A Geek in Japan | 2012 September
Adventures of a geek living in Japan
japan, a geek in japan, kirai, kirainet
0
archive,date,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-2.3,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.5.3,vc_responsive

Floating Wind Turbines

As Japan announced that it will become a nuclear free country by 2030, the Japanese government has started to approve a series of measures to start developing alternative energy sources. Here in Japan solar energy is not viable as there’s almost no space and most days throughout the year it is cloudy.

Wind energy is the alternative that seems the most feasible for the country but the lack of space makes it difficult to build the amount of wind mills necessary to produce enough energy. Apart from the typhoons that come once in a while, Japan is not a very windy country. There are very few places that have continuous winds above 6~8m/s.

In the following map you can see the areas that have more potential to develop wind energy sources; almost all of them are in the sea!

Wind turbine

The solution that Japan is going to adopt is to build floating wind energy farms. The first experimental wind turbine has been built in Norway but Japan and United States are the first countries that are going to build fully operational wind farms. The United States floating wind energy farm will be located in the Maine gulf and the Japanese 1GW farm in the Goto islands (to the south from Nagasaki). The Japanese plan is to have the wind power farm completed and operational by 2020.

This is one of the standard models proposed in Japan; it should be designed to withstand the destructive power of typhoons:

Wind turbine

And these are other proposed prototypes that are being built right now by Gicon, Hywind, Blue H Technologies and WindFloat:

Wind turbine

Wind turbine

Wind turbine

Wind turbine

Sources: Nautica Wind Power, IEEE.org, Telgraph,

Related posts:

1

Brain Controlled Tail

Neurowear, the company that created the cat ears controlled with your mind, has done it again and has created an artificial tail that wags according to the emotional state of the user. As of now it’s only a prototype but it seems they want to launch a real product to the market in the future.

Besides wagging, it is also able to geotag places according to the “happiness level” of the user, the video explains it very well:

Via @gchicco

0

Perfume

Perfume is a J-pop/electro/techno music group composed by three girls from Hiroshima Ayano ┼îmoto, Yuka Kashino and Ayaka Nishiwaki. They founded the band in 2001 and they are right now one of the most popular bands in Japan. They are also starting to build an international presence, for example they made the song for the soundtrack of Cars 2 that is played in the movie when the cars are in Japan; the song is called Polyrhythm. Their coreographies, specially their “sweet dance”, has become an Internet phenomenon.

perfume. Japanese band

perfume. Japanese band

perfume. Japanese band

perfume. Japanese band

Do you like the music of Perfume? What are your favorite Japanese music bands?

If you like it you can find this playlist in YouTube with their music.

0

Shisa Artisans

I love shisa lions/dogs from Okinawa. At the Tsuboya district in Naha (five minutes walking south from Kokusai-dori) I had the chance to see several artisans creating these figures that are usually seen at the entrance of houses or on rooftops to protect them against evil spirits and dragons.

Legend has it that an envoy from China came to visit the king of Okinawa (Ryukyu kingdom) and was hosted in the Shuri castle. As a present to the king he brought a necklace with a small figure shaped like a dog/lion. The king liked the present so much that since then he wore the necklace all the time.

Near the king’s castle there was a village by the coast where all the villagers had been terrorized for a long time;a huge sea dragon had been eating their children and destroying their houses. One day the king visited the village, he faced the dragon and raised the shisa figure that he had in his necklace, then a huge rock felt from the sky crushing the tail of the evil dragon and leaving him immobilized for ever.

Depending on who you ask in Okinawa you will hear the story with different variations.

Shisa

Shisa

Shisa

Shisa Artisans

Shisa Artisans

Shisa Artisans

0

Toilet Motorcycle

Japanese toilet maker TOTO has created a motorcycle prototype to raise awareness about water waste and emissions from live stock. TOTO has compromised to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% during the next five years.

Toto - Toilet Motorcycle
The motorcycle runs on bio-fuel.

Source: NyDailyNews

0

Kabutom RX

It is 11 meters tall, it weights 15 tons and its creator, Hitoshi Takahashi, has been working more than ten years building it. It is called “Kabutom” because it looks like a kabutomushi, a beetle which is owned as a pet by many Japanese children who love to play with them.

Kabutom

The first version was the RX-01, and the last version is the Kabutom RX-03. It can be piloted from its cabin or it can be controlled by remote control:

Kabutom

Kabutom

Kabutom

Kabutom

In these videos you can see that it looks quite clumsy when it moves (it uses wheels to move). It reminds me of the mechanical spiders created by the french group La Machine.

1

Yaeba: The Japanese Trend of Using Artificial Fangs

One of the latest weird trends in Japan consists on using artificial fangs so that they stick out a little bit and give you a vampirish look. The Japanese term for the new trend is “yaeba”, which means something like “an extra/added layer to the tooth”.

Tomomi Itano, one of the AKB48 members, is one of the “movement” leaders. This is how Tomomi Itano looks, her fang is natural:

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

I don’t really understand the technique to create the vampirish effect, but there’s even dentists specialized in adding “yaeba” to girls. According to what I have read the main reasons for Japanese girls to change their fangs so that they stick out are:

  • 1.- To give your face an imperfect look to intimidate men less
  • 2.- To be more sexy and kawaii and look more like your favourite idols/singers

And that’s about it, a trend to have an imperfection in your face… and you pay for it! What do you think? Cute or not cute?

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

Yaeba

If you want to see more pictures there’s a blog dedicated only to “yaeba”.

3

Parasols in Japan

In Summer many Japanese women can be seen on the streets wearing a parasol, even in cloudy days. They are really careful protecting themselves against the sun. Not all of them, but most Japanese women consider that the whiter their skin the better. Having a white skin is considered a very important part of beauty around here.

Summer shadows

Summer shadows

Summer shadows

Summer shadows

Summer shadows

Japanese parasol

Japanese parasol

Japanese parasol

Summer random shots

Happy?

1