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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Victoria Centeno models in stunning Hatsune Miku cosplay

Victoria Centeno models in stunning Hatsune Miku cosplay

Michel Le Bon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Victoria Centeno (http://www.victoriacosplay.com/is a stunning cosplayer from the United States and in these images she shows the grace of herself and connects easily with the fans of Hatsune Miku. In the world of reality and unreality, then for many individuals Hatsune Miku is the perfect girlfriend, friend, character, and for cosplay lovers, then an amazing character to imitate. Therefore, Modern Tokyo Times was honored when the exquisite Victoria Centeno agreed to model in the image of Hatsune Miku.

In the world of cosplay Victoria Centeno is called “Cosplay Girl” in the United States and clearly this stunning cosplayer and model is highly respected and in demand. Over several years her reputation keeps on rising because of her sultry looks and amazing versatility. This means that Victoria Centeno, just like Hatsune Miku, can bridge cultures and different thought patterns because of her gracefulness.

Victoria Centeno comments on her website that “I work as a full time preschool teacher and part time model. My cosplay has been featured on multiple sites including Entertainment Weekly, MTV’s Blog and Rolling Stone. I have also appeared in Latina Magazine and was named the Queen of Cosplay by the Modern Tokyo Times and Axiom Magazine. I am Miss April in the Angry Girls 2012 calendar. My image has been featured in everything from television commercials to comic books. I’m an official Slave Leia model for Gentle Giant Studios and have worked as a booth babe for other companies and products such as the Terminal Alice comic. I’ve participated in the Women of Wonder Day charity event for the past two years. I’ve been cosplaying since 2006.”

Therefore, with cosplay and modeling running through her veins the “desire” of Modern Tokyo Times was for Victoria Centeno and Hatsune Miku to meet in the world of cosplay. After all,(http://www.victoriacosplay.com/anyone who views this website will note how this beautiful cosplayer can play stunning cosplay roles of adoreable characters. This meant that the image of Hatsune Miku which is so appealing in Japan and internationally, had to be played by a lady who could bring her unique and sultry looks to this character, and without a shadow of a doubt Victoria Centeno filled the bill one hundred per cent.

Hatsune Miku

In Japan even people outside of the world of anime and the world of Vocaloid understand the image of Hatsune Miku. This means that for the world of cosplay Hatsune Miku is also a dream ticket because of her gracefulness, stunning figure, adorable features, and so forth. Not only this, Hatsune Miku is extremely cute and her persona changes for all individuals who love this character.

Therefore, just like the professional cosplayer should enter the world of the character that they portray; then the cosplayer and Hatsune Miku meet perfectly in the middle in the world of reality and unreality. The persona of Hatsune Miku changes for each individual and alternatively the cosplayer changes their individual persona to blend naturally with the character they are highlighting.

Clearly, the images taken by the esteemed photographer, Carl Maiorino, shows that Victoria Centeno changed her persona. Therefore, after putting on the beautiful costume the sultry looks of this elegant cosplayer entered the world of Hatsune Miku.

The digital avatar from Japan is now big business throughout the world and the popularity will surely continue because of the versatility of Hatsune Miku. Also, the lovely eyes and pony tails appeal sexually to other individuals and given that you can’t argue with Hatsune Miku, then for many this character is the “perfect girlfriend” in the world of reality and unreality.

Therefore, the fan base of Hatsune Miku keeps on growing and runs into the millions. Not only this, major companies like Toyota want to join the bandwagon because of the marketability of the “adorable Hatsune Miku.” Indeed, Victoria Centeno looks “like a refreshing ray of sunshine” in a world which often is surrounded by stress or mundaneness. However, when you see the elegance and beauty of Victoria Centeno in such stunning cosplay images of Hatsune Miku, then you can understand why some people prefer the “perfect vocaloid.”

The Anime Nation website commented that “No other character in the history of anime has ever become quite so widely and lovingly embraced by not only otaku but by mainstream Japanese society and the larger world. Hatsune Miku may be the most fascinating character ever to appear in the anime world because so many different attributes concentrate within her persona. By design and circumstance, Hatsune Miku encapsulates and represents a greater spectrum of concepts interesting to otaku than any other character to have ever emerged from the anime/manga universe.”

“Otaku have been fascinated with the concept of a digital idol since the 1985 OVA Megazone 23. Hatsune Miku is literally a real Eve Tokimatsuri, a completely fictional digital idol singer whose popularity has spilled over into actual mainstream society. Hatsune Miku is, in effect, an anime concept actually developing and existing in real life.”

In a past article featuring the adorable Victoria Centeno she commented that “I enjoy breathing life into characters that I love and respect. Cosplay is a form of self and artistic expression. I love the process and being creative.”

