Interesting isn’t it!
This page is specifically for interesting things related directly to learning Japanese or about the culture of Japan. Through my trawling of Japanese related webpages I have gathered a lot of links and now hope to show some of the more useful or amusing things (I’m not trying to make a weird Japan page, believe me). I have been posting some of these things in the Japan and Japanese section but having them on one page might be much more useful.
I’ll add things intermittently so stay tuned.
Your Name in Japanese
If you have even the slightest of interest in Japanese, you’ll probably be intrigued by how your name is written in a totally different writing system. It is written using the Katakana writing system, a system normally used for foreign loan-words introduced into Japan or for making text stand out like in advertising.
This website is a bit of fun. Just type in your name and see it converted into a number of fonts. It’s a nice interpretation.
How to Eat Sushi at a Sushi Bar
Watch it then read on.
This caused much merriment in class. It is so well made but the more comedic elements reveal it to be a spoof. To be honest, I could believe some of these jokes – entering the restaurant, pouring the drink, greeting people. There are a lot of hints this is ridiculous but it was great.
Japanese prank shows have the reputation of being cruel but at their best they are hilarious as these examples shows:
Rubber Band Gun
Sometimes when I think of Japan I think of the random stuff that is produced like this rubber band gun:
Why, you ask? Why not, I’d respond. The music is cool, it makes me think Metal Gear Solid and the gun even has a laser sight for crying out loud. This is so cool and appeals to the boy in me. Hats off to you sir, the free world has another weapon to defend itself with.
To celebrate five years of YouTube (and the billions upon trillions of wasted hours watching it) YouTube put up a series of videos featuring the most interesting (I use this word advisedly) characters on the service. Enter Junji Koyama who makes musical instruments out of vegetables:
Carry on Wayward Son performed on a Yama Electone ELC-01C Electric Organ.
At the time of this video, Ameri was 10. Whoever this girl is, she’s damn awesome. I wish I had her skills. Failing that, her cool electric organ would do. Listen to this:
Dear Japan by Matthew Brown
An epic video.
This is How Japanese Advertise Real Estate
The Kung Fu master (Kill Bill 2’s Pai Mei) says that Japanese houses are expensive. I’m surprised because I actually understood what he said.
Ramen Vending Machine
Because sometimes, chocolate isn’t enough! On a much more serious note, Japan is famous for vending machines that offer anything and everything plus it’s a look at the country.
Slouching Somewhere also sent me a link to an amusing article that charts all the useful things Japanese vending machines sell.
Speaking Manly Japanese
A chap named Bobbyjudo uploaded this video on YouTube which involves him getting people in Kyushuu teaching him how to speak manly Japanese. An interesting watch even if you don’t understand everything said because you can listen to his intonation.
The next two videos are from Vermilion Pleasure Night, the first ep of which is below.
This was a comedy sketch-show that aired in the early 2000’s. The antics on these shows were regularly screened on shows like Saiko Exciting (below) which I watched every Saturday morning.
A show where real women pretend to be dolls living in a doll-house and a middle-aged guy narrates their day, presumably because he’s playing with them. Just watch.
An old comedy sketch about a family of Americans who live in Tokyo.
Dezaato – Mail Me
Anybody who has watched Sion Sono’s Suicide Club will be familiar with the demonic J-pop that causes people to have existential melt-downs. Here’s the full version.