaku.

I'll be following this column regularly.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

TokyoScope Talk : BAD GIRLS & WILD WOMEN!

Patrick Macias and assorted comrades have been doing a great series of presentations at the Viz Cinema in San Francisco.

I plan to make this one, probably will be bringing a group of folks with me.

Macias has uploaded a trailer for the event and there is further event information on the Viz Cinema web site.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Satoshi Kon's last words

Makiko Itoh has translated Satoshi Kon's last words, a farewell statement by Kon.

I am most appreciative for this translation as Satoshi Kon became one of my favorite directors, something that is not easy to become, when I first saw Perfect Blue many years ago. The film completely gripped my attention and when I stood up after the credits had finished rolling I was shaking and could taste the adrenaline in my mouth. It took some hours to fully relax. Since that early film I have eagerly awaited his next productions.

A few years ago I was given the honor of introducing Millennium Actress, my favorite of Kon's films, at a special screening in San Francisco co-sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library and the Japanese Counsel General's office. After the screening many stayed for a presentation I did and discussion.

I hope I again have the opportunity to do something like this with one of Satoshi Kon films some day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Satoshi Kon RIP

Satoshi Kon has passed away of pancreatic cancer.

One of my favorite directors is no longer with us. I highly recommend if you have not seen his movies that you do so.

I also high recommend the book Satoshi Kon The Illusionist by Andrew Osmond

Too many good ones leaving us so early.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crunchy sweet

This week I have a traditional sweet from Asakusa. The next time I go to Tokyo I need to get some for folks at work.

kaminari-okoshi (thunder brittle) 雷おこし

Monday, August 16, 2010


There are so many foods seen and mentioned in anime and manga that are just not part of our non-Japanese vocabulary.

With this in mind I give you a new edible entry.

kiritanpo きりたんぽ or 切りたんぽ

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More recommended manga

I have added for following three entries to my recommended manga web page.

Tatsumi Yoshihiro

Drifting Life by Tatsumi Yoshihiro

Seven Seas Entertainment

A fictionalized account of the authors life from August 1945 to June 1960. The work chronicles his rise as a manga artist from his early efforts, contact with Tezuka Osamu (link), struggles with publishers, more to Tokyo, and role in creating the gekiga [link] genre of manga. This is a massive work, at 840 pages the longest single volume manga published in English.

Cultural Details : Postwar life in the Ōsaka area, 1950s Tokyo life, manga industry

Cautions: Mild nudity.

Order Drifting Life from The Right Stuf

Nakazawa Keiji

Barefoot Gen by Nakazawa Keiji

Last Gasp

The classic manga, 4 volumes were first translated into English in the late 1970s by New Society Publishing. The current edition is a new translation of all ten volumes for the first time. This covers from the days before the bombing to the main characters move to Tokyo in the mid 1950s. The author himself survived the bombing of Hiroshima and based this tale on his experiences and those of others. Gen starts out as a happy kid coping with living during WWII with his oparents sister and brother as best a kid can. With the bombing things rapidly change as only he and his pregnant mother survive the bombing. They struggle to do their best in the weeks after the bombing, and over time begin to form friendships with other survivors and from this a group of friends who help each other come into being. The authors anti-militaristic views are presented with force and humor as we see Japan's recovery from the devistation of the war through the experiences of one young man.

Cultural details: Military occupation, Hiroshima, daily life 1945-1955.

Barefoot Gen volume 1 from The Right Stuf

Watanabe Taeko

Kaze Hikaru by Watanabe Taeko

VIZ Media

Kamiya Seizaburo in 1863 joins the Shinsengumi in the hope of taking vengence on the killers of his father and older brother. Small and quick Kamiya passes the test of skill in the use of the sword and is accepted. Okita Soji, a legendary swordsman and one of the founding members of the Shinsengumi, takes Seizaburo under his wing. However Kamiya is not a he but a she who had taken to disguising herself to carry out her mission and some of the men are very enamored with this "pretty boy" who has joined their troop.

Cultural Details: 19th Century Kyoto, bakumatsu, Shinsengumi, 19th Century urban life.

Cautions: Violence, swordplay, nothing sexual shown, references to male male sexuality, references to prostitution.
Order Kaze Hikaru volume 1 from The Right Stuf

Canada on comics and literacy

A new report from the Canadian Council on Learning covering gender reading preferences and comics/graphic novels.

