Taco Bell OR Tako Ball?

A favourite dish of some over here are たこ焼き takoyaki or bits of grilled octopus 蛸 deep-fried in batter and served as little balls of tentacle-filled goo. If the following video is true, Japanese connoisseurs of our gastropodic friends may have a tougher time catching the little buggers. Check out the Amazing Disappearing Octopus!

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Supersperm.

In honour of the opening of the new Superduperman movie, here's an article written 35 years ago by Larry Niven entitled, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex." It's very amusing and tells what would happen should Supes mate with an ordinary human.

As an extra treat, here is Hayao Miyazaki's tribute to the Fleischer cartoons of the 40's. It's "Laputa meets Lupin". Wait for the final line, it's great.


New Moon, You Saw Me Standing Alone...

(the Wheel of Dharma)

Actually, I wasn't alone on this, the first new moon of the summer, which according to Buddhists is the Festival of Vesak. On Vesak Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate three great events: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. Buddha's birthday is celebrated in most of South Asia on the first moon in May, but in Japan, they do so during Hanamatsuri (flower festival) on April 9th. So today is ... I'm not really sure what was celebrated today, but it sure was fun.

The graduating class of last year show up (all of them dressed to the nines in the fashions and hair styles of Japan) and there's a candle service, dancers (current students dressed in Indian sari), dull speeches (including mine...I rendered a version of the Sesame Street theme) and a buffet feast.

All in all, a nice little romp and it was good to be in an air conditioned room on this 30C day.
Doggone It!

I've had some madness behind my method and all of these dog photos was purely for the reason of enlightening the masses with some Doggie Idioms.

1. 犬が西向きゃ尾は東 (Inu ga nishi mukya o wa higashi). This literally translates as: "When a dog faces west, the tail faces east" and can be used to state the obvious.

2. 犬死に (Inujini). This literally means to "die like a dog" and can be used to refer to one who has wasted their life. (I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.)

3. 犬の遠吠え (Inu no tooboe). This is "the howling of a dog" and is used to refer to "An awake dog barks from afar at a sleeping lion." (I don't know what it means either, but one of my neighbours has a little cur that barks incessantly on weekends. I never hear it during the week, only when I'm hungover and trying to sleep.)

4. 犬も歩けば棒にあたる (Inu mo arukeba bou ni ataru). "When the dog walks, it runs across a stick" and means that when you walk outside, you could possibly meet with an unexpected fortune. "Every dog has its day." This is the Year of the DOG and since, it's my year, maybe something good will come my way (finally.)

5. 犬も食わない (Inu mo kuwanai). This literally means, "Even a dog won't eat it" or it is worthless (much like this blog...)

6. 飼い犬に手をかまれる (Kaiinu ni te o kamareru) This literally means,
"to have one's hand bitten by one's own dog" or to be betrayed by one's trusted friend.

7. 犬猿の仲 (Ken'en no naka). This is a "dog-and-monkey relationship." Two people who just can't get along or to fight like cats and dogs. In Japan, the traditional cat vs. dog relationship doesn't exist here. Rather it's dog vs. monkey!

8. 犬に論語 (Inu ni rongo). This literally means, "To read the Analects of Confucius to a dog." I love this one. It's like throwing "pearls before swine" or the fact that most of you had given up after the second idiom and you aren't even reading this one.


And the Final & Favourite Canine in My Collection of Pup Photos is...

Honey, a golden lab owned by Phil & Dawn.

ps. Though this may be an equal opportunity blog, I am not going to run pictures of the cats I have met, because...who cares?
A few more mutts I've met...

This is Sierra, owned by Paul, Iris and Simon in Guelph and a pitball owned by this hockey playing music producer I met in Brampton.
By the by, it is now illegal to purchase, breed or import pitbulls into Ontario. There have been one too many children mauled by these mongrels, but I'll tell you that the dog in this photo was one of the friendliest dogs I've met.

Here we have 2 more picks of Paddy, an Irish water spaniel owned by the Hutton's.
And an enormous Great Dane that lives in one of the several Hippy-run, artsy-fartsy, new age shops in Nelson, BC.


Naan, Desu Ka?

Tonight, I went to an Indian Restaurant called Namaskar. I've been there several times before, but this is the first time I've been there that hasn't been in the company of 20 drunken foreigners celebrating something.

