Beautiful slice of life from Tokyo

(Articles that I liked: Friday, January 24, 2014)

Adam Magyar, Stainless – Shinjuku from Adam Magyar on Vimeo.

Shinjuku Station is the Guinness World Records registered busiest transport hub of the world (according to Wikipedia.) I have been there and it is really amazing. This high-speed/slow-motion video Stainless – Shinjuku from Adam Magyar captures the moment that train rolls in. It is quite amazing. Beautiful. Also from this blog, you can see the presentation on the artist, how he did it.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at Posterous (RIP) and then my tumblr blog. Here are the week worth of links:

Continue reading…


Introducing “Interactive Bar/Fever Chart Generator”

I was lucky enough to attend 2011 ONA Hack Day and met many talented and driven people. It was exciting, and I felt that I was among “my people” there. With great contribution and collaboration, we created a very useful tool.

Ever wanted to create simple bar chart that you can paste onto your CMS or Blog that has a tool tip that shows value of each bar?

Here it is:
Interactive Bar/Fever Chart Generator at http://charts.daigofujiwara.com

I hope many people get use out of this. It is completely free to use and I am hoping that this tool is a little contribution to the awesome web community. Please leave feedback if you think there is a way to improve the usability/purpose of this web tool.


Yakuza! and articles I liked: Saturday, September 3, 2011

Amazing set of photographs that I found through a fabulous blog called Absolutely Fobulous. (FOB means Fresh off the boat as in news from “back home” for Asian Americans.)

Oda Yakuza Tokyo, a photo essay by Anton Kusters. Beautiful, gorgeous photographs of deadly subject.

Yakuza playing baseball on the beach. A photograph by Anton Kusters, as appeared in Burn magazine

Yakuza playing baseball on the beach. A photograph by Anton Kusters, as appeared in Burn magazine

I have been a secret/closet fan of Takeshi Kitano films. They are way too violent and I don’t want my son watching them so I can’t openly say I love them. They are also mostly very disrespectful to women (I guess that is the way it is in Yakuza world)… I guess the appeal is something about Yakuza, as they are mysterious and intriguing, violent outrageous and distractive, yet ruled by very strict sets of unwritten rules, such as “Giri and On.” Found it interesting that Anton Kusters captured the Yakuzas playing baseball on the beach, which is what they do in the Takeshi movie Billing Point.

I’ve been posting links that I liked at my Posterous page over at posterous.daigo.org. Here are the week worth of links:


Virgin mary in Kimono?

Fascinating. One of my favorite blog 8Asian’s Koji Steven had a interesting write up titled “Was Jesus Asian?” And while he concludes that he probably wasn’t Asian (he was probably more like Arab people, which is also interesting) the links to images of Asian christianity art are really fascinating. I was baptized in my late 20′s as a Catholic. Images like this blog here.

Christian wood prints from Sadao Watanabe are really beautiful. More images, and more images.

Japanese artist, Sadao Watanabe’s wood block of crucifixion and last supper.

This Facebook page dedicated for “Virgin Mary and Japan” is interesting too. So many Virgin Maries dressed in Kimono! Just fascinating.


ChatBot likes Justin Bieber.

Just downloaded ChatBot Qwerty. and here is my conversation with him, her, uh, it.

You: hungry
Qwerty: I’ve been waiting for you.
You: good. how it it going?
Qwerty: What do you really want to talk about? My logic and cognitive functions are normal.
You: what should I have for lunch?
Qwerty: Are you asking me for advice?
You: yes

Continue reading…


Team Japan vs Team U.S.A. this Sunday

Team Japan hold up the banner after beating Sweden. (AP Photo)

Team Japan hold up the banner after beating Sweden. (AP Photo)

After winning the match, Japan’s women’s soccer team held up the banner that read “To our friends around the world – Thank you for your support.” I thought that was really nice.

In the quarterfinals, Japan beat a two-time defending champion, ranked-number-one German team boosted by a sellout home crowd. Then defeated Sweden, despite their height difference of 10 cm.

Excerpt from US women’s soccer has trophies, Japan’s got game

“We are just ready to face that challenge,” [Japan coach Norio] Sasaki said.

So is the nation, which has been lapping up the feel-good story of its overachieving women while recovering from the devastation the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. It’s bonded the Japanese women even closer by playing for a cause bigger than soccer — providing some balm for a nation in pain.

Right before the match against Germany, Sasaki showed pictures of the devastation to his players to heighten their focus and determination. They responded in kind.

Sasaki will keep the pictures under wraps this weekend.

“I don’t have to remind them of the disaster in Japan before the match against the United States because they know exactly,” he said.

Back home, their story has bumped baseball and sumo off the sports front pages.

“They’re not just playing a soccer game, they’re playing to heal a wounded country,” said Tony DiCicco, the U.S. coach of the 1999 World Cup-winning team. “They have won fans not just in Japan and not just here in Germany, but all over the world.”

This sort of have the local angle. Team Japan’s defender Aya Sameshima signed with Boston Breakers. But before the signing, she was working for TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and playing for their industrial league team (TEPCO Mareeze of the L-League), and was working at Fukushima Daiichi Plant till March.

Go Japan. Go Sameshima, and Go Sawa (I took a photo with her last year)!


Tumblr Badge is awesome. (How to add your Tumblr updates on WordPress sidebar)

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I ate 14 plates of sushi for under $20 in Tokyo once…Thank god I documented it!

