ranuel: (Mini Me)
Happy Saturday! I've spent the morning in bed with the laptop and I totally earned that with the way it's been at work lately. I figure everyone could use some cheering up/distracting today so have some links
Have some links )
ranuel: (Default)


Neda Ulaby, an NPR reporter, attends an anime con and in the process of reporting to fan response also reacts to the con itself. "BOYS! in Victorian dresses!"

Mind Shift

Oct. 9th, 2010 03:04 pm
ranuel: Mike the TV from Reboot (Mike the TV)
This video goes from really cool to super amazing at around 4 minutes. If you like OK Go then you'll probably like the stuff these guys are doing.
Watch )
ranuel: (Default)

A long time ago
In an alternate universe far, far, away...

Samurai Wars )
ranuel: (Got the Moves)
Totally cute and funny though.

If guys dancing in their Fruit of the Looms with a big plastic leaf pasted on front are safe for your work place then, yes, it's safe for work. I work in a hospital so my standards may be skewed.
Yatta! )
ranuel: (Reference Library)

Sake World Newsletter Issue #75
Sake Brewing in Shrines and Temples


There is a reason Mushin has a constant supply, he probably makes it himself.

In addition to the history of Sake brewing there are some interesting tidbits about the interaction between Buddhist monks and Shinto priests. At one point they happily shared temples as well as the results of their brewing. 

ranuel: (OMG Magic)


I can almost guarantee that if you haven't read the rest of this post your first reaction upon clicking that link will be to think I've lost my mind. The big ads for hot Japanese girls and hotels give it a particularly tabloid trashy look. What could be of interest here?

Quite a lot actually once your eyes adjust and you can focus on the text. Here you will find links to dozens of articles on just about everything Japanese, many of which are illustrated. Some are better than others, and most are drawn from other sources, but there is a lot of good information here.

Do you want to know how the Japanese celebrate Christmas? What a wedding kimono looks like? What is the climate like? Need a map of the country or of a particular city?

Here you go.

ranuel: (Default)

Kit LaHaise has written a nice introduction to kitsune mythology. He draws heavily from the book, Kitsune: Japan's Fox of Mystery, Romance, and Humour  by Kiyoshi Nozaki tsune.

He covers  the various types of kitsune, famous kitsune from legends, kitsune magic, and stories of possession and spiritual vampirism. An effort is made to separate the real folk beliefs from modern interpretations.
ranuel: (Default)

Confrontation II: Trials and Tribulations by Simonkal of Inuy http://www.mediaminer.org/fanfic/view_st.php/130285

The action takes place in Japan in the mid-sixteenth century. In chapter 12 she describes the wall around a fortress made of "thick robust cinderblocks" A pretty neat trick since they won't be invented for a few hundred years. Closest I could narrow it down was some time between the late 19th and early 20th century.

Then in chapter 14 she has a character wear "a halberd on one hip, a sword at the other". Okay, so it's a bear youkai who is about eight feet tall, but even so, wearing a weapon that is at least six feet long on your hip has to be awkward. I suspect that the word does not mean what she thinks it does.

A halberd is a kind of European polearm with an axe and a spike at the end. The term has been used by Viz in it's translations of Inuyasha to refer to Banryuu, Bankotsu's polearm, which is a fantasy variant on the zanbatou, or horse killing blade. While the article at Wikipedia says that these are not known to be used except as temple displays I have seen an article that has a reference to these huge blades as being used experimentally at one point. I have lost the link and can't locate it at this time though.




ranuel: (Default)

Simple and straight forward to use. However, it will not give you any guidance as to which of several results is appropriate for the context you need. A good place to find out what that odd bit of fangirl Japanese means but not a replacement for a real dictionary.
ranuel: (Default)

The Japanese don't have middle names. Without middle names how do you know if you've gotten on your mother's very last, extremely frayed, nerve and are now in danger of being grounded for life if you push her one more micron?

ranuel: (Default)

Mark McLelland, writing under the name Dharmachari Jnanavira, examines sex, homosexuality, and attitudes towards women in Japanese Society from the founding of the first Buddhist temple until the end of the 19th century in this article for Western Buddhist Review .

This article is a must read for anyone writing yaoi (anime or manga based slash) since the attitudes toward two men having sex were so very different from Western views that they should influence both plot and characterization. For someone like Miroku, a 19-year-old 16th century monk, to be totally naive about same sex relationships is just about impossible given the culture but I've seen several stories where the fanfic author wants us to believe that is the case. Likewise any product of the Samurai culture that was strongly influenced by these ideas would not be unaware of such things.

The author does throw in some modern gender stuff towards the end about the death of male friendships in our culture that I don't agree with but other works I've read back up the basic historical information he presents.

ranuel: (Default)

A glossary of Japanese words and phrases that have appeared in various English language works.  Posted by Brian Smaller as a reference for the RPG he runs.

I can't guarantee the accuracy of his translations, and frankly ,if I understand where he got them correctly, neither can he. It does seem to be pretty accurate to me. In any case, it makes a good quick reference.


The definition of Tanuki wrongly calls it a badger.

Also bear in mind that although he is focused on the Sengoku Jidai his definitions sometimes incorporate material from different eras. He also fails to provide a context in some definitions relating to culture so be aware that practices that were common for those of one class or geographical area may differ from those of others.

ranuel: (OMG Magic)

Anthony Bryant, A.K.A. Tony, A.K.A. Baron Edward of Effingham of the S.C.A., A.K.A. Eddie Effie, is the closest to a real life Miroku that I've ever met. He's a friend of  friends and I got to talk to him once years ago when he came to visit. It was interesting to put a face to all their stories. Heh. I swear the man has more appendages than Naraku but somehow it's not possible to get mad at him. I found myself wordlessly removing his hand while continuing our discussion without a break.

The man knows his stuff about Samurai culture though. He has published history books as well as a source book for gaming in the feudal Japan.  At this site you will find useful essays on Heian society, arms and armor, clothing, and links to other useful sites. The illustrations can be very detailed.

The site hasn't been updated since 2004 and some pages were only partially done at that time. Some of the entries have a picture and some text but also something like "Place holding text" or "Blah, blah, blah" indicating that he planned to add more to it. I'm hoping that he does, it's good stuff.
ranuel: (OMG Magic)

Mark Schumacher has degrees in Japanese and Chinese studies and has lived in Japan since 1992. His focus is on Japanese Buddhist art and this site is the sister site to his online store. The entries are primarily his notes on the art and the stories behind it and under each heading you will find much repetition of the same information as he copies in things he has learned from new sources. However, the organization of the site with an alphabetical index in the sidebar allows the visitor to quickly find what she is looking for and the information is presented in a way that is understandable to the layman. It is presented in a dry textbook style that can cause a bit of eyelid drooping in longer entries but the huge number of illustrations keep it interesting.  Many of the pictures have been taken by Schumacher or are of things that he has personally viewed.

It's not rare for historians or archaeologists to differ on the interpretation of the known facts about something and I particularly like that when sources differ Schumacher will present both theories and the reasoning behind them. He is also open to input from his readers and updates the site regularly.


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