Topic “Japan”

Rated: 3.5/5

Battle Royale

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami takes place in an alternative Japan named "The Republic of Greater Asia" ruled by "The Great Dictator". Every year as part of an ongoing research project the republic runs an event informally known as "Battle Royale" where all of the students of a randomly selected high school class must kill or be killed. While the physical story follows the students to the competition's bitter end, the psychological story is an exploration of humanity when life is on the line. And there's more going on than first appears. As grim or as silly as this concept sounds, the book worked for me. I often drifted off in reflection exploring my own morals.

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"lost in a moment" Video

While cleaning up some bookmarks I re-discovered this video. I can't recall when I first came across it, or who to give the hat tip too, but I bookmarked it because I wanted to post it here. Somewhat delayed, but no less enjoyable: lost in a moment.

I'm not entirely fond of the music, though I don't hate it. What I really like about the piece is, as the videographer puts it, the space that the camera was able to enter.. extremely personal and scrutinising but not too lingering. Follow the link to the original for the thevideographer 's comments on the piece. They're quite interesting.

Cat Food Meals ... But Please, Not in Public

Cat looking up from rice bowlOne of the nicer things that's happened to me this year is meeting Seth and Vickie. Items on their life accomplishment list include teaching English in Japan. Besides hearing some great stories, it's fun talking with them about Japanese culture from a western perspective. Blog posts from Sarah Marchildon's Hollywood North Report are a common starting off point.

During one of these conversations (which started at a Malaysian restaurant as I ladled a tasty curry onto my rice) I was told how evil it is to adulterate your rice in Japan. Soy sauce on rice = ketchup on steak. But — and this is a big but — the Japanese are not without a white rice guilty pleasure . . . there's this thing called "cat food meals".

Compliments of Vickie, a pointer to this explanation from Blue Lotus Blog: Back to food:

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