JAPANESE LANGUAGE & CULTURE, 2002-03
Web Pages Suggested by Students
Video games are largely produced in Japan and imported
into the US where they are translated and released under different platforms.
Video games have become a way of interacting with a story. Now video
games have integrated themselves into both Japanese and American culture
and offer, through the internet, the ability for multiple countries to
compete and/or interact with one another.
The web pages that follow were suggested by students,
based on topics in which they were especially interested. Please
report broken links to email@example.com
This is a production company in japan that make "forigen
flavored shows". i wonder if i could get a job there...
I think it is hard to choose one website that is supposed
to represent my entire interest in japanese culture. I decided that I would
present two websites about fashion and my desire for material items.
I chose my two favorite japanese designers Issey Miyake (http://www.isseymiyake.com)
and Yohi Yamamoto (http://www.yohjiyamamoto.co.jp/).
When I think of Issey Miyake I think mostly of very
abstract and pretentiously unwearable clothes. I like the smell of his
aftershave, it has a hint of freshly cut grass. Yohji Yamamoto reminds
me of hours spent in Le Bon Marché http://www.lebonmarche.fr
(the one in Paris) drooling over expensive items in his tertiary line "Y."
None of these links have any educational value and that is why I like them.
I want to add something to the list that has nothing to do with anything
we have studied so far.
Max Bonneau: Koi
Nishikigoi are colorful koi, or in layman's terms Japanese
goldfish. These fish, besides simply being as a beautiful flower
within the water of a pond, have great personality as well. They
can be trained to be hand fed and learn to recognize the footsteps of their
master (person who feeds them) and follow him as he walks around the pond.
I once saw an old Japanese nishikigoi breeder holding his very tame prize
koi up for a photograph. Breeding these fish is a legitimate profession.
A female can lay over 100,000 eggs, but only a few of the offspring will
have the correct color and skin to be valuable. It takes a lot of
time and money to breed a valuable koi.
The topic of my choice was samuri armor. My reasoning
was that it was the first aspect of Japanese culture that caught my eye.
They were always these living sculpures to me, a notion that I have liked
since I was a child. My main interest is in the aesthetics of the
armor, the colors, shapes, and use of space, and more recently materials
have been a factor for me. The URL that I found I felt was good on
providing historcal information on the armor. Plus it provides some
really good pictures to present the history. It also identifies the
individual components and provides the viewer with information on the construction
of the armor.
I found a website on Japanese pottery. There are
tons, but I really like this one because it explains the six distinct styles
of pottery in different parts of Japan - Bizen, Echizen, Tanba, Seto, Shigaraki,
and Tokoname - which are all major pottery centers. The site
shows some beautiful pottery from these areas. Though my focus was
Japanese pottery, the site also shows some very nice Japanese paintings,
textiles and photography.
Victoria Croskrey: Kimono
This pagedeals with japanese clothing, Kimono.
These sites have recipes of a few japanese dishes that
I like and miss since coming back to the states:
and Egg over Rice
Christopher Dean: Anime
This is an invaluable link to access tons of great anime
stuff. Anime is what interests me the most about Japanese culture
so far, so here's a great site which I feel broadens my knowledge of anime
and Japanese culture.
Sam Fitterman: Bushido
Bushido is a kind of honor which America has never seen,
or has long ago forgotten. This holds true with nearly all
of western history. The Samurai code does not have an equal
in our culture. This web site seems to have captured at least
a piece of what the word Bushido means.
This URL displays a company that does name cards.
I found it somewhat interesting.
My favorite sites are Japanese newspapers:
Also, there are some really good sites for Korean
Japanese people today:
Here you can find pictures of the beautiful scenery found
The first site is: http://www.fnub.org/index2.php
. I guess this would go under japanese language/ pop culture.
I found it while looking for Japanese onomatopoeia. Under the Japanese
tab of the site there's language resources, reading exercises, word games,
phrases, slang and onomatopoeia. But then exploring the site futher you
find that this person is into mutlimedia, graphics and photography. There
are some intresting pictures of Japan under the photos tab and under the
entertanment tab there are movie reviews for both american and japanese
Another one of my favorite sites is: http://www.engrish.com
. This is the home of the happy "I hate myself and want to die" t-shirt,
the "eric crapton" cd, the "scanner something error happens" computer error
message, and the "non-stop fright to Okinawa" travel poster. There's
even a section that explains the "logic" behind engrish and why the Japanese
use it in advertising.
And then finally: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/animenation/index.html
. This is one of the few online stores I've found that sells anime
import japanese language manga.
This link was the first in-depth web site I felt comfortable
in linking from the program webpage. Myself being interested in art, trying
to get a general art background, but especially in art history my first
instinct was to search for japanese art. This site gave me an in-depth
view of the art in history, plus there were many other links in which I
browsed and were of great interest. The site itself has few if any pictures,
but the links are rich, although I did stumble on one dead link. I still
think this is a great site to put up.
Nicholas Maloney: Ninja
This is a link to a website describing an aspect of Japanese
culture and history that I have a personal interest in, the concept of
Ninja. The site's title is "The Illuminated Lantern," and it begins
with a historical comparison of fact and myth surrounding what has been
characterized as a mysterious and dangerous legend. While there are
many baseless superstitions about these feudal-era spies, there are also
a good deal of facts, provided you are wiling to dig deep enough for them.
The site also goes into some detail about the tools
and media-based popularity of Ninja, which you can read further about by
accessing the link.
There are two sites that I would like to share with the
class. The first ( http://www.japan-guide.com
) while being a bit commercial has a lot of good info on it, including
etiquette, current news, and history. The second is ( http://www.pitt.edu/~ctnst3/chindogu.html).
