Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Tag: Japan

Forty-plus years of Super Sentai tokusatsu covered in about eight minutes. Interesting to see how blatantly toy-oriented the Japanese shows are compared to the western adaptations. #video

An hour in the driver’s seat from Nagano to Kanazawa by Shinkansen bullet train. This is my jam. (Be advised: there are a lot of tunnels along the first half of the journey.) #video

I’m pained by the notion that Studio Ghibli is considered a genre unto itself, let alone anime as a whole. (It’s a medium, not a genre!) But gripes aside, this is a fine list for the uninitiated, with a spread that spans drama, action, romance and more avant storytelling. #video

Why Is Anime Obsessed With Power Lines?

In case you were wondering — and yes, it’s the signifier/metaphor you might expect. Though it also fits with the not-necessarily-metaphorical groundedness of most contemporary anime (street scenes, convenience stores, vending machines, vehicles and public transport, etc). #link

Hiragana and Katakana quiz

I’m (very slowly) learning Japanese with Duolingo, and this is a great resource to keep fresh on the relevant alphabets. Maggie Sensei is another source for info, when I’m ready to step up my game. (Not any time soon.) #link

Midori Takada’s 1983 LP Through The Looking Glass. Prompted by this short profile in the Guardian upon its recent reissue, which has promptly sold out. And it isn’t available digitally, for some stupid reason. So here you go. #video

The myth of Tokyo’s PSF Records

An audio tribute by Tristan Bath upon the death of label founder Hideo Ikeezumi. Some beautiful noise here, my favourites being acoustic bass solo improviser Motoharu Yoshizawa and the ghostly Shizuka’s ‘Bloodspattered Blossom’. #link

Osaka, Japan

Osaka cityscape, taken by Pedro Szekely. Apropos of nothing. #image

Wikipedia entry for Shiritori

A Japanese word game in which the players are required to say a word which begins with the final kana of the previous word. Kinda like that game where one person starts with a word in a particular category, and you have to follow with another in the same category starting with the last letter of the first. That’s a convoluted explanation, but you know what I mean. #link

After the quake

These photos of the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami tell a remarkable story. But maybe a more remarkable one is that of Japan’s resilience in the face of disaster. Even amid all the shocking imagery – roads split down the middle, cars and houses washed away and disintegrated in the surge – I’m not left with the same sense of hopelessness that followed the 2004 Asian tsunami.

The fact is, with an earthquake of that sheer magnitude (now thought to be 9.0), and as bad as things are right now, the situation could’ve been far worse. It’s a testament to good forward planning that they aren’t.