Tokyo Damage Report

gunka, gunka, gunka!

Gunka is a style of propaganda music from the "Let's conquer the world!" days: '35 ~'45 (ish). It comes from the characters 軍 (army) and 歌 (song). The songs were not FOR soldiers, they were for the folks back home, to whip up enthusiasm for war. That's why a lot of gunka sounds like childrens' […]


updated TDR guide to Japanese military slogans.

A while ago, I wrote a short glossary of Dangerous Japanese – Japanese words for cult leaders, serial killers, embarrassing customs, etc. Part of that dealt with war crimes. But there’s so many amazing military terms, they really deserve their own glossary – so here is the TOKYO DAMAGE REPORT GUIDE TO JAPAN’S SENJINKUN!!!! (SENJINKUN […]


Death of a Political Youth now downloadable.

What is DEATH OF A POLITICAL YOUTH? A book, dummy. A banned book. Who's it by? Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe. Download the whole thing here as an .rtf file. Last year I translated Kenzaburo Oe's novella SEVENTEEN. You can read it here. Seventeen – besides being funny – is important because it got banned for […]


Oe Kenzaburo’s SEVENTEEN, part one

 What is SEVENTEEN?? CHAPTER ONE, part one.    Today is my birthday. I turned juu-nana-sai. In English, they call it sebentiin! My family – Father, Mother, and Older Brother – didn't even notice (or perhaps they pretended not to notice), so I didn't say anything either. At nightfall, my elder sister, who works as a nurse […]


Furyu Mutan!!!

  I got an email a month ago from Francois, a reader who blew my mind with the story of Furyu Mutan!!!   “Furyu Mutan” (風流夢譚 = “The Tale of the Elegant Dream”)  is a story written by Shichiro Fukazawa (深沢七郎) , published in Japan in 1960. It’s famous because it was so scandalous that […]


icepick 2009年

October 10, 2009 @ earthdom    WHAT IS ICEPICK?? It’s a once-a-year concert that unites  " patriotic bands" and "skinhead bands" for an all-out right-winger sing-a-long. It’s been going on – I think – for nine years now.   This year it occurred in Earthdom, which was kind of ironic since Earthdom is in the center […]


mayday / constitution day demos.

  MAY DAY DEMONSTRATIONS:   May first was May Day, an international workers’ holiday. Myself, I’m a lazy bum whose hands are as un-callused as the pirenium of a newborn, but I went anyway. I didn’t really know where the May Day demo was scheduled, so I just looked for plainclothes police:     Once […]