I have an little obsession of taking photos of my food. The tumblr blog begins in January 2010 — when I bought an iPhone — but I have actually been doing this since 2008, and I absolutely love it. It all started when I took my wife (then girl friend) to Japan and ate amazing food, and on our return flight, I said “Man, those food were delicious. I wish I took pictures of them all.” and rest is, as they say, history. Here is what transpired from that comment (in 2007), and here again (in 2008), then again (in 2009). Oh man. It makes me hungry looking at those.

Anyhow, my post here is not about that. I wanted to put a link to those photos on this blog. and stumbled across Robert Nyman‘s awesome Javascript: tumblr badge. It si MIT license and it works like a charm.
Here is hwo I added it to my WordPress blog (in the spirit of random web tutorial/How-Tos):

  1. Download it
  2. Open js file in text editor. Chang var(s). Only thing that need to be changed is “userName.” See his example/comment in the code.
  3. Upload js file it on your webserver using ftp. Take note of where js file is (web path).
  4. From widget, add the following code (or if you are using theme that does not use widget, you can just add the code in the sidebar.php

    <div id=”tumblr-badge”></div>
    <script type=”text/javascript” src=”/path/to/js/tumblrBadge-1.1.js”></script>

  5. That is it. You can also paste in his example CSS code in your css. BTW, I ended up changing the css a little but basically it is the same.

That’s it. This is awesome.


Tumblr rocks. So does foodspotting.

Redesign of daigo.tumblr.com

I am a WordPress guy, but I have been using Tumblr to document what I eat over at http://daigo.tumblr.com since January 2010. When a friend told me about foodspotting (Around October 2010), and saw that it is basically exactly what I was looking for, I thought about stopping Tumblr update. But Tumblr is good for archive and search. Only I wasn’t excited about the look of my website. I said “I’ll redesign the site some day” and I never did. That was, until now. Here are my notes as I struggle through what I want to do with the website.

  • Done. It is just a customized version of Themanati theme by anthagio, which I saw it first at 8Asians tumblr site, and all the credit should go to Anthony and not me. I am just building on top of his hard work…
  • There is already jQuery and fancybox loaded with the theme, but the photo zoom wasn’t working right. This blog post addresses that very issue of how to use lightbox/fancybox effect on Tumblr sites. Code is here.
  • But I needed to add a class or id for my “a” tag, that is built using {LinkOpenTag} and {LinkCloseTag}. Tamblr Documentation explains it as: An HTML open anchor-tag including the click-through URL if set. (Example: <a href=”http://…”>) How do I do that?
  • Then I thought about it. As is, when you click on the image, it went to a page that just shows the hi-res image. But is that what I want? I want users to go to permalink page like this and not like this. On top of that, when you hover over the image, there is that nifty expand icon that shows up right corner of the image, which already has an id and a class. and that should open a fancybox.
  • Simple solution. what I did was changed the code from:

    {LinkOpenTag}<img src="{block:IndexPage}{PhotoURL-500}{/block:IndexPage}{block:PermalinkPage}{PhotoURL-HighRes}{/block:PermalinkPage}" alt="{PhotoALT}">{LinkCloseTag}

    to:

    <a href="{Permalink}"><img src="{block:IndexPage}{PhotoURL-500}{/block:IndexPage}{block:PermalinkPage}{PhotoURL-HighRes}{/block:PermalinkPage}" alt="{PhotoALT}"></a>

    This addressed the link issue. Now you click on a image, it goes to the permalink page, not a image itself.
  • and set the jQuery selector to use already existing photozoom id, like:

    $("a#photozoom").fancybox({
    'titleShow' : false
    });

    Now when you hover over the image, and click on the “expand” icon that appear on the top right corner of the image, the fancy box/lightbox effect in on. Exactly the way I wanted. Killing two birds with one stone.

  • For the design, I am doing nothing fancy. But using Skackey font from awesome google web fonts, and it looks very unique.

I like it!

I love foodspotting, too. I love traveling through Asia using foodspotting. Tokyo, Taiwan, Soul, Hong Kong… So yummy.


Colbert vs. Rain, Dance-Off

I know, I know. I am so up on the stuff that I am finally getting to post a video that ran nearly 3 years ago, May 5, 2008.

I love Stephen Colbert. And Korean pop star Rain, also known in Japan as “Pi” (or “Bi” in Korean), is pretty awesome. This little video is awesome in so many ways. Down to Dance Dance Revolutions. The video was in response to Time Magazine’s most influential person poll. I found it from the posting of Angry Asian Man about this year’s poll — which as of now Rain is leading.


Ame ni mo Makezu (Be not defeated by the rain)

One of my favorite poem is Ame ni mo Makezu (Be not defeated by the rain) by early-Showa (1920s) poet Kenji Miyazawa, and I’ve found and posted beautiful translation in 2005 on this blog, but Hong Kong musicians got together and wrote a song for it, to benefit the Japan earthquake/tsunami relief effort. (via Gil Asakawa’s posterous)

Excerpts:

Be strong in body. Unfettered by desire. Not enticed to anger. Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything. Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely. Hold the learned lessons dear.

To think that I am the same age as when Miyazawa died.

In related news, Japanese Professional Baseball players will wear this sticker on their helmet, which reads “Ganbarou! Nippon.” Link to an article on nikkansports.com, hat tip to NPBTracker.

[UPDATE] Japan Times’ Jason Coskrey has great story about this Ganbaro Nippon/Ganbaro Tohoku patch.

Ganbarou Nippon. A patch Japanese baseball players will wear this season.

I’ve always translated “Ganbarou” or “Ganbatte” as “Do your best,” but never liked the sound of condescending connotation. Then when I visited JANM in L.A. this spring, they translated it as “persevere,” which I found it to be much closer to it’s original meaning. So, “Presevere! Japan.”