The Weekly Bulletin: Week 7, 2017
We’re about halfway into February and I can’t wait for spring. There have been a few telltale signs that it’s on its way—the plum blossoms are finally coming through. I haven’t had a chance to snap any good photos yet, but I hope to before they disappear!
- I knew I had to start this roundup with a song that went viral last week: “Chicken Attack”. It’s even better than what you’re imagining right now. The Gregory Brothers, creators of Songify and Autotune the News, made this amazing work of art with content studio Portal A, and the help of a very special man; Takeo Ischi. If you haven’t heard of him then you’re probably not a German citizen with a love for yodeling. (It just keeps getting better, right?) I won’t explain too much, but if you can spare four minutes for a video today make sure it’s this one:
- The British Museum’s Youtube Channel (which, for the record, is pretty great) featured an episode on Japanese manhole covers. They’re often intricately designed, but the best bit about this clip is curator Nicole Rousmaniere’s enthusiasm for the topic:
- Shingu is a town in Wakayama prefecture that virtually bursts at the seams with historical significance and yet has been almost entirely forgotten by the rest of Japan. I was lucky enough to head out there late last year and wrote an intro piece on it for NHK World. (It’s also where I met this badass boat captain. I forgot to ask how old he was, but he’s for sure no spring chicken.)
- Kyoto is finally making a move to remove unsightly power lines from one of its traditional entertainment districts, Pontoncho. They’ve already removed neon lights and other gaudy signs to try to recreate the area’s former historic beauty.
- Autumn of West Dates East wrote a fascinating piece on how her in-laws fled China and finally emigrated to the US. She also wrote guidelines on shopping with them and a very dark Valentine’s poem. Read the last one at your own risk. (I needed doughnuts and cute cat videos after.)
- Nina over at Little Wolf chronicled our Chichibu adventures from last month (I’ve yet to edit photos from that trip). She’s got some amazing photos from her trip to Kyoto over the New Year too, so definitely check those out.
- I sent Brown on a mini adventure last week and he forgot to take photos. He took one, outside a shrine. Tsk, tsk. I’ll be taking him with me on a few work trips this coming week, so here’s hoping we get some good ones.
- If anyone is wondering where YJ is, the most likely response at any time of the day or night is: work. I’ll be writing a post about Japanese work culture (and how crap it generally is) once I can calm the rage enough to make it less of a rant. It’ll still be one, but with fewer swear words than I would use now. In the meantime, here’s a post on the few perks of him always working late.
What’s your favorite first sign of spring?