The Best of Japanese Horror

The Japan Foundation is at it again, showing some Japanese classics — this time with a focus on horror — on the big screen with English subtitles for a very reasonable 600 yen.

Volume four of The Japan Foundation’s popular series of Japanese film screenings with English subtitles gathers some of the best horror stories to make you shiver and shake, and forget the late summer heat. There’ve been Hollywood remakes of Japanese horror flicks recently, and to see “Yotsuya Kwaidan” or “The Tale of Oiwa’s Ghost” here means to touch upon the point of origin of horror made in Japan, and learn the secrets of its international fame. After the showing of Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s “Seance (Korei)” there will be an admission-free talk session with the director, and with 600 yen 1-day passes are very reasonably-priced too. Even if this genre is not your thing, this occasion to see some outstanding examples of Japanese-style horror should be an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss. (REALTOKYO)

It takes place at the Japan Foundation Forum in Akasaka, September 16-18. Click here for the schedule.

AXIS 117

Damn, I didn’t even get a chance to finish reading the previous issue, and now a new AXIS (117) is out, featuring cover boy Kenya Hara, who I absolutely love! The feature sounds interesting also: “Does design exist in Japan’s urban revitalization?”

The Hard Return

I have to admit that getting back into the swing of things after the trip has been harder than expected. I’m still not back to anything close to my regular sleep cycle, and with the typhoon/heat… Can someone please explain to me how Joi Ito manages to keep his sanity (and stay productive) while traveling so much?

The Good Design Presentation 2005

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Wanna catch this year’s Good Design prize winners?

The Good Design Prize is part of the Good Design Product Selection System, established in 1957 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It is Japan’s only comprehensive valuation and recommendation system for design products. The Good Design Prize is one of a kind, surpassing other international prizes not only in terms of seniority but also scale-wise: besides focusing on industrial goods such as home electric appliances and cars, it also covers buildings, software, service system, public relations, regional developments, and so on. In other words, anything man makes and does. The examination, however, is strict, and not only design, but also functionality, quality, and safety are important criteria. The Prize generally goes to innovative “products” that score well on all these levels. The Good Design Prize promotes Japanese manufacturers, designers and even bureaucrats who, through their design, aim to change the industrial sectors, daily life and society for the better. This year, special efforts were made to introduce these products to journalists and consumers alike, and by making active use of the Good Design’s “G-mark” the organization also aims at developing new forms of business. (TAB)

It’s taking place at Tokyo Big Sight until August 27. The entrance fee is 1000 yen.

Mobile Phones Vs. Smoking

Who would have imagined that keitai use would lead to a healthier lifestyle! From Japan Today:

The number of junior high and high school students who own cell phones is increasing, and there is a high chance that phone bills are weighing on the money they spend on cigarettes

Kenji Hayashi, head of the research team of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and an assistant director at the National Institute of Public Health, on the drop in the number of teenage smokers. (Kyodo)