Episode 83 – Snow Country

It’s been a long time in the making, but we’re finally reviewing one of Japan’s most famous novels: Kawabata Yasunari’s, “Snow Country”. As one of Terrance’s absolute favorite books and only recently read by Christopher, we discuss the finer points of the novel, its context, and what we make of the imagery and plot.

.. and the U2 Guy

I spoke about this guy before, but my friend Alex who was in my Level 1 class last semester actually caught him on video. Somebody get this guy over to Ireland, stat!

Bono clone in Harajuku from Japan Through Blue Eyes on Vimeo.

Alex has a great blog on Japan as well. If you read French, it is highly entertaining. If you don’t, well at least the pictures are nice. Enjoy!

Episode 33 – Music and Carbonation

I think this is one of the longest episodes to date. Chock full o’ music and my limited insight, I think this episode also clocks in at one of the finest sounding episodes to date. Sweet sounds and tender music, you get this episode at a slightly higher quality (due to the high music content) for absolutely nothing!

Show Notes:

Staying Focused


Canon EOS 20d 1/60 f6.0 3200ISO ??mm Photoshop

I did an experiment yesterday. The goal: completely sequester all distractions and see how much I could get done in 5 hours. I managed to surprise myself as to how much I could accomplish. From 4pm to 9pm I worked like a busy little bee and the only thing a bit dissatisfying was how much work there was left to do, but it got me thinking. A little focus in all aspects of my life could certainly help.

I think that I will work with two central themes this year, capturing a story and capturing motion. I will not focus so much on the media this happens in or even the discipline in which it occurs. I’m curious to see how much I can reduce the things I shouldn’t be doing and add value to the things I am doing by applying a simple concept to things across the board.

For example, in my professional work I could certain benefit from this. Capturing the story of how businesses transform in a simple way for presentations could certainly help. Being able to accurately capture and harness business change (“motion”) provides a focus for my business architecture research.

Even in my amateur photography work, these are two great themes to be able to work with. I hope it also reduces the temptation to take cliche photos of buildings, sunsets, flowers, and pets.

What is the central theme to your work, professional or otherwise this year? Should we even be using this approach. I’m wondering what other people use to guide their work.

Or perhaps, maybe I have just had too much coffee today.

Right Place

I could write an entire article about the wonders of the social bookmarking site del.icio.us, but I won’t at this point. Suffice it to say that by subscribing to this search for movies relating to Japan, I am frequently surprised at what arrives automatically in my iTunes. Today was no exception.

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This morning while drinking coffee and reviewing work email, I was treated to an excellent short film by Kosai Sekine called “Right Place“. As a musician, I’ve always loved working with independent filmmakers, but this short 5 minute film really struck a chord with me. Not only because of its Japanese-ness or its simple aesthetic, but because it is truly a great short film in many aspects. The concept is simple yet incredibly powerful, the cinematography stunning, beautifully done colors and editing, and easily digestible in five minutes.

I cannot say that I am any sort of film critic, but it was no surprise to find that “Right Place” won many awards include Young Director / Best Short Film at Cannes 2006, Diesel Film of the Festival at The Raindance Film Festival, and the Best Foreign Film Award at the New York City Short Film Festival.

If you are into indie films, you may really like this film and it’s director. Take a look at Right Place.