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Star Wars director pays respect to Tokyo

18 Dec

Today is 2015 December 18th…the day that the latest Star Wars movie premieres in Japan.

Poster in a train station in Tokyo advertising the new Star Wars movie.

Poster in a train station in Tokyo advertising the new Star Wars movie.

Star Wars has a lot of inspirations from Japanese movies and Japanese culture.
For instance, click here to see some photos my daughter took of Darth Vader, Stormtroopers and lightsabers done up to more closely resemble the samurai and katana swords that they were modeled after.

Well, members of the cast and crew of the latest Star Wars movie were recently in Tokyo to promote the movie.
Actor John Boyega (who plays the new character “Finn“) expressed how excited he was to visit and shop in Tokyo:

Tweet by actor John Boyega on his last day in Tokyo.

Tweet by actor John Boyega on his last day in Tokyo.

And, it turns out, that there is a planet in the new Star Wars movie named in honor of Tokyo.

Tokyo is director J.J. Abrams “favorite city” and he named a planet in Star WarsTakodana” after the 高田馬場 (Takadanobaba) college-town area of Tokyo.

He was quoted in an interview about it:

“There’s a planet in this movie called Takodana and I named (it) after the first time I came to Tokyo (and) we stayed in a hostel in Takadanobaba. So it was a nod to my favorite city.”

— J.J. Abrams

Near Tokyo's 高田馬場駅 (Takadanobaba train station)

Near Tokyo’s 高田馬場駅 (Takadanobaba train station)

Letterboxd

28 Dec

I like movies very much. I watch movies often. I thought twitter would be a useful place to ask others for recommendations for good movies to watch…and I could also write my opinion of movies I’ve seen to help other people choose a good movie.

But twitter user @kuma told me about a site called “Letterboxd“.

Letterboxd

Why don’t you visit their site and join?  It’s free and it’s easy.  And, if you like movies at all, it’s fun!

You can rate movies with a ☆ star ranking. And you can write a review or summary, if you want to.  You can also search for a movie that you’re thinking about watching and see other people’s rating of it.

Another thing that I like about Letterboxd if that it’s a good way to keep a diary of the movies you’ve watched.  I’ve only just started using their site, so I don’t anywhere near all of the movies I’ve seen listed…but click here to see my Letterboxd page.

If you join, “follow” me on the site…and also write a comment on this post and tell your page URL.

Big Bird came to Japan

31 May

I didn’t know that there was a Sesame Street special that had Big Bird visit Japan.

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He and his dog got seperated from their tour group in Tokyo which led to a number of cultural misunderstandings … such as Big Bird thinking people were telling him that they were from the U.S. state of Ohio when they greeted him with “Ohayo” (‘good morning’)… until he was helped by a mysterious woman who turned out to be “Kaguya-hime” (a famous Japanese folktale “Bamboo Princess”) and she helps him and his dog get back to Sesame Street in America.

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Here’s the special on YouTube:

Greenery Day or Star Wars Day

4 May

It is now “Golden Week” in Japan.

April 29th was “Showa Day”. It’s called that because it was the late Showa-era Emperor’s birthday, and celebrated as such until he died 26 years ago.

May 3rd (yesterday) was “Constitution Day”. The day Japan’s post-WWII constitution was adapted.

Today, May 4th is “Greenery Day”. The day to appreciate nature.

Originally after the Showa Emperor died,  April 29th was Greenery Day because that Emperor loved nature, and May 4th was “Residents Holiday”… but it was changed about twelve years ago.

Tomorrow, May 5th is “Children’s Day”.

This year, because today is a Sunday and therefore today’s holiday is kinda ‘lost’ since it’s already a day off for most people… Tuesday, May 6th is also a day off. It’s “Greenery Day observed”.

Collectively, this holiday period is known as “Golden Week”.

Also, the new upcoming Star Wars movie (Episode VII), with the most famous faces from the first three Star Wars movies returning in their 60s or 70s will be in theaters in Japan and other countries in December 2015.

It seems that Star Wars fans around the world call May 4th (today) “Star Wars Day” because the date, May the Fourth, sounds like the well-known quote from Star Wars, “May The Force (Be With You)”.

Fellow KISS fan here in Japan, “Naokiss “, found an ad in today’s newspaper for the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII that explained that today is 「スターウォーズの日」(Star Wars Day):

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2014 Godzilla trailer

7 Apr

Here’s the new trailer for the upcoming 2014 U.S./Japan collaboration “Godzilla” movie:

Japan in January

1 Mar

Japan is beautiful in January … and every other month!

Groundhog Day

2 Feb

In America, it’s Groundhog Day