More Than Just Funny Books: Comics and Prose Literacy for Boys

Interesting stuff, worthy of consideration.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures

While searching for information on Jirochô of Shimizu I found a great resource of Japanese historical figures from the National Diet Library

Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures

Folks may want to bookmark it for future use.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Failed coup

This week's entries concern a conspiracy from the 17th century, and one of the major players. The conspiracy was never carried out due to information getting to the authorities before the planned event happened.

Keian Jiken 慶安事件

Marubashi Chūya 丸橋忠弥

Sunday, July 25, 2010

T + T - T

Time again for food and food related object entries.

Remember that scene in the Ghost Slayers Ayashi supernatural anime where one of the characters is selling a type of noodle on the street and he squirts it out of a squarish device?

Well this is what this week's entries are about.

tokoroten (gelidium jelly) ところ天 or 心太

tokoroten-tsuki (extruder for tokoroten) 心太突き

Entries edited slightly to correct errors. Thanks for the message Ono-san, my sources were vague on some aspects of tokoroten.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Partyin' in December

I had thought of putting this one aside until December but then decided to go ahead and upload it today.

bōnen-kai ("forget the year party") 忘年会

Such parties sound like a good idea. Start planning yours now.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Osaka neighborhood

This week I have an entry for:

Shinmachi (pleasure quarter Ōsaka) 新町

Expect me to have more entries on Ōsaka and Kyōto in the future as I just acquired Ian Martin Röpke's Historical Dictionary of Osaka and Kyoto

Monday, July 5, 2010

Update on Expo '70

Ono-san from Tokyo identified some errors in my entry for Nippon bankoku hakuran-kai (Japan World Exposition aka Expo '70) 日本万国博覧会 For one I had the name as Nihon bankoku hakuran, not the formal Nippon bankoku hakuran. I also had the number of attending nations wrong as two dropped out after the list I was relying on was published.

Ono-san even went as far as to contact the Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition '70 to verify which nations had attended.

He sent me the list of nations at Expo '70, in the order of the date when the nation announced its participation:

1 カナダ Canada
2 大韓民国 Republic of Korea
3 アメリカ USA
4 中華民国 Republic of China
5 オランダ the Netherlands
6 ザンビア Zambia
7 ソ連 USSR
8 ベルギー Belgium
9 ドイツ Germany
10 スイス Switzerland
11 ニュージーランド New Zealand
12 オーストラリア Australia
13 フランス France
14 ブルガリア Bulgaria
15 クウェート Kuwait
16 英国 United Kingdom
17 キューバ Cuba
18 トルコ Turkey
19 ポルトガル Portugal
20 タイ Thailand
21 フィリピン Philippines
22 アルジェリア Algeria
23 メキシコ Mexico
24 デンマーク Denmark
25 ノルウェー Norway
26 スウェーデン Sweden
27 フィンランド Finland
28 アイスランド Iceland
29 エチオピア Ethiopia
30 ラオス Laos
31 ビルマ Burma
32 ギリシャ Greece
33 ドミニカ Dominican Republic
34 サウジアラビア Saudi Arabia
35 チェコスロバキア Czechoslovakia
36 セイロン Ceylon
37 象牙海岸(コート ジボワール) Côte d'Ivoire
38 タンザニア Tanzania
39 インドネシア Indonesia
40 ガーナ Ghana
41 キプロス Cyprus
42 マダガスカル Madagascar
43 ウガンダ Uganda
44 シンガポール Singapore
45 パキスタン Pakistan
46 ガボン Gabon
47 インド India
48 チリ Chile
49 バチカン Vatican City
50 ベトナム共和国 Republic of Vietnam
51 コロンビア Colombia
52 ネパール Nepal
53 エクアドル Ecuado
54 ペルー Peru
55 イタリア Italy
56 中央アフリカ Central African Republic
57 アルゼンチン Argentina
58 ブラジル Brazil
59 ナイジェリア Nigeria
60 アブダビ Abu Dhabi
61 イラン Iran
62 マレーシア Malaysia
63 アフガニスタン Afghanistan
64 エルサルバドル El Salvador
65 カンボジア Cambodia
66 マルタ Malta
67 ベネズエラ Venezuela
68 アラブ連合 United Arab Republic
69 モナコ Monaco
70 ニカラグア Nicaragua
71 パナマ Panama
72 コスタリカ Costa Rica
73 ウルグアイ Uruguay
74 モーリシャス Mauritius
75 シエラレオネ Sierra Leone
76 アイルランド Ireland

Add Japan and you have 77 nations participating, so I have updated the entry accordingly. Thank you again Ono-san.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sustained Energy

This week I cover a beverage that is drunk throughout much of the world including North America but few anime fans have heard of.

