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TokyoScope NEWS: Ultra Rich Expat Donki Shoe Strike Edition!
A round up of recent Japanese pop culture headlines and ephemera
“Ultraman: A Modern-Day Folk Hero from Japan”
Nippon.com has a terrific piece by film critic and author Shiraishi Masahiko titled “Ultraman: A Modern-Day Folk Hero from Japan” that zeros in on the lasting appeal of giant red and silver superheroes and the copious amounts of giant monsters they have to fight .
There’s also some great stuff here about the team behind the creative development of the original Ultraman TV series and how the results were embraced by the original audience of little kids.
“The show debuted in the late 1960s, as science was progressing in leaps and bounds even as protests unfolded against the war in Vietnam. This was also a time of dramatic economic growth, an era in which Japanese were filled with hope for the future. Children, who naturally look ahead, saw in Ultraman a new kind of hero for progress…”
Remember progress and economic growth? Nope? Well… remember the Ultraman TV theme song at least?
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Wealthy expats reject ‘unfriendly’ Tokyo for onerous work culture and slum-like streets
Everyone I know is hooting, hollering, pointing and laughing at this story that ran the other day on inews.co.uk: Wealthy expats reject ‘unfriendly’ Tokyo for onerous work culture and slum-like streets. Tokyo ranked in the bottom 10 cities for expats to live in 2022 owing to its onerous work culture and ‘unfriendliness’.
I don’t have much to add except to say, “Yeah, OK, but those are my unfriendly slum like streets!” and posit the following question for all wealthy expats, if you don’t like Tokyo, how about a taking an submarine trip somewhere deep underwater?
Kanye Loves Donki
Does post-cancellation Kanye West still count as ultra rich? The answer is up for deabte after pictures surfaced last weekend of “Ye” and Dov Charney (former-American Apparel, rumored new CEO of Yeezy) going on a shopping spree at a Japanese discount Don Quijote chain store in Tokyo (best guess, either the one in Shibuya or Roppongi).
Not sure how hard it is to get beef jerky and Casio watches in the USA these days, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that the US dollar goes a loooong way at a Donki. Plus, like Ultraman, they have their own awesome theme song, too!
The Shoe Event Horizon
Speaking of footwear vendors of dubious standing, Asahi News ran an in-depth piece on a worker strike at Japanese shoe store chain ABC Mart (they’re pretty much everywhere in Tokyo) that resulted in a 6% pay raise. See? Sometimes the good guys win!
Today In History!
6 / 28 / 1980… Japan’s TV Land magazine began their official Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back manga adaptation by Shigeto Ikehara, one time assistant to “The God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka. The results are… more than a little awkward when it comes to facial expressions and body proportions, but… it’s still a better love story than The Rise of Skywalker! Source.
Pure TokyoScope Podcast #49!
The latest episode of the PURE TOKYOSCOPE Podcast should be live on Spotify and other podcast-y platforms by the time you read this. This time, Matt Alt and myself continue our mad multipart series on THE ANIME THAT MADE US as I gab about my favorite anime from the 1960s through the 1980s.
I’m also planning a new podcast exclusively for this blog right here, so stand by for more info when I have it!
In the meantime, thanks for reading!