Sakura -Japan in the Box-

The Meijiza Theater from Tokyo has a history of 140 years of art performing.

People had enjoyed different forms of acting throughout the Meiji, Taisho, Showa and the Heisei Eras. Kabuki shows but also newer forms of theater are shown to the public. And recently a new idea and an innovative form of acting can be enjoyed here at nighttime.

I am talking about the show called Sakura – Japan in the Box. This performance blends Japanese traditional arts like acting, dancing and playing various instruments with modern pop culture, anime and games. The performance is also being synchronized with projections of different animated pieces. It is meant for local and foreign public, and therefore, little dialogue is used.

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The show is a spectacular game of colors, motions, traditional japanese instruments – that culminate with feelings, absorbtion into the story. The performing act has to be synchronized with the animation shown in the background – therefore a lot of effort was put into the work of the actors and the producers.

This is a story about Sakura – a girl who is living her daily routine without something special attached to it. But one day – an encounter with a mysterious fox changes everything. She is taken on a journey across time and space – she meets the spirits of the four seasons:

– The Spirit of the Spring, Miyabi

– The Spirit of Summer, Choco

– The Spirit of Autumn, Rin

– The Spirit of Winter, Setsuna

The show is a compilation of kabuki, taiko players, shamisen players, sword fights and some beautiful animations that make the story powerful.

Useful links:

Facebook Page

Official Website

Nintendo [imported from JapFun blog]

This article was supposed to be written a long time ago… and certainly was [in 2010]. It was imported from an older blog of mine, but has a certain note that pleases me and I wanted it to be on this blog as well.

This will be about the early days of my gaming experiences. And of course that period was perfect for the Nintendo games…first games that I played.

I never owned a Sega console but a Terminator one…you know the Terminator 6.0 [most successful NES clone – having yellow cartridges].

These game consoles very pretty popular in central european countries in the 90s. I was like 8-9 years old back then…and the Terminator game console is the main reason I wear glasses these days. I fucked up my eyes staying all day long in front of the TV. Anyway…back to the subject.

I still spend many hours on gaming, but back then, gaming was something that every kid of my age was in love with. First thing I remember about gaming is that once I’ve put my hands on the console…the world was mine.

In the left you have an example of NES clone I’ve grew up with. The joypads were often poor-manufactured so every week I had to buy new ones. I think that the first game I ever played in my life was Duck Hunt [I’m not very sure]. Or it was another shooter…the one with the cowboys [hmmm]. Anyway…Shooters brought me into the world of video-games.

Next was Super Mario Bros…my all-time favourite game in the whole world. Remember that melody and the character…Mario Rocks!!!

Super Mario Bros is an arcade-action game…featuring two players: Mario and his brother Luigi. The game has 8 main levels with 4 sub-levels each.

I remember that I used to finish a game and continue with it like 3-4 times. Once you’ve completed the game..some of the enemies changed and you could play the game again. Super Mario Bros was extremely pleasant for me to play in the morning. I was up earlier than usual and immediately I was playing Mario. Funny things is that even before I started to write this article I played this game till level 7. [using an emulator of course. I do not own a NES clone anymore].

Okay…about the other games I played. Well, names like Robocop, Tank, Cobra, Tom and Jerry, Dr. Mario became very popular in no time.

A game I really enjoyed was Double Dragon 2. The fighter that you controlled was sent in missions all over the world and you had to fight and fight with many enemies. Almost each level had a BOSS. I remember that when we were out, me and some friends used to talk about how we won that level and what we did next. Kabuki, another arcade-action game was pretty cool that time. The warrior had as the main weapon his hair.

One of the games I used to play using the two-player menu was Tank. Each level had a number of enemy tanks that I had to destroy. [speaking of that I must search this game an play it again].

Besides the joypads..the Terminator game console had a pistol. Games like Duck Hunt and the other two western-themed shooters were played with this pistol.

Because the games weren’t originals but all of them pirated, they came in with a message: 999,999 in 1. Most of them were the same games with just a little bit of modification. Mario for example…had a Godmode game, a flying type game, limited lives and so on.

We used to borrow games from one another. I remember receiving a tennis game when I shared my Fifa ’98. Fifa got me from the first match I ever played. Spending many hours on this game was like a daily ritual for me. I was too good to lose a match.

Another game I loved was something related to a Ninja warrior. I had to climb up buildings and kill other ninjas.

Anyway…those happy moments are gone…only thing that I can do right now is to revive those games with emulators [something that I’ll surely do].

My childhood was great…and I fucking miss it!

Games I’ve Played – Part I – Forgotten Treasures On Old Consoles

From an early age I was attracted to virtual worlds.. fantasy worlds that unleashed the craziest ideas the human mind can create.

Through the limitless boundaries of imagination, various people, entrepreneurs of creativity put ideas together to obtain some of the best productions of the digital age.

I don’t clearly remember at what age I played my first video-game but I remember the hours of fun and joy I had.61fF2JW5QpL._SL1024_

My first consoles were the Brick Game console, a Terminator and a Sega console. The Brick Game had 9999 variations of a few games. The classic tetris, snake, tank battles, car racing, crossing platforms, building while shooting bullets and a various selection of other different games.

The Terminator console and the SEGA one were my favorite hobbies at that time. I played games like Contra, Kabuki, Street Fighter, various Mario games, Tank 2000, FIFA 95, Double Dragon, Robocop, Tom & Jerry, The Jungle Book, a Samurai game that I can’t find anywhere which was my favorite. I also had a pistol for games like Duck Hunt and Wild Gunman. From there – my passion for first person shooters started to be shaped :)).

Another console was something I found into a MCDonald’s Happy Meal menu – a small device that had only one game, with Knuckles from Sonic – The Hedgehog series.

71oKJwn38ZL._SL1075_Knuckles Soccer is a handheld LCD game distributed as a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy for a limited time in 2003. This was one of six such games. In Knuckles Soccer, the player takes control of Knuckles the Echidna as he protects his goal from oncoming soccer balls, courtesy of Dr. Robotnik. After catching ten balls, Knuckles will progress to the next level where the speed increases. If Knuckles misses five balls in the same level, the game ends. There are five levels total. Knuckles Soccer was one of the four McDonald’s LCD games available for free in the Sega area of E3 2003 in Los Angeles, California. In the SEGA area, there was a large Sonic Happy Meal Box with holes in the top, allowing visitors to reach in and receive a free LCD game.

I remember spending hours and hours in front of the TV playing all the worlds in Mario and then replaying them on another difficulty until I saved 4 or 5 princesses in a row. In Tank I was playing with my uncle in battles against each other or creating maps. Fifa was another incredible experience. I was battling all the teams and of course I was beating them all. Duck Hunting was my breakfast and I remember being absorbed when I found the brain-boss in Contra.

While in primary school, we would find ourselves skipping classes to go to a bar where there were some devices like slots machines, some arcades where we could play Rambo and King of Fighters ’97.

Oh..such distant memories, yet so fresh and appealing.

[next article.. java, symbian, android games that I’ve played]