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ROCK OF ASIAN: The Predators

December 16th, 2009 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

I’ll be honest. For about three weeks, when not busy playing Beatles Rock Band*, I’ve been dusting off old and also sorta-oldish punk albums, to give them a good spin–providing a soundtrack for the month’s chaos and all of my nervous holiday energy. 

“Punk” coming out of my speakers can mean a lot of things–sometimes the herky jerk of Bad Brains or Black Flag, sometimes a fun romp with the Ramones, Fugazi if I’m feeling fresh, Stooges if I’m not. And… okay. I’ve also been indulging my Orange County roots with bad 90′s power punk that will go unnamed to preserve my innocence.

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What I’d not even thought to entertain, at least until this week, were all of the fun Japanese punk bands that I meant to fall in love with twenty years ago but didn’t because I was in elementary school without an Internet connection. Take, for example,  The Predators, who I’m listening to right now (via MySpace recommendation by Japanese alt-veterans, The Pillows).

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Cho Seung-jin, Piano Prodigy

November 23rd, 2009 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

Everybody Loves A Youngest-Ever Winner

Everybody Loves A Youngest-Ever Winner

Jen and I not particularly well-versed in the goings-on of the International piano competition community (Sorry, Moms), so we hadn’t heard of the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition–a prestigious classical piano showdown that occurs every three years in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan–until we read about its newly-anounted champion today.

South Korea’s Cho Seung-jin took first prize in the 7th Annual competition, a two-week affair that culminated today, making him the first-ever Asian person to nab the top honor (All winners since the contest’s 1991 inception have been European) of the Asia-based tournament.

OH. He’s also 15.

So he’s the youngest-ever winner of the competition. And our Hardass Asian Parents’ wet dream.

Cho typically practices piano for three to four hours a day (six during heavy competition), and what we love about him is that he seems to be both a consummate professional and fun, dreamy, adorably innocent kid.

The Korea Times pulled this excerpt from the judges’ interpretation of his second-round performance, depicting the nuance and wisdom of a veteran:

Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Cho Seung-jin, Piano Prodigy

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Obama Bow-cklash

November 20th, 2009 | 9 comments | Posted by Diana

Obama Bow Japan

To the angry, inflammatory, right-wing pundits (like Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh), and all of the folks that are losing sleep over the fact that President Obama (gasp!) bowed while shaking the hand of Japanese Emperor Akihito…

Kirk Walters Bow Cartoon

…there’s a fascinating new concept we’d like to introduce to you called “SHOWING RESPECT.”

Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! The Obama Bow-cklash

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ROPID: Cuter Than A Baby Prawn

November 6th, 2009 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

Meet Ropid (Rapid + Robot), a new robot just unveiled by scientists in Japan that jumps, responds to directions…







…and is about 10,396,574 more adorable and fun to watch than your obnoxious little cousin with 1 year of ballet and 4 years of piano lessons under her belt, who your aunt dresses up in stupid party dresses every time there’s the teeniest, mundane family function going on–who she will HUSH AN ENTIRE ROOM FOR (sometimes even an NBA Playoff game) so that the little fucker can sing a song and dance it out, then follow with an encore presentasian of a plunked-out, shitty Sonatina on the piano.

10,396,574 more adorable and fun to watch than your cuz. And you can turn it off.

[BBC News: Jumping Robot An 'Entertainer']

Thanks, Jasmine!

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BABEWATCH: Haruna Ai

November 3rd, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Name: Haruna Ai

Age: 37

Hails from: Japan


Haruna Ai, Miss International Queen 2009

Haruna Ai, Miss International Queen 2009




Why She’s A Babe: Over the weekend, the lovely Miss Haruna Ai was crowned winner at the famed transsexual Miss International Queen 2009 pageant in Thailand.

As if those pretty eyes, the perfect skin, that hourglass shape and supple lips weren’t enough, it seems pretty clear that the newly-crowned Miss International Queen is also quite lovely on the inside:

“I want contests like this to show everyone that they should love each other and live freely,” she told reporters after the win.

We hope for the same. Also, homegirl is glowing like a teen at 37–an inspirasian to us all. Go, sister!!!

[AFP: Transsexual Miss World Contest Aims To Boost Awareness]

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The Cold Head Truth

October 27th, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

I wonder if ice forms jerking off to this ice-pop blowjob melting competition say things like, “Slow down, girl! You’re gonna give my cousin over there a cold rash! Goddamn, y’all are HOT. Oh! Holy shit! You’re so hot you’re killing ‘em! YOU’RE KILLING ED! STOP KILLING ED!!!!!”







[via GorillaMask]

Thanks, Pete!

