Thursday, August 30, 2007

Attention SASUKE Lovers! 新SASUKE 2007秋 (SASUKE 2007 Fall) air date announced?

Well, going through the Japanese Wikipedia SASUKE page brings up this little tidbit at the end of the ratings chart:
第19回大会 2007年 (18:55 - 20:54 9月19日放送予定。)
19th Competition 2007 (18:55 - 20:54 September 19th Broadcast airdate)

Woo hoo!

Not only that, but the next Kunoichi date has been announced and the page is already up at TBS here.
Kunoichi will be shown on September 5th from 6:55 PM. Contestants this year are Ayako Miyake (who has completed the course three times), Yuko Mizuno (sort of the Kunoichi Mr. SASUKE except she has a real job -- kind of), Asami Abe and many others.

Don't know if I'm going to do a live blog (depends on my schedule) but I will be posting results and pictures as soon as I can!

Also, G4, which airs SASUKE in the states as Ninja Warrior has been holding a contest to decide which one of their viewers will be their "American Ninja." The board regulars are not exactly kind to the contestants.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ube Maji-watch 2007! Part II! Let someone else do the work! 宇部のアザラシのマジちゃん

So...Maji-chan (I guess it's official now) is still around and now the city has a homepage for him:
They've got pictures!
They've got a map!
Also, if you have any photos of Maji-chan, send them here:
The Ube Nippo, your semi-daily source of Maji-chan news, has a nicer map here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

みんなのうた: おしりかじり虫 Minna no uta: Oshirikajirimushi

Minna no uta is a daily NHK program that's been running since 1961. The show (which is only five minutes long) rotates several songs each month. Sometimes, the songs take on lives of their own. One was done by Lou Oshiba, MOTTAINAI ~もったいない~ (thanks to youtube user dora1122):

Oshiba is hoping to sing this song at the Red and White Songfest.

One of last month's songs was おしりかじり虫 (Oshirikajirimushi) which is the bug that bites bottoms. It's a bit...strange.

Thanks to youtube user ajibee

What do you think?

You can get more info on the song here and here.

The monthly Minna no uta schedule can be seen here.

Ube Maji-watch 2007! アザラシのマジちゃん

So Ube + summer vacation + a seal = Maji-watch 2007!

Quick follow-up to this story.

Today I went down to the Majime River and lo and behold! a whole bunch of other people had the same idea resulting in a slight traffic hazard.

Since "Maji-chan" (Its name isn't official yet -- rumour has it someone in the City Office wanted to name it Ube-chan, which is ten million times worse than Maji-chan. Also, I'm sticking to Maji-chan because it's a better name than Dice-K) has popped up twice people around town are rushing to get a quick glimpse.

Actually, I got the briefest of glimpses today of Maji-chan. Maji-chan's head popped up for a few seconds while I was down by the river. But I wasn't able to get a picture of our little scamp because it was so sudden and my mobile phone skills are sorely lacking in speed. Ah well.


I don't know if this woman was sitting there to see Maji-chan or she was just resting because there's no way she would be able to get up to the fence in time. Or she's really spry. I don't know. Look, it's hot these days, okay?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yamaguchi-ken high school student suspected of murder found in Akihabara

More Yamaguchi-ken news, this time some sad news.
A 16 year-old 1st year high school student (name withheld) accused of murdering his grandfather in Kaminoseki, Yamaguchi was found in Akihabara. He had traveled to Tokyo from Yamaguchi. He had also assaulted and locked up his grandmother. The boy beat his grandfather with a bat and then strangled him.
The boy was not actually nabbed because he was a murder suspect. The one-way trip to Tokyo cost him roughly 12000 (and because he used local trains took almost 24 hours) and left him with only 50 yen. He was caught shoplifting food in the Akihabara Don Kihote and is being held in Tokyo right now.

Yahoo Japan article with news report is here.
Latest MDN article in Japanese is here.
MDN story in English before he got caught is here.

Seal in Majime River in Ube 宇部市の真締川にアザラシ

Here's something you don't see everyday: Ube City in the national news. Oh, and a seal.

(tip of the hat to Japan Probe.)

At about 4:00 PM on the 20th of this month a seal was discovered swimming in the Majime River which is located near the Ube City Office. Apparently it got there via the Ube Port and residents had reported seeing the seal about a week prior in the general area.
People quickly dubbed the seal "Maji-chan" or "Majime-kun"'s the Majime River. Yeah.
Opportunists Concerned citizens are hoping to exploit Maji-chan will become a popular figure like Tama-chan.

Story (in Japanese) can be found here:
@nifty (with video from NNN)
Daily Yomiuri
Ube Nippo
Picture of Majime River looking not so...robust

Japan Probe (which scooped me! Damn!) has the NNN video of the story on youtube here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Two random things...宇部花火大会 and カメパン

doraemon hanabi
This is a Doraemon firework from last Saturday's Hanabi Festival in Ube. I suck at taking pictures.

kamepan attack
Kamepan ATTACK!

A Series of Interesting CMs: 牛乳に相談だ The Japan Dairy Council

牛乳に相談だ (ぎゅうにゅうにそうだんだ/gyuunyuu ni soudanda/Can someone give me a reasonable sounding translation of this?) is a campaign by the Japan Dairy Council (中央酪農会議) aimed at getting young people in Japan to drink milk again. Someone might want to tell them about their main page title: Welcow to 日本の酪農 -社団法人中央酪農会議-.
Anyway, there have been a series of commercials:
Milk enables student to take on his chalk wielding teacher:

(thanks to Youtube user gooooopon)

Milk helps student battle lion and save the girl/Milk makes student so popular she is caught in a flood of love letters/the chalk one again:

(thanks to Youtube user countsei)

Milk makes mom and

(thanks to Youtube user ajibee)

Which is your favorite?
(Note: There are a couple of other videos (one about basketball and one about synchronized swimming) that I haven't found yet.)

You have to admit that these are much more interesting than the milk commercials I had to watch when I was growing up:

(thanks to Youtube user panbiscuit)

Although possibly not as interesting as this:

(thanks to youtube user nerrad712).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

2ch wants you to be safe! 2ちゃんねるコンドーム

2ch Condom

From Gigazine.
That ubiquitous Japanese internet presence 2ch is doing their part to keep people safe in Japan. From September 1st, the official (as in officially sanctioned by the guy that "runs" 2ch) 2ch condom will hit convenience stores and drug stores around Japan.
The box (but not the condoms themselves, I think anyway) features the 2ch mascot(s).
There will be 8 per box at the price of 1050 yen.
The official site is here.
But does it come with a case?