This says everything about this charming and sophisticated lady who balances such a busy work schedule with complete professionalism. Victoria Centeno bridges different characters and cultures with ease because of her professionalism, stunning features, vibrancy, and love of cosplay. Indeed, these characteristics for the lovers of Hatsune Miku match very well.

Modern Tokyo Times would like to thank Victoria Centeno for being such a graceful and beautiful model. Also, Modern Tokyo Times would like to thank Carl Maiorino who took such amazing images. It is hoped that one day Victoria Centeno will grace Tokyo and witness the power of cosplay in Japan.

http://www.victoriacosplay.com/ – Victoria Centeno

http://www.carlmphotography.com/ Carl Maiorino

http://www.animenation.net/blog/2011/02/14/ask-john-why-is-hatsune-miku-so-popular/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

Images belong to Modern Tokyo Times but can be used on request providing you highlight the name of the model and photographer. Also, quote Modern Tokyo Times.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Japan, NORTH AMERICA

 

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Syria and secularism faces the American-Saudi Arabian forces of Islamic Sharia law

Syria and secularism faces the American-Saudi Arabian forces of Islamic Sharia law

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Around 1 million people in the capital of Syria showing their support for Assad. Why don’t their voices count in the mass media?

The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, is hoping that “moderate forces” will try to find a solution whereby all sides sit down at the table and focus on recent political events in Syria. This is a far cry from statements coming out of Washington which are only focused on another Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and so forth.

Equally important, if you turn the clock back to Afghanistan in 1979 before America, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and others, supported international terrorism and the “dark forces” of radical Sunni Islam; then a secular based Kabul and other major cities were trying to modernize and radically alter the dynamics of society. However, the American-Saudi Arabian axis of “Sunni Islamic militancy” had other draconian ideas and this led to the “Talibanization” of minds which now predominates throughout many parts of northwestern Pakistan and vast areas of Afghanistan. Therefore, the American-Saudi Arabian axis of “Sunni Islamic militancy” supported Islamic terrorism and ultra-conservative Islamic forces throughout the 1980s and 1990s. After all, when the Taliban rose to power and supported the killing of all converts to Christianity, killing homosexuals, enslaving women, and preventing any forms of democracy and secularism – this was fine with America in this period.

The American-Saudi Arabia ratlines meant that Sunni Islamic fanatics spread their hatred, including burning female schools down, and this happened under both Democratic and Republican governments. Yet September 11 witnessed “blowback” because former allies now turned against their former “masters” but of course American leaders still protected Saudi Arabia. After all, not one single Iraqi was involved in September 11 but ratlines reached far within Saudi Arabian circles and nearly everyone involved came from this nation.

Images of George Bush holding a sword in Saudi Arabia despite this nation supporting the beheadings of Muslim converts to Christianity, and then President Obama bowing to the leader of Saudi Arabia, was truly sickening given the reality that this nation is the most draconian in the world. After all, females in North Korea have more freedom than in Saudi Arabia whereby females can’t go shopping with males, are forbidden to drive cars, and will be whipped if not covered from head to toe.

Despite everything, and with the full knowledge that around 120,000 people have been killed in Iraq and that in Afghanistan you have a nation based on fear, Islamic Sharia law, inequality, and where all converts to Buddhism and Christianity face death – America isn’t content. Therefore, America, the United Kingdom, Qatar, and other nations, now want to turn Syria into “year zero” and destroy a multi-religious society because these nations can no longer claim ignorance. After all, the same methodology keeps on popping up. In the past “Sunni Islamic fanaticism” was aided and trained by ratlines involving the American-Saudi Arabian axis and this led to the role of women and minorities being crushed and even after the Cold War ended this policy is continuing. Given this reality, then this “global policy” should be condemned for unleashing the same brutal forces which have crushed women, religious minorities, secularism, moderate forces within Sunni Islam, and so forth.

Saudi Arabia must be laughing at the most powerful mainly Christian society in the world which is based on secularism because why is America supporting Islamization? In Iraq around 60% of all Christians have fled and the same applies to the vast majority of Mandaeans. Also, in Saudi Arabia not one single Christian church or Buddhist temple is allowed but this doesn’t stop President Obama from bowing down to the leaders of this nation.

