Are you a car enthusiast? What excites you when it comes to cars? Good old American muscle cars? Sleek and sexy sports cars? How about tranquil and compact Japanese cars?
If you lean towards the last group, then you would be interested in what Shigeru Ban and Kenya Hara are doing. These two Japanese nationals are trying to change the perception of the rest of world with regard to modern Japan. One of their activities that has gotten a lot of attention is the Japan Car show. This show is actually part of the efforts of their group called Design Platform Japan.
Hara explains their ideology:
We wanted to introduce Japanese industrial culture to the world. We Japanese are not very good at explaining what is happening in Japan right now properly. Although Japanese subcultures such as anime or manga are becoming well known, when Japan is introduced it tends to be in terms of tea ceremonies or kimonos. Our industrial, mainstream culture just isnâ€™t represented.
And they are currently tapping the strong interest in cars to showcase modern Japan. There are 14 models on display but not all of them are available in the market. More so, not all the cars might appeal to the average car enthusiast â€“ especially the more â€œexoticâ€ designs. Their aim, however, is to give viewers a glimpse of the future that Japan might be able to bring about through a fusion of their technology and culture. That is interesting, to say the least.
Posted November 22nd, 2008 by Maki+ | Comments (2)
When we speak of Japan and religion, the faiths that normally come to mind are Shintoism and Buddhism. After all, these are the religions that are most practiced in the country (and many other Eastern countries). A less known fact is that there is a strong Christian community in Japan and that the country has long history relating to this major world religion.
As a testament to this, the Roman Catholic Church is beatifying Japanese Christian martyrs. What you may not know â€“ and to be honest, I didnâ€™t know this either â€“ is that many Japanese people were persecuted because of their Christian faith in the 1600s. These people came from all walks of life. Some were samurais, some were housewives, some were even children!
On Monday, the Roman Catholic Church is going to hold a ceremony honoring these people. According to the tenets of this religion, this kind of ceremony is going to bestow the people an honor one step below sainthood. More than the beatification of the martyrs, however, the ceremony means a lot to the relatively small number of Christians in the country. For them, it is a show of strength, a testament to the existence of their faith in a country dominated by other religions.
Another interesting piece of trivia for you: did you know that Japan currently has a Roman Catholic Prime Minister in Taro Aso? He actually holds the distinction of being the first ever Catholic PM of the country!
Posted November 21st, 2008 by Maki+ | Comment (0)
Christmas is only a little more than a month away. Have you gotten started on your Christmas shopping yet? I know some people who are finished with their lists. In fact, they finished months ago. But if you are like me, then you are probably the type who waits till the last minute to get gifts for everyone. Good thing for us, there is such a thing as online shopping. Whoever first thought of online shopping should be awarded some great prize! I mean, I do not even have to go anywhere to get gifts. They will be delivered right to my doorstep â€“ or the recipientâ€™s doorstep!
Speaking of online shopping, did you know that there are great places online where you could find kawaii items? If you do not know what I am talking about, then you should read my previous post about kawaii, or cute things (loose translation). Kawaii has been around for decades and I am sure that most everyone is aware of it although perhaps not by name.
Anyhow, I found a great article on online stores featuring kawaii items.
Sweet Kitty the Anime Store is located in Kent, Washington. You can visit the store in person at 18111 E. Valley HWY S. #103; otherwise, you can purchase items directly from the store at: SweetKittyAnime.com. The store specializes in Japanese items, and it carries brands from Harajuku Lovers to Hello Kitty. The store has the best selection of Sanrio products in Washington State. The owners love their customers and encourage visitors to come to the store. Below are some of the hot items that are in-demand.
ShopKawaii.com is the web store for both Kawaii Gifts and Kawaii Avenue since April of 2006. However, ShopKawaii.com is dedicated to our imported gifts. You can visit the stores personally at Kawaii Gifts, located at 5413-B Walnut St. Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Kawaii Avenue is located at 5413-A Walnut St. Pittsburgh, PA 15232.
Thanks to Katrina-Kasey Wheeler for these wonderful pieces of information.
Posted November 10th, 2008 by Maki+ | Comments (2)