Saturday, July 21, 2012

Longreads #7

Woohoo! I've actually made it to week 7 of this project. I can't believe I went for so long without reading a few long articles a week. Especially since I don't have access to the newspaper everyday, these are what allow me to connect to the outside world. So this week, in preparation for my trip to Hokkaido, I focused on Japan-related articles.

Japan After the Earthquake and Tsunami by Evan Osnos: This article, like it's title, explains the immediate situation after 3/11. I watched the news broadcasts on that fateful day, but more than a year later, it's starting to fade. This is a timely reminder that the after-effects are still being felt today.

Graduation Day by Chris Heath: Probably the saddest article of the whole group. After reading this, I felt like crying. It poignantly describes one school's reaction to the earthquake and the fates of a few, unlucky students. The article is a good reminder that while it's easy to look back and criticise, making the right decision in the present is a much harder (and very different) task.

If You Knew Sushi by Nick Tosches: You'd think that you know all about sushi. But you're wrong. This long but entertaining article talks about the history of sushi (particularly in America) and the author's experience with the slightly strange sushi you can get. Strangely, I don't remember reading about the American-created sushi like the California roll or Spam musubi...

Uniqlones by Bryant Urstadt: When Uniqlo came to Singapore, it became an instant hit. Now that I'm in Japan, one of my favourite stores is Uniqlo (I was very excited to find a store near Tobitakyu today ^^). This article takes a look at how Uniqlo works and attempts to find out why it's so successful.

Cheap, Chic, and Made for All: How Uniqlo Plans To Take Over Casual Fashion by Jeff Chu: This article is similar to Uniqlones, but here, the author has managed to interview the man himself - Yanai-san. Plus, this article also looks at Uniqlo's history (which is actually really interesting), as well as it's retail operations.

I Sing The Body Electric by Margaret Wappler: This article is about vocaloids. Specifically, Hatsune Miku. Just up till recently, I didn't listen to vocaloid music. Thanks to my friend Becks. who introduced me to the Evilious Chronicles by Mothy, I am hooked. One great thing about vocaloid music that the article didn't really discuss was how the user-generated songs have really great story lines (really, just listen to any song in the Evilious Chronicles). But why didn't the article mention the other vocaloids like Rin and Len?

Let's Die Together by David Samuels: In Japan, the suicide rate is scarily high. Really really scarily high. This article takes an in-depth look at this phenomenon and even interviews people on the suicide websites.

Love in 2D by Lisa Katayama: This is the Japan that is most frequently seen on websites. The weird Japan where people fall in love with characters that don't exist. But this article doesn't treat them like some freakshow, rather, it examines it as a trend.

Japan, Ink: Inside the Manga Industrial Complex by Daniel H. Pink: A look at the manga industry (the other famous product of Japan). Personally, it doesn't say anything new to the manga fan (well, this is if you define fan as someone who reads beyond the super popular manga and considers the industry as well). This article will explain to you why the tightening IP laws are actually a cause for worry (and really, you could just read The Knockoff Economy and use this as a case study).

Well, even though I'm living in Japan, these articles have made me even more excited for the upcoming trip! I won't be posting during that period (I refuse to lug my laptop around), but hopefully, I can prepare some posts ahead of time(:

What did you read this week?

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!