The fall of the former leaders of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and others, which were welcomed by political leaders in Washington, was replaced by nothing more than the rise of Islamic Sharia law and the de-humanization of non-Muslims and women. President Obama even welcomed the fall of Hosni Mubarak who was a staunch ally of America for decades and just like Hillary Clinton he continues with the spin. However, the ten million Coptic Christian minority in Egypt now faces greater Sharia Islamic law and persecution; the role of women will be put in “deeper shadows” when the power vacuum is handed over to Islamists; secular and liberal forces are becoming alienated from power mechanism; and even the Muslim Brotherhood was surprised by the showing of the Salafists who desire a Talibanization of society. Therefore, this highlights how out of touch the leaders of America are or that they are playing “an end-game” based on the wishes of Saudi Arabia – either way the end result is terrible because it isn’t based on democracy, secularism, or liberalism.

In Syria, the majority of members of the ruling party are moderate Sunni Muslims who share in a society whereby various Christian and Muslim sects have freedom. This religious freedom isn’t tolerated in the allies of Washington and this applies to Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, Coptic Christians in Egypt are worried about their future because they know that forces of Sunni Islamic monoculture desire to turn the clock back and to Islamize all major institutions.

The Syria of Assad is a place where Alawites, the Druze, Christians, Sunni Muslims, secularists, socialists, and others, are part and parcel of society. Opposition forces desire to crush this multi-cultural and multi-religious society and obviously the role of women will suffer greatly. However, despite this the Western and Saudi Arabian propaganda machine is putting a spin on everything. Yet, if the Assad government collapses to the opposition then another Sunni Islamic monoculture will turn on the diversity within this nation because Alawites, Christians, the Druze, moderate Sunni Muslims, women, secularists, and so forth; will suffer at the hands of “conservative Sunni Islamic absolutism” and the richness of the Levant will be crushed like the richness of others nations which have fallen to Sharia Islamic law.

Afghanistan and Iraq were secular societies which were overthrown by America and its allies. Egypt is now entering a stage of growing Sharia Islamic law and anti-Christian persecution. Therefore, the “new Egypt” which was welcomed by President Obama, despite him not even knowing what the “new Egypt” was, is now showing its real color and it isn’t based on liberty. In 1983 the nation of Sudan introduced Islamic Sharia law and this was also welcomed and supported by America despite the fact that African Christians and Animists rejected this. The leader of Libya last year was overthrown and now you have the usual chaos and in time greater Islamization will take place whereby moderate secular forces and moderate Sunni Muslim forces will be crushed.

Given this reality, Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation commented in an article called “Russia and the Changing World” published in Moskovskie Novosti that A year ago the world witnessed a new phenomenon – nearly simultaneous demonstrations against authoritarian regimes in many Arab countries. The Arab Spring was initially received with hope for positive change. People in Russia sympathized with those who were seeking democratic reform.”

“However, it soon became clear that events in many countries were not following a civilized scenario. Instead of asserting democracy and protecting the rights of the minority, attempts were being made to depose an enemy and to stage a coup, which only resulted in the replacement of one dominant force with another even more aggressive dominant force.”

“Foreign interference in support of one side of a domestic conflict and the use of power in this interference gave developments a negative aura. A number of countries did away with the Libyan regime by using air power in the name of humanitarian support. The revolting slaughter of Muammar Gaddafi – not just medieval but primeval – was the manifestation of these actions.”

“No one should be allowed to employ the Libyan scenario in Syria. The international community must work to achieve an internal Syrian reconciliation. It is important to achieve an early end to the violence no matter what the source, and to initiate a national dialogue – without preconditions or foreign interference and with due respect for the country’s sovereignty. This would create the conditions necessary to introduce the measures for democratization announced by the Syrian leadership. The key objective is to prevent an all-out civil war. Russian diplomacy has worked and will continue to work toward this end.”

The recent vote on the Constitution of Syria highlights the future direction of this nation but only a united Syria can provide a genuine future for all the people of this country irrespective of religion, sexuality, or no faith. Therefore, it is essential that the government and opposition forces seek compromise because the military solution and the encouragement of a civil war by the American-Saudi Arabian axis, will lead to the demise of a multi-cultural and multi-religious nation.

Saudi Arabia which is despotic and doesn’t tolerate one single Buddhist temple or Christian church and which crushes female emancipation, is happy about creating “mirror images” like Afghanistan which also supports killing apostates from Islam and trampling down on freedom. However, why is the secular nation of America which is overwhelmingly Christian following the same logic of “year zero?”

During the Cold War the United States tried to force “Agent Orange” democracy on the people of Vietnam and America also supported the massacre of millions of left-wing forces in Indonesia. In recent times the “moralistic” nation which went to war against Iraq “over a lie” is still whipping up hatred towards secular forces in order to maintain the American-Saudi Arabian axis. After all, the United States isn’t forcing the hand of Bahrain to accept a changing power balance and nor is America concerned about religious freedom and equal rights for women in Saudi Arabia.

