With all the excitement surrounding the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back – a true masterpiece by any definition of the word — it got me thinking about the iconic films of my childhood that left such a permanent impression that I can still vividly recall the experience of seeing them for very first time in a theatre. Not the look of the multiplex or the color of the seats, but how these movies made me feel. How they transported me into their world to the point that when the lights came up it felt like an unwelcome alarm clock on a school day.
The yakuza are the members of traditional organised crime gangs in Japan. They are said to have evolved from groups of traders who sold stolen or shoddy goods in local markets in the period when the country was under the control of the shogunate.
They eventually took over the allocation and protection of market stalls set up during shinto festivals and were given official recognition by the shogun of the time. With this came the right to carry swords, which was until then reserved only for samurai and nobles.
Other yakuza are said to derive from groups that ran illegal gambling dens on the edges of towns.
A Japanese amusement park will be opening a life-size EVA-01 display (head only) soon. The walkways will be made to look like the ones in Episode 1 so you can recreate the "Shinji, Mom; Mom, Shinji" scene. No word on whether there's an overhead gallery where you can have your asshole dad stand, but you will be able to pay to have your picture taken inside a 1:1 Entry Plug. I'd do it. (Courtesy ANN via Japanator)
Frank Frazetta, famed comic artist and illustrator, passed away Monday in Fort Myers, Florida of complications from a stroke. He was 82. His influence on pop culture was enormous, with a body of work that spanned multiple media.
In the late fall of 1965, Shunichi Kasai was five years old. Like many boys, he had a preternatural affinity for mechanical things and found the world a wide and wondrous place. Tokyo had not yet become the humming Metroplex that exists today, but the future capital of the world's second largest economy was undergoing a modernization boom never before seen. A year prior, Tokyo's unofficial reemergence from the devastation of World War II had culminated in the first television broadcast across the Pacific - coverage of the 1964 Olympic Games. Churning out everything from cameras to cargo ships, the tremendous rate of growth soon thrust Tokyo into the position of world's largest city. A sense of boundless possibility permeated the air and every citizen, from ramen vendor to industrialist, fueled the historic expansion simply by going about their daily lives.
The final three installments of my series on the late John Brunner's Hugo/BSFA-winning 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar are up on my LiveJournal page.
For those who haven't read the book, the story in it begins today: 3rd May 2010.
NB: If you're interested in reading the series, or just curious about the book, you'll have to read it ASAP. I'm taking my LiveJournal account down within the next couple of days as part of my "Resignation from the Internet" project. Once it's gone, it's gone forever.
Not like that would be any huge loss or anything...