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"Everything is presented in Japanese consumer culture as if it were directed
toward a 12- year-old," says Alexandra Munroe, director of the Japan Society
Gallery, who first invited Murakami to stage a show there in 2001. "It's a
childlike realm of fantasy and reality."

Did she say that in aviator shades with a corncob pipe? Irony can be so ironic sometimes.
By contrast, I think in America our consumer culture is...well, it's gotta be on
the 14 year-old level, at least.

--C.

P.S. A fellow at Dark Horse gave me a copy of Fosco Maraini's 467-page 1959 book
MEETING WITH JAPAN (translated from Italian). Parts are like a JIN-ROH era CRUISING
THE ANIME CITY, with a complicated organizational chart showing the relationship
between 19 different types of Japanese night life ("The marchese asked Giorgio
to explain exactly how accessible or inaccessible these girls were..."), shots
of the old neon Ginza ("Manifest fantasy and squalor"--the pull-quote
is better applied to Akihabara now), of crippled vets playing the squeeze box while
black corporals stroll by on the arm of women of rorikon height and middle-aged
appearance.

"You feel surrounded by the depravity of a casino in which people are ready
to throw away a month's earnings for the sake of five minutes' debauch or to sell
themselves to the first-comer for a handful of cigarettes. 'Nothing matters, nothing
makes sense,' seems to be written on young people's brows...'Shikata ga nai, sensoo
ni maketa,' 'It can't be helped, we lost the war.'"
—Fosco Maraini, 1959

"Japan has no future."
—Tomohiro Machiyama, 2005

P.S. Deep down, I think many in the NYC have never yet quite fully figured out the difference between a Chinese and a Japanese, let alone parsed the state of modern otakuisme.

ME: But, Mr. Okada, when I was in high school, everyone said that when we grew up, the Japanese were going to rule the world.
OKADA: Who was "everyone"—you, and the people in your SF club?

—conversation with Toshio Okada, 2003

Carl: What do you think of Gong Li and Ziyi Zhang racially typecast as Japanese characters?

From http://www.darkhorizons.com/news05/050415g.php : Sony has acquired the Isaac Adamson novel "Tokyo Suckerpunch" to adapt into a feature Tobey Maguire will topline reports Variety.

The studio has hired famed scribe Ed Solomon ("Men in Black", "Charlie's Angels", "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure") to write the pic, to be produced by Maguire, Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher.

The story follows Billy Chaka, a man writes a column that casts him as macho hero living in a surreal, amped-up Tokyo. When his book gets turned into a movie, Chaka flies to the city for the premiere and hates it enough to clash loudly with the director, who ends up murdered.

Thanks to 'Wilkes'

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