The marriage of convenience now desires to destroy the last bastion of secularism in the Arabic speaking world. However, this shouldn’t be tolerated because the reality of what happened in Afghanistan could easily become the future of a “changing Syria,” which unleashes untold hatred towards religious minorities and reduces the role of women.

It is time for the nation of secularism to support the values that were founded by the American Constitution rather than supporting the dictates and blind hatred of Saudi Arabia which crushes all different thought patterns. After all, the “universal values of Saudi Arabia” supports killing apostates, killing homosexuals, shackling women, crushing the Shia, and clamping down on liberal Sunni Islam. The ruling elites in this nation oppose democracy, secularism, religious freedom, female equality, and other important areas to the hilt. Therefore, why is America “in bed” with Saudi Arabia and why does the United States desire to crush the last secular nation in the Arabic speaking Middle East?

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20120227/171547818.html

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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Syria and the mirror of Iraq: 55 people massacred in Iraq by Sunni Muslims

Syria and the mirror of Iraq: 55 people massacred in Iraq by Sunni Muslims

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The international media on the whole is clearly taking sides in Syria and issues related to fanatical Sunni Islamists who desire to turn multi-cultural and multi-religious Syria into a “Taliban style” nation state is being brushed under the carpet. The last bastion of secularism in the Arabic speaking world is under threat from a combination of forces. This includes Sunni Islamic terrorists, Western covert intervention and training, outside meddling from Sunni dominated nations who sense a power vacuum in the favor of their co-religionists, and Turkey is clearly playing a clandestine role. Therefore, the usual “good” versus “evil” is being branded around with impunity.

Hillary Clinton like usual is at her propaganda best because she commented that “The obstruction of a few countries cannot be allowed to stop the world community from coming to the aid of the Syrian people.” This comment is clear evidence that international reporters are hand-picked because her eyes are closed to more fresh attacks against the Shia population in Iraq. Of course, the United States under President Obama did a “cut and run” from Iraq after the initial war was started by the past Republican led government.

Saddam Hussein was clearly despotic and massacres took place against the Kurds and Shia who were against his rule. However, since the America led invasion all the smaller minorities and the situation of women have collapsed dramatically throughout most areas of Iraq.

In an earlier article by one of the co-writers of this article it was stated that The American led invasion of Iraq was meant to usher in democracy, liberty, freedom, and a revitalized Iraq. Sadly, from the outset other forces would be unleashed and this applies to radical Islam, terrorism, Sunni-Shia clashes, the persecution of Christians, and other negative forces. At the same time, an ancient religion was about to face a new wave of hatred and ethnic cleansing. This community, the Mandaeans, now faces virtual annihilation and now only a few thousand remain in modern day Iraq. So will this small community be forced to go into complete exile?”

“It is clearly apparent that all minorities, be they Assyrian Christians, Mandaeans, Shabaks, Yazidis, or others, face enormous persecution because the central government is too weak and complacent. Also, the leaders of America must be blamed for entering Iraq and then leaving the minorities to face persecution, torture, death, and ethnic cleansing.”

“If we return back to the Mandaean community, then clearly their suffering is great and this community is in complete shock and bewilderment. The promise of a new Iraq means little because the “real reality” is abundantly clear and this applies to systematic persecution at the hands of radical Sunni Muslims and by mainstream society at large.”

Therefore, the comment made by Hillary Clinton that“The obstruction of a few countries cannot be allowed to stop the world community from coming to the aid of the Syrian people” rings hollow because of several factors. Firstly, America sat back and did little to prevent the vast majority of Christians fleeing Iraq and the same applies to other minorities including the Mandaeans. Secondly, the invasion of Iraq led to a bloody civil and irrespective if the invasion was “right” or “wrong” – it was apparent that the death count was gradually being reduced in 2011. However, like the BBC comments “Attacks in Iraq have risen since US troops withdrew in December (2011)” when compared to figures throughout this year.

This means that a brutal sectarian conflict was unleashed by the power vacuum which America did not intend to do. However, once the power vacuum became a reality after the demise of Saddam Hussein then Sunni Islamic jihadists from neighboring nations like Saudi Arabia entered the equation alongside global terrorist networks. Since this time vast numbers of innocents have been slaughtered by the mainly Sunni Muslim insurgency. Therefore, terrorism and the fleeing of minorities like the Christians and Mandaeans is a reality which makes the words of Hillary Clinton seem not only shallow but out of step with reality.

After all, the nightmare power vacuum was gradually coming under control because the death ratio was reduced in the last few years. However, this moment of “hope” that the forces of sectarianism and terrorism had burnt itself out was thrown away by President Obama pulling forces out. This means that the religious cleansing of Christians, Mandaeans and others, alongside the deaths of thousands of American troops and untold numbers of civilians, was all in vain because now a new vacuum was opened and this can be seen by fresh massacres aimed against the Shia in Iraq.

