Posts Tagged ‘japan’

Reblog from JAPANsociology–check out Megumi Nishikura’s TEDxKyoto talk on the Hafu film.


by Robert Moorehead

In September, filmmaker Megumi Nishikura gave a powerful, moving, and extremely personal presentation at TEDxKyoto. Her film, Hafu, is showing in theaters around the world, and offers an insightful look into the experiences of five hafu in Japan. The film opens in Kobe on November 23, and I can’t wait to see it.

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I got a great comment from Maya on “Video: ‘White Japanese People – 白人系日本人'” about how mixed-race people living in Japan are also often treated as “foreigners,” and I wanted to share some recent links on that subject.

Image via The Diplomat.

Image via The Diplomat.


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In this Japan gender reader: Dwango grabs some girls from the steno pool circa 1950 and puts them in tracksuits; how the koseki (family registry) continues to ostracize residents of Japan; and is the patriarchy dead–a qualified NO. Read on!

Image via Akihabara News.

Dwango’s joshi-mane: when health care is feminized. Run, ladies, run away! Image via Akihabara News.


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On San’in Monogatari: Some great historical background on tatara (iron bellows) and why it was such a big deal that they were run by women in Mononoke-hime:

San'in Monogatari

Have you ever heard of Tatara?

If you’re like me, the first thing that pops into your head is one of the 28 Chinese mansion constellations (婁), but if you’re more interested in iron working, steel working, and Japanese swords, perhaps you already know this as foot-operated bellows used in the firey production of these materials (踏鞴, though usually written phonetically as たたら).

It’s such a crucial part of this region’s history, however, that I’ve learned a thing or two–though lacking any craftsmanship sense, my knowledge is still limited. Here’s a basic introduce so as to introduce one of the local deities.

Tatara was likely imported into Japan from Korea by way of Shimane Prefecture, and seeing as the San’in region is rich with titanium magnetite, a necessary ingrediant for iron production, it took hold here very early on in Japanese history. Way back in ancient Japan–specifically 713ad, two…

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On Silver Week 2012, I went hiking in Kamikochi, heading on a relatively easy path to Myojin-ike (明神池).

Myojin-ike @ The Lobster Dance


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Photos taken at “From Hiroshima to Hope” Floating Lantern Ceremony, which honors those who died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all victims of violence. Green Lake Park, Seattle, August 6, 2013.

…We shall try to say no single word which should appeal to one group rather than to another. All, equally, are in peril, and, if the peril is understood, there is hope that they may collectively avert it.

Genbaku Dome Hiroshima @ The Lobster Dance

Genbaku Dome, Hiroshima, 2011

We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps; the question we have to ask ourselves is: what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties?


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Halloween isn’t for a few more months, but Obon is right around the corner in Japan. Check out the Hyakumonogatari’s article about tsukimono (possession) in Japan. I had no idea about the link of kitsune-tsukai and dowa (同和) discrimination! What’s your favorite spooky Japanese legend or horror story?

百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Tanuki Possession Mizuki Shigeru

Translated and Sourced from Mizuki Shigeru’s Mujyara, The Catalpa Bow, Myths and Legends of Japan, Occult Japan, Japanese Wikipedia, and Other Sources

There are eight million gods and monsters in Japan, and more than a few of them like to ride around in human bodies from time to time. Yurei. Kappa. Tanuki. Tengu. Kitsune. Snakes. Cats. Horses. Almost anything can possess a human. But when they do, they are all known by a single name—Tsukimono, the Possessing Things.

What Does Tsukimono Mean?

Tsukimono is a straight forward term. It combines the kanji憑 (tsuki; possession) +物 (mono; thing). There is a different word for actual possession憑依 (hyoi), which is the kanji 憑 (tsuki again, but this time pronounced hyo—because Japanese is hard) + 依 (I; caused by).

Although they are collectively known as tsukimono, different types of tsukimono use –tsuki as a suffix, such as kappa-tsuki (河童憑; kappa possession), tengu-tsuki (天狗憑…

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