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! The Japanese Toddler Who Survived Being Run Over By A Train

September 21st, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

A 15 month-old toddler who wandered onto train tracks outside of her home in Suzaka City, northwest of Tokyo, and had a oncoming train grind to a halt on top of her, has survived with only scratches for injuries.


HuffPo reported that the girl lived because she got trapped in a 50-centimeter gap between the train and the tracks.

“The train pushed her along the level crossing and dropped her into a pit between the rails,” Fuji Yoshida police spokesman Kenichi Nagata told PTI.

Props to the train driver for noticing the baby girl and applying the emergency brakes in time, too.

[via HuffPo]

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Mein Kampf, with Pictures

September 9th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Through a unique application of copyright laws, Germany has enforced a de facto ban on the publishing of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf since 1945. As the expiration date (2015) for those copyright laws near, a debate has risen over whether or not it could be advisable to publish a version of the text again, under controlled circumstances, for critical purposes.

In Japan, however, East Press (a publisher that has already done interpretations of many classic texts, from Kafka’s Metamorphosis to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment to Marx’s Das Kapital) published a manga version of Mein Kampf this year, to the tune of some 45,ooo book sales.


From Anime News Network:


Kōsuke Maruo, a 32-year-old editor at East Press, explained why his company produced the manga version of Mein Kampf: “It is a famous book, but there are few who have read it. I think it is [studying] material for knowing Hitler, a man synonymous with ‘devil,’ and what sort of thinking created that level of tragedy.”

While the intent may be educational, the execution still seems questionable to me. If someone hasn’t read and or studied Mein Kampf, should their first exposure really be with illustrations and interpretive storyboards?

Frankly, I don’t think so. But try telling 45,000 manga fans that.

[ANN: Manga Version of Hitler's Mein Kampf Sells 45,000]
[via I Heart Chaos]

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AMAZIANS OF THE WEEK! Beatin Hearts

August 3rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Name: Beatin Hearts

Occupation: Dance Crew

Known for: If you’ve never heard of them before, Beatin Hearts is an established troupe of Japanese hip hop dancers composed of only growned-up ladies (the current roster boasts members between the age of 44 and 56). I had the pleasure of witnessing one of their exuberant performances over the weekend at the 2009 World Hip Hop Dance Championship–and even though I had heard tales, I wasn’t really prepared for such an awesome sight (After all, my mom dances like one of those battery-operated Christmas Santas, and seeing an Usher record on sale at Costco is probably the closest she’ll ever get to hip hop).

Let me tell you, these mommies know how to sh-sh-shake their shit. And they absolutely love it (after the group walked away from this performance, they proceeded to convene backstage and weep with joy), which is probably the most amazian thing of all.

I could yammer on about this all day, but you really need to see it to believe it:

Once again, these ladies are between the ages of 44 and 56! Big-time MILTHs (Mothers I’d Like To Hug)!

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Shine On You Crazy Diamond

July 31st, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

My sources tell me that the tagline on the Japanese poster for The September Issue, a highbrow feature doc exploring the inscrutable relationship between Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington of Vogue Magazine, translates to…

“Fashion- It is essential for life, and it shines me.”*

Um. I’m not sure what that sentence has to do with magazine publishing, or what it even means exactly… but boy, does it seem true!!! Fashion does shine me! I think!

[IMDB: The September Issue]

*Massive addendum: Reader Karan pointed out to us that the tagline of the film on this poster most certainly does not translate to anything about shining–a kernel of MISINFORMASIAN that we pulled directly from a PR flack’s outbox. As much as we hate to admit it, we were wrong. Shame on us for believing such nonsense! There’s a lesson to be learned: Don’t trust Diana’s sources!!!

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Not Just A Hobby-Hob, Robots Need A Jobby-Job

July 15th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana
Pay. Me. Sucka.

The NY Times has reported that Japan’s robots are now facing a devastating rise in unemployment, due to the economic slump of our current worldwide recession.

What does this mean for American robots? OH MY GOD, WHAT WILL ANN CURRY DO!?!? IS SHE GOING TO BE OKAY!?!???????????????????????? ANN! BABY! IF YOU’RE READING THIS, CALL ME AND I’LL START PUTTING MY FEELERS OUT FOR NEW GIGS. WE’LL FIND SOMETHING. EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT.

[NYT: In Recession, Japanese Lay Off Robots]

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Thanks, Eliza and Pete!
Sorry, Phil!

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Switching Geres

July 9th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Richard Gere debuts his new film, Hachiko: A Dog’s Story, in Japan:

“We’re not exactly sure where the little furball came from
…but boy does it look TIRED.”

[photo via Splash]

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