Therefore, a war that many believed was wrong led to many internal convulsions and when it appeared that things were finally coming under control then America left. This means that outside meddling turned against a former ally and irrespective of good intentions or not, the conclusion is that over 100,000 people were killed and religious minorities have fled on mass.

The conflict in Syria is a conflict between civilizations and irrespective of all the emotions being branded about it is apparent that elements within the opposition desire to crush the Alawites and other minorities. Also, the liberalism of major cities like Damascus will become but a distant memory and the rights of women, just like in Iraq, will be reduced greatly. This can be seen by the growing number of honor killings and so forth in modern day Iraq compared with the old regime.

Another reason why Hillary Clinton is in “propaganda mode” is because clearly she desires to bash China and the Russian Federation in order to obtain political capital for America. However, when did America concern itself with the reactions of others in the international community?  Therefore, neither China nor the Russian Federation is holding the United States or other nations back in the “umbrella of intrigues.”

After all, the Russian Federation was against military intervention in Libya and Kosovo but this meant nothing in Washington, London, and Paris. Did the United States care when Vietnam was invaded or covert wars were being played throughout Latin America and Central America? Of course the United States did not concern itself with the views of other major powers just like in Iraq – therefore, the reasons why Obama isn’t supporting an outright bombing campaign is based on other factors or he is hoping that covert support will dismantle the current government of Syria.

In another article by Modern Tokyo Times called ‘Egypt and Syira: Two Civilizational Struggles’ it was stated that The rapidly changing Middle East is witnessing convulsions which are indeed revolutionary when it comes to alliances. After all, in Libya you had NATO, Sunni Islamists and a mixture of other forces fighting on the same side against Colonel Gaddafi. Likewise in Syria which is the last remaining major bastion of secularism in the Arabic speaking world, radical Islamists and the West have joined forces. Therefore the opposition in both cases obtained military equipment at the drop of the hat.”

Further down in the same article it was stated that “Alawite Muslims, Christians, the Druze, and Sunni Muslims, who lived peacefully together, now fear radical Sunni Islamic forces and a future bloodbath. Therefore, in Egypt and Syria you have a civilization battle between secularism and political Islam and another civilization battle between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists. Likewise in Syria moderate Sunni Muslim forces face a civilization battle against Wahabbi minded Islamists who deem the Alawites and moderate Sunni Muslims to be infidels.”

“If Assad is overthrown by the opposition then the Alawites, Christians, women, liberals, and so forth, will fear that the “loss of all sanity is over” because whatever Assad may or may not be; he tolerated religious pluralism and the rights of women and so forth. The Levant isn’t Afghanistan and the richness of culture and diversity within Islam enabled Christian minorities and other like the Druze to survive.”

“Sectarianism nearly destroyed Lebanon in the past and Syria faces a bloody sectarian struggle if the demise of Assad occurs and it isn’t managed by all sections of Syria. However, forces within the opposition don’t desire a multi-religious Syria instead a new Talibanization awaits and religious bloodletting seems most likely within different Muslim communities.”

“Meanwhile, the Christians of Syria can always move to Lebanon or maybe like the majority of Iraqi Christians they will give up the ghost. If this happens, then the richness of the Levant and the diversity of Islam in this region may perish.”

In Syria just like in all civil wars both sides will be responsible for massacres and propaganda and the media war is part and parcel of the modern world. Nobody can predict completely what will happen in Syria at the moment but if the regime collapses and central forces are taken over by alienating the dominant political party – then, given the sectarian angle of Syria, it could well be that “the mirror of Iraq” awaits this country.

If so, the blood-letting will increase and some minorities will flee and alongside this the rights of women will be in free-fall. At the moment the only “democratic and liberal forces” in Syria belongs to politicians outside of Syria because on the ground it is very different.

Yesterday, many attacks in Iraq aimed against the Shia led to at least 55 people being killed and given the delicate sectarian and political nature of Syria then the worse is feared. The situation in Syria is complex and “honest brokers” need to be found in order to stabilize the situation internally and to prevent covert military support from instigating fresh violence.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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Japanese art and Keisai Eisen: the early life of this acclaimed ukiyo-e artist

Japanese art and Keisai Eisen: the early life of this acclaimed ukiyo-e artist

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Keisai Eisen (1790-1848) learnt to be independent from an early age and he chose a path which was fraught with economic danger. In a sense, Keisai Eisen represents aspects of “the real Edo period” for individuals who resided in big cities in this period of history. This applies to many deaths within his family, poverty, uncertainty, and amidst all this chaos you had natural raw energy which manifested itself through the arts.

