Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dolphin Port Tear-Down June 4

"Thank you for the 15 years."

Almost all gone. Sigh.

Bridge to nowhere.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Make-up Mask

"Yes, we like you. We don't like you that way."

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Praying Mantis

Bit of a Small Adventure this time. I'd gotten down to Minami Kagoshima one morning, by streetcar, and was waiting for the barrier rails to go up so I could cross to the other side of the tracks. While I was waiting, this young kid half-runs down the ramp leading to the main train station platform, and calls out someone's name, looking frantic. Both the driver of the streetcar at the platform and I are watching the kid to make sure he doesn't run under the guard arm and in front of the car before it leaves. When the streetcar pulls out and the arms raise, the kid half-runs back up the ramp, then turns and sees me crossing the tracks. He runs back down right in front of me with his arms outstretched, telling me that I can't go past him. I'm confused, so I take a half-step forward, and he jumps back and repeats "you have to stop." We repeat this little game a couple times, until we get near the top of the ramp, and he steps aside, looking a little disappointed. He points back down the ramp at the platform we'd just left, and I try to see what he's talking about. I don't, so he points again, and I realize that there's a little baby praying mantis sitting on part of the iron railing a foot or two from me. The kid's really excited by his find, and tells me that it had crawled close to 10 feet along the railing before stopping. I let him talk a bit more, and then thank him and leave because now I'm getting close to being late.

About 2 hours later, I returned to the platform, half expecting to see the kid still there, but he was gone. I looked around for the mantis, and I couldn't find that, either. As I was about to give up, I spotted it back near the bottom of the ramp, this time hanging upside-down from the bottom of the handhold. I'm told that this is hatching season, and there are lots of baby praying mantises now. It's only the third time I've ever seen one myself.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Demon Sword Cards

Found these cards in a konbini for about 140 yen ($1.25 USD) per package. One card and a wafer cookie.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Vent Vert May 26

Lucky Zone Day
No idea what that means.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lobby Spider, May 25

Not a really big spider in the entrance area to the building, sitting by the elevator doors. Maybe about 1" toe to toe. Camera wouldn't focus. Still, he was polite.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

C.M.B. 44 Final Notes

Ok, I know that I mentioned a week or two ago that I was going to stop writing up summaries of the manga I read. But, this is a special case.

C.M.B. 44 and Q.E.D. iff 16 both came out in Japan on the 17th, but didn't get down to Kyushu until 2-3 days later. I finished Q.E.D. first, then got to C.M.B., and there's a bit of an announcement to make, if you haven't already heard.

----- Spoilers -----

In this volume, Shinra discovered that there's been a lot of complaints in the natural history world about a "child" having all three C., M. and B. rings, and the current leader of the Royal History Museum of London has decided to "right some wrongs." The boy has to go to London to face a council meeting, where 5 of the current department heads will declare the fate of the rings. Shinra is joined by his three "step-fathers", and initially, it looks like a stand-off. However, a masked figure attacks Shinra in a park, and the boy recognizes a scent on his clothes as being reminiscent of mummy embalming chemicals. He goes to the antiquities department to check on one of the five members acting against him, discovers the guy dead in an MRI room, and is accused of being the murderer. This kind of mayhem continues through the entire book, with one of the other council members also being stabbed to death, and two of the remaining ones getting hospitalized in a car attack. The attacker sets Shinra's museum on fire in an attempt to get the boy to bring the three rings out of hiding. By the end of the book, the killer gets crushed under the weight of his own expectations, Shinra's class has its Christmas party at Tatsuki's family's public baths, and Shinra decides to throw the rings into the ocean so that they can't cause any further problems like this.

The announcement, then, is that the C.M.B. manga will end with volume 45, which will come out sometime mid-October. The teaser page shows just about everyone that's ever appeared in the pages, from Mao, Bea Brust and the classmates, and Tatsuki's grandfather. Loki and his girlfriend are missing, and the Bill Gates parody guy and his wife are also not in the teaser. But, we'll see. The tag line is that Shinra has some loose ends he has to tidy up before he goes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

On Your Mark

Moro Meat Market with their outdoor sign protesting Covid-19.
"Soro soro iku zo" (Getting closer to going!)

Monday, June 22, 2020

Vent Vert May 22

Hair salon Vent Vert with their calendar sign for May 22 - Egg recipe day.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Nya-ko-san Illustration Exhibit

There's a little art exhibit running on the top floor of the Maruya Gardens department store in Tenmonkan until the end of May.

I don't know anything about Nya-ko, or what the illustrations are for.

