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ReDotPop

Sunday, March 29 2009

When Can We Be Friends?

When it comes to sports, while we may be swimming in the cool pool of popular culture, if those sports happen to pit South Korea against Japan, then we have strayed into the searing hot tub of politics.


Monday, February 16 2009

Jero: Oh Yes, He Can

How a young 'half-breed' is reviving a very old, traditional, insular, often ridiculed form of Japanese music.


Wednesday, November 5 2008

In a Groove, in a Grove

Even in the dead of summer when a cacophony of cicadas clinging to the limbs assail the ears, the visitor caught in the grove cannot help but be sucked into the mystical vortex.


Thursday, June 5 2008

When Bathing Suits None and All

In the ReDot realm, while no bathing suits are allowed for any at bath-time, bathing suits one and all.


Thursday, January 31 2008

Creating Japan: The Truth About the Myth

Separated lovers, a hero, a villain, creepy surrogates, immortal power, the wrath of the gods, a perilous journey to hell and back, a breakneck chase, daring escapes, fortune, and an ending that will make you cry yourself to sleep.


Wednesday, October 3 2007

High Moon: The Japanese Western

ReDotPop’s version of the western, the re-emerging samurai genre, serves as moral compass, as spiritual guide at a time when it is needed most.


Wednesday, June 6 2007

You Are Where You Eat

This is a story about food. Specifically, the transformative powers of the humble udon noodle.


Thursday, February 1 2007

Fishing for Deep Dot Pearls

In many popular Japanese films, enduring elements of Japanese/US relations, endemic attitudes of superiority and equality among races, and volatile notions of convention and propriety are pitted against emergent, maverick, fun-loving difference.


Friday, September 29 2006

The Saga of Sagi Society

We ReDotPoppers find ourselves in the moment of con, in an age of deceit, trapped within the epoch of cheat, run-through by an ideology of insincerity. It is definitely time for a new Emperor, a Hisato, whose name includes virtue.


Wednesday, May 24 2006

Breaking News in Japan

Athletes such as Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui prop up the national psyche at a time when youth crime, economic decline, and political dysfunction are at their highest.


Thursday, March 30 2006

Meditations on the Festival of Mediations

The Japan Media Arts Festival succeeded in capturing the bedlam of multiplicities, the noise of creative expression, the messy complexity of negotiated meaning that is Art.


Monday, January 23 2006

A Change in Seasons (Greetings)

He wants to stay in your good graces, so Holden and his family (yes! the whole family, for including close relations in this complicated, frenzied relations ritual are important!) send their nenga jou to you. All the way from the land of ReDotPop.


Monday, November 21 2005

RedWebPop

On-line suicide clubs, pornographic blogs, lethal chat rooms, and killer confessionals: Japan's webbed world is often a murky realm where the psychologically meek meet the morally interrupted. A peek inside ReDot's weird wild web.


Thursday, September 22 2005

Cool Hand Koizumi?

Japan's PM, Junichiro Koizumi, is a master of those tricky steps in the political waltz.


Thursday, July 28 2005

PinkDotPop

The 'fun' in fertility. Japan's unzipped, let it all hang out there approach to sex, er, 'fertilty'.


Wednesday, April 13 2005

ReDotFlow: J-Pop That Would Hit Anywhere

ReDotFlow has been expressed through greater interactions and collaborations between countries; record and entertainment companies, producers, singers and musicians on both ends of the Asian region. Holden provides an in-depth look at how music from Japan spans pop culture boundaries.


ReDotFlow: J-Pop That Would Hit Anywhere

ReDotFlow has been expressed through greater interactions and collaborations between countries; record and entertainment companies, producers, singers and musicians on both ends of the Asian region. Holden provides an in-depth look at how music from Japan spans pop culture boundaries.


ReDotFlow: J-Pop That Would Hit Anywhere

ReDotFlow has been expressed through greater interactions and collaborations between countries; record and entertainment companies, producers, singers and musicians on both ends of the Asian region. Holden provides an in-depth look at how music from Japan spans pop culture boundaries.


Wednesday, February 16 2005

The Gist List: ReDotPop’s Most Memorable Moments, circa 2004 (part 3 of 3)

It is perhaps the biggest story of ReDotPop 2004: baseball came to Sendai, bringing with it a dramatic strike between management and the players that struck at the very core of Japanese identity. The strike itself was so typically Japanese: the players continued to play weekday games -- so as not to inconvenience the fans too greatly -- and only suspended play on the weekends; and the fans became deeply embroiled in the matter. Holden wraps up his reflection on life in Japan, 2004, with this quintessential example of what it means to be Japanese in these times.


Wednesday, February 9 2005

The Gist List: ReDotPop’s Most Memorable Moments, circa 2004 (part 2 of 3)

Neighborly relations, intimacies among relations, relating, long-distance... a look at life in Japan, 2004, continues with stories of a resiliant abductee, a consummate baseball player, players in the film industry, and of course, members (of varying merit) in the Royal Family.