Lipovitan リポビタン

I have a bottle in front of me on my desk and probably will open it this afternoon for the energy boost I will want.

This entry has quite a collection of links to resources at the company, some were used to put the entry together, others are just generally informative.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Revolutionary Girl Utena

Very jazzed to find a press release in my inbox this morning from Nozomi Entertainment that they have acquired the license for the Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series, and it will be the remastered version. They plan to release it as three box sets.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Three more manga

Today I add three more manga to my recommended list.

Drifting Life by Tatsumi Yoshihiro

Ghost Talker's Daydream by Okuse Saki (story) and Meguro Sankichi (art)

Ohikkoshi by Samura Hiroaki

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two that fit in the hand

This week I am adding two entries as they are both short ones.

Both have a sexual context. What got me to do them was that I was checking my Google Analytics reports to see which terms are used to bring people to the Anime Companion Supplement pages. The majority of the terms were sexual. So I figured I'd do more from my lists of possible entries and had two short ones ready. There really are not that many more in my lists and I'll add more on occasion.

Now I am going to start looking at the non-sexual terms and try to add more related to those. I figure if folks are looking for something I better add more entries related to the broader subject.

sukeruton baibu (skeleton vibe, clear vibrator) スケルトンバイブ

waribiki tiketto (discount ticket) 割引チケット

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recommended Manga additions

This morning I have added three new titles to my Recommended Manga page. All of them are by Urasawa Naoki.

Monday, June 21, 2010

dangō of another kind

This one falls into the obscure but interesting category. Actually I hope everything I add to the supplement is interesting in one way or another.

The example for this one is from Salaryman Kintaro and it was not easy to find information on this kind of dangō (collusive bidding, bid rigging) 談合.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hooking up

This week we travel back to the Tokugawa Period to look at a type of business no longer found in Japan.

The ageya (rendezvous teahouses) 揚屋.

Any requests for next week? I have some in the work but am always curious about any specific items folks may be interested in.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Colorful song

This weeks entry is on an annual TV broadcast done by NHK. One which I have watched on local (San Francisco) Tv for years and I'm happy to post here.

Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Contest) 紅白歌合戦

Fanime Report 3 - The Japanese Sex Trade in Anime and Manga


My third report on Fanime Con 2010 is on the first adult only presentation I have ever done.

On Saturday night I had my Japanese Sex Trade in Anime and Manga presentation. This broke the record for any presentation I have ever done. Con staff estimated attendance was over 130 people. I will repeat this presentation at Fanime in two or three years as I have other presentations I would like to start doing at the con.

I began the presentation by stating that everything I was going to say had to be taken with a grain of salt. It is not easy to find reliable information on the Japanese sex trade. I noted that not only the web not a good resource for things Japanese it is significantly unreliable for the Japanese sex trade. Most web pages or online postings are either so vague as to be useless or riddled with fantasies that do not apply to reality. I also noted that I had no first had experience with the trade.

I covered several of the books that have been written on the subject and noted that the best is Pink Box: Inside Japan's Sex Clubs by Joan Sinclair. I also recommended Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan by Jake Adelstein even though that book only partly covers the trade.

One important thing I mentioned is that any conviction of a prostitution related crime, or drug crime, will get you banned from Japan. This means if you are planning to work, study or visit Japan you should not engage in certain activities.

The reason I covered this subject in my own research is that I attempt to track down reliable information on any subject I see in anime or manga so I can add it to my Anime Companion Supplement web pages. The two volumes of the book had few entries on the subject due to the lack of good secondary sources.

The terms I used in the presentation, and many more, are listed in my supplement and can be located through the Topical/Subject Index under their related headings:
Business - The Sex Trade [for general terms]
Business - The Sex Trade - Business Types
Terminology Sexual

Then I covered adult entertainments that are not in the sex trade, such as geishas, and items that are on the margin, such as enjo kōsai (compensated dating), love hotels, hostsess and host clubs.

