Tuesday, October 7, 2008



わたしはかわいいでしょね。ロックミュージックをききます。わたしの "favorite" バンドは ピロズ (the pillows)です. やまなかさんののどはすごいですね。


(in case you didn't know, Buster-kun is the mascot for a Japanese band called "the pillows", whose music was prominently featured in the anime FLCL. The pillows music verges on the edge of noise rock, often using sheets of distortion to create unique textures, but they also have a lot of pop hooks in their songs. Both FLCL and the pillows are totally outstanding, and I recommend them highly.)

some youtube links to their songs:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



Today I would like to share a little piece of Japan that exists right here in New York. The Japanese are well known for taking many American inventions and improving on them (カメラとテレビとくるま)but maybe you do not know that the Japanese are renowned for making denim jeans (ジーンズ) as well. Japanese companies typically make jeans the old fashioned way: by hand, one at a time, and sometimes dyed with natural plant indigo. Some companies have even gone so far as to purchase and refurbish the shuttle looms used by Levi's in the 50s to make the iconic 501 jean. Japanese denim is considered to be some of the highest quality in the world, and many European fashion houses like Dior and Paul Smith use Japanese denim for their jeans.

Luckily, there is a store on Greene St. in Soho that carries Japanese jeans (one of only two stores in America) called Blue in Green. I like the name because it is a triple entendre. First it references the fact that their blue jeans shop is located on Greene St.; Secondly, it refers to a Miles Davis song off the album "Kind of Blue"; thirdly, and this one is pure speculation on my part, it references the fact that the Japanese use the same word for blue (あお)as they do for green (あお), hence "Blue in Green".

Anyway, its a great little shop and I recommend that you stop by if you are in the neighborhood, if only to chat with the owners Gordon and Yuji who are very friendly and extremely knowledgable about jeans.

Blue In Green
8 Greene St. (btw Grand & Canal)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

By way of introduction

Hello everyone, my name is Max. Japanese I is my last class here at Columbia, and I'm glad I had a chance to take it before leaving America. I am taking Japanese for a few reasons. On a general level, Japanese culture and the Japanese language is something I always been curious about. It seems like the level of cultural exchange between Japan and America gives the two a unique relationship to each other. More specifically, I'm learning a bit of Japanese here at Columbia because I am applying to JET this fall. For those who aren't familiar, JET is a program run by the Japanese Government that takes native English speakers and transplants them into Japan to teach English to schoolkids (and pays them pretty well for such a mundane service). Hopefully I'll be going to Japan after this semester.

God, this post turned out to be pretty boring ho-hum stuff. Stay tuned for the further adventures of ロバアトさん and his sidekick テレビくん。