Modern Japanese fashion has always been one of the most interesting things about the Japanese culture. Peopleâ€™s interests are always piqued when it comes to this countryâ€™s fashion sense. Yet in the first quarter of this year, it seems that a shift in colors is occurring. Casualness seems to be going out as a new color emerges.
While it used to be white and black that were considered the base fashion colors, now it is gray that is emerging. As with everything related to fashion, base colors have undergone major changes throughout the decades. They have gone from blue to brown to beige then black. What exactly is a base color anyway? It is defined as the keynote color in a personâ€™s outfit. This means that the base color is the predominant color in a material. There could be other colors on the cloth, of course, but the base color is what sets the tone or the mood of the outfit. The base color, as you may have noticed is usually more low key than bright flashy colors. However, they have a large impact on the overall look of the person wearing the outfit, whatever style it may be.
Fashion experts in Japan state that gray as the new base color is the sign that the casual look is on its way out. They claim that gray radiates innocence and refinement. As such, what we could expect to see this year in the streets of Japan are suits and uniforms in gray.
[tags]Japan, Japanese fashion, base colors, suits, uniforms[/tags]
Posted March 26th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
This form of writing is associated by many with the ancient Chinese and Japanese. We all know that calligraphy involves more than writing, but is an art form in itself. In Japan, it used to be that all children learned the basics of calligraphy, or shodo in the native language. With technology pervading society as fast as it is, however, less and less people are actually learning shodo. Both adults and children seem to have forgotten about this ancient art form.
Recently however, a sprinkling of young artists has been breathing life into this art form. They have in fact extended their stage to the rest of the world. Takeda Soun is well known for his â€œperformance shodoâ€ wherein he creates calligraphy on stage with music on the background. His performances have been well received in many European countries. He is only one among many young Japanese who value this ancient art and wish for it to continue to be known and appreciated the world over.
[tags]Japan, writing. culture, calligraphy, shodo, characters[/tags]
Posted March 24th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
This popular leisure activity is not normally associated with Japan yet if you just take a deeper look, there are in fact wonderful places wherein you can scuba dive. From the last count, there are over 2,000 diving spots all over the country, many of them world class. Here are a few spots which you should consider.
This is the most popular dive spot in the mainland. Only a train ride away from Tokyo, the Izu Peninsula is home to many different kinds of diving activities as well as the onsen. In fact, it is more popular for the latter.
Also part of Tokyo, these islands have a warmer temperature and thus warmer waters. It is quite far though â€“ at 1,850 km to the south. It is perfect for those who are looking for a longer diving trip.
A familiar name to many, Okinawa is actually the Japanese tropical paradise. Located in the southernmost part of the country, Okinawa offers the best scuba diving in all of Japan.
[tags]Japan, scuba diving, onsen, Okinawa, Izu Peninsula, Ogasawara Islands, Tokyo[/tags]
Posted March 22nd, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
Leave it to the Japanese to come up with this idea! Professor Arai Kohei of Saga University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering has come up with a computer system which makes use of the userâ€™s eyes to input information to control it. Called the Mitsumeru Dake, or Just Look in English, this system makes use of a miniature camera to measure the line of sight of the user. All he has to do is look at a character on the screen for one second and it will be considered an input.
This computer system is seen to be very useful for people with disabilities. As we may be very well aware of, there are countless people who are unable to use computers due to one disability or another. That is, unless they have access to expensive equipment. With Mitsumeru Dake, this situation can be resolved.
This development is indeed very much welcomed by the rest of the world. It is a prime example of how men of science can put their knowledge to practical use to improve peopleâ€™s lives.
[tags]Japan, Japanese scientists, inventions, computer systems, disability[/tags]
Posted March 20th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
The Japanese have always been leaders in technology. This time, they are applying their knowledge and skill to combating global warming. In their efforts to reduce global warming, Japanese scientists are trying out a new method of sequestration. They have been testing the burying of CO2 under the seabed in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
According to Murai Shigeo, leader of the RITE carbon dioxide sequestration group, they â€œhave been able to show that carbon dioxide injection in Japan’s particular geological conditions is possible, and computer simulations based on our monitoring activity give a good idea of how the gas will behave over the next thousand years.” The implications of this study are short of amazing.
If found successful, a country would be able to get rid of about 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide in this manner. With the rest of the world becoming more aware of the need to actively fight global warming, this Japanese innovation is indeed very much welcome.