The items I covered, with some titles that include them, were:

chikan densha (pervert train) I showed an image of an actual one from Pink Box - Midnight Sleazy Train

enjo kōsai (compensated dating) - Gals (manga), Super Gals (anime) and IWGP: Ikebukuro West Gate Park v.1 (manga)

fasshon herusu (fashion health) - 20th Century Boys v.4 (manga)

fasshon massaji (fashion massage) - Wicked City (anime)

imēji kurabu (image club) - IWGP v.2 (manga)

kappuru kissa (couples cafe) - IWGP v.1 (manga)

kyaba kura (cabaret club) - GTO (v.13 ch.101) (manga)

nozokibeya (peeping room) - Chobits ep.7 (anime)

rabu hoteru (love hotel) - show up in many titles

sōpurando ("soapland") - My Fair Masseuse (anime)

terekura (telephone club) - Sexy Voice and Robo (manga)

ura fūzoku (illegal sex industry) - Cage (anime)

urisen bā (auction bar) - City Hunter ep.4 (anime)

I finished up with a short video clip from City Hunter 2 (ep.31) with Ryo saying "Kane no kireme ga en no kireme" (the end of the money is the end of the relationship) after he is cordialy escorted out of a club.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fanime Report 2 - Manga for Grownups

While the title was Anime and Manga for Grownups I focussed on manga.

The criteria I use for this presentation is titles which I highly value but are likely to be little known and all titles have to be in print in English translations.

I'm often amazed how many good titles get only a few hands up in the room when I ask "Who has read...?"

Here is the list of titles I covered this year, all names are in Japanese order with family name first.

Azuma Hideo - Disappearance Diary

Hirata Hiroshi - Satsuma Gishiden

Inoue Takehiko - Vagabond

Inoue Takehiko - Real

Ishikawa Masayuki - Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture

Kariya Tetsu (story) Hanasaki Akira(art) - Oishinbo

Katsura Masakazu - I"s

Kikuchi Hideyuki (author), Shin Yong-Gwa (art) - Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist

Kobayashi Makoto - Club 9

Koike Kazuo, Lady Snowblood

Nakazawa Keiji - Barefoot Gen

Samura Hiroaki - Ohikkoshi

Takahashi Hiroshi - Worst

Takahashi Rumiko - Maison Ikkoku

Tamaki Nozomu - Dance in the Vampire Bund

Taniguchi Jiro - Times of Botchan

Taniguchi Jiro - Walking Man

Tatsumi Yoshihiro - Drifting Life

Watanabe Taeko - Kaze Hikaru

Yamada Futaro (story), Segawa Masaki (art) - Yagyu Ninja Scrolls

Fanime Report 1 - Older Titles for Newer Fans

The first list I will post are the titles covered in the Older Titles for Newer Fans presentation Jonathan Osborne and I presented.

All of these titles have been available in the US for some time, in fact all were originally released on VHS, and all are currently in print. The dates listed are for the original release in Japan.

Escaflowne [TV] (1996)

Dagger of Kamui (1985)

Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Doomed Megalopolis (1991)

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (1991)

Dragon Half (1993)

Hakkenden:The Legend of the Dog Warriors (1990-1995)

Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

From past Fanime Con panels (many are now out of print):


Captain Herlock - OVA - 2002

Farewell Space Battleship Yamato In The Name of Love - movie 1978

Macross - TV series -1982-83


Nadia - TV series - 1989-90

Fight Iczer 1 - OVA 1985-87 ( and sequel Iczer Reborn - OVA 1990-91)

Here is Greenwood - OVA - 1991-93


Bubblegum Crisis - OVA - 1987
Not to be confused with the weaker TV series Bubblegum Crisis 2040

City Hunter The Motion Picture - TV movie - 1997

Dirty Pair - OVA – 1987

Gundam 0080 - OVA – 1989

Macross Plus - OVA – 1994

Maison Ikkoku - TV – 1986

Otaku no Video - OVA – 1991

They Were 11 - movie - 1986

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fanime Report 0


Starting tonight I'll be posting lists and reports from Fanime which I promised people at my panels.

There will be two lists of titles discussed during Anime and Manga for Grownups and Older Titles for Newer Fans.

Then a report on my Sex Trade in Anime and Manga presentation.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Seafood in the shell

This week I'm posting a little late as I was at Fanime Con 2010 until last night.

Here are two posts in S, a popular mollusk and common way to prepare it:

sazae (turbo or top-shell) 栄螺 or 蓑座絵

sazae no tsuboyaki (sazae cooked in the shell) さざえの壷焼き

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Fanime 2010 schedule

I am finishing up the last image scans and note edits for my panels at Famine Con 2010 in San Jose. 