It is difficult for people in the modern world to connect with the reality of the old world. After all, infant mortality in Tokyo, Paris, Manchester, and all important cities in this period of history, was deplorable. Therefore, with the average lifespan being much shorter and the central state providing little in the way of cushions to help, then individuals had no time to dwell.

Of course, in all societies you always had “a small minority” who could enjoy the material comforts of this world. However, for individuals like Keisai Eisen, then the real world was about death, hardship, and seeing the world for what it is. Yet this didn’t mean “weakness” or “pity,” on the contrary, for Keisai Eisen this led to him being independent because he refused economic help from family relatives when he was a young man.

Keisai Eisen was born in the district of Hoshigaoka in Tokyo and today this applies to the Nagatacho area which is part of the Chiyoda district. His father, Ikeda Masabe Shigeharu, was a very interesting character. He was a low ranking warrior who enjoyed the finer parts of culture. This applies to enjoying poetry, tea ceremonies, reading, poetry, and writing. Therefore, this must have rubbed off on Keisai Eisen and indeed it was through his father’s friend that he apprenticed under Namiki Gohei.

Namiki Gohei was a kabuki/kyogen writer and when Keisai Eisen was a young adult he had hoped to become a professional kyogen writer. Kyogen applies to a form of traditional theatre in Japan. However, once more death within his family would impact on his dream and after this he focused on becoming independent and turned to the world of ukiyo-e and other means to survive.

Turning the clock back to when Keisai Eisen was a child then at the age of six he was adopted by his stepmother following the death of his mother. Therefore, when he was thinking of becoming a kyogen writer events turned against him because of death once more. This applies to the death of his father and stepmother in the same year when he had turned twenty years of age.

Given the circumstances of his reality and with having three sisters, then Keisai Eisen abandoned his dream of becoming a kyogen writer. Also, he bravely refused financial support from relatives who had wanted to help him. This indicates strongly that he was tenacious, independent, extremely determined, and pragmatic. After all, he had been dealt a difficult “deck of cards” but despite this he refused “any aces” which may help him in order that he could support himself.

Keisai Eisen distinguished himself in the field of ukiyo-e but his literature is also highly regarded. Indeed, some individuals believe that he was a ghostwriter for Tamenaga Shunsui and Yoshimi. These two writers of ninjou-bon (stories focused on ordinary people) were popular during their time but this theory is still openly debated. However, it highlights the quality of his writing to be linked with these two individuals irrespective of 100 per cent certainty.

Irrespective of what happened in the later years of his life it is clear that events during his young adulthood impacted greatly on Keisai Eisen. Also, the choices he picked when he was twenty years old, despite enormous adversity, were very admirable.

His artistic legacy is abundantly clear because he created many stunning pieces of art.

http://www.toshidama-japanese-prints.com/item_171/Eisen-Young-Woman-Walking-Under-an-Umbrella.htm

http://www.toshidama-japanese-prints.com

http://toshidama.blogspot.com/

http://www.artelino.com/articles/keisai-eisen.asp

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Japan

 

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Ari TV is the Voice of Sendai: Responding to the tragedy of the tsunami by being tenacious

Ari TV is the Voice of Sendai: Responding to the tragedy of the tsunami by being tenacious

Pierre Leblanc and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ari TV (http://www.ari-tv.jp/top.html) is a clear reminder about the tenacity of the Tohoku region which was badly hit by the devastating tsunami of March 11, 2011. Therefore, with the first anniversary getting nearer to March 11, 2012, it is important to highlight this media group for all the positive things that they have done.

Since the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake which unleashed the brutal tsunami, this media group dug deep in order to undercover the “real stories.” This applies to highlighting the determination of the Tohoku region and how the people of Sendai have responded.

Also, because Ari TV is based in Sendai then clearly this media group can connect with local people. More important, unlike many mass media outlets who often enter and highlight an important story which is happening in Sendai, Ari TV is their around the clock. This fact enables Ari TV to express the “real feelings” of the local community and clearly strong bonds have been developed whereby this media group is informed at all times about local events, individuals who are fantastic role models, companies who are focused on regeneration, and organizations trying to help.

Ari TV (http://en.re-tohoku.jp/) also understood the international concerns after the devastating tsunami. Therefore, the introduction of the Tohoku Revival Calendar which is highlighted above was a nice touch because you can read continuous updates in English and Japanese. This aspect also highlights rebirth because clearly Ari TV is developing new international links.

It is equally vital that Ari TV is supported commercially because you have so much work to do in Sendai and throughout the Tohoku region. After all, sadly, you still have thousands of missing people in early 2012 and this aspect highlights the complete devastation of March 11, 2011. This also means that the nightmare goes on for many because you have no “closure” and “special grave” to visit and connect.

