10 Years of Spoon & Tamago

Big congrats to my buddy Joseph (aka Johnny Strategy), who recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Spoon & Tamago, a site I’ve been happily reading (and often linking to) since the very start. We became friends through our shared love of blogging about similar aspects of Japanese art, culture, and design, and it’s really great to see how he was able to celebrate the milestone — read this post, which also includes a nice video that offers a nice wrap-up of the site’s last 10 years.

Chip Tanaka’s Django

Chip Tanaka (better known as Hip Tanaka) created the gaming soundtrack to your childhood, and this week he’s releasing his first full-length solo chiptune album, called Django (and he’s present on the newly released Diggin’ in the Carts compilation). The Japan Times has published a great piece looking back at the man’s career.

Soichi Terada (Toco Toco)

It’s as if Toco Toco could read my mind. Earlier this year I discovered and fell in absolute love with the music of Soichi Terada (through the music of Shinichiro Yokota) — his Sounds from the Far East compilation is the record I’ve listened to the most this year (and I’m listening to it right now as I write this). Imagine my very pleasant surprise when I find that the latest episode of Toco Toco — my favorite documentary web series — is all about him. Thank you, Anne.

Like it’s 1977

Well, following my 1985, 1967, and 1986 movie marathons, I’m now done with my journey back to 1977. Just like for 1967, I kept it to down to 10 films, and it was pretty easy for me to come up with the list of films to watch — I immediately came up with all 10 (which you’ll find listed below, in alphabetical order), a mix of classics, stuff that I loved as a kid, and stuff I’d never seen but always meant to watch. Yet again, as much as I enjoy watching these old films, I also enjoy taking the time trip back to that particular year — the intensity of watching a bunch of films from one year tells you a lot about that year, as much from what is on screen, to the way the films are put together and acted. What’s next? 1987 of course, and from the list I’ve already started putting together, I think I may hit 50-60 films.

  1. Annie Hall
  2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  3. Exorcist II: The Heretic
  4. Pumping Iron
  5. Saturday Night Fever
  6. Slap Shot
  7. Smokey and the Bandit
  8. Star Wars
  9. Suspiria
  10. The Kentucky Fried Movie

Design Sprints in Japan

Sure, I mention the Tokyo-based design studio AQ a lot in part because they’re good friends of mine, but it’s no secret that they’re also incredibly talented at what they do — the fact that they’ve been at it for so long and continue to grow is a testament to that. They recently shared an essay (on Medium too) that takes a look at how they’ve adapted the sprint method for use in Japan (where it’s still a relatively new concept to be used within companies).