Some Thoughts on “The Story of Urashima Taro, The Fisher Lad”

One of the few Japanese fairy tales I knew existed was the one about Urashima, if only because several animes and manga I’ve watched/read throughout the years have referenced it.  I’ve never read it until now, and boy was I surprised!  The tale is a lot different than expected, and in some cases its moral fables send mixed messages.  With that being the case, today’s analysis I want to discuss these contradictions, and ponder what they could ultimately mean.  As always, this is my own interpretation of the piece, and also remember this is a Westernized viewpoint since I am not Japanese.

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Why you Should Use MMD: Rebel’s Love Letter

Though I’m a pretty stringent and organized person, even I’m prone to occasionally taking a break to pursue a sudden, emotional passion.  For me, this usually means I’m playing around with MikuMikuDance.  MikuMikuDance, for those who are raising their eyebrows, is an animation/dance program that was originally meant to be used to make PVs for Vocaloid characters (hence Miku’s name in the title).  However, given its free nature and the robust openness of the program, it has evolved to have a passionate community around it who make all kinds of videos.  Some make licensed characters, others make their own characters, some focus on making shareable motions, some focus on making effects, and so on and so forth.  There are a billion resources, many provided for free by the community, to allow people to create amazing and creative videos of all sorts.

Given I’m in one of these passionate streaks, today I would like to gush about the program and tell you why you should try it out.  It may not be your thing (as blood, sweat, and tears are involved), but for others it may wind up being a rewarding experience.  So sit back, and prepare yourself for my love letter to MMD.

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Some Thoughts on “The Tongue-Cut Sparrow”

Revisiting some Japanese fairy tales once again this week, I checked out another from Yei Theodora Ozaki’s collection: “The Tongue-Cut Sparrow.”  While the tale is a fairly clear fable of the virtues of humbleness and kindness, the story also offers a positive message about redemption being possible for anyone.  As always, the following is my own interpretation of the piece and not reflective of a definitive fact.  Additionally, remember I am not Japanese, so while I will remain respectful to the culture, my view is ultimately Westernized.

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Rebel’s Tips: Things You Shouldn’t Be Doing to Promote Yourself

Considering we’re in the age of information overload, it’s no secret that promoting your content is hard.  There is no one true correct formula for promoting yourself that works for everyone.  After all, everyone has a different audience that is interested in their content, and each audience is more susceptible to certain types of promotion than others.  That being said, while there are no universal right ways to promote your content, there are universal wrong ways to do it.  Unfortunately, I have lately seen a rise in these wrong ways, which inevitably results in people being turned away from the content.  Thus, today I would like to share with you my tips on what you shouldn’t be doing.  Contrastingly, I will also try providing alternatives on what you can do.

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Some Thoughts on “My Lord Bag of Rice”

Fairy tales always have a unique aspect of weirdness, but sometimes the extent can’t be truly appreciated until you read one from another country.  Having a keen interest in Japan, I decided to switch gears today and check out some Japanese fairy tales, ones translated and collected by Yei Theodora Ozaki specifically.  I was definitely not disappointed in my endeavor to find a unique tale, one that at its heart promotes how three key traits are need to lead a prosperous life.  As per usual, the following is my own interpretation of the tale.  I am also including an extra disclaimer that I am not an expert on Japanese culture, and that my viewpoint is through a Westernized lens; as such, certain symbolic gestures I might miss or get entirely wrong.  My intent is not insensitivity, but I feel attempting to interpret the piece is still worthwhile as all literature interpretation is a personal matter.

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Online Presence and the Public Internet

Sometimes, it can be really easy to forget that people on the internet are, well, people.  Even when someone is candid about their real life identity, there is always a veil of anonymity.  I mean, unless they happen to live in your area, you probably aren’t going to meet 99% of the people you interact with online.  As such, you are relatively free from consequences to a certain extent.  Unfortunately, this safety net has subconscious influences sometimes, and it can often have dire consequences when it comes to your online presence.

The reason I bring this topic up today is I have seen a recent spike in lack of self-awareness.  Those posts you write on Twitter?  On Discord?  On YouTube?  On your deviantArt journals?  Most everyone can see them.  These are public platforms.  They function in a similar way as going outside onto busy streets.  It is not just your friends who will see them, it’s strangers who are just happening to pass by.

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