Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Speaking of Japan, the great gaijin has passed on to other realms:


Donald Richie, a prominent American critic and writer on Japan who helped introduce much of the English-speaking world to the golden age of Japanese cinema in 1959 and recounted his expatriate life there spanning seven decades, died on Tuesday in Tokyo. He was 88.

…Mr. Richie wrote prolifically, not just on film and culture in Japan but also on his own travels and experiences there. He won recognition for his soul-baring descriptions of a Westerner’s life in an impenetrable but permissive society that held him politely at arm’s length while allowing him to explore it nonetheless, from its classical arts to its seedy demimonde.

Openly bisexual, Mr. Richie also wrote frankly about his lovers, both male and female, saying Japan’s greater tolerance of homosexuality in the 1940s, relative to that in the United States, was one reason he returned to the country after graduating from Columbia University in 1953. Mr. Richie first saw Tokyo as a bombed-out ruin, arriving in 1947 as a 22-year-old typist with the Allied Occupation forces after serving on transport ships during the war. He spent most of the next 66 years in Tokyo, gaining a following among Western readers for textured descriptions of Japan and its people that transcended Western stereotypes.


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That’s Nyan Nyan Nyan Day to you, buddy. (Raise your hand if you’re trying to refrain from a Nyan Nyan-Nyan Nyan Nyan joke.)

Koinky dinky that this falls on the birthday of Japanophile and catophile Edward Gorey? I think not.

Cats on a street sign in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district. (Itsuo Inouye — Associated Press)

The WaPo article also includes this Maru Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 video. I must say, I’ve watched a lot of Maru vids, and this one is spectacular.  A lot of classic antics and some footage that’s new to me.



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Fubirai has spent the last five years chronicling these semi-wild cats. So hard to choose amongst the 50 photos that Buzzfeed has put together. Tremendous photography.

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Buzzfeed has posted the most amazing photo series of Misa and her cat Fukumaru, taken by Misa’s granddaugher, Miyoko Ihara. Miyoko began photographing her grandmother 13 years ago and Fukumaru entered the picture 9 years ago (Buzzfeed gets that detail wrong; probably glossed Miyoko’s account a bit too quickly) when Misa, now 88, found him abandoned in a shed. Miyoko’s impressive skill with a camera captures not just their beautiful friendship but offers a great glimpse of Japanese rural life as well. (She did create a photobook from her collection, which I’d have on my wishlist and give as gifts it weren’t upwards of $45 a pop.) The images of Misa and her odd-eyed Fukumaru among the daikon and elsewhere around the farm and home seem like a Miyazaki tale in the making.

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