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  • mono 9:04 pm on April 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 20th Century Boys, Adam Green, Blues, , California, Folk, Gantz, , , , , , Kurt Vonnegut Jr., , Manga, Onsen, , Society and Culture, Yakiimo,   

    Japanicity: Three Questions w/ Ken Tanaka (田中けんさんとミツの質問) 

    sakura lomo

    “Three Questions” is a song by the Kentucky based musician Bonnie “Prince” Billy from his “Master and Everyone” album. This haunting and beautiful song has been with me since winter 2004 and today I would like to incorporate the idea of “three questions” into The Eyeslit-Crypt. It is really quite simple. I choose one person and ask them three questions. Since this is my first experiment with this kind of blogging format, I kept the questions very simple and accessible. The honorable person whom I chose for this first endeavor is none other than Ken Tanaka…three questions were asked and this evening a response was received. As the beloved “Hero” Hiro Nakamura may say, “Yattttttta.”

    If you are not familiar with Ken Tanaka’s video work, I suggest the following links:

    Ken Tanaka on Youtube
    Ken Tanaka on Myspace
    The Japanicity of Ken Tanaka

    THREE QUESTIONS with Ken Tanaka

    Q: What kind of adventures have you been up to these days?

    A: I recently have been traveling to a few locations searching for my parents…I just got back from Hawaii today. I am hoping to put up a video soon, but I am having some bad technical difficulties. I will also be returning to Japan sometime in May, hopefully. I hope to do some more videos about life in Japan if I can get my camera fixed.

    Q: Any musical or literary recommendations from Ken Tanaka?

    A: I have recently been reading some American authors. I like Kurt Vonnegut Jr. He seems like a very nice man. I have also been enjoying traditional American Blues and folk music by Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie. I recently heard a song at a vintage clothing store in Los Angeles by a New York folk/punk singer called Adam Green. I hope to listen to more of his music soon.
    As far as recent manga, I am reading Gantz and 20th Century Boys (20seiki shonen).

    Q: What are some of your favorite things about your home country, Japan?

    A: Well, here are the things I miss most about home. Onsen and ofuru. It’s very hot in Los Angeles and I often wish I could go to a nice onsen for refreshment. There are Korean style spas in LA but they aren’t quite the same. When I arrive in Japan, I will go straight to a Sento. I also miss the quality of food. In the Japanese countryside, there is lots of tasty food everywhere. I have found that it is quite hard to find good food here, even in the city. There is very good food in Los Angeles, but you must do research in order to find it.
    I also miss Game centers. Sometimes I want to play video games but it is hard to find them in Los Angeles. I miss trains and subways, and bento and sakura and anmitsu and matsuri and depa-chika and yakiimo too.

    ——————————

    Thank you for reading the first installment of “Three Questions” and I hope you learned something new about Ken Tanaka.

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  • mono 10:20 am on March 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Despondency, , , Mariko Mori, Melancholy, , Society and Culture, , , Zero   

    Selected Translated Poems from Mariko Mori’s book “Zero, Zero, Zero” 

    lonely cat

    I bought “Zero, Zero, Zero” on a trip to Osaka, Japan in the summer of 2001. I think that these translations, although amateur (i.e. unpublished), capture the sense that Mori wishes to express. Enjoy.

    Mariko Mori: Zero, Zero, Zero

    I look at the clouds as they suddenly tear away from each other.
    Somewhere, someone is calling my name.

    No matter what tomorrow’s weather will bring, realize that a person will die.

    Words that one can’t speak are pulled into the depths of one’s body as the thorn twists deeper.

    I mutter “zero, zero, zero” as the night sky’s illumination seeps into my sleep.

    My despondency comes from the tips of my toes, passing up my spine and lands at the nape of my neck.

    Melancholy is the back and forth of the swing, swinging until it reaches the darkness.

     
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