Cultural Differences in Entertainment

Back home, it can be generally argued that North Americans aren’t a big fan of foreign music or films – and by foreign, I mean in a foreign language.  When I used to work in a video store, I remember when the Italian film Life is Beautiful was released.  We had six copies for rental, three that were in the original Italian with English subtitles, and three that were dubbed in English.  The subtitled copies were never rented.  Why?  Because reading subtitles “is a pain in the butt,” according to one customer.  And if you took a look at our …

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Sushi: The Kerosene Man Is Coming

For many of us in the west the sound of a tune suddenly echoing through the air usually brings up memories of summer time.  Playing outside, or just lounging around reading a comic book, when all of a sudden…  A melody fills the air, and your mouth waters as you realize “Damn!  I want some ice cream!” Kids put down their bats and gloves, or toss their comics to the side, as they file out to the streets, rank in order.  You can see everybody is looking for where the music is coming from.  Finally one kid sees the little …

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Videogames and Sushi Episode 88

Episode 88 highlights: Funasshi has a 3DS game coming, and you can pre-order for a limited Funasshi 3DS pouch. Square has posted videos of Final Fantasy Type Zero, comparing the original PSP with the new remake for PS4 and Xbox One. Zelda Muso has sold 1 million world wide! Damon covers the bummer that is Iron Man 2. Zack has some gripes about Halo:  The Master Chief Collection, but overall likes it.

Review – PachiPara17: Shin-Umi Monogatari With Agunes Ramu

7.5 / 10 Banzai!s The Game: Why waste money at a pachinko, when you can play for free? There are a number of games here in Japan that were never exported overseas, either due to the company’s small size, an inability to set up a foreign publisher, or simply believing the game is too directed at the Japanese market.  Then there’s game that wouldn’t even be considered to make a dime outside of Japan. Then there’s PachiPara17. Walk into any gaming shop in Japan, and you should be able to find at least a dozen pachinko games for every console, …

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Is ANA Racist?

A few days ago, All Nippon Airways posted a TV commercial which offended so many people – mostly non-Japanese living in Japan – that it was immediately pulled, followed by an apology from an ANA spokeswoman, “We apologized to each of the customers for having caused uncomfortable feelings.” The advertisement was to promote their increase in international flights at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, by implying ANA is becoming more open and international. In the commercial, actor Hidetoshi Nishijima and comedian Hidetomo Masuno, are wearing ANA pilot uniforms and discuss in (very poor) English how they might change ANA’s image to a …

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Kabukiza Is Open For Business

It took over two years of renovating, but the Kabukiza theatre, located in the Ginza district of Tokyo, reopened just the other day on April 2nd.  A parade of actors, as well as a drum ceremony, took part in the grand opening. What is kabuki, you might ask? In a nutshell, it’s a Japanese-style play in which actors – all male – dress up in colourful clothing and act out their performance along with a set of dance moves while drums and flutes set the mood in the background.  The word itself is comprised of the Chinese characters “ka” (sing), …

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The Sakura Are In Bloom!

Spring is a busy but exciting time here in Japan.  For businesses, it marks the end of one fiscal year and the start of the next, which means lots of yearly reports and auditing to do.  Companies are saying farewell to retirees, and hiring new recruits ripe from University, while students are starting their next school year.  And in terms of weather, the frigid winds of Winter have finally come to pass, allowing people to escape their homes and enjoy going for a walk or bike ride under the warm sun – before the Summer’s humidity sets in. The newspapers …

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Happy New Year!

Well, it’s a bit belated.  But it’s been a busy holiday – thanks to the stack of games I got for Christmas. So how is New Year’s celebrated here in Japan?  Same as back in Canada?  Nope, not in the least.  In fact, it almost feels like the concept of the two major holidays in December – Christmas and New Year’s – are swapped. Back home, we might have Christmas parties spread out through the month, ending with the 25th in which we sit down with our family and open presents, and have a huge turkey feast.  Some (non-practicing) Christians …

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