SBS: New app opens the door to the past – 75 year anniversary of Cowra breakout . “Before dawn on the 5th of August in 1944, Japanese prisoners of war, placed in the detention camp in Cowra, New South Wales, staged a mass breakout. As a result of the incident, 234 Japanese POWs and 4 Australian soldiers lost their lives…. The smartphone application Cowra Voices was developed not only to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Cowra breakout, but also to reach out to younger generations and pass on the history of the tragedy and reconciliation between Japan and Cowra to them.”
Comicbook: New Website Helps Plan Your Next Pokemon Vacation to Japan. “Have you ever wanted to check out all the Pokemon sights and events in Japan, but the language barrier kept you from doing so? Good news, Pokemon Masters in training! Pokemon Local Acts, which catalogs all these things, has opened up an English-language version of the website for anyone looking to plan out their stops in the country — assuming they’re only interested in Pokemon-related tourism.”
9 News: Secrets of billions of ancient Japanese texts being uncovered by AI. “The content of billions of ancient texts written in a now-obsolete Japanese script have long puzzled researchers struggling to decode the secrets they might hold. Known as Kuzushiji, the ancient cursive script was used from the 8th century to the start of the 20th, however less than 0.01 per cent of the world’s population can currently read it.”
Neowin: Japan becomes the latest country to investigate Facebook’s Libra. “According to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters, Japan has begun to investigate the ramifications of Facebook’s upcoming Libra cryptocurrency which is scheduled to launch next year. The officials will be looking into what effect it could have on the country’s monetary policy and financial regulation in anticipation of the upcoming G7 finance ministers meeting which will be held in France next week.”
Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive: Important Cultural Property “Dainihonshi Hensan Kiroku” (G.S. Letters) Newly Released. “The Graduate School of Letters of Kyoto University and the Kyoto University Museum have been carrying out the restoration and digitization of an important cultural property Dainihonshi hensan kiroku held by the Graduate School of Letters since academic year 2018. Two hundred and six new images of the restored material are now available in Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive. Dainihonshi hensan kiroku (大日本史編纂記録) is a collection of more than 6,000 letters (copies) exchanged between Shokokan (彰考館; Mito Domain’s office for history compilation) in Mito (currently in Ibaraki Prefecture) and Edo (currently Tokyo) and their Kyoto office regarding the compilation of Dainihonshi (*1) by Tokugawa Mitsukuni (徳川光圀; 1628-1701).”
Journal of Medical Internet Research: Exploring the Extent of the Hikikomori Phenomenon on Twitter: Mixed Methods Study of Western Language Tweets . “Hikikomori is a severe form of social withdrawal, originally described in Japan but recently reported in other countries. Debate exists as to what extent hikikomori is viewed as a problem outside of the Japanese context…. We aimed to explore perceptions about hikikomori outside Japan by analyzing Western language content from the popular social media platform, Twitter.”
Wired: The Glorious, Almost-Disconnected Boredom of My Walk in Japan. “I have configured servers, written code, built web pages, helped design products used by millions of people. I am firmly in the camp that believes technology is generally bending the world in a positive direction. Yet, for me, Twitter foments neurosis, Facebook sadness, Google News a sense of foreboding. Instagram turns me covetous. All of them make me want to do it—whatever ‘it’ may be—for the likes, the comments. I can’t help but feel that I am the worst version of myself, being performative on a very short, very depressing timeline. A timeline of seconds.” This is a long read, but it’s a wonderful read. Please read it.