But, there is a poster nearby for an Indian movie with this guy on a motorcycle. I assume that the illustrations are related to the movie somehow.

More photos from the movie.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Magma City Manhole Cover

This is the only new-style manhole cover I've found so far with the "Magma City" slogan.
"Anata to wakuwaku" - "Excitement with you."

Friday, June 19, 2020

Reimeikan Gate at Night

Failed art shot. If you see this, it means I'm running out of things to write about.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Masked Dogs

Saigo Takamori's masked mascot, Tenten and friend. Outside the Tourist Information Center by Central Park.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Kagoshima Subculture Fest

Ad poster for the upcoming subculture event June 27th. Video games, anime, animesong and illustrations. Kagoshima Bunka Hall. One day only, free admission.

Not cancelled yet... Doesn't matter though, I have to work then.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Take Me Out

Restaurant in Tenmonkan with their lunch take-out option.
Not sure what their message is here...

Monday, June 15, 2020

George Akiyama Tribute Page

George Akiyama, creator of the long-running Haguregumo manga died from unspecified causes on May 12. Big Comic Original ran a tribute page to him in last week's issue. You can get more of an idea of some his controversial manga topics from the wiki page.

I really wanted to upload a scan of the tribute page, except that the Japanese government has recently announced a much more severe crackdown on unauthorized uploads of manga, anime and video games, and there are no guidelines on what constitutes "acceptable fan use of images." I'm also stopping my manga reviews, for the same reason. If the manga reviews are one of the reasons you've been reading my blog in the past, I apologize. This is Japan's "new reality" for inconsistently "protecting creator rights."

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Shutdown Comments

Japan announced the shutdown of the country to control the spread of Covid-19 back in March/April. From that time until it was lifted at the end of May, Kagoshima was a ghost town. Very little car traffic, and almost no one in Tenmonkan. Even right after the shutdown was lifted, very few people were out and about at all. Part of the issue was that the increase to the 10% sales tax last October had a major impact on household spending. We're also getting into rainy season, and it's getting miserably hot and humid now. But, Saturday was sunny, and EVERYONE was out on the streets. The only difference between the old normal and the new normal is that more people are wearing masks (maybe about 80% of the population in Kagoshima that I've seen). That, and there are still no events going on anywhere here.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Wonda-Kame Ari Tie-in

From the people that brought you the Lupin III can coffee artwork, we have Kochira wa Kame-ari (Here is Turtles). Same basic idea as before - 15 numbered red cans, 15 gold, each with different characters and comments on the back. Enter the promo codes at the website for a shot at 200 copies of a character poster. Not sure how many codes you have to enter per attempt, but it may be 25, like last time. At about 120 yen per can, that's over $25 for coffee that isn't that great, and near-zero odds of winning.

"There are many kinds of people. That's what's so interesting."

I'm just buying the two cans shown here. Not interested in trying to get the poster this time, even though it looks good. I'll use the money for something else.

On a side note, I've only found these cans in one 7-11 so far, nowhere else. Campaign ends June 15.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Vent Vert May 15

Not sure how to get 5-15 to read as J-League day. 5-5 would be easy - "Go Go". Enjoy your Japanese soccer.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

One-Two-Three Soba Corona Table

Soba restaurant in Tenmonkan post-Covid-19 shutdown for walk-by take-out.

"Fight new corona!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Dolphin Port Tear-down Progress, May 15

Man, the teardown is going fast now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dental Art

Azuma-inspired artwork for a dental office near Tenmonkan.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Goku Hodai

Aya-something is an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) near Tenmonkan.
They're using Son Goku to advertise their "safe distance all you can drink re-opening."

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Home like home

Toyoko Hotel has this sign in the wall next to the front door as you enter the building.

"Welcome home!
"We wish to prpvide you a home like home feeling with "Cleanliness, Reliability and Reasonable Rate"."

Yes, my home is very home like because I charge myself reasonable rate.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Trombone Chalk Art - Corona

Trombone coffee shop has new artwork up.

"Don't lose to corona. Eat lots of delicious foods."

Friday, June 5, 2020


I found these flowers recently, and decided to see if I could do them justice with the pocket camera in macro mode.

It had rained earlier in the day. I like the water drops on the petals in the back at left.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Banksy Trash Message

There's a little food shop in Tenmonkan that sells "Korean-style Cheese Dogs." What this really means is that they deep-fry a stick of cheese as if it were a corndog. I didn't really care for it, but it's popular with school kids here.

The shop is on the corner of the main walkway and a small alley. This sign, using Banksy art, probably without permission, is on the corner of the building on the alley side.

"Please don't dump your trash here."