Good old DJ Mark Saito is in town to complete (start) packing for his forthcoming move to Tokyo with his betrothed. He's completed his sojourn in Chiba and has done something amazing. He's actually found an apartment with NO key money that will be held for him while he goes on his honeymoon. (Key money is this racket that landlords have going in this country, where you give them tons of money for no reason other than allowing them to let you rent their hovel. This is over and above the 2-3 months rent that you also have to dish out before you can move in!)

He's also landed a job in Shibuya as a supervisor/ co-ordinator and as a lackey for the Suits in Corporate-Aeon! Add to that, he's going to Oregon to marry lovely Yuko and then honeymoon in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Not bad for a guy who one month ago was borderline homeless, jobless and spineless.

Back to Namaskar. Great food, great atmosphere, run by a really nice guy and reasonably priced. I highly recommend fighting the hordes of hungover gaijin for their Sunday brunch.

Only word of warning: Don't offer peanuts to their Multi-armed Elephant god. It's insulting to the owner.

Location: TK Bldg-B1, 2-2-11 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai (022)222-7701. They have a location in Tokyo as well and for more info check out their website at: Namaskar.

ps. This posting title refers to 何ですか? nan desu ka = what is it. ナーンですか? naan desu ka? = is it naan?


It's a Dog Eat Dog World...

For some reason my Blogspot will only allow me to post 5 photos at a time. So here are a few more pooches.

This photo is, of course, the wolf that reared the twins, Romulus and Remus. Italy would be a very different country today, if they had named their Capital City after Remus, rather than Romulus. (Picture snapped by my brother in Pompeii.)

This is a dog at my brother's friends' cottage and the last 3 pics are of the mutts that belong to my nieces.

Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got...

I'll be heading home at the end of next month for 10 days, so I have spent this weekend just moping around my apartment, saving cash, doing housework, etc. So there hasn't been much to blog about.

So for no other reason than "I feel like it", I'm going to post a whole bunch of pictures of dogs. So here goes my "DOG BLOG"...

This menagerie belongs to my sister and the two below are Hutton-hounds.


Do You Believe in Majik?

The hockey game itself may have been a disappointment, but the venue in which we saw it, certainly wasn't. DJ Mokugohan, Rob from Edmonton and myself went to the apartment of Blaise, of Monkey Majik fame. He has a 40 incher (tv, that is) and we watched the game that had been taped earlier that morning "live".

Rob decked out the place with all sorts of Oilers paraphernalia, shirts, towels, coasters etc.
So we quaffed our drinks, ate our pizza and enjoyed the game as much as possible (cringing at the goals against and cheering at the goals for.) Our only consolation about the outcome is the fact that there are 11 Canadian players on the Carolina team.

After the game, Blaise showed us a dvd of several Monkey Majik videos from over the last few years. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must now admit that I've never actually seen any of their videos or heard any of their tunes, since I first heard them play live 6 years ago at Shaft. I thought they were pretty lame then, but they were friends of friends, so I kept up the pretence of enjoying their work. And lo and behold...they got better! I really liked their stuff and may even breakdown and buy one of their cds! I've linked to it before, but it's worth renewing your interest, because now I'm sincere when I recommend them:
Monkey Majik.
The Hurricanes Have Breached the Levee in Edmonton.

Alas, our last great hope for a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup this year has fizzled for the "Caniacs" reigned supreme. It was an amazing run for the Oilers, but a weakened effort in the first period of the seventh game clinched a win for our opponents. So better luck next year for one of our Canajun teams!

It wouldn't be so bad if the winners actually came from a city that cared about hockey. Carolina has never seen snow, let alone been able to freeze enough ice to make a rink. And what's up with those Cheerleaders? Hot chicks in hockey belong in the changeroom or being picked up by players in the bar after the game (sorry but for a PC version of this blog, you'd better surf elsewhere.)
One of my dj pals, who is a new recruit to this sport, wrote about the series much more eloquently than I ever could. (But be forewarned...expect several spelling/ grammatical errors. Just like a true hockey fan!) I'll link to him tomorrow.
Summertime Is Finally Here.

What that means in Japan is several weeks of rain followed by several weeks of humidity. So be sure to keep yourselves dry and enjoy some Summertime Blues...

One of my favourite signs of summer is the arrival of the Cicada (still a few weeks off.)
The cry of the cicadas セミ (semi) is one of the piercing sounds of summer. When Japanese hear semisinging, they realize that summer has arrived. When there are many cicadas, the sound becomes like a shower, which is called "セミ時雨"semi-shigure  (shower of cicadas).