Wednesday, February 2 2005

The Gist List: ReDotPop’s Most Memorable Moments Moments, circa 2004 (part 1 of 3)

New Years' celebrations in Japan can get pretty roudy, as anyone who has suffered asphyxiation by rice cake would tell you - if they were alive to tell. Like New Years' celebrations the world over, the occasion calls for reflection on the year just passed. Holden looks back on 2004 in ReDotPop land with tongue-in-cheek. This is the first of three installments.


Wednesday, September 29 2004

ReDotBlueDotPop: At Home, Away

Holden takes a two-hour plane ride from Tokyo to Seoul and finds himself in a completely different, yet paradoxically very similar world of Japanese and Korean pop culture.


Wednesday, May 26 2004

The Trials and Tribulations of Parenting Adolescent Techies

ReDotPop faces tech-savvy, consumer-primed, expensive adolescence in the form of teenaged cell phone users. Holden wavers between pride and panic as his offspring dabble in art via on-screen decals, and explore a range of music via ring options.


Wednesday, March 31 2004

Can Pop Last Forever?

Is pop as ephemeral as a cherry blossom... like youth, so quick to burst with beauty and excitement, so quick to fade? Or is it a perpetually regenerating force, like the magnificent and tenacious sakura that hosts the blossom?


Wednesday, January 28 2004

WhiteDotPop

Japan is so much more than simply a handful of groups characterized by crystal-clear definitions and cut-and-dried allegiances: male, female; 'enka', rock; wheat tea, Coca-Cola; 'kimono', blue jeans.


Wednesday, November 19 2003

DeaDotPop?

ReDotPop -- A Concept Due Its Title -- It is a sniff-the-breeze, taste-the-frisky-freshness-of-freedom problem that has no Japanese word to describe it.


Wednesday, September 24 2003

DeaDotPop?

It wasn't until I disembarked in Narita, with my bottle of French brandy and Eiffel Tower mug and Polish soccer scarf and amber bracelet from the darkest Slavic forests, that I reentered the world of the living.


Wednesday, August 20 2003

SMAP: The Story of Everything

It wouldn't be far-fetched to venture that SMAP is a cultural institution, a cottage industry, and a magical commodity that works tirelessly to beget more commodities.


Wednesday, May 28 2003

Spy-day Night at the Fights

So much of Japanese TV these days appears predicated on this harsh formula: spying, confrontation, setting up and exposing the cads, giving them their due, then watching them twist and turn in the turbulent wind.


Wednesday, February 5 2003

The Great Wave

The false notion that culture exported worldwide is an American invention has been swept into the historical soup of misconception, along with famous fallacies such as Aryan supremacy and the glories of Stalinism or Maoism.


Wednesday, November 6 2002

The Noble Sarariman

He was a dupe, a fool, a brainless, clueless buffoon who'd been sold a bag of goods, and willingly sacrificed everything to gain nothing in a world that had quickly gone to garbage.


Wednesday, September 4 2002

The Schizophrenic Collide-a-Scope

Commercials not only serve as the sort of national archives for domestic events and values -- the town crier, if you will -- but advertising is one of the ways that popular culture actually manages to persist.


Wednesday, July 10 2002

In the Main It’s More Than the Mane

. . . (F)or all its post-war success, its unrivalled rise from the ashes, Japan views itself as the national equivalent of Charley Brown.


Tuesday, April 23 2002

Aware of What They Wear?

'Do you know,' I inquired in wonder, 'what that . . .' careful how I pointed my finger, 'um . . . means?' She followed the line of query to the tip of her extremis, mouthed the words written thereon, returned her eyes to my general direction, face reddening (possibly implicating her in the act of cognizance), and replied, 'No?'


Wednesday, February 13 2002

Consolidating Culture

In such creations one finds evidence of the Japanese people's 'innate propensity toward shrinking things'.


Tuesday, September 25 2001

Mediations of Japan: Ashita ga aru sa

ReDotPop -- Ashita ga aru sa.


Thursday, April 19 2001

Mediations of Japan: Japan’s Beat Generation

ReDotPop -- Japan's Beat Generation.


Monday, January 8 2001

Mediations of Japan: The O-N Series

ReDotPop -- The O-N Series.


Saturday, October 7 2000

Mediations of Japan: Brought to you by Public Transportation

ReDotPop -- Brought to you by Public Transportation.


Wednesday, July 5 2000

Mediations of Japan: Ranma

ReDotPop -- Ranma.


Saturday, May 13 2000

Mediations of Japan: Food

ReDotPop -- Food: With the duo endlessly crooning about crustaceans over radios, on variety shows, as backing in television commercials, through speakers in elevators and restaurants, via CD rentals, and in karaoke boxes, Puffy had Japan from Hiroshima to Hakodate singing the praises of scarfing shellfish along summer shorelines.


Wednesday, April 5 2000

Sumo

: This story is about sumo, but it begins in the back of a van.


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