Idan Reichel – Starbucks Japan playing list

What a surprise.

Was sitting at Starbucks in Tokyo, and was surprised to hear a song in Hebrew. Hebrew in Japan? How possible?

Shazam was very helpful to identify it was Idan Reichel.

What I still don’t know is why? Who selected Idan Reichel to Starbucks playing list?

Cybereason advertisement

Saw a Cybereason advertisement in Shinjuku, which made me wonder “Why?”.
Why advertise in Shinjuku on a wall that is barely seen by passersby ?

Did they just pay the agency and they spread it around town, or did Cybereason decide on this (bad) location?

Oedipus in Bunkamura

Went to see the play Oedipus in Shibuya Bunkamura, directed by Matthew Dunster.

The play obviously attracts a lot of attention due to the cast: Ichikawa Ebizo as Oedipus, Kuroki Hitomi as Jocasta and Moriyama Mirai as the Chorus Leader.

I loved the set and the modern adaptation. A Concrete Shelter, whoever enters needs to go through a contamination process. The guards are dressed in black modern combat gear.

Enjoyed it very much, especially the Chorus and Choreography of the Chorus. Not only talking and guiding the story, but dancing, narrating the story further. A wonderful work by the Director and the Choreographer. Led by Moriyama Mirai, the chorus seems to be assembled by actors and dancers. Some were better as dancing, but not as good in acting and some the opposite. Moriyama Mirai was obviously good at both.

First time for me to see Ichikawa Ebizo acting. As an actor, and not as a Kabuki actor, so was really disappointed in the first part, the hubris part, in which Oedipus is cocky and confident. Ebizo did a better job as the struggling, crying, aching with eyes gauged.
Kuroki Hitomi was good as well as the rest of the acting cast.

Not my day

Sometimes it happens, it is just not “my day”. Everything go wrong, or rather seem to go wrong without any apparent reason.

It happened last week, a rather boring weekend which ended with my flying to Singapore on a Red Eye.

As I was sitting in the lounge, working, drinking Soda, I tipped the Glass and broke it! Fragments flew everywhere, but nobody was injured, just a major embarrassment for me. Also embarrassing for me the fact that I used the wrong work to describe it. In the English and also Hebrew language we use “broken” to describe a broken glass, but in the Japanese language there is a difference between a broken glass, 割れた、to something else, 壊れた。 Hope at least I will remember to use it correctly next time.

After boarding, I tried to minimize space and placed my Rucksack on the suitcase, it felt a bit unstable, and indeed ended falling on my head. Laptop inside, heavy, it was quite painful.

That ended the day. Next day was much better

Selfie Crazy or the end of our Culture

Was on a business trip to Singapore last week and went to exercise at the hotel Gym (Intercontinental) , when a woman in her 30s came in.
She spent the following 15 minutes taking photos of herself posing in the gym, this angle, that angle, smiling, watching, videos and more.

She did not bother exercising or even considered exercising. She was there for the purpose of taking her selfies, probably post on Social Media and look marvelous and interesting. When she was done, she took a Banana from the basket and left.

Hope I am not in one of the photos, but it is not that concerning for me. I am more puzzled (or shocked) from seeing a person dedicating so much time and effort in a Selfie.

染めQ – Leather dye

Was thinking for a while about spray paint on leather so decided to experiment.

Result, not that great. Which means I need to figure out how to do it correctly, or maybe use it in a different way.

Used 染めQ which is available and promoted at Tokyu Hands. As I wanted an original, prepared my own stencil.

Lessons learned:

  1. It is difficult to cut Stencil accurately.
  2. Spray paint should be applied accurately and from a distance. Otherwise, too much paint is applied which leaks out of the stencil. This is exactly what happened to me. I was too eager to spray, when I should have used shorter spray period from a longer distance

Anyway, the result is not bad, a bit cryptic. But this matches what I wanted. A cryptic message.

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson 2

Finished reading the biography of Leonardo Da Vinci. May be the first time for me to spend time on the biography, life and achievements of Leonardo. As all of us, I was aware of discoveries, drawing, paintings, but never spend the time to read and understand more about the life of Leonardo, creation process and legacy.

Which leads me to the surprise I felt reading the book. Walter Isaacson keeps referring to Leonardo Da Vinci as a “Genius”, praising the achievements and self study process. But also he mentions very clearly that.

  1. No Scientific legacy – Leonardo actually did not publish any significant publication of his studies and discoveries
  2. No Scientific progress – Relates to (1). In some investigations Leonardo was wrong, at some correct and at some he discovered and concluded much earlier than anyone else. But(!), not sharing it, not giving it to the public to review and contest buried the discoveries until someone else discovered the same.
  3. Marginal artistic contribution – we all know the “Mona Lisa” and “Last Supper” , but actually Leonardo did not complete many art works and was infamous of not being able to deliver on time, or at all. The “Last Supper” was drawn in a process that was wrong, which meant that most of the drawing was damaged very badly and what we know and see today is very different from the original drawing.
    Leonardo’s apprentices and followers did not leave a mark on the world of art

So, how come we think of Leonardo so highly. Why do everyone know his name, but less familiar with Scientists and Artists who worked in the same period and contributed more.

This is not that puzzling for me, as even in our times we usually remember the people who make more noise, who are more in the news, rather than the people who work around the scenes and make more contribution.

We are familiar with famous artist names, but do we really have the tools to evaluate their art?
We are familiar with Scientists in the news, Noble prize winners, which are usually anonymous until the day of the announcement. Most of the discoveries and contribution to Science was done BEFORE the prize. The prize is usually a late recognition to contribution to Science . Which means there are MANY Scientists out there who contribute a lot, but will stay anonymous for the rest of their lives.

Conclusion: Not sure there is, but maybe personal marketing, creating your own brand, is as important as actually doing something.

Expressing Anger in public

Japanese usually do not express emotions or anger in public, but I sometimes encounter situation which remind me that they would actually like to do it.

In a very busy train, as usual, going back home, a guy stepped on a woman’s foot. He did not face her, so probably did not notice he stepped on her, and could not see her facial expressions.

It hurt her, very badly, but the interesting part was not that pain, but her facial expressions after that. She needed to express anger, so it was like watching Pantomime of expressing anger. She was actually very expressive, but without a voice. I guess she would not have done it if he was facing her.

Watching your smartphone behind your back

As it often happens in very busy trains, people sometimes watch other people smartphones behind their back. Sometimes it is just out of curiosity, sometimes it is an event or something of interest.

I wish I could take a photo of this, but obviously I did not. A woman next to me was watching “Terrace House” on her smartphone, and I suddenly realized that two other women are standing behind her and watching with her. Obviously, they cannot watch it very well, but they were very interested in it. It looked like the best Commercial for Netflix.

A while back, I noticed a similar scenario with men watching a live feed of Japan National soccer team. About 3 men were doing extra effort to stay around a guy which had a live feed on his smartphone.