There is a famous haiku poem about cicadas written by Matsuo Basho(1644-1694).
静けさや    Shizukesa ya (The tranquility)
岩にしみいる Iwa ni shimiiru (Permeating the rocks)
セミの声    Semi no koe (Voices of cicadas)

Since cicadas die only about a week after birth, they are compared to the transient life of man.

And I can't resist ending a post without a horrendous pun, so here we go:
When a swarm of cicada start to sing together, they are lead by a single orchestral leader. This is, of course, the "Semi-Conductor".


Astroboy...meet Atomu.

Here's the original opening of Atomu (Astroboy) from the early 60's. This, I am proud to say, is the only song that I can sing at Karaoke in Japanese.

Here is "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" by Styx done with Astroboy animation.

And I'm not done with you yet...Did you know that Atomu has met Anne Frank? Well, now you do.

Dance Your Blues Away.

On June 18th, I traveled to Shirakawa(about 1 hour by Shinkansen) in order to see some Classical Japanese Dance or 舞踊(Buyo). You may be wondering why on Earth I'd take a long trip just to see some dancing, unless there was a woman involved. Well, of course, there was a woman involved. A college friend of mine, Motoko, whose hobby just happens to be Buyo, invited me to see her perform. Little knowing what I was getting myself into, I made the journey and this is what I saw...

(Unfortunately, photos were Verboten, so any images were taken with my cell phone.)
This is a pic of the stage backdrop before the show.

Once the curtains opened, on the left were 5 shimasen players, 5 drums, 5 chorus members, a flautist and 8 back-up dancers in blue skullcaps. These were all the traditional band players (described earlier on May 29th), but I must say I enjoyed their performance much more than what I'd heard before. I think it was the chanting of the chorus in harmony that added to the pleasure.

In one of those rare occasions, I was one of the youngest in the crowd. Everyone else was either twice my age or a family member of a performer. Dodging the hair of the elderly lady in front of me, I got to see Motoko in all her glory.

She first came out in a beautiful red kimono, which during the course of her dance, turned into a white/ light green one (she had 2 old guys help unwrap her). I suspect that she was representing cherry blossoms.
Next up was a lovely lavender kimono and she used what seemed like large red mushroom caps as props, which she whirled around.
Then she wore different lavender kimono and used a hand towel as a prop. I think she was representing the rushing wind.
And finally she wore a lavish red kimono and danced with a folding hand-fan. She tossed it and spun it and eventually she changed into this gorgeous silver kimono whereupon she ascended a staircase to sit astride a huge bell.

My words do NOT do justice to the visual spectacle I witnessed. The kimono were simply breathtaking, her movements serene & poised and the entire ordeal was magnificent. I wish I could understand the chanting so I could get a better idea of what each dance represented, but I was enrapt in the grandeur of the production. Hopefully, Motoko can send me some photos of her performance so you can get a better idea of what I'm talking about.

Tomorrow, I'll write about some history of Buyo and describe a few more of the performances.
When I'm Sixty-four...

40 years ago, Paul McCartney wrote the above tune. In it is the line, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm Sixty Four?"

Well, since he turns 64 this week and his wife has filed for divorce, I guess we know the answer.

And just out of curiosity, if "I am the Walrus" is auto-biographical, why was he so upset over the recent seal hunt?? Goo Goo G'jube!
We Need a Hero...

I've had the Japan-Croatia game on in the background while surfing away and have tried really hard to get interested, but I just can't. When the cheering peaked, I looked over, but it really wasn't all that intriguing (compared with the speed of hockey, for instance.) Now, there's a trio of guys talking about the match and I still don't know who won it. (That is, if anyone did.) I can't really take the game too seriously, for the uniform of the Croatians looks like rejects from a "Barber Shop Quartet" convention.

So, enough about footie, here's a clip of a montage of one of my favourite cartoons these days, sung to the Bonnie Tyler tune, "HERO". I don't usually like these but this one is SO well done, it follows along to the song's lyrics perfectly.


Oilers vs Hurricanes...the Limericks!

Good thing the 'Canes have Cam Ward,
For he cut Oiler chances like a sword.
Of 34 tries,
Only 4 could surprise,
If only their team could've scored!

Fernando Pisano's his name,
The leading goal-scorer his fame.
Got another today,
Total 14, I say,
Just bring on the Seventh game!

A defenseman, name of Chris Pronger,
Against him, the 'Canes are no stronger.
'Canes goals had surpassed,
They did so well in the past,
But in game 6 or Game 7, score no longer!

