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Archive for February, 2011

Tips and Tricks for “P” Origami folding..

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

All right. I should be writing something else, but found this and am really thinking about origami.. I kinda want to fold, but once again cursing out space, and wishing it was warmer.

Found these really cool tips from Marcela Brina’s blog entitled Origami P’s.

Tips and Tricks for Beginners
  • Paper: Commercial origami paper is handy as it is already cut into squares, but you can also use copy paper, magazine papers, recycled paper, scrap paper, artist papers or any paper that can hold a crease reasonably well and it’s not too thick.
  • Plain surface: Although you can fold in the air, it will be easier for beginners to fold on a plain (flat) surface.
  • Perception: Learn the symbols. Be sure that you start with the right color side up or down and if you should be facing the edge (horizontal position) or the corner (diagonal position) of the  paper. Look carefully at the instructions. The written instructions will give you extra hints.
  • Preview: When folding a step, it’s always helpful to look at how the model should look like in the next step.
  • Prescience: Read ahead in diagrams to see what is coming up. It makes the current fold easier to understand.(Thanks to Breadbox).
  • Precision: Fold as precisely as you can. Position edges and corners carefully before making your creases sharp.
  • Practice: If you get stuck in the middle of the model or if it does not look as it is supposed to, try unfolding one or two steps and try again. If that does not work, leave it, do something else, and then start again with a new piece of paper.
  • Perseverance: Don’t be discouraged if your first try isn’t perfect, it’ll surely be better the second try.
  • People: Meet other people who likes origami. Origami is something to share, teach and learn. Join an origami group, go to conventions, participate in the origami email lists, blogs, sites, contests (Thanks to Breadbox).
  • Pride Aside / Plead for help: Put Pride Aside and Plead for help if necessary. In other words, don’t be afraid to ask for help on blogs etc, people are always willing and eager to try to help (Thanks to Frances)
  • Patience: Don’t rush through the fold. Take time to be precise (Thanks to Kathy Knapp).
Categories: origami Tags: ,

The chance of listening to Drama CDs…

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Just a small random thought, on the importance of studying Japanese.. getting the chance to understand Drama CD’s. Of course that probably is not an important thing, but to be a fan of manga, there is probably never going to be the chance for there to be an anime. So there is the option of Drama CDs then, which is similar to listening to a radio show.

So whenever I read some mangas, especially of the shoujo ones. I read panels where the mangaka, talks about her experience with meeting the seiyuu’s for the Japanese drama cds. (sighs) How lucky…

Still, I will be lucky to listen to the track, just like the City Hunter Z, Dramatic Album which I do own.. and understand a tinge of what the drama is about. Hmmm… I listen to Fushigi Yuugi‘s drama CD a long time ago.. and that was a great experience. Hearing a possibilities of what ifs.. the drama cd’s reaffirm what are inside jokes that a series can have, and definitely give a voice to characters that the pages can’t provide.

Of course when there is the eventual lead to an anime, the drama cd is just another part to the long list of media that is available out there.

Categories: Other

Kinokuniya’s Day of celebrating Valetine Day via Anime and Manga

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Since Valentine’s Day is on Monday this year, this past weekend New York City’s Kinokuniya had a afternoon of events in the name of celebrating Valentine’s Day. One thing to start off the event was a free giveaway from Viz, so Kinokuniya was promoting Mistress Fortune, a new manga from Tanemura Arina.

This event was suitably advertised, so when I arrived at the bookstore, the place was very packed. It was starting to feel relatively stifling, so just as some tips for attending an event at Kinokuniya. Come early to claim a spot! Go with friends, so that if you need to vacate a seat for a few minutes, make sure you have a place to come back to.

Samurai Beat Radio panelists


I made it to listen to Samurai Beat Radio’s panel on hip hop music’s influence on Japan and what anime/manga are also hip hop culture inspired. The panel went on for about an hour, there were comment integration from Hip Hop USA.

These are points that I was able to pick up from the onset of the panel.

  • Graffiti art also goes well with the Hip hop comment, so hip hop in Japan had it roots at Yoyogi Park around the 1980’s.
  • Hip hop in Japanese culture at the beginning was an underground movement, and Slang got adopted by the Japaneses.

There are three significant titles that show hip hop influences:

  • Tokyo Tribes (Manga inspired by the events of Shibuya gang relevant issues. Licensed in English by Tokyopop)
  • Samurai Champaloo (Time of samurai, there’s also hip-hop)
  • Afro Samurai (Black samurai)

Other lesser significant titles that has hip hop influence are Tengo Tenge, Paranoia Agent, and Gintama.

Popular Japaneses artitsts that is influenced by hip hop included Home Made Kazoku, Dragon Ash, M-flo, Rip Slyme, Halcali, ZEBRA. From these artist mentioned, I definitely didn’t mind hearing the samples that were played.