I hope to see some of you there.

My panel schedule (presently) is:

7 PM - Anime for Parents (No badge required) 

3 PM - Anime and manga for Grownups
10 PM - The Sex Trade in Anime and Manga (18+) 

10 AM - Noon - Older Titles for Newer Fans (With Jonathan Osborne)

 The full schedule can be downloaded at: 


Monday, May 24, 2010

Authority figures with legs

This week I cover a particular expression of Japanese respect and love of authority, the miniskirt police.

minisuka porisu (miniskirt police) ミニスカポリス

This is not an easy one to research as so little has been done in English on the subject. In fact my only source was a most excellent book which I highly recommend: The Otaku Encyclopedia by Patrick Galbraith.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Big head

Ever wander out of the West Gate of Shibuya Station in Tokyo and wonder what the heck that large head is?

Here you go:

Moyai-zo (moyai statue) モヤイ像

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Midori Sawato and the art of benshi

Midori Sawato's voice is one I'm familiar with. I own several silent Japanese movies on DVD where she does the benshi work that enlivens these great films.

The Japan Times has a good article on her "Carrying on the art of silent film narration". She has even appeared in US venues such as the Pacific Film Archives in Berkeley.

If you wish to get DVD discs of Japanese silent films with benshi accompanyment you can do so from Digital Meme. Hum, there are some titles I have yet to get, think I'll place an order.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This ain't no mushroom drink

This week I am adding another beverage entry.

This one for a seaweed based drink.

konbucha (konbu tea aka seaweed tea) 昆布茶

I'll have to check to see if the local Japanese markets have this in stock in the usual powdered form.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hot fun in 1970

Last week I was almost ready to upload this entry to the Anime Companion Supplement but could not find some crucial information.

I searched my books, then the databases I have access to through work, I searched those at San Francisco Public Library and then I turned to Google Books. There I found an ad in Life magazine for 1970 for a book. Thank God for used book dealers, in less than a week I had a copy in my hands.

Now complete I give an entry on:

Nihon bankoku hakuran-kai (Japan World Exposition aka Expo '70) 日本万国博覧会

Damn the future looked cool back then!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Queer drinkin'

This week I have an entry for gay bars.

gei bā (gay bar) ゲイバー

This one took some time as I wanted to carefully read over the information I had scattered over three books on my shelves.

The most useful was McLelland, Mark J., Suganuma Katsuhiko and James Welker. eds. Queer Voices from Japan which is an interesting collection of essays spanning decades of queer culture and history in Japan.

I'll be asking my gay friends in Japan if there are any major gaffs in this entry.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A group does more

This week I cover what at first I thought was just a term used for a fan phenomenon and found it also is applied to clubs and other types of groups.

What I am referring to is the:

circle ("sâkuru") サークル

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ooku: The Inner Chambers by Yoshinaga Fumi

An update to my recommendations pages

Ooku: The Inner Chambers by Yoshinaga Fumi
VIZ Media

During the Edo Period (1600-1868) Japan was an enigma to the West. What little was known was from the few accounts of 16th century missionaries and merchants. The nation had closed itself off from the rest of the world to preserve itself from disruptive influences and the threat of invasion. But what if something else happened at this time, what if a disease known as the 'red pox' had started in the North and spread throughout the land killing the majority of adolescent boys leaving a large female population who then took on the traditional males roles and actually run the country.

Order the first volume of Ooku: The Inner Chambers from The Right Stuf

Cautions: Violence, as would be expected with samurai, and sexual situations including male-male.

Updating recommendations

My recommended title pages are grossly out of date due to my neglecting them for far too long. To make up for this I am:

1. Removing some of the out of print titles, some I am considering keeping as especially worthy of mention.

2. I will be adding new titles, each of which will be mentioned in this blog as I add them to the page. For now I will attempt to do at least one title, either anime or manga, a week, sometimes more.

3. I will also replacing dead links.

4. I will reduce the number of links to the Right Stuf web site, in the past I linked to each volume in a series. As these pages are recommendations for titles people may have not heard of I will link only to volume one and let the reader search for the later ones.

In the case of anime I will link to box sets when those are scheduled for release and remove the link to the first volume of the earlier release as box sets are significantly less expensive than buying a series individually.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coping with a slippery eel

This week I have two cooking related entries. Both are used in preparing eels for cooking.

meuchi 目打ち

unagisaki (eel knife) 鰻サキ

References from Oishinbo A la Carte and Samurai Champloo for both entries.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cloth under the cloth

Ever wonder what is traditional to wear under a kimono?