At first, Brind'amour gave 'Canes no stress,
For he seemed to play well and impress.
But lately he sucks,
He can't shoot the pucks.
Seems Brind'amour's become Brinda'less!

Eric Cole is a merry old soul,
From a sick bed they did cajoul.
With broken neck, he did play,
Did quite well, I must say,
But it'd be better if he got a goal.

A heavy hitter, name of Hedican,
A burly old chap, like a pelican.
His penalties were rough,
So the Oil showed their stuff
And scored a few past the goalie-man!

Alas, seems I've run out of steam
And no more poems on this theme.
So there'll be no more spoilers,
Let's all root for the Oilers.
As Lord Stanley returns home to our team!


It's Not That Small a World After All.

The Japanese will market anything with a Disney character on it. I personally haven't seen these yet, but now that I know they exist, I'll try and track some down. Very bizarre indeed.
Stranger from another planet.

According to this, the movie is being released on June 30th, but I've heard rumours it may get a 2-day earlier release. A good sign or a bad omen? Who cares, I wanna see it soon. According to the "Movix" website, Superman is nowhere to be seen.

For some ungodly reason, one can never depend on release dates in Japan. X-men3 which debuted last month everywhere in the world except Japan, has yet to surface, even in poster form. And they wonder why so many movies get pirated illegally.

Just for interests' sake, here is the kanji for Superman (Choujin) 超人


And people say studying English is boring...

In the wee hours of the morn on Satellite TV, one can find the oddest things. Apparently this is one method that Salarymen have of learning my mother tongue. It's called "Zuiikin Gals" and it works for me.



12. Still bedazzled by the opening ceremonies.
11. Too many sausages before the game.
10. The goal in the second half was in the shade.
9. Mel Gibson is remaking "Tora, Tora, Tora" in the next town.
8. The entire team but the goalkeeper forgot to show up.
7. What?!? The Berlin Wall came down? Not in our history books.
6. The pitch was tilted.
5. Our whole team had "ROIDS" (not steroids, but hemorrhoids.)
4. Still can't grasp that "antipodean, reverse flushing concept."

3. The city emblem of Kaiserslautern looks too delicious.

2. Japan thought they hired Shinsuke Nakamura, the Japanese professional wrestler, not Shunsuke Nakamura.
1. The Aussies were hopped up on ROO hormones.

Some of these are pretty lame excuses, if you can come up with some better ones, please let me know!



So, last night was the big opening blowout for the world Cup. Manohman, didn't we have one of these soccer thingies 4 years ago? Another one already?

The Echoing DJs were in good form, too bad the earlier spinners didn't have much of an audience. But once Kuni and Mixture got going, the floor was filled. During the Mixture set was the oddest extravaganza I have ever witnessed. Imagine the bastard child of Salvadore Dali and Liberace directing a Busby Berkely musical with 170 Football players from the last several decades of World Cups. It was as though the SuperBowl half-time show was horribly mutated by radiation with all the participants on hallucinogens. There were more liederhosen-wearing, oompahpah-playing, weirdly-dressed paraders than you could shake a stick at. A terrorist attack would have gone unnoticed, for it had bombed long before it ended.

The Germany-Costa Rica game was actually interesting with a few goals from each team in the first half. Alas, not interesting enough to stay awake and I had to go home to bed so I could dream of the Opening Ceremonies.

These guys ringing the giant cow-bells really looked like they were enjoying themselves a little bit too much.

B for Bendetta.

Last week, I went to the final showing of "V for Vendetta." It was a great movie with intrigue and violence and a terrific use of the English language. "V" spoke mostly in iambic pentameter and one of his speeches incorporated the letter "v" in almost every word. Everyone knows that the Japanese language often mixes up their "l"s and "r"s but did you know that they also have great difficulty in pronouncing "v", substituting a "b" in its place? Well, for those literary-minded individuals out there, I will now reproduce the speech of "V" but with a subtle substitution.

Boilà! In biew, a humble baudebillian beteran, cast bicariously as both bictim and billain by the bicissitudes of fate. This bisage, no mere beneer of banity, is a bestige of the box populi, now bacant, banished. However, this balorous bisitation of a bygone bexation stands bibified, and has bowed to banquish these benal and birulent bermin banguarding bice and bouchsafing the biolently bicious and boracious biolation of bolition. The only berdict is bengeance; a bendetta held as a botive, not in bain, for the balue and beracity of such shall one day bindicate the bigilant and the birtuous. Berily, this bichyssoise of berbiage beers most berbose, so let me simply add that it's my bery good honor to meet you and you may call me B.
— B's introduction to Ebey

I highly recommend the movie to be seen on its own merits. The comic upon which it was based is brilliant in its own way but it was written in the Thatcher era and the Wachowski Brothers opted to use their movie as a comment on Bush. The author, Alan Moore, denounced it for this and other reasons, yet the artist, David Lloyd, embraced it. Make your own decision and go ahead and watch and/or read it and go cause a little anarchy, what harm can it do?

