25% of my posts begin with “One of my favorite things about Japan is…” and/or are about posters, and this one is no exception. This time around, it is these free movie flyers that the theaters give out here. They are printed on high quality paper and almost always feature cool alternate artwork, making for great mini posters or gifts to people back in America. The ones I got for Control might be the raddest to date, but these are nice too:

p1000119p1000120I especially liked this:p1000124If you want one, let me know soon! They tend to go pretty quickly. As always, I know the pics suck. Deal with it.


The Power of Imagination

February 8, 2009

I really love this comedy group ピース (Peace). As soon as I learn how to use this subtitling program, I think I’ll translate this! For now, here’s the Japanese only version.

Sign of the Times

February 6, 2009

3DWTF do you mean a sign of the times?! I don’t even know yet myself!?

i have been meaning to tell another person about this for over a year now and am just now getting around to it….

I am sure that everyone familiar with the Iron Maiden album Number of the Beast has noticed that among the sinners burning in the flames of hell along the bottom of the artwork are some people having sex. That might have been kind of cool when I was 12, but it is pretty tame by today’s standards. What is much cooler, however, is the ALIEN warrior hidden in the bottom corner of the full-sized artwork. I looked it up online, but couldn’t find any mention of it anywhere. Here’s a picture of from my poster!

number of the queen

Derrick Riggs, the creator of Eddie, hid several ‘Easter eggs’ in his Maiden work. I read an interview in a graffiti magazine a long time ago in which he claimed to have detested the band’s music, loathed being known for Eddie, and that when he painted the first album cover he had envisioned it being used by a punk band but no one wanted it. It sat around in his portfolio for awhile before the band came across it, and the rest is history.

When I was really young my dad won me a cheap cardboard framed Stranger in a Strange Land picture at the carnival, but I was too afraid of it to display it in my room even though it is easily one of their least dreadful covers. It just sat in my closet, haunting me. Every few months I would take a look at it and get really queasy, then hide it in a different spot.

Moving on, here is the ultimate Iron Maiden album art collection!

Which is your favorite?

3 posts in 1 night! 4 posts about posters in 3 Days!

I made a short update to the Bronze Demon translation tonight. I am really tired and cold right now, so I will finish the rest of the chapter tomorrow. See if you can catch the really stupid reference I used to make myself laugh…..


Spidey Lives Large

February 3, 2009

Best Web-Slinging Access in Metropolitan Tokyo

Best Web-Slinging Access in Metropolitan Tokyo

That’s right all you true believers, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has sold out traded in his Manhattan apartment for richer digs here in Tokyo!

These ads have been in the subways here for a while now. They are advertising Shibaura Island Bloom Tower, a new luxury high rise in Minato-ku. It’s message is simple: “Spider-Man Leases at Bloom Tower”. I am not really sure how effective the campaign is, but it’s kind of cool to see Spidey posted everywhere.

The pic was taken from a moving train, hence the poor quality and blinding glare. Thanks for taking it for me, Yumi!

Japanese School Bummer

February 2, 2009

After Broadway, I went to a Japanese school in Iidabashi for a trial lesson. From the moment I walked in the place, I was a little disappointed. The office was located in a residential building and was tiny. Even though I had an appointment, they weren’t prepared when I came in. After about 10 minutes or so of waiting, a lady came in to explain how they run things and ask me what I wanted to study. There was something about her that I just didn’t care for, a kind of snobbish attitude or something, I don’t know. She performed a ‘level check’ on me and went off to get a teacher, who I spent the next 50 minutes talking with. We talked about movies, American Indians, philosophy and my life in Japan among other things. It was hardly a lesson, but I really enjoyed it. She was intelligent, fun and had opinions about stuff. At the end, she told me to save my money and just find more interesting people to talk to because she didn’t think they could offer me much at the school unless I took private lessons. I appreciated her honesty, but I doubt the manager did because naturally I didn’t sign up. She was so cool that I am lightly considering taking private lessons with her, but I doubt I will.

What she said about just finding people who are interesting to talk to really registered with me. In the year and a half that I have been here, I have hardly met anyone outside of work (my co-workers and students are all cool) and even less that I actually want to talk to. I really need to find a way to make new friends, especially those that can discuss stuff other than shopping and their relationships, however I have no idea how to go about meeting people without getting the usual English leeches or gaijin hunters. Any ideas? I hate to say it, but I am getting desperate.

PS I really want to start/join a study night. Anyone in the Saitama/Tokyo area that might be interested, let me know! I am studying for JLPT level 1 now.

I made my monthly visit to Nakano Broadway this afternoon. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Broadway is the coolest place in all of Tokyo. It’s a shopping center filled with nothing but ‘maniac’ shops. Among the many things found there are: 1940s-present monster toys, anime cells, extremely rare pornographic phone cards, hyper-grotesque artwork, 1000+ different types of yo-yos, 1980s American toys (including Madballs!) used manga, etc etc etc. Anyhow, today I found a new vintage movie store tucked away in a corner on the top floor that I hadn’t noticed before and got these posters! The Creepshow one was a little pricey but worth it, the Nightmare on Elm Street 2 poster I almost passed on because it was my least favorite of the films but I really liked the graphic at the top, and I can’t even believe I found a Nightbreed poster there! It was cheap too! I also got a cell phone strap made by the same dude that makes THESE. There were a few other things that I really, really wanted but didn’t need. Maybe next month.

Only 1000 Yen!!!!

Only 1000 Yen!!!!


Best Broadway find in months!!!!

Best affordable Broadway find in months!!!!

Foreign Movie Posters

January 29, 2009

Cracked.com has a top 10 insane foreign movie posters list that is worth checking out. Poland had some of the best graphic designers in the 1980s! Here are a couple of samples, but go here for the full list. You won’t regret it.

Weekend at Bernie's?!?!?!

Weekend at Bernie's?!?!?!

Such an effective poster, you don't even need to see the movie

Such an effective poster, you don't even need to see the movie

Translation Project

January 27, 2009

I have been doing a lot of-for lack of a better word- soul searching lately and I figure that among other things it is high time I get serious about studying Japanese again. It seems to be the key to realizing many of the other goals that I have set for myself. This may sound absurd, but since moving to Japan I have really let my skills go down the toilet. Why? I work with people who speak better English than I do Japanese, I only speak English to my students for their sake and in general I don’t really do much of anything that requires any improvement beyond conversational ability are all convincing excuses that I have told myself for over a year now. The real reason, however, is a deadly cocktail of complacency and laziness.

I have several plans to get myself back on track, one of them being this post. I am going to translate a book called “The Fiend with 20 Faces: The Bronze Demon” and post it, along with the original Japanese, here on my blog. Check the page listed next to home near the top. I figure I will do one chapter a week. I would love to get comments, questions or constructive criticism about the translation from anyone that is into Japanese. I tend to be really loose with my word selections as to convey the nuance rather than the literal meanings. I already expect someone to challenge my use of demon in the title. Hey, even if you don’t give a crap about Japanese, just enjoy the story, which is the main reason that I am taking the time to do this in addition to my hellish work, gym and study schedule.

Thanks to Dr. Senbei for this post!