REALTOKYO Hiatus

For those who follow the English version of the REALTOKYO site quite regularly (like me), here’s a bit of bad news for the coming month:

The English segment of REALTOKYO will take a summer break and remains closed in the week June 5 – 9. There might be fewer updates than usual in the two weeks after that, the full-scale English RT will be back at the end of June.

Klein Dytham Architecture Books

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I recently got my hands on two great little books produced by Klein Dytham Architecture to highlight their work. Each book, THE KDa CATALOGUE OF QUOTES and KLEIN DYTHAM ARCHITECTURE 2005 HIGHLIGHTS, acts as a showcase, and instead of describing their works themselves, they let others do it for them. Featuring fun graphics by Namaiki, and at only 1500 yen each (2000 yen worldwide, and both can be ordered from their site), they’re well worth getting.

Are You a Starving Artist?

A writer for JAPANZINE is starting a monthly column called “10 Questions for a Starving Artist,” and she’s on the lookout for possible interviewees. In her words, “I want to interview local artists, ones who are dedicated to making it in the arts (not just hobby artists) and are trying to eek out a creative, bohemian lifestyle in Tokyo (and find out how they do it and what keeps them going). And I want to give artists and the Tokyo art scene a little bit more visibility.” The call is open to anyone whose art is their main focus, with any part-time job just being a means to an end. If this is you, then get in touch with her and get some free exposure.

Freitag at Ito-ya

Uber-stationery store Ito-ya is holding a celebration of all things Freitag!

Two brothers from Zurich, Daniel and Markus Freitag, were bike-riding designers in 1993 when they began making durable, waterproof bags from recycled truck tarps. Freitag bags are put together entirely from recycled materials, including airbags, seat belts and bicycle inner tubes—no two are the same. Over 400 of the bags will be featured at the Freitag Fair at Ito-ya in Ginza from May 27 to June 5, but you can also custom-build your bag through their website. (Metropolis)

Tokyo Boy 04

As I mentioned yesterday, I recorded a new episode of TOKYO BOY last Friday, this time during a speed visit of Ginza (crunched in between a meeting and then heading to work). Again, it sounds like crap, so if the quality from past episodes annoys you, then stay away. I will be getting a small mic sometime this week though, and that should hopefully rectify the problem for future episodes. Here are links to all the episodes, or you can subscribe to the feed.

Japan Loves Mario

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Regarding first day sales for NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. on the Nintendo DS:

NSMB managed to sell through 480,000 units in it’s first day, making it the fastest selling DS title ever. To put things in perspective, when the second edition of Brain Training came out in Japan, it sold through 414,556 units…in the first 4 days. (Go Nintendo)

I got my copy today, and I have to say, it’s truly glorious. I really think they’ve managed to create the absolute perfect 2D platformer. That being said, I had ordered it on eBay alongside another DS game, PRINCESS PEACH, and 2 Gamecube games, PAPER MARIO: THE THOUSAND-YEAR DOOR and STAR FOX ASSAULT, and I’ve just played 4 straight hours of PAPER MARIO. I never thought an RPG could be this much fun!

Video Topics

I’d like to try doing some sort of video podcast, or at least do some short videos. I have a MiniDV camera that I haven’t used in ages, but I don’t really have any good ideas right now on what would make a good topic (something that would be good for video). Any suggestions?