Gundam 3D on You Tube

Hello, you guys know GUNDAM right?

Some Japanese university kids made a real life video depicting themselves as GUNDAM (you know, the giant flying robots) for a school project back in 1991.

Click here for the You Tube Link for 3D GUNDAM.

The video has been released to YouTube, and there isn’t a semi-otaku or higher in Japan who hasn’t seen it yet. I would say this is as famous as the “Star Wars Kid” video you’re probably familiar with.

Some facts regarding this video are documented here in Japanese. Super summarized below.

Created in 1991 for a university school project. Initially, the kids were planning to create a horror flick, but decided to change it to GUNDAM the day before the project was due. They ran out and filmed the entire thing in a day. Who would play which GUNDAM character was determined on the spot by the colors of their clothes…

For example the guy wearing blue pants (also known as jeans…) would of course, be GUNDAM, cause Gundam’s legs are apparently blue. Then they added the necessary paint and stuff you see in the movie.

This was filmed on top of their University building.

The guy sitting in SEIZA position (remember seiza?) is supposed to be the GUNTANK. Imagine his legs as tank treds or something. I think that’s what the GUNTANK looks like anyway.

I honestly… don’t know much about GUNDAM at all… So am completely unqualified to speak about this.

So I’ll shut up now. Enjoy the video!!!

– Harvey

Survival Water

This was an odd thing that happened in work around my last days…

Suddenly there was a lot of hustle and bustle, everyone started looking around acting kind of excited.

Within MINUTES! An email was sent out to all IT that… We were each to walk into a certain meeting room and pick our own survival goods.

Pictured here are the survival-water-in-a-can(s).

After receiving it one of my friends opened it up and gave it a swig. It tastes pretty much like water in a can, with a big label on the side saying…

非常災害用保存飲料水

(HIJYOUSAIGAIYOUHOZONINRYOUMIZU!)

Emergency Disaster Preserved Beverage Water! Or something.

Apologies for the fuzzy picture, took these with my cell phone.

– Harvey

Fish Head Dinner

Most Japanese food I can handle.

I eat most sushi and sashimi (items more expensive than UNI, the yellow sea urchin ooze, I tend to not like), I eat all the noodles, even the black squid ink pasta.

For some reason though, the more expensive food gets in Japan… The harder it is for me to stomach.

At a friends wedding this lovely item was served.

Wedding food is some of the most fancy food in Japan… So… Yeah.

Actually, not to mislead anyone… There is actually a type of mashed potato or something inside of the fish head here. Some people would nibble around the eye, but by no means did they eat the entire head.

It would also be wrong to say that fish head is never eaten in Japan.

Remember that old cartoon song? “Fish heads fish heads rolly-polly fish heads. Fish heads fish heads eat them up yum ♪”

One more culture/language point. This fish is “Tai”, Red Snapper. In Japan the Tai is usually served at celebrations. Reason being, to say “congratulations” in the sense of, “good news!” in Japanese, you say 「おめでたい」”omedeTAI” .

Since the last part of the word Omedetai is pronounced the same as the fish, Tai, you get fish head on your plate for dinner. なるほど!!

Heh.

– Harvey

Seiza Chair

Many of you may be familiar with the formal style of sitting in Japan called “seiza” (正座).

This style of sitting looks very elegant, and most people try to endure it for at least 10 minutes while at a formal setting such as a wedding dinner held in a tatami room.

These days, men are usually allowed to skip seiza all together and go cross-legged (or AGURA 胡座 as they call it in Japanese…), especially if they are wearing a suit and not traditional Japanese formal dress.

However, for those ladies, even if they are wearing a western dress and not a kimono, seiza can still be expected.

But there is a solution!

The seiza chair.

It’s an incredibly low stool that goes on top of the zabuton pillow for sitting. You can fold your legs backwards under this stool, and sit your bottom on top.

Behold! Now even the most uncultured slob can do seiza for hours on end!

In reality though, these stools only increase the seiza tolerance factor of the average Japanese girl by about 3x. Most people at the wedding where I saw these had tossed the stools to the side and given up on the seiza in a little less than an hour.

On another side note, I was at a Noh play once, and one of the members playing the flute while sitting seiza almost fell over after the performance because his legs had fallen asleep.

Ouch.

– Harvey

Moving Again…

Time to move again! Bye-bye Dorm.
This time it’s out of Osaka and back to Yokohama. Honestly, I like living in Kansai (West Japan) more than the Tokyo/Yokohama area… But the school I will be attending from September is one of a kind, and only available in Yokohama. 仕方ない。

Japan culture quiz time.

What does the bag of rice below have to do with moving?

Don’t know? Time’s up.

I called around to a few moving companies to have them come in, check out my luggage, and give me an estimate of how much it would cost to carry everything to Yokohama. One of the companies also brought in a bag of rice as a gift when they came to quote me for the moving price.

Yeah! Free rice!

I know moving companies in the states don’t hand out loafs of bread…

honno kimochi de gozaimasu. hikkoshino sakai.

– Harvey

Poll: Newer Newbie

Hello all.

Did you notice that the poll on the right has changed? Seeing that there are no responses, I take that as a no! Come on people! Hehehe. Just joking.
I appreciate all the feedback from the last poll! I’m planning to pump up the pictures and society related posts now that I know that’s what you want to see.

Once I become a student again at IUC, I’m going to have more time to slack err… Blog. So I’m wondering what I should do in the way of JapanNewbie “expansion packs”.

Let me know what you think of the ideas I included in this new poll!

– Harvey

P.S. By J-Blog I mean, blogs run by Japanese people. A recent data analysis by Technorati showed that next to English, Japanese is the number 2 language used in blogs! Read all about on “State of the Blogosphere” here.

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