Yamato Transport has been as much a Japanese institution as UPS is to the US. The company has been in business since 1919, and survived World War II. However, their most popular "Takkyoubin" (Home Delivery Mail) service is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and they are celebrating with a wild commercial featuring dancing black cats and a traditional melody given a funky danceable twist.
If you are a grown man in Japan, there are anime that you simply cannot say you like in "cool" company. The Japanese anime fan site Sirabee polled their readers to find out which anime you cannot admit to liking.
How about taking a tour of two of Hiroshima Prefecture's most charming towns, Onomichi and Takehara? And how about taking it from a kitty's eye view? Yes you can! And basically both of these tours are like a game of Neko Atsume or a game of Pokemon GO.
In 1948, a pastry shop called Cozy Corner opened up in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Ever since, Cozy Corner has been providing artistically gorgeous cakes, pastries and other confections at popular prices. And lately, Cozy Corner has been making confections under license from Disney that are nothing short of spectacular.
It's so big, it's held two times a year rather than just annually. It is held at the biggest convention facility in Japan, Tokyo Big Sight. And it is basically one big Artist's Alley, where people sell their self-published manga and art. What is it? Comic Market, or what most people call Comiket. And it is the biggest manga fan event in the world. 2016's Summer Comiket, the 90th, took place August 12-14. Comiket 91 will take place December 29-31, 2017.
Japanese summers are notorious for being hot and sticky. What better way to keep things cool than to organize an event where water and ice factor into almost everything? The Pokemon Company held their annual Pikachu Outbreak, featuring the most popular Pokemon character of all, and gave it a specifically nautical theme.
Internationally, Hayao Miyazaki has to be the most beloved animator, cartoonist and manga-ka who has ever emerged from Japan. Here in the United States of America, this is very clearly the case. Miyazaki has retired, but his influence is all over the place. When you look at the works of 22 young American artists, most of who are Asian-American, you can see that Miyazaki will be influential for decades to come.
Long before the advent of air conditioning, which is pretty much ubiquitous in Japan, the Japanese people needed to learn to cope with their hot, sticky Summer climate. To that end, the whole period is liberally scattered with outdoor festivals. When it's too hot to sleep, you take your mind off of the misery by going to visit shrines, temples, and town squares, where street food, drink and dancing help make the hot season bearable. The traditions have held to this day.
In the past 25 years, Anime Expo has grown from an average Anime convention in Northern California, to a monster event taking up the palatial Los Angeles Convention Center in the Entertainment Capital of the World. Over 100,000 unique attendees managed to fit in the blocks-long complex, making AX second only to San Diego Comic-Con International in attendance. TOKYOPOP had its first booth in the Exhibit Hall in a long, long time, and we returned with a big splash.
CatConLA is a yearly event that was inspired by the rise of a global Internet cat culture. This year, CatConLA took up twice the space in the huge building, occupying not one but two floors. Attendance was up — 15,000 unique visitors, as opposed to 13,000 last year. There was a lot of overlap between the primary audience of the event — cat lovers — and other things our audience enjoys like visual storytelling, Asian art and pop culture, and cosplay.