[tags]Japan, science and technology, environment, innovations, carbon dioxide, global warming, sequestration[/tags]
Posted March 18th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
All cultures have their own brand of music and sound, no matter where you go. In Japan, as in other countries, music has evolved to incorporate the trends in daily living. J-pop, the term used to refer to the popular music among the youth, has exploded beyond the geographical borders of the country. This genre has in fact become quite popular in other Asian countries.
The interesting thing about J-pop is that it has its roots firmly established in traditional Japanese music. This includes folk music. Incorporate elements of Western music (UK and the US) into the traditional sound and you get J-pop â€“ an interesting and provoking juxtaposition.
Critics of this type of music claim that J-pop sounds too much like particular songs. Proponents of J-pop on the other hand defend the genre by saying that musical influences are naturally part of the new creation. On the surface, you might think that you have heard a J-pop song before. Try listening a little more closely, however, and you will find that though there are similar elements, the song is a totally unique piece of work on its own.
[tags]Japan, popular culture, youth, music, J-pop[/tags]
Posted March 16th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
Who has not heard of the really scary Japanese ghost stories? Movies like The Grudge have reached a very wide audience all over the world, with Hollywood even making their own version of it. Ask any fan, though, the Japanese original cannot be matched. In Japan, ghost stories were called kwaidan or kaidan. Though it refers to horror stories in general, the word kaidan has its roots in the Edo Period folktales.
Today, however, kaidan is not the commonly used term for this genre of stories. More often than not, movies and books focusing on this theme are referred to by the katakana hora or kowai hanashi in standard Japanese. For an old fashioned effect, authors use the term kaidan.
Stories under this genre often have plots that revolve around Buddhist concepts. As such, karma and ghostly vengeance abound. In these stories, ghosts have amazing powers that they use to wreak havoc in their human tormentorâ€™s life. Sometimes, they not only target one person but humanity in general. Try watching one of these films or reading one of these books and you will fully see what kaidan is.
[tags]Japan, Edo Period, folktales, folklore, ghost stories, kaidan, kwaidan, hora[/tags]
Posted March 14th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
For the past few years, home electronics manufacturers have been trying to outrace one another to pack as much data onto a single disk. It is common knowledge that Japanese companies have always been on the forefront of these technologies. It is no secret either, that we have been provided with so many options when it comes to high capacity disk storage â€“ from hard disks to optical discs. The problem sometimes lies in the fact that it may be quite an arduous task to find the exact movie or song that you want.
Again, the Japanese come to the rescue. Japanese company NEC has developed a system which makes searching for content as easy as one two three. Dubbed â€œtopic division technology,â€ it makes use of voice patterns which are analyzed. The analyzed data is then used as the key words or phrases for searching. As such, one can find almost any content quite easily.
[tags]Japan, technology, NEC, storage[/tags]
Posted March 12th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
With the coming of the spring comes the blooming of flower buds and blossoms all over the country. Yet this spring, there other things blooming aside from flora. Take a walk downtown and you will see a wide array of skirts on display â€“ both on mannequins and their human counterparts. Indeed, this spring, skirts are even more in fashion in Japan than it was last year.
Japanese schoolgirls in cute little skirts have always been a point of fascination for many Westerners. Things have stepped up a notch this spring as Japanese designers come out with a host of skirts for the season. The variations are astounding and would make a womanâ€™s heart burst with happiness. From wild colors to a wide range of styles and cuts, there is a skirt to satisfy every whim and fancy. More than that, some of the skirts out can be worn in many ways â€“ from the traditional skirt only ensemble to skirt over leggings or skinny jeans. So take off those heavy winter clothes and go get yourself a skirt or two!
[tags]Japan, clothes, fashion, spring, skirts[/tags]
Posted March 10th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off
What do these things have in common? Ask the manufacturers of the very popular brand Bihada Ichizoku and theyâ€™ll tell you everything. One of the most common sights in drugstores and beauty bars in Japan today is a skincare product that is packaged in the most extraordinary way â€“ a pretty girl with long curly blonde hair backdropped by a scene of hot pink.
This beauty sheet mask is sold by Lovelabo, a Japanese company specializing in beauty products. What they did was unprecedented â€“ they combined their marketing strategy with that of a popular novel and its characters. Though quite new at the time that they conceptualized this strategy, they have been proven right in their choice. To date, the sales of this line of products have skyrocketed beyond the companyâ€™s original expectations.
Indeed, having an excellent line of skincare products packaged in such an unconventional manner is a great way to catch consumersâ€™ attention. I wonder where I can get my hands on one?
[tags]Japan, fashion, skincare, anime, novels, marketing[/tags]
Posted March 8th, 2007 by geisha+ | Comments Off