As an added treat, here is a video about "C". No explanation is necessary.


It's Raining Cats and Dogs!

I ought to know, I just stepped in a poodle (puddle). One of my all time favourite puns and now I get to share it with you.

There's a lot of conjecture as to the origin of this phrase, but it is most likely only a picturesque phrase relating to heavy rainfall. There is some speculation that cats are associated with rain (via witches' familiars) and dogs with storms & wind (Odin, the God of wind, etc. had dogs or wolves with him).

But it is really pissing down hard today. And there isn't a typhoon and the rainy season hasn't started yet. The closest Japanese equivalent to raining cats and dogs is: 土砂降りである (doshaburi de aru) Earth and sand are falling!


My House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House.

The sports weekend wasn't a total loss, for I got to reacquaint myself with a co-worker who is currently on maternity leave. Between 2 basketball matches, we drove out to the sticks of Rifu (and Rifu is already pretty stick-y) to pick up her daughter from her parents home. They have a beautiful traditional home in the center of farm country at the foot of a mini-mountain, with a vegetable garden, rabbits and a peaceful surrounding. Of the over 6 1/2 years I've lived here, I had never set foot inside a house (plenty of apartments and "mansions", but no houses.) Lots of quaint furnishings, paintings, sliding doors etc. All the stuff you see in the movies. They have several 8-12 Goza mat rooms (rooms are measured in Tatami mats, about 3'X 6'), a Kotatsu table (a kotatsu features a heater in the center and a removable reversible top is placed over a blanket to contain the heat.) and a lovely Bhuddist shrine set up, with bowls of fruit (sacrificial?) and other accoutrements.

Nice home and a cute, noise-free baby, what more could one ask for?
In other sports news...

Basketball was invented by a Canadian-born physician named James Naismith while living in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891, where he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep young men occupied during the long New England winters.

Not my favourite sport due to the disadvantage of being a wee lad. But I saw more dribbling over the weekend than the last time I was in an Old Folks' home. It was our annual sports weekend where High Schools from all over Miyagi compete in various athletic events. On Saturday morning, I witnessed a Table Tennis tourney and if you think it may be boring, then point to your nose and yell "Ping Pong" (Over here, when one gets the proper answer to a question, say PingPong and point to your nose.) I then saw a few seconds of Kyudo, or Japanese Archery but unfortunately it was SO crowded that I couldn't see anything. A bit of tennis and then off to the basketball courts. Over the weekend, I witnessed the girls' team pummel their opponents 119-37, 101-17 and 105-54. They ended up winning their final game, 95-62!!

These young ladies could give the Toronto Raptors a run for their money (not that that is too difficult a task.)
"Remember Doha!"

(ドーハを忘れるな, Dōha o wasureruna!)

This is the rallying cry for Japanese soccer fans back in the 1994 World Cup games. A win against Iraq would have earned Japan its first appearance at the World Cup finals as one of the two representatives from the Asian Football Confederation. Japan led Iraq 2-1 going into the final minute, but a late Iraqi goal ended the match in a draw. Instead, the World Cup finals spot went to arch-rival South Korea, which beat North Korea 3-0 in its final qualifying match.

So, unless you want to be left out on the sidelines yet again, it means that you need to come to Shaft tomorrow to watch the opening ceremonies. It just happens to coincide with a certain monthly Echophonyk event, so you get to double your pleasure with great tunes and some World Class Football.

The festivities begin at 7:00 with a set by DJ Mokugohan and you can also witness the 2nd game of the NHL Finals between Carolina (Boo!) and Edmonton (Yay!). Then at 9:00, the FIFA Opening Ceremonies begin, followed by more music, and the 1st match between host Germany and Costa Rica at 1:00. Stay tuned for more tunes and if you're really adventurous, there's another game at 4:00am between Poland and Ecuador!

Only 1500¥ to bear witness to the magic and if you print the photo above, you can even get an extra drink!



There's Dasher and Dancer and Donner and Blitzen...

