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Shigeru Mizuki, R.I.P.

30 Nov

水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki), the author of “Ge-Ge-Ge-No-Kitaro” (an anime about monsters that I like), has died today.

Shigeru Mizuki (1922 Mar 8 - 2015 Nov 30) with two of his most famous characters.

Shigeru Mizuki (1922 Mar 8 – 2015 Nov 30) with two of his most famous characters.

I wrote a post about his interesting life story on his 88th birthday (Click here to read it).

(The voice actor for the anime of one of Mr. Mizuki’s most famous characters died almost six years ago. (Click here to read a post I wrote about him.)

Sazae-san’s father, RIP

28 Jan

永井一郎 (Ichiro Nagai), the Japanese voice actor who was the voice of Namihei Isono on the long-running Japanese cartoon 「サザエさん」 (“Sazae-san“), as well as Yoda in the Japanese-dubbed version of “Star Wars” and many other well-known characters has died yesterday at the age of 82.

Sazae-san’s father, Namihei Isono. Mr. Nagai was the “voice” of this character for 45 years.

永井一郎 (Ichiro Nagai), 1931 May 10th – 2014 January 27th, R.I.P.

The Simpsons meet Japan’s Studio Ghibli

12 Jan

It seems that an upcoming episode of the American TV show “The Simpsons” will have the characters in the worlds of Japan’s Studio Ghibli!

Studio Ghibli is the creators of the excellent Japanese anime movies such as “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Spirited Away”, etc.

I would like to see that Simpsons episode!

Here’s a preview for it:

How many characters / movies from Studio Ghibli can you spot?

Pepsi…Vader or pirates?

4 Dec

Once again, Pepsi Japan is offering special collectors’ edition bottles and cans.

Starting last October 23rd (2012), Pepsi Japan started selling 「エナジーコーラ」 (“Energy Cola”) for a limited time in cans with an image of fire and Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies.

Energy Cola contains five ingredients that are meant to boost energy:
Royal jelly, argenine, asian ginseng, guarana extract and caffeine.

pepsi-vader

And in late November (2012), they began offering their NEX cola in bottles with images from the Japanese マンガ (manga comics) called “One Piece“.

pepsi-piece

Which would you choose?

Famous Japanese

27 Nov

People around the world can name American presidents, American movie actors, American pop music artists, American companies, and American fictional characters.

They’re world famous.

It’s been that way for at least a few generations now.

But before I came to Japan, there was no internet back then and Japanese food and pop culture wasn’t popular around the world like it’s become in recent years.
Back then, I wouldn’t have been able to name a single Japanese prime minister.
The only Japanese actor I knew back then was Pat Morita (from “Karate Kid“)…and he was actually a Japanese-American.
The only Japanese musicians I knew were Yoko Ono and the Japanese heavy metal band Loudness.
Of course, I would have been able to name a number of Japanese companies such as Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Honda, etc.
As for Japanese fictional characters, I knew Ultraman and Godzilla.

I’ve now been living in Japan for most of my life…so, I probably know more about Japan than I know about America anymore.

How about you? How familiar are you with Japan and Japanese culture?

What famous Japanese people do you know?
Japanese characters?
How about Japanese food / dishes?
Actors / actresses?
Bands / musicians?
How about Japanese words?
Japanese cities?
Or any other things you know about Japan?

Gundam Pepsi

5 Sep

In Japan, Pepsi-Cola offers many different flavors and other campaigns.
Click here to look at all of the different posts I’ve written about the various flavors and other gimmicks Pepsi has offered in Japan.

And Gundam is popular in Japan. There is a life-size Gundam robot, Gundam cafe, Gundam cell-phones and many other Gundam-related campaigns in Japan.
Click here to see the posts I’ve written related to Gundam.

Of course, Gundam and Pepsi have teamed up.
Click here to see a post I’ve written about it.

Well, they’ve teamed up again.

Currently Pepsi-Cola in Japan is selling their cola in cans decorated with Gundam characters.

Here are the cans:

Let me introduce you to…

13 Nov

I have written a number of posts about interesting people. Most of whose stories are related to Japan in some way.
Maybe you haven’t seen many of them…so I decided to put links to all of them on a new page that I titled “Who’s Who?“.

Please check them out and leave comments to let me know what you think.

The new page is here.