"Chindogu" is a word coined by Kenji Kawakami that translates to "weird-tool".
I love Go, so I thought it'd be fun to do some research
on it on the web. These links have good tutorials and info about japanese
Go Association American
I actually found two sites that really interested me.
Asian Horror Encyclopedia lists Japanese writers, artists, and film directors
in the horror genre, as well as examples of horror & supernatural myths,
symbols, and folklore. Goju Ryu Network explains the style of Karate
I practice. It explains what the goju-ryu style means, gives a history
of its origins and applications in Japan and Okinawa, and gives examples
of things like etiquette in the dojo and the techniques used. Take
a look at the picture of neko ashi dachi (click on Techniques from the
main page, then Stances, and scroll down for neko).
Jared Music: Ninja
Basically while I was searching for reference material
for a comic book I was trying to do I came across this site. It goes
into the history of the Ninja, what they were and what they did,
especially during the Sengoku period. The site also gives a
little bit of history on Nobunaga, Ieyasu and a few of the other
big dogs of the later parts of the war, before the Tokugawa period
Don't know how accurate any of this stuff is though.
Jonathan Newell: Samurai
After many painstaking searches for information on the
Hideyoshi invasions of Korea, Saigo Takamori, and Japanese weaponry, I
decided on a broader topic. This site provides engaging
information on a broad range of samurai related topics, including family
crests, individual bios, and Daimyo house codes.
My main area of interest is music, so naturally I would
gravitate to some type of aural domain for this assignment. Aquarius
records is probably the best record store in the country (entirely subjective,
I know) on par with Other Music in NYC. Aquarius is in a tiny shop on Valencia
in San Francisco, and they specialize in hard to find music from all over
the globe. You can rest assured anything in AQ, while you may not like
it, will be interesting and not what’s being mass produced and thrown at
you from the mainstream media machine. They review almost everything they
have in the store, and you can listen to clips of many of their albums
This said, their selection of music from Japan is
extensive. From more poppy groups such as Pizzicato5, to the droning thirty
minute tracks of Acid Mother’s Temple (a collective of artists, gardeners,
musicians, film makers), to AUBE’s “pages from the book” (which is a recording
of ripping pages out of the bible and sampling/processing the sounds),
to Ohayo Hoahio (a group of three amazing women on drums, koto, and samplers
who are a part of the thriving Osaka noise scene), to Merzbow (master of
noise)...and on and on.
I always find AQ’s lists entertaining and informative.
Below is a excerpt of a review of Ohayo Hoahio:
HOAHIO Ohayo! Hoahio! (Tzadik) cd 16.98
Fantastic 2nd (first US) release from this all-female
Japanese avant-pop group. Yagi Michiyo on the koto (veteran of a Tzadik
solo release), Haco on vocals and other instruments, and sinewave sampler
virtuoso Sachiko M (known for her work with Otomo Yoshihide in Ground Zero
and ISO). Includes a couple of reworked tracks from the import debut on
Sachiko's Amoebic label, and more, new wonderful electronic/experimental
pop songs in the same vein, strange and lovely. Recommended.
I personnaly have an interest in animation (not just
anime), so I decided research on my two favorite Animation studios. (I'm
sorry I couldn't decide on just one.)
The first site is NIPPON ANIMATION. When growing
up in the international district some of their animation was the first
I had seen (without subtitles or bad dubbing(Starblazers) or Messinf with
Plot(Robotech)). They have what I call an cutsy 70's style of animation
their main site can be found here: (Its in English) http://www.nipponanimation.com/top.html
My second favorite site is Studio Ghibli. I like
this studio because of their innovations in Animation (with computer cell
painting and cg integration) and because their films are both Moving and
incredibly detailed. Their main site is here: (In Japanese) http://www.ntv.co.jp/ghibli/
A second site that is unofficial and has a filmography
is here: http://www.nausicaa.net/
These two sites provide information about Japan's indiginous
people, the Ainu.
These sites deal with Japanese AV [Adult Video] Idols.
Most of these are just pictures, but because of the fact that they're Idol
books, it's best that it has no words. To keep it real.
(no nudie ads)
(a few ads)
(a great search engine with a lot more ads than it should have)
Chrystal Selvidio: Geisha
An aspect of Japanese culture that I find quite interesting
is the Geisha. There's a lot of history, culture, and sterotypes behind
them. This site I found about Geishas seem to be the best out there.
This site is a little out of date, but it is the most
in depth English language site on one of the best (but unfortunately little
known) directors out of Japan, Takeshi Kitano.
A few sections containing various photographs and descriptions
of Japanese Castles, along with geographical information.
This website gives a clear idea to the belief and spirituality
in chanoyu or the tea ceremony. It covers the cultural and spiritual aspect
of the ceremony along with the significance of each person and piece
of equipment. It also covers the importance of silent communication between
participants. Another quality on this website is that it takes you through
the roles of the ceremony step by step.
While doing the "Internet Resources" assignment, I found
the best site for learning Japanese language...and best part is, you don't
need to download anything onto your computer inorder to see the nihongo!!!
It also has tells you how to download Japanese onto your computer, etc.
Jason Voss: Kanji
Kanji, for me, has been the most intriguing aspect of
the Japanese language since I began learning it back in high school.
I located several good web sites, some which described the origin of the
characters, others that illustrated their historical and modern use, and
some which recommended the best approaches to learning them. All
of these topics are covered, at least on the surface level, on this web
I live downtown and see a lot of really good graffiti,
so it got me wondering what wall art in Japan was like. It would seem like
it would both be very shinto influenced with a supernnatural undertone
but also not very prevalent, since the Japanese seem to have such a conscious
awareness of how every visual element blends together to create a harmony.