Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anime, manga and cosplay party in NYC, Oct. 28

A novel project to introduce fans of Japan and Japanese popular culture to NY-area Japanese and Japanese Americans. Details here and below. Dress up, dance. Discuss.

'Hear, hear (sans irony)!'

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yoko Ono talks terrorism in Paper Sky

Yoko Ono can't slow down


Roland Kelts: I feel like I’ve traveled a lot, but when I look at the many journeys you’ve taken across borders of culture, sex, politics, art and spirit- let alone time and space- I’m humbled.

Yoko Ono: The most interesting journey I have made was not the physical one, but the mental and spiritual. Right now, I am still busy making the journey. It’s not the time yet to summarize it.

R: Maybe the world is finally catching on to your spiritual journey. They are cheering your work in the East and in the West. I’ve heard that you will be featured in the upcoming Shanghai Biennale.

Y: So I’ve heard.

R: But for so many years, you were battling the world’s stereotypes: of women, of Asians, and as John Lennon’s wife. Do you feel that this latest embrace of you and your work is more genuine and complete?

Y: I won’t go that far to say that it is genuine and complete. What are you saying?! As you know, nothing is ever totally genuine or complete.

R: Ah, yes. Nothing is. But you are no longer so easily identified as an “outsider,” and that may pose new challenges.

Y: It may.

R: Leaving Japan and living in Ameirca made you a cultural and racial outsider, at least in the early years.

Y: I have never left Japan. Nor have I decided to limit myself to living in the US. In my mind I live in all the places I’ve been and not been to.

R: When you spoke at the Japan Society in New York a few years ago, you said that you visited Japan frequently and found the culture changing in a healthy way.

Y: It is changing into a more open society, where people are not afraid to speak out. That’s beautiful..." [more @ Paper Sky]

JP version:

旅の女 オノ・ヨーコ







Y:疑いもなく明白だなんて、そこまではいいませんが… 疑いようもない明白なものなんてこの世に存在しないでしょう。

R:ああ、そうですね… そんなものはありませんね。でも、いまあなたはもはやアウトサイダー的な存在ではないと思うんです。その事実について、今後何か新たな展開が起こるのではないかと思っているのですが。





Y:ええ。どんどん解放された社会に変化していると思っています。みんなが自分の意見を躊躇せずに言える環境に。素晴らしいことです。[more @ Paper Sky]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

As Japan Ages, Pop 'Idols' Aren't as Spry as They Used to Be

Aging Japan

--Daniel Grunebaum's story on Japan's aging pop stars and their aging fans (ouch): The New York Times/IHT

'Nostalgia also may play a role in the current prominence of aging talents in Japan’s entertainment industry. Roland Kelts, media commentator and author of the book “Japanamerica,” said Japanese baby boomers were seeking reassurance from aging stars in the way Western fans have for years. “There’s a point at which rock and pop stop being celebrations of youth, rebellion and forward-thinking,” he said, “and start becoming celebrations of themselves — a way of confirming that they the entertainers, and we the fans,” are still relevant.'