Therefore, it is essential that the local government, the central government, local businesses, businesses throughout Japan, and others, support Ari TV and all the positive work they do around the clock. After all, Ari TV can reach “local people” because this media group is fully interwoven with Sendai and the Tohoku region. Also, Sendai is the main city in Tohoku with regards to population and a healthy Sendai is vital for the regional economy.

In the photo above which was published on March 2, 2012, Ari TV is highlighting the regeneration of a shopping mall. However, unlike the glitzy areas of modern day Japan the brutal reality of the tsunami is visible in this image. Yet despite the clear limitations currently available to this shopping mall and having to move into housed shopping containers; locals don’t view the same image because to them this is a sign of rebirth and the start of a long process to normality.

Takano from Ari TV comments that “The big revival shopping area “South Sanriku SanSan Mall” opened in South Sanriku town, Miyagi, on February 25th. These shops are temporarily housed in shipping containers. The name comes from the people’s desire to make a mall filled with smiles and energy (which is) bright like the shining sun.”

In an early article by Modern Tokyo Times the “Suzuki Farm Harvest” was highlighted and this applies to the tenaciousness of Mr. Suzuki (photo above). He fully understood that salt water had damaged the fields and it appeared impossible to regenerate in such a short period of time, if at all. However, Mr. Suzuki was adamant that he would overcome all the obstacles in front of him and this set of a chain reaction whereby local people gave him the support he needed.

This moving story is one of many by Ari TV and this is why this media group needs support. After all, Ari TV is part of the community that they represent and because they are based “on the ground,” then they can highlight unique events.

Please support Ari TV by watching their many programs in Japanese providing you are a Japanese speaker. Also, if you main language is English or it is your second language then please view the Tohoku Revival CalendarIrrespective of language, Ari TV can build bridges throughout the local community and wider Tohoku region and also internationally. Therefore, Ari TV is “the voice of Sendai.”

http://en.re-tohoku.jp/ Tohoku Revival Calendar – English Version

http://www.ari-tv.jp/top.html Ari TV

http://ja-jp.facebook.com/aritv.sendai – Please contact for more information.

http://twitter.com/#!/re_tohoku_en – Please contact for more information

http://suzuki-yuukinouen.blog.ocn.ne.jp/

http://www.re-tohoku.jp Tohoku Revival Calendar – Japanese version

http://www.hayabusa2012.jp/index.html

 

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Tokyo fashion in Shinjuku: Marui One is amazing for Lolita, Kawaii, & other unique styles

Tokyo fashion in Shinjuku: Marui One is amazing for Lolita, Kawaii, & other unique styles

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

In Tokyo the names of Laforet Harajuku, Shibuya 109, and Marui One, stand out for being amazing stores to visit when it comes to fashion. If you adore kawaii fashion, Goth styles, punk, Gothloli, Lolita, Visual Kei, and so forth, then Mauri One in Shinjuku is a must. After all, the choice available is amazing and the environment blends well with the many boutiques which provide fantastic styles.

Famous boutiques which have enhanced the Tokyo fashion vibe can be found in Marui One because clearly they understand the significance of this major department store in the heart of Shinjuku. Indeed, it is thanks to some of these boutiques that the fashion industry in Japan is so famous internationally when it comes to unique styles. After all, many of the boutiques in Marui One have enabled the unique fashion trends of Tokyo to expand internationally.

Of course, the same boutiques can be found in other department stores and are located in many other cities. However, it is the unique fashion angle of Tokyo which attracts the younger generation from all over Japan and internationally. Yes, other major cities like Osaka and Kobe are blessed with stunning fashion districts and often alternative trends have begun in Osaka. Yet internationally it is the streets of Harajuku, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, which hit the headlines when it comes to youth culture, subcultures, and the latest trends in fashionable Tokyo.

In fairness, it is a little harsh on Kansai because it was this area that was the initial bedrock of Lolita fashion in Japan but internationally Tokyo gets more international attention than Osaka. Early boutiques which began this movement many decades ago applies to Milk and Pretty (known as Angelic Pretty in time), Pink House, The Stars Shine Bright, and Metamorphose temps de fille.

Therefore, turning back to Marui One it is clear that the strong background of some of these boutiques have enhanced the growing reputation of this department store in Tokyo.  Marui One also took a unique approach and collectively it is working like “a dream ticket.” Given this, stunning boutiques including Angelic Pretty; Metamorphose; Baby, The Stars Shines Bright; Alice and The Pirates; h.Naoto; Jesus Diamante; and many others, moved into Marui One because they understood the dynamics of this amazing store.