Or how upper class women dealt with hot weather under those layers of cloth?

This weeks entry is just on that.

koshimaki (hip wrapping) 腰巻

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not by Herman Hupfeld

This week I have a food entry.

Not to be confused with the California town, county or river and especially not with Yuba in the Herman Hupfeld song "When Yuba plays the Rhumba on his Tuba" which Rudy Vallee covered so well in 1931.

The yuba I have is:

yuba (soybean curd skin) 湯葉

Monday, March 22, 2010

Small dialect

There was a dialect in Edo and early Tokyo that was spoken only in a very small area of the city. This was the dialect of the Yoshiwara and has long since disappeared.

This week's entry is on this dialect which turned up in Ghost Slayers Ayashi

kuruwa kotoba 廓言葉

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reading on foot

Sorry folks I forgot to post notice on Monday that the new entry was up.

This is the one I referred to in the last posting.

tachiyomi 立ち読み

In any case additions are listed in the Anime Companion Supplement News page

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A convenient five

So I was writing an entry for the supplement last week. Then I noticed that my notes had an example from the Ah! My Goddess Flights of Fancy TV series and misremembered that the example I was going to use was set in a convenience store.

So I figured I need an entry for convenience stores, then I figured I should do entries for the specific chains seen in anime and manga. Upon checking this morning I realized the example was in a bookstore, oh well it resulted in these 5 new entries:


FamilyMart Co. Ltd. ファミリーマート

konbini (convenience store) コンビニ


Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd. セブン-イレブン・ジャパン

What was I going to originally write about? You will have to wait until next week, or perhaps the week after to find out.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Not sake

This week I do a food related entry, in fact I have plenty of possible such entries lined up but don't want to flood the supplement with them so I'll space them out.

This week a very common ingredient used in Japanese cooking and commonly found in stores in the US, at least on the West Coast.

This is mirin 味醂, which is often mistakenly called cooking sake or sweet sake. While it does have alcohol it is not made from nihonshu. If you like to cook I recommend picking up a bottle. It makes a good addition to many different kinds of dishes, and not just Japanese ones.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ōta-ku, not otaku

This week I add an entry for Ōta-ku 大田区. one of the 23 ku (wards) of the urban core of Tōkyō.

With this I now have only Katsushika-ku left to do and I'll have entries for all 23 ku. However that will have to wait for me to find a reference to it in an official English translation of a manga or anime (fan translations DON'T COUNT).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Robin Brenner at EarlyWord

Robin Brenner, author of Understanding Manga and Anime will now be a regular contributor on EarlyWord witing about graphic novels. EarlyWord is a blog which calls itself "The Publisher | Librarian Connection" and has interesting stuff for fans in general.

The first contribution is here:

Graphic Novels’ Biggest Fans? Adults

I'll be checking her postings regularly.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Helen McCarthy on digital theft

Two of the writers I most respect are Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements. Both of these people have put long hours into writing excellent works.

Helen writes in her blog about the problem faced when a work is digitized and put online in violation of the rights of the writer. This recently happened when someone uploaded the Anime Encyclopedia to the internet.

Go Go OCILLA! Or, I Saw It Coming But It Was Too Big To Dodge

I strongly urge people to report any site that has this book or links to it to the publisher, Stone Bridge Press. Or for that matter any work to the publisher of that work, especially small press publishers which could be in danger of going out of business if this gets carried too far.

Monday, February 15, 2010


This week I add an entry on hatsuyume (first dream of the year) 初夢. As I was working on this one I realized that I have several items related to the New Year in the Anime Companion volumes and the supplement.

So I have created a new heading in the Anime Companion Supplement - Topical/Subject Index:

Culture - New Year

I have other possible entries which shall go under this heading some day.

As usual if you have requests for items to be added just ask.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spidery tales

This week I get back to doing yōkai related entries.

