Hetalia: Axis Powers

Hetalia: Axis Powers (Japanese: ヘタリア Axis Powers, Hepburn: Hetaria Akushisu Pawāzu) is a Japanese webcomic, later adapted as a manga and an anime series, by Hidekaz Himaruya. The series’ main presentation is as an often over-the-top allegory of political and historic events as well as more general cultural comparisons. Characters are personifications of countries, regions such as Hong Kong and micronations with little reference to other national personifications. Both positive and negative cultural stereotypes form part of each character’s personality.”

-Wikipedia contributors, “Hetalia: Axis Powers,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hetalia:_Axis_Powers&oldid=933897402 (accessed January 10, 2020).

New to me.

The Crane Wife

“‘The Crane Wife’ is a story from Japanese folklore. I found a copy in the reserve’s gift shop among the baseball caps and bumper stickers that said GIVE A WHOOP. In the story, there is a crane who tricks a man into thinking she is a woman so she can marry him. She loves him, but knows that he will not love her if she is a crane so she spends every night plucking out all of her feathers with her beak. She hopes that he will not see what she really is: a bird who must be cared for, a bird capable of flight, a creature, with creature needs. Every morning, the crane-wife is exhausted, but she is a woman again. To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work. She never sleeps. She plucks out all her feathers, one by one.”

—CJ Hauser, “The Crane Wife.” The Paris Review. July 16, 2019.

Hinadan, a Mobile Game App For Apple by 82-Year-Old Developer Who Bought Her First Computer at 60

“It was easy because I have no one to care for me, whether it’s good or bad,” 83-year-old Masako Wakamiya said of building her first mobile app. In 2017, she launched Hinadan, a game aimed at elderly users…Wakamiya bought her first computer when she was approaching 60 — mostly to keep up with friends while she took care of her elderly mother.”

—Jane Sit and Yoko Wakatsuki, “How an 83-year-old found a new lease on life developing mobile apps.” CNN. March 24, 2019.

Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs (1903) – The Public Domain Review

“…a wonderful selection of wave and ripple designs produced by the Japanese artist Mori Yuzan, about whom not a lot is known, apart from that he hailed from Kyoto, worked in the Nihonga style, and died in 1917. The works would have acted as a kind of go-to guide for Japanese craftsmen looking to adorn their wares with wave and ripple patterns.”

Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs. PublicDomainReview.org.

Taller than the Trees: The Cost of Oya-koko or Filial Piety

The Academy Award-winning US director Megan Mylan’s Taller Than the Trees follows the daily life of Masami Hayata, a Tokyo ad executive, who embodies the changes that Japan is undergoing. With his wife frequently out of town for her job as a flight attendant, Hayata takes on the role of domestic caregiver, attending to their six-year-old son, as well as his mother, who is in the late stages of dementia, in addition to his considerable corporate responsibilities.

Taller than the Trees