Welcome back to Worth reading – my occasional roundup of news & articles on anime & Japan along with my thoughts and comments. There’s some good stuff this time around…
So, let’s hit the jump and take a look at what’s Worth Reading!
Incredible 15th-Century Japanese Technique for Growing Ultra-Straight Cedar Trees
Not far outside of Kyoto, there are immense cedar forests planted along the hills. This Kitayama cedar is known for being exceptionally straight and without knots and has been in high demand since the 15th century. With such a demand and lack of space, foresters came up with an ingenious way to grow more wood using less land. This involves the heavy pruning of a mother cedar tree, which encourages tall, thin saplings to shoot upwards. Think of it as a bonsai on a large scale.
A fascinating article on Daisugi – raising straight, clear cedar in a sustainable fashion.
Coppicing is a related practice in Europe, though it seems more aimed at high yield sustainability than high quality.
I was inspired by the article linked above to search Flickr for images from Japan – and I hit a jackpot. Probably something I need to do/feature in Worth Reading more often.
It’s still a shame what Yahoo! did to Flickr back in the late 00’s and early teens though. (tl;dr version: Destroyed a thriving community in a misguided attempt to compete with Facebook and Instagram.)
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
How Much Does It Cost to License Anime Series?
Recently there’s been some discussion about how much it costs to license an anime series, especially in the wake of the recent AnimeTube Kickstarter campaign. There are many factors that impact the cost of the licenseChristopher Macdonald
If you followed the Anime Tube debacle (background here, and here), you know they made a number of misleading claims and statements… Among them, they expressed the belief that anime streaming rights could be had very cheaply.
In this article on Anime News Network, Christopher Macdonald breaks down the complexities and costs of licensing. There’s a lot more to it than you might think.
Honestly, I wish ANN did these kinds of articles more often – giving insights into the actual business of anime and streaming.
“A Gift Wrapped in Pandemic Paper and Offered in Pieces,” or “Meaning without Consequence: My Pandemic Experience with Fruits Basket”
To some, it may seem silly to give that sort of credit to a piece of media, but the odd sprinkling of untimed, random dub releases were small gifts handed to me when I needed something else to feel.Shoujo
Shoujo’s deeply personal and emotional post on how Fruits Basket helped her make it through the pandemic really resonated with me…
Many of you know what I’ve been through in the last two and a half years. Two close family deaths, the stress of isolation (which I haven’t spoken of much), and now as I write this one of my closest and oldest friends is dying. Her post really makes me think of how many times recently I’ve dove into anime (often a rewatch) to escape the present.
Anime has always been something of a stress reliever, and it’s been very helpful during these times. But it also makes me think about how I’ve been avoiding the perceived stress of writing here…
Sheltering in small places : What life indoors looks like in Tokyo’s cramped homes
For residents in Tokyo, where the majority of new cases are being reported, that means spending more time at home – often tiny by Western standards.Sheltering in small places : What life indoors looks like in Tokyo’s cramped homes
The average home in the Tokyo prefecture is 66 square meters (710 square feet), compared with 80 square meters (860 square feet) in London. However, apartments in the city tend to be smaller than this.
I wish I remember where I came across this article so I could credit the source…
Anyhow, while it’s written in context of the pandemic lockdown, it’s still an interesting look at housing in Tokyo. The one room apartments seen so often in anime are actually a thing in real life. I’ve lived in a space that small, and it’s very stressful because there’s a lack of places to be. Your daily and ‘moment to moment’ view is absolutely unvarying. Where we live now is only about 800 square feet – but at least it’s separated into multiple rooms! I can be in a ‘different space’ now and again. Though really on the living room and dining nook have seating, at least there’s separation between me and the dishwasher. (Which is currently running and would be very noisy and distracting if it wasn’t in a different room.)
The article also includes a couple of interviews with Tokyo residents and their views on the matter.
And that wraps up this issue!
Though looking at it and pondering how popular newsletters are of late… That gives me ideas for projects I probably have no time or spoons for, and no business contemplating.
Anyhow, haven’t been writing much weekly on seasonals because this season is going so darned slow… And having so few shows doesn’t help much. But Love Live returns tomorrow and maybe My Hero Academia will get out of it’s rut. So look forward to a post later this week.
Fair warning: That’s also entirely dependent on what happens with my friend mentioned above. I’m going to be in a bad place when the inevitable happens.
So, what are your thoughts on this issue of Worth Reading and the linked articles? Drop a comment and let’s chat!