This time I have an entry for tsuchigumo (earth spider) 土蜘蛛

Some time ago I obtained a copy of Yōkai: Dictionnaire des Monstres Japonais, a two volume French translation of Mizuki Shigeru's useful book on yōkai. (Thanks Ono-san for referring me to this translation) Now my skill with French is rusty, having moved to the US when I was 4 and having only studied the language occasionally in school. However I am able to put the book to use and hope continue adding yōkai related entries for the next several months as I have about 35 possible entries lined up.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Emily the Strange

News from the Cartoon Art Museum:

Strange Love with Emily the Strange Saturday, February 14, 2010 from 1pm to 3pm Cartoon Art Museum Bookstore Event: BookSigning with: Rob Reger and Buzz Parker

Free and open to the public
San Francisco, CA: Celebrate Valentineís Day at the Cartoon Art Museum with Emily the Strange Creators and Illustrators Rob Reger and Buzz Parker. Emily the Strange came to life in the early 1990's and quickly became a beloved counterculture icon all around the world. In her earliest years, she was a quiet but sharp-witted stranger, slinging philosophy and cultural observations in a series of hand-screened t-shirts and stickers. As her presence grew and became a standard in the cultural underground, Emily's own story began to emerge in a series of gift books, then comic-books and graphic novels, and now a novel series for young adults.

Emily's not your average thirteen year-old-girl. Pink is her worst nightmare...she wears the same black dress every day. She loves math and science. Her best friends are her four BLACK CATS! She's into old rock & punk, but also digs newer bands like My Chemical Romance.

Today, Emily continues to be a voice for individualism and self-awareness, and her appeal is especially strong among alternative-minded young women and girls who identify with her signature singularity. Her presence in the worlds of art, pop culture, literature, and fashion celebrates non-conformist and reminds us all to cultivate that which makes us unique.

This event is free and open to the public. Sweet treats will provided by From Scratch.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Different kind of Kannon

This week I have an entry I wanted to do earlier as part of the Kannon series. However I lacked an example from anime or manga until this week.

This Kannon entry is for:

Canon, Inc. キャノン [株]

And yes there is a link from the camera and office equipment company and Kannon.

Feb 2, NOTE: I have made a few changes as suggested by Ono Masahiro in Tokyo who often assists by providing excellent comments on the entries. Thank you Ono-san, you are the type of editor a poor writer like me needs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hanami in DC

A few days ago I got a nice email from Erik Braunitzer of the National Museum of Crime & Punishment asking if I could place a link on my web site to their page on the 2010 Washington DC Cherry Blossom festival. Well I don't do event links so I told him I'd mention it here.

If you are in DC for the festival do check out the museum it sounds like creepy fun.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Seimei jinja 晴明神社

More and more anime and manga fans are learning about the famous ommyōji of the old capital Heiankyō (modern day Kyōto) Abe no Seimei. However did you know that there are shinto shrines and buddhist temples either dedicated to him or where he is also enshrined?

This week's entry to the Anime Companion Supplement is on this.

Seimei jinja (Seimei shrine) 晴明神社

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Mongol Invasions Of Japan 1274 And 1281

Yesterday I walked into the store at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and spotted a new book by Stephen Turnbull. The Mongol Invasions Of Japan 1274 And 1281 and bought a copy. Now why would the Cartoon Art Museum have a history book on samurai warfare? Well they have the Drawing the Sword: Samurai in Manga and Anime exhibit going on. I do have to confess playing a role in this book being in the store. I advise the store on things Japanese and when they wanted to get books on samurai to have on hand for sale during the exhibit I simply recommended everything in print by Dr Turnbull. I cannot recommend his works too strongly, if you want well researched and written works on samurai and Japanese military his are some of the best you can get. I did recommend plenty of books by other authors.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All the Kannon for now

The last of my current series of posts on Kannon.

This one is on Maria Kannon マリア観音. This time it is not a Buddhist deity but a representation of the Virgin Mary.

If I find other forms of Kannon I'll add entries for those.

Hum, what to do next week?

Suggestions welcome.

Monday, January 11, 2010

And even more Kannon

Another Kannon entry. This one Fukūkenjaku Kannon Bosatsu 不空羂索観音菩薩.

I have another Kannon entry lined up for next week. After that I'll keep an eye out for others as there are several I have yet to see in anime or manga.

Monday, January 4, 2010

More Kannon

The first post of the new year continues a trend started last year, entries related to Kannon.

This one is specifically:

Senju Kannon (Thousand-Armed Kannon) 千手観音菩薩

Expect other Kannon related entries in the future as I find references to other forms of this popular bosatsu. I actually have two in the pipeline for release in the near future.

Seen something in an anime or manga you would like me to research and add to the Anime Companion Supplement? Drop me an email and I'll get on it.