Tag: Japan

  • Sotetsu Line Tear Jerker

    Sotetsu Line Tear Jerker

    In America, it used to be AT&T that made the nostalgic TV commercials that would bring a tear to your eye. In Japan, a Yokohama train line is pulling on that thread. The Sotetsu line was the train I took to my Japanese grandmother’s house in Wadamachi from its terminus in Yokohama. It was the […]

  • Something Different

    Something Different

    Yasumura has been polishing his bit for years back in his native Japan. Now he has taken his act internationally to Britain’s Got Talent, changing his name to Toni Kaku and leaning into his mangled Engrish. Don’t worry. . . he’s wearing . . . PANTS! Izumi dug up a video of him from eight […]

  • Japan back open

    On October 11th Japan finally lifted the burdensome Covid restrictions which prevented all but the most determined from visiting Japan. With the USD/JPY rate approaching levels that we haven’t seen since the 1990s now is a great time to visit Japan.

  • Human Pictograms

    Looking back at the human pictograms used to illustrate 50 Olympic sports in 5 minutes I realized the inspiration is from an Japanese game show I wrote about earlier, Kasou Taishou.

  • Nike Japan

    Nike Japan

    Nike’s latest campaign starts a conversation about racism in Japan

  • Tommy Lee Jones in Japan

    Tommy Lee Jones in Japan

    Tommy Lee Jones reflects on the Heisei era.

  • Mr. Jimmy

    Mr. Jimmy

    One of the highlights of SXSW 2019 that I want to expand on a bit was seeing the premier of Mr. Jimmy, a documentary film about the Jimmy Page tribute artist, Akio Sakurai. The film is a loving appreciation of Japanese attention to detail and craft. In much the same way that Jiro Dreams of […]

  • Grandma’s Recipes

    Izumi turned me on to a YouTube channel she’s discovered that features lovingly documents the kitchen recipes of an older, sometimes forgotten, generation in Japan. Each short vignette explores the life of these women who fed their family with what they had and passed on traditions of their region. From the producers: Our team especially […]

  • Personalized Discovery

    Personalized Discovery

    When asked what we’re trying to build at SmartNews, I sometimes explain it with a department store metaphor. When algorithms are applied to online shopping, they are optimized to show you exactly what you are looking for. Amazon and Netflix are famous for perfecting the “others-that-bought-what-you-bought-also-bought-this” algorithm to great effect. If you’re looking for a […]

  • Japanese TV News

    Television news programs in Japan are famously entertaining. The sets are more interesting and the hosts are much more physically involved with the story-telling. Below are some screenshots of a lengthy and incredibly detailed explanation of the sport of speedskating. Here they are talking about the importance of drafting complete with a huge fan for […]