Angelic Pretty comments on their website that “Angelic Pretty provides adorable clothing covered in lace, frills and ribbons like that of the fairytale princess you dreamed about as a little girl. We want girls to never lose sight of that dream — And this is a brand for girls who want to keep that dream alive.”

Metamorphose comments that Metamorphose is an adorable brand of Lolita fashion made for everyone, best described as EGL or Elegant Gothic Lolita.”

“Almost everyone has the desire to “transform” one’s self, be it into an angel, someone who is more elegant, or even back to the time they were a little girl. With this concept in mind, we created the Metamorphose brand. In order to assist you in your “transformation”, while not being a slave to the current fashion, we continue to conceive cute EGL fashion.”

In truth, the companies highlighted in this article are real treasures because they stand out for being unique and providing a different angle to the diverse Tokyo fashion scene. Therefore, if you want to feel the vibes and unique styles of Tokyo then a visit to Marui One is a must because you have so many different styles to view. Also, the quality of the clothing stands out and the color schemes, creative angle, and unique thought patterns are clear for all to see.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that fashion at Marui One applies to “…fantasy fashion, romantic designs, modern kimono, Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, dreamy fashion, casual styles, visual kei, and other amazing trends. Therefore, Marui One is like “a mirror” of parts of Harajuku because this store is internationally famous. Marui have many different stores in Shinjuku (and throughout Tokyo) but Marui One stands out because of its individualism.”  

Therefore, if you adore fashion then a visit to Marui One is most rewarding.

http://www.babyssb.co.jp/  Baby, The Stars Shine Bright

http://www.angelicpretty.com/en/ Angelic Pretty

http://www.metamorphose.gr.jp/english/ Metamorphose

http://www.boz.ne.jp/ Atelier Boz

http://www.hnaoto.com/ h.Naoto

http://www.jesusdiamante.com/ Jesus Diamante

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com  

 
 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Japan

 

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Japanese art and Fujishima Takeji: stunning artist from Kagoshima

Japanese art and Fujishima Takeji: stunning artist from Kagoshima

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Fujishima Takeji was born in (1867-1943) Kagoshima and during his informative years he learnt brushwork techniques in 1882 from Togaku Hirayama. However, in 1884 Fujishima Takeji moved to Tokyo and at first he studied traditional Japanese painting under Gyokusho Kawabata but the pull of Western-style art was pulling away at him. Therefore, he turned to Western-style paintings and studied under Hosui Yamamoto and Yukihiko Soyama.

The 1880s was a period of enormous development for Fujishima Takeji and clearly Togaku Hirayama had given him a firm base to develop. Not surprisingly this young gifted artist was gaining in esteem and the art critic and novelist, Ogai Mori, was deeply impressed by his art. This proved to be very fruitful because Ogai Mori was extremely influential because he knew people in the right circles.

In the 1890s academia would become his backbone and this proved a wise choice because it opened up new doors. At first he began to teach in Mie Prefecture in 1893 but the real breakthrough occurred when Seiki Kuroda influenced him to become an assistant professor in Tokyo. Therefore, in 1896 he taught at the Tokyo Art School and this applies to the Western Painting Department.

In Europe Fujishima Takeji is known for developing and enhancing Romanticism and Impressionism within the Japanese art movement called yogaIn time he would become influenced by Art NouveauHowever, his work within the yoga (Western-style) art movement in Japan suited his thinking because by the mid-1880s he had chosen this path when he studied under Hosui Yamamoto and Yukihiko Soyama.

The Marubeni Art Collection comments that “In 1905, Fujishima traveled to Europe and studied under Fernand Cormon at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris in France and Carolus-Duran, President of the Academie de France in Italy. Cormon’s speciality was historical paintings, while Duran excelled in portraiture.”

 

On his return, in 1910, Fujishima was nominated Professor of Tokyo Art School and became a member of the Imperial Art Academy (the Teikoku Bijutsu-in), as well as a member of the jury for its exhibitions, known in abbreviations at the Tei-ten. In 1937, he received the very first Order of Culture (Bunka Kunsho), a decoration given by the Government to those who have contributed greatly to the development of art, science and other fields of culture, along with Saburosuke Okada.”

The life of Fujishima Takeji was extremely structured and this applies to his teachers, entering academia, and having a firm direction. Also, the window of opportunity because of the changing times during this period of Japanese history meant that his natural move away from traditional Japanese art was easily obtainable. This applies to the artistic climate in Japan during his informative years and development stage.

Fujishima Takeji is rightly acclaimed for the richness of his art and the images in this article are meant to encourage people to delve into his art work.

http://www.vincentvangoghclaudemonet.org/artist/Fujishima_takeji.html

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Japan

 

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