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Review & giveaway 11: Comic Japan

12 Mar

Here is another review of a book and giveaway from Tuttle Books!

(There is still time to enter in the drawing for a free copy of Japanese Design: Art, Aesthetics & Culture.)

The next book that I’m am reviewing is titled “Comic Japan: Best of Zero Gravity Cartoons from The Japan Times-The Lighter Side of Tokyo Life” by Roger Dahl.

Roger Dahl’s Comic Japan: Best of Zero Gravity Cartoons from The Japan Times-The Lighter Side of Tokyo Life

I will put the details of the free drawing for this book at the end of this post.

Mr. Dahl is an American cartoonist who taught English and draws a comic strip for the English-language newspaper “The Japan Times” titled “Zero Gravity“.

This book is a collection of some of his best strips from the Zero Gravity comic.

If you are, have been or are interested in becoming an expat (especially one in Japan), this book will interest you.
Actually, you will like this book if you’re interested in life in Japan at all…even if you never even visited here.

Comic Japan: Best of Zero Gravity Cartoons from The Japan Times-The Lighter Side of Tokyo Life” is about the life of an American couple who are in Tokyo to teach English and how they interact with Japanese neighbors, co-workers and customs.

Comic Japan: Best of Zero Gravity Cartoons from The Japan Times-The Lighter Side of Tokyo Life” can be purchased through Amazon here.

But, as I said above, Tuttle Books has agreed to give (given) one random visitor to my blog a free copy of this book.

To enter the drawing for the free book, submit this form by 2015 March 22nd:

***** Updated March 22nd, 2015 *****

This special promo ended on 2015 March 22nd. One random winner was selected and contacted directly by Tuttle Publishers (via email) with the details about the free book.

Thank you to all who entered, but only the winner was contacted.
*****

High-priced KISS-autographed Japanese calligraphy art

10 Mar Featured Image -- 11752

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

As you may have noticed, KISS have recently made their way back to Japan and it’s always a treat when they do. This year we’ve already seen them make a well-received cross-genre music video with Momoiro Clover Z and release a line of skin smoothing facepacks with the Japanese cosmetic brand Isshin.

If those weren’t surprising enough, now KISS has collaborated with shodo calligrapher Ryugen Sobukawa for a limited collection of KISS-themed works each autographed by a member of the band.

Oh, and they cost a small fortune…

View original 310 more words

Review & giveaway 10: Japanese Design

8 Mar

I have a number of books to review from Tuttle Books and, once again, they have kindly agreed to give (given) one free copy of each to a random visitor to my blog!

The book that I’m reviewing here is titled “Japanese Design: Art, Aesthetics & Culture” by Patricia J. Graham.

I will put the details of the free drawing for this book at the end of this post.

Ms. Graham is a former professor and museum curator specializing in Japanese art.

If you are interested in Japanese art, designs, aesthetics and/or culture then this book will interest you!

It’s a large, hardcover book with large beautiful photographs on every page, along with very extensive, detailed explanations of the history and meaning of the designs of Japanese artwork, clothing, garden, furniture, building and more!

Japanese Design: Art, Aesthetics & Culture” can be purchased through Amazon here.

But, as I said above, Tuttle Books has agreed to give (given) one random visitor to my blog a free copy of this book.

To enter the drawing for the free book, submit this form by 2015 March 22nd:

***** Updated March 22nd, 2015 *****

This special promo ended on 2015 March 22nd. One random winner was selected and contacted directly by Tuttle Publishers (via email) with the details about the free book.

Thank you to all who entered, but only the winner was contacted.
*****

Birthday of two famous Japanese

5 Mar

Today, 2015 March 5th, is the birthday of two famous Japanese people.
They’re famous in Japan, at least. Are they known in your country too?

First of all, the world’s oldest person, 大川ミサヲ (Misao OKAWA), was born on 1898 March 5th in Osaka, Japan. She is celebrating her 117th birthday today with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren!

Next, also from Osaka (but wasn’t born there)…today also would have been the birthday of 安藤百福 (Momofuku ANDO).
He is the man who invented instant Cup Noodle!

「カップヌードル」

He was born Taiwan on 1910 March 5th. At that time, Taiwan was a Japanese territory.

At the age of 22, he moved to Osaka, Japan and eventually became a naturalized Japanese citizen.
When he became a Japanese citizen, he changed his name to Momofuku Ando.
“Ando” is a common Japanese family name…but “Momofuku” is an unusual name in Japan. But his first name was changed to Momofuku when he became Japanese because it is an uncommon pronunciation in Japanese of his Chinese first name (pronounced “Baifu” in Chinese). It is written 「百福」 and literally means “One hundred fortunes“.

The logo of Google’s Japanese homepage today is of Momofuku ANDO.

KISS in Japanese art

27 Feb

The American rock band KISS are currently on tour in Japan.
(I wrote a post about their Japan tour of 2015 here.)

KISS are doing many unique, only-in-Japan promotions while they are here.
Among them is the 「KISS激辛チリトマトまん」 (“KISS Spicy Chili Tomato Buns”):

Available in Japan now for a limited time!

These are delicious! If you’re in Japan, try them!  They were first available in Japan when KISS toured here in 2013.  Here’s the similar ad that was run then:

They were introduced to Japan in October 2013.

Now, KISS has commissioned Japanese artists to make unique artwork that combines KISS’s Japan-inspired images with traditional Japanese art:

A professional Japanese 書道 (calligraphy) artist wrote the KISS logo and the band members’ personas in Japanese kanji. (They were signed by the band members too).

A professional Japanese 浮世絵 (ukiyoe woodblock print) artist made two prints showing the KISS band members as samurai in one, and samurai battling Japanese monsters in the other.

Here is a YouTube video showing the ukiyoe artist carving the woodblock to make the KISS ukiyoe prints:

Japan’s amazing bike parking system

24 Feb Featured Image -- 11704

tokyo5:

Tokyo has one of these too.

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

BP 7

Compared to Tokyo, Japan’s former capital, Kyoto, is fairly compact. Most of the commercial development is clustered around Kyoto Station, with a ring of temples, gardens, and other historical sites surrounding the more modern parts of the city.

Kyoto is also relatively flat, and the grid pattern its major streets are laid out on makes it an easy town to get around by bicycle. Of course, Kyoto doesn’t want an unsightly mass of parked bikes marring the scenery and cluttering pedestrian walkways, which is why at one of the city’s major transportation hubs there’s a subterranean, automated bicycle parking lot, and if that sounds awesomely high-tech, wait until you see it in action.

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KISS Japan Tour 2015 goods

21 Feb

KISS is on their way to Japan now to begin their 2015 Japan tour on Monday.
(Click here to see my post about the announcement of this tour, the tour dates, and their special guests for the Tokyo Dome show).

The T-shirts and other merchandise that KISS will be selling for their shows in Japan have been revealed.

I like towels from concerts. These types of towels are unique to Japan, aren’t they?

Click here to see the page with the complete list of official KISS Japan Tour 2015 merchandise (Japanese only).

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