exotic culture and exotic trauma

We are often surrounded by Japanese manufactured and designed products, yet not much is known about the national context that gives rise to this phenomenon of innovation. It is not a random occurrence, but instead part of a national tradition that goes back centuries and gestated in Japan’s long period of isolation.It is almost impossible to explain Japan; the futility of illuminating the many layers of its culture, a culture known for insularity and an extreme wariness of foreigners. As Kurosawa showed in his films, the impenetrable surface merely serves to hide layers of contradictions and neuroses. The mystery to the West is the juxtaposition between charming hospitality while being almost traumatized by the insularity.

This in part explains the public interest in their disaster: we are horrified by the destruction, but an equally strange desire to absorb the grim and dramatic footage also grips us.Perhaps it is the stunned stoicism and the orderly muted responses as nature wreaked its devastation on a stable affluent society. Japan has lived its own existential crisis for centuries, flirting with earthquakes and at the same time channeling its neuroses into pop culture artifacts and hi-tech gadgets.Japan refracts their historic misfortune through this particular cultural lens; namely monster films,zen, post-modernist literature, even porno manga.All in all, fairly fantastical.Yet,   Japanese culture and society seems to resilient to change and its almost cold peace with the impermanence of civilized society that its quite baffling to North Americans.

---The Honda Motor Company developed ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, and is the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. According to the ASIMO Web site, ASIMO is the first humanoid robot in the world that can walk independently and climb stairs. In addition to ASIMO's ability to walk like we do, it can also understand preprogrammed gestures and spoken commands, recognize voices and faces and interface with IC Communication cards. ASIMO has arms and hands so it can do things like turn on light switches, open doors, carry objects, and push carts. Rather than building a robot that would be another toy, Honda wanted to create a robot that would be a helper for people -- a robot to help around the house, help the elderly, or help someone confined to a wheelchair or bed. ASIMO is 4 feet 3 inches (1.3 meters) high, which is just the right height to look eye to eye with someone seated in a chair.--- Read More:http://science.howstuffworks.com/asimo.htm

It seems the most common approach then is the practice of detachment, which is perhaps their way of meditating on the vanity, impermanence , meaninglessness and absurdity of living. On the one hand suppressing desire and at the same time glimpsing into a world of stark, lawless chaos: like the world of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. So, the monster and fantastical serves as a from of cultural allegory, one with a healthy dose of poignancy and mourning. The positive side is that at least there has been a post apocalyptic.


Edo Period Art. Read More:

Amine and manga seem to represent a wild collective subconscious. Is it somewhat tawdry to insert such unchained passions and sex into these momentous contexts of Japanese boundary situations? Well, on the cusp of historical mortality, the stress on the carnal is justified by the belief that of you’re going to be dead in short order, lets not do too badly in the face of such unease and concern for the future.


---The Wakamaru is a robot originally intended for housework– which in Japan means providing weather reports and greeting guests. We consider housework to be more mundane tasks like doing the dishes, vacuuming, fixing the garage door… but Wakamaru has his fancy little hands set on something else: acting. For the first time in our knowledge, a robot has an active part in theater. At the Osaka University in Japan, Wakamaru is officially an out-of-the-cooking-closet thespian. We knew there was something funny about Wakamaru when we caught it lip syncing to Madonna records. In the play Hataraku Watashi, this $15k Can of Fabulous has become the world’s first acting robot. --- Read More:http://gearcrave.com/2008-11-26/watch-your-ass-angelina-the-robots-are-acting/


---Karakuri Ningyo dolls or puppets are Japanese mechanical dolls from the 18th to 19th century that do a number of amazing acts ranging from serving teas to writing calligraphy.The precisi

ctions of these tiny dolls are what makes them amazing and it's still in the 18th century....No wonder Japan is superior in electronics they were having fun with these in that time and age. I think In just a Few years Gundams will become a normal sight.... Read More:http://munkhjapan.blogspot.com/2010/01/karakuri-ningyou-japanese-mechanical.html

Japan has always recovered from disaster through a weaving of trauma into into its culture. It remains to be seen what new apparitions will be hauled up into the light of day, breaking through the layers of paternalism and equally opaque and impenetrable political and social system. There is a certain attachment  in Japan to the old ways which are almost feudalistic with an ostensible democratic veneer, but essentially opaque and non transparent leading one to believe that Japan’s problems are systematic and not cultural.


--- To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the mecha anime/manga/toy/video game franchise, this 18-meter-tall (59-foot-tall) RX-78 has been erected. Fifty points on the Gundam statue will emit light, and mist will shoot out of 14 different points on the statue. The 1/1 scale Gundam boasts a moveable head and a continuous stream of oh-man-this-is-so-damn-cool. Now I'm not saying this thing is gonna come alive, go rogue, and destroy Japan, but it is, and my schoolgirl panties better ship before it does.--- Read More:http://www.geekologie.com/2009/06/japan_completes_lifesized_gund.php


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