Following this program there was a mention and giveaway provided by @onepiecepodcast

Categories: Event Tags:

MMF: Barefoot Gen, Grisly read of Atomic Bomb survival

February 14, 2011 2 comments

For every war that is probably fought, there are untold horrors for survivors of an atrocity. One example of such a period, was how Japan was defeated in World War II, with the the Atomic Bomb. The bombings completely destroyed two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and this is the first time that nuclear warfare is used in the history of mankind. Now even up to this day, Hiroshima has become a City of Peace, with a continued advocacy to abolish all nuclear weapons.

Keiji Nakazawa, himself a Hibakusha or a victim of the atomic bomb, writes a harrowing tale of bomb survival in his graphic novel: Barefoot Gen. Nakazawa himself as a survivor is also suffering affects of the bomb, with cancer. This is a story that is told in ten volumes, and published in English by Last Gasp.

Barefoot Gen reveals a story of struggle, and survival. Being that this is a graphic novel, mostly everything is revealed in stark and bleak terms. From the first volume, Gen survives with his family in tatters. His character grows, as the country completely falls apart, right after the bombing, as people died left and right. It is a very gruesome reality to imagine, and the manga aptly depicts the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years after the bomb struck.

Some of the more gruesome depictions I read in the first two volumes is of bones consumption, massive burial sites, skins melting off, sudden death from radiation.

Another theme that the manga accurately depicts is the level of crime, and discrimination, that people will not be proud to have committed, but it does happen. With the lack of awareness and callousness, there are countless victims, and characters depicted in Barefoot Gen displays cruelty that is associated with a post apocalyptic type setting.

Last year was the 65th Anniversary of the Hiroshima Bombing, and this event invited international participation in the form of postcards to be used at an exhibit. Examples of postcards sent can be seen at the Japanese version of the website. Still for what it is worth, this is also a article of last year’s anniversary. That is the reality side of the Atomic Bomb, and how it is remembered.

For a more graphical depiction, that can’t be experienced with watching movies, documentaries, or books, there is Barefoot Gen. This  is not reading material suitable for children, I would recommend this for older teens and adult. A similar read alike is Maus from Art Spiegelman for the similar time prospective of Holocaust Germany. The very message that both stories bring is that war can be a very destructive for both sides. There really is no victimless war.

Check out the archive for this month’s MMF of Barefoot Gen here.

Categories: manga movable feast Tags:

Creased Magazine, magazine with interesting diagrams.

February 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Other than the search for a job and writing, I got this in the mail recently, and is at some points trying to tackle some folding project in it. Just really need to find a solid desk and a good light, since my bed and laptop desk is really not a conductive space for folding.

Creased Magazine is a subscription I began this year, and there are several options for subscriptions in this bi-monthly print subscription. Other than paying for the magazine, which is filled with various examples of letter folds, animals, and modulars, I also got a POP year’s subscription it it.

POP means that on top of the magazine, Creased will send me a featured packet of paper with every issue for a year. This month they had a insert of Korean paper, of which I got more paper at a later time. I am crossing fingers on them getting paper from Hong Kong sooner or later, since the shop I go to in Chinatown is seriously being depleted of its paper.

In the magazine itself, there is also a challenge to submit 12 step origami. Folding and creating a paper fold variation seem to be yet another step in developing a life long hobby of paper folding.

Some updates for my origami folding at the moment. I tried folding the GFF modular, but it falls apart, since it turns into mushy-gami. Still I look at a friend’s finished product and resolves to do a bit more. It probably is my skill so far… (sighs)

Oh another note, in the process of still going through with folding 20+ Estella’s with a origami stem for an ATC that I am delivering with Sok to trade at Netherlands for me.

Categories: origami Tags: ,

Japanese variation of Valentine Day, some thoughts on Giri/Tomo Choco

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

A couple of years ago, when I was still in college, I did an school newspaper editorial write up of this issue before. Japanese variation toward Valentine’s Day is very much like an American version of Sadie Hawkins. At the time, I knew I had feedback on what an cute idea this is.

When in Japan and on Valentine’s Day females do give chocolate to significant others or friends. Then one month after that fact, on March 14, men give back white themed gifts on white day. Last year I had my taste of White Day in Japan. Now this year, my experience is going to be in the states.

Valentine’s Day has become a pretty commercial holidays, where the price of chocolate, and significance of not being alone on one particular day pressures, and is represented in very obvious ways in advertisements or entertainment. I read this as a single male perspective, and definitely am going to go celebrating this commercial holiday my own way.

Of course I just read recently that there is a trend of girls in Japan not giving out chocolates to boys, and instead giving it to their female friends instead. This is what is known as tomo choco. Now the opposite of when a girl gives a guy friend who is not their significant other chocolate, that is called giri choco. Since I am single and not at all mindful of being single, I have gotten in the mindset of giving tomo choco and giri choco to my friends.

Just thinking that it is a thought to not be so blue on Valentine’s Day, not get so caught up in the idea of Valentine’s Day as being a couple holiday and just celebrate it as a day of giving, and maybe receiving chocolate from friends.

Of course you can ignore the day and I do know that there is going to be friendship day one of these days, but all the same. I hope that Valentine’s Day won’t be as blue for a lot of people as I imagine.

Categories: Personal
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