I am months late to the game, but I found this interesting Japanese-learning website set up by the Japan Foundation called Erin’s Challenge! I can speak Japanese. It has a few dozen short skits with copyable soft-subs in Japanese, kana, romaji and English and a bunch of Flash learning apps. The corny acting is so [...]
I was bored yesterday and wrote a little summary of my thoughts for the future. This was partially inspired by the upcoming Singapore General Election taking place tomorrow and a certain online conservation I had with someone. After I finished writing it, I realized that it bears some similarities to the Dune timeline, so perhaps [...]
So not too long ago, I was in Kagoshima, the southernmost prefecture on Japan’s four main islands. It is a rather backwater place despite the abnormally large role it played in Japan’s contemporary history, but it is very beautiful. Kagoshima is also the location of Nishi-oyama Station, Japan Railways’ (JR) southernmost train station.
Clichés make a show boring. The more clichéd a story is, the less interesting and enjoyable it becomes. But my theory is that this relationship only holds true until you hit a certain magical event horizon where the laws of the universe break apart, one gets divided by zero and clichés become art.
So I am finally back in Singapore. Experiencing post-trip lethargy as usual. I figure I should get started on blogging now before it becomes impossible for me to return to my usual weekly schedule and I fall into the eternal dark void of procrastination. Nagasaki was the first city in Kyushu I really visited, not [...]
Gunkanjima, officially “Hashima”, is a tiny island just outside Nagasaki Bay. Consisting mostly of man-made concrete-covered landfills, the island was a coal-mining operation run by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry and once boasted the highest population density in the world. Today, the only way to land on the island is by forking out 4,300 yen for a [...]
Concert booklet and T-shirt I expected last year to be my first and last chance to watch Maaya Sakamoto perform live, but I was wrong and my sentiments at the time were rendered somewhat hyperbolic in retrospect. In spite of the recent events in Japan, I managed to make my way to Osaka International Convention [...]
Hollywood has its flaws. Cookie-cutter scripts and commodification of art can often ruin beautiful things. But at least Hollywood gets the cinematography right and doesn’t usually suffer from the pandemic of awkward overacting rampant in Japanese mainstream cinema. 2011′s Space Battleship Yamato live action movie is anime-comes-alive, but in a bad way that constantly reminds [...]
Sendai, Miyagi prefecture (Kyodo News/Associated Press) I don’t normally like to write about breaking news because generally I find that I have neither the first-hand expertise nor the retrospective hindsight to comment on most real-time events non-trivial. The story would be very different if the earthquake had happened three weeks later when I will be [...]
So I have been clocking a few hours into Atlus’ horror puzzler Catherine on my PS3 because Rie Tanaka was tweeting about it and I am easily influenced by Twitter. Surprisingly, it is actually not a bad game, but it takes a lot of patience to overcome the rage-inducing learning curve, and ultimately at the [...]