Addicted to YAKUZA 4 (SEGA / PS3) now. Best characters (so far) include: Up-to-Date High School Girl, Out-of-Shape Businessman, Hostess Club-Frequenting CEO, Man Trying to Pick Up Girls, Pachinko Loser, Man Fresh Out of a Relationship, Knowledgeable Homeless Man, Trendy Boy, and Pampered Girl.
I missed the earthquake in Japan by a little over a week. I’m in boring old San Francisco now, so I’m fine.
Extended family and friends in Japan are OK too. Pretty much everyone I know and work with over there is in Tokyo.
Still, stress / depression / general feelings of helplessness levels are high as those near and dear are now facing a battery of blackouts, aftershocks, and a developing nuclear crisis.
Jay and I monitored the situation in Japan over what was a very long weekend using Twitter, Ustream, NHK World, and other means of remote viewing. Jay also downloaded an phone app that sounds out the earthquake warning chimes in real time (For a while there, they were going off every 5 minutes…)
We gave some money to the Japan Society of New York, who assure us that 100% of our donation goes to relief, as opposed to other organizations that skim the top for “administration fees”. You might want to do the same.
The situation playing out now is eerily reminiscent of two Japanese disaster films: Japan Sinks (1973) and Deathquake (1980), both of which follow a pattern of quake ---> tsunami ---> nuclear power plant crisis.
Everyone is kind of showing their true colors now: Hiroko Tabuchi is proving to be a truly great world-class journalist, Marxy is cool and pragmatic, and Matt Alt has risen to the occiasion to become a major link between two cultures. Plus lots of other fans and organizations are DOING THE RIGHT THING and trying to help however they can. On the other hand, Shintaro Ishihara is being a dick, a few assholes are trying to leverage the crisis for publicity, and some bloodthirsty Americans are actually framing the tragedy as karmic payback for Pearl Harbor.
As for me, well, I wrote a quick (and in retrospect, a little too optimistic) update about the quake for Otaku USA magazine's website, and tried to confirm the safety of close friends, all the while trying to work on a business proposal. In no way does making it to Monday me feel any better about anything.
I’ve spent the last ten years regularly traveling back and forth between San Francisco and Tokyo. In some ways, it feels like I’m living two lives: one in which I don’t do much except procrastinate and work (SF) and one in which I’m running around in the streets absorbing and experiencing as much as I can because time is short (TKO).
I’ve been told repeatedly “I’m lucky” that I’m not in Tokyo now, trapped in the event horizon of a global crisis, bracing for whatever comes next to land directly on my head. It still feels like I’m being split right down the middle.
Still, this is bigger than where I'm at, or where I'm not...emotions and all that stuff that gets in the way. But there is a kind of solidarity I can share with friends and strangers.
It is the feeling is that nothing will ever be the same again.
Daddy needs a brand new set of shirts from Rotten Cotton! And maybe I can finally place an order considering I just landed a new gig writing for the Tokyo Fashion web$ite. Look for updates from yours truly there every week. Expect a mix of interviews and this-blog-like spotlights on oniikei, host, dandy, hostess, and kyaba craziness. In the meantime, things kick off with a report on the fun, but also confusing "Oshare Macross" event at Marui One (hey, I used to work for them...).
Patrick Macias (host, Otaku-Verse Zero) and Matt Alt (author, Ninja Attack!) dare to venture to darkest Saitama in search of treasure at the legendary Kaleidoscope toy store located in Oyama. But will they be prepared for the shock of what they find there?
Godzilla takes time out of his busy schedule during the making of GODZILLA VS. GIGAN on the Toho Studios lot to demonstraite traditional kakizome New Year's Day calligraphy to a bunch of bedazzled brats.