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.