Blog - January 2009 Archives
January 2009 Archives
January 28, 2009
YouTube: Vanilla Beans, YMCK, Fujisawa Shiho, MEG
Plenty of good music lately! Here are a few new videos over at YouTube if you need some catching up. :)
Vanilla Beans "sakasaka Circus" (their latest single)
YMCK "Curry dayo" from new album "Family Cooking"
Fujisawa Shiho promo clip from new album "Funky Girl" that I've been keeping on heavy rotation
Meg "Freak" (new single out February 11), a first not produced by Nakata Yasutaka (capsule) since a long time. New wave and crazy, it reminds me of Futon, now known as Goo.
Polymoog video with effects
January 25, 2009
I'm really happy to finally be able to talk about the great place I've been working at for half a year. It's a small company (but growing) called Sprasia offering a free service that allows editing videos from within your browser. I had been waiting to talk about it because it was only offered in Japanese, but this week we finally launched the English version.
The site lets you upload photos or videos, and then you can animate them and add effects on top. There's a powerful application called Effectunes that gives you full control, and there are also other more simple ones like Photoshuffle for making a special photo slideshow. It's a bit like a YouTube that lets you play some more. No videos to upload? No problem, you can even edit other people's shared videos!
Here's a quick montage that I made using a video of Kuidaore ningyō taken in Osaka in 2007. (This funny guy sadly disappeared last year after the shop where it stood closed.)
And here's a promo video that shows a little of what can be done at Sprasia.
Oh, and you can even see me in my work environment on this Japanese IT site that came to interview us last month. :)
January 17, 2009
Ryūjin Ōtsuribashi and Fukuroda falls
Still reporting about the New Year holidays. On January 4, we went to Ryūjin Ōtsuribashi (竜神大吊橋). At a length of 375m, it's the 2nd longest pedestrian bridge in Japan.
It was actually the longest in Japan until 2006, when it was beaten by Kujū "Yume" Ōtsuribashi (390m). That one even tried getting a Guiness Book entry for the world's longest pedestrian bridge, but it didn't work out.
"Ryūjin" means "god dragon", a mythologic character, and at each end of the bridge there's a large dragon painting.
Looking down... This bridge is located 100m high, below which is the Ryūjin dam.
Since then they've added an elevator which goes up 44m further in the mountain facing the falls, with decks going up another 7m higher to the same height of the falls! However, because of trees that they leave in the way for nature preservation purposes, the view isn't quite as impressive as from the old tunnel... :) Also, because it's winter, part of the falls was frozen, giving them another look.
At the bottom is a bridge that allows for a short walk in the woods and leads back to the town and parking lot. The last photo is of a dry ajisai.
January 11, 2009
Kasama fox dance
On January 2nd, we went to Kasama, the town in Ibaraki famous for pottery. Aside from looking around pottery shops and a market, and we were very lucky to be at the right place and time for a local dance performance. There was taiko and flute played while foxes and shishimai danced.
Later it was two masked okame.
I also took this video for you to see and hear:
January 1, 2009
Kamakura & Happy New Year
On Tuesday, December 30, I took my parents to visit Kamakura, to which I had been the month before. I didn't mind going again though. We were lucky to have very good weather, actually the weather has been just great since they got here.
When we got there we went to get a bus pass called "Kamakura Free kankyō tegata A" which costs ¥550 to ride all of the town's busses all day. That was very helpful to get around quickly. Our first destination was Daibutsu, the great Buddha.
Just one bus stop to the famous nearby Hase-dera which we just peaked at from outside.
Then we rode off to the other side of town to Hōkoku-ji, famous for its bamboo forest, although it was closed for New Year's.
And then we did a quick stop at the nearby Jōmyō-ji which has a nice zen garden inside. A cat was also lounging outside the temple.
Nearby was a statue shop that had this strange take of Manneken Pis..! :)
The sun was already coming down, and our last stop was Hachiman-gū going back towards the station.
Happy New Year!!! All my best wishes for 2009!!