But now for the newest of the Reindeer, it's "PRONGER"!
In game one of the Oilers-Carolina match, Chris Pronger became the first player to score on a penalty shot in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Japanese connection? Well, the above photo is from the Nagano Olympics.
(And the video is a really shaky cam. You only have to watch the first 90 seconds to see the goal.)
Oils well that ends well.

I went to Shaft where fellow Edmontonian Rob and myself watched the first game of the Stanley Cup all by our lonesome. We had the game taped earlier and both of us kept ourselves ignorant of the results so when we watched the match, we were watching with virgin eyes. And boy, what a match. A raucous first period, a penalty shot and a 3-nil lead by the 3rd period. Well the Hurricanes began to pick up speed and like a whirlwind tied it up. Alas, the red-hot goalie by the name of Roloson got injured and will be out for the duration of the playoffs. His replacement made a miscalculation and in the last minute of the game, Carolina won the game.

Where does this leave the Oilers? They have a choice of two goalies who haven't played in months. But I believe that this is just another hurdle for those plucky Oilers to overcome and persevere they will. Hurdle 1: the 8th-seeded Oilers beat the #1-seeded team, The Red Wings, in six games. Hurdle 2: Come from 2 games behind and then take down the Sharks in 4 games straight, regardless of their #1 scorer and #1 point obtainer. Hurdle 3: Pluck the Mighty Ducks of their pinfeathers and win that series in 5 games. So now they're down a goalie. Big deal, they've come this far, it's only a matter of time before the Hurricane winds down and they conquer that team too.

Tomorrow is another day.


If You Would All Please Kneel for Neil...

The following is an exerpt from a sermon given by the Reverend Michael Jones last Saturday Evening.

"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of a truly great individual. It is with a saddened heart that we, his truly unworthy disciples, must bid farewell to our honoured guest as he will now move on to greener, foggier pastures far from these hallowed shores. Though he was with us for only five months, it does seem like an eternity and he shall be sorely missed. The two dozen of us gathered here today can bear witness to the miracles he has performed, such as the healing of the Methuselah-like old women, of whom he has cured of frigidity. Those closer to him must have greater stories to be told, and so I implore you, to please inform this humble preacher of these tales and they can be published forthwith in the Gospels herein. For example, Brother Julian told the following parable of our Savior Neil, "In his youth he was nought but a lowly hairdresser, and much to the surprise of others in that noble profession, was actually straight. Since that meeting, Brother J has been cured of the affliction known as hair."
If we may now bow our heads in prayer, "Brethren, should you ever gather within these smoky walls sometime in the future, so to eat the charred flesh of various barnyard animals and to drink the amber blood of the gods, we shall remember our dear friend, not as he truly is but as he is perceived to be through our drunken haze. Amen and Godspeed as you fly back to the motherland."
In true fashion, later that evening Neil was witnessed consuming the raw flesh of a barnyard animal and, much later at a Karaoke bar, the masses gathered there did behold the Resurrection of his Mighty Staff!


Faster than a speeding blog...

Today is the birthday of Superman. Well, it's actually the 68th anniversary of the publication of Action #1, his first appearance, but don't quibble.

Here's some Canadian trivia for you: Along with Jerry Siegel, Superman was co-created by a Toronto native, Joe Shuster (the cousin of Frank Shuster of "Wayne & Shuster" fame.) The Daily Planet where Clark Kent works was based on The Daily Star in Toronto, where young Jerry worked as a newsboy. So Metropolis could be loosely based on Toronto, not New York as is often conjectured.

In 1942, one of several Max Fleischer cartoons featuring Superman, was entitled, "The Japoteurs" and here it is in all its racist glory. Enjoy...

Now I'd like to propose a question to all my loyal readers. As you may be aware, Superman's powers derive from arriving on a planet with a Yellow sun (Earth) after being sent here as a baby from the planet Krypton, a planet with a Red sun (and a much stronger gravity). Should Superman travel to a planet with a Red sun, he becomes powerless.

My question is, how do they explain this concept in Japan? Over here the sun is depicted as RED. (Taken a look at the Japanese flag lately?) When kids break out their Crayolas and begin to draw SOL, they use the Red crayon. So when it came time to translate Superman into Japanese, how did they explain the Red/Yellow concept as the origin of his powers. Did they reverse the colours (Krypton has a Yellow sun, Earth has a Red one.) Did they try to explain that Jerry Siegel is an infidel who doesn't know the difference between Red and Yellow.

If anyone has an answer to this query, I'd really be curious to read it.


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