(Almost) all of Japanese culture in 6 minutes

This short film has just about everything about Japanese culture in one cute story: “yuru-kyara” mascots, seemingly fragile yet quite strong old ladies, very funny inefficiences within an efficient society, conformity, earthquakes, elevator girls, technology, traditional bento shops, modern shopping malls, very helpful people (or at least they’re trying to be) working together to overcome difficulties.

The title is Gokurōsama, which is hard to translate but means something like “good job!” and it’s the graduation project from a group of students at a French computer graphics animation school.

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Faux-lidays

Today is 7/10 — which can be read as “natto” so it has become natto day, one of the “faux-lidays” Japan is so famous for.

Others: 11/11 is Pocky Day and here’s something about Meat Day and Cat Day, and here’s a list of many more. The humor is something akin to Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you.”)

Natto is inexpensive and healthy, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. And if you’re not a fan, maybe try something more palatable like natto spring rolls. Here’s a recipe.

What’s your favorite way to eat natto?

What other “faux-lidays” do you know about?

3rd generation bots will need therapy

This funny video imagines a future where A.I. robots are so human-like that they feel anxiety and need to go to therapy. Their “parents'” generation cured cancer and refroze the arctic. But this generation of bots suffers from growing up with too much privelege: they’re wealthy and educated but bored.

“Without any real purpose, they’ve gravitated towards fields like art and … deejaying.”

Pause the video at 1’30 and you can see the titles of the books, like “100 Years of Brexit Negotiations” and “The Rise and Rise of Lindsay Lohan”.