Archive for May 17th, 2010

Hiroshima

Today was an eye opener.  I remember the last time visiting Hiroshima, but I don’t recall feeling this depressed.  This time going through the museum, we walked independently, not as a group.  We were also given headphones and an audio device that translated into English.  Hearing the stories and first hand accounts left me heartbroken.  How could we have done this?  Because we walked at our own pace, I found myself retracing my steps.  Walking back and forth in the museum.  I would click to the next audio file and realize that I missed the visual display.  I would walk back just to see what I had missed.  It was a hard day.  Even when out of the museum and just sightseeing it was hard to take pictures.  I didn’t know if it was alright to smile.  I didn’t know if that would be taken in disrespect for the place we were at, the history that had and will forever be scorched into the earth.

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Changes In Student Etiquette: The Adaption There Of

Upon arriving in Japan, I have felt that our group is seen as loud inconsiderate Americans.  That all changed today.  Within a matter of weeks, even days, I seen a change in us all.  Our group is accepting and adapting to the customs that are standard here in Japan.  A prime example of this is sickness in Japan.  One of the first students to take ill on the trip was my friend Vida.  After realizing that her coughing was drawing more attention than expected she rectified her predicament.  Vida realized that it was common courtesy to wear masks as to not infect those around her.  For days we noticed these people walking around the city wearing masks.  What was strange, was the fact that only our group gave these people second glances.  The fact that masks are worn when sick signified the level of politeness in Japan.  I have a new level of respect for those in our program who went outside their comfort zone to conform to the ways of this distant land.

Sumo… what more can I say

Sumo was amazing.  I still cannot believe I have gone to a full-fledged Sumo tournament.  I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting much going to sumo.  From what I have heard from friends who had gone on this study abroad before, it was one of the most boring things.  They claimed it was interesting for a few minutes but became repetitive.  I did not feel this way at all.  I got completely into sumo.  I started doing chants and cheering for specific wrestlers.  Mind you I had no idea which one was which, I was just shouting with the little Japanese kids that sat behind me.  I could honestly see myself watching this as a regular sport.  I cannot stress how much I enjoyed sumo.  The fun part was that I did not even have to read the rule book.  Nicholas read it and actually started reciting information to the camera, just for the heck of it.  It was an extremely fun day.

Company Visit: Q? Entertainment

This was my favorite company visit.  I have played Q? Entertainment games in the past, like Lumines, but could not believe I was actually going to meet the developers.  The first thing I remember about this visit was running to be on time.  We had taken a wrong turn to get to the building and what was supposed to be a 5 minute walk turned into 10 minute all out run.  Once we made it to Q? Entertainment we navigated up the smallest staircase i have ever been in.  I still feel claustrophobic thinking about it.  The presenters were very personable and I could not have been happier at where I was, especially with the comfortable chairs and complimentary waters.  Sadly, I cannot talk about much of what they showed us at it was pre-E3 footage.  Unbelievable!  The last thing I remember was getting cold looks from Dr. C. during the presentation.  I thought I had done something wrong.  It turns out that Kiya fell asleep next to me and he was signaling for me to wake her up.  All in all a great company visit!

Company Visit: FutureScope and Lucent Pictures

This company visit was awesome.  We were given 3D glasses and were then shown footage of images and movies currently being converted into 3D.  Personally I felt the anime drawings stood out the best.  Shifting my head side to side, I swear I could see the still pictures move.  I was fascinated by covering one eye then the other to see the differences in the images and to see how exactly they could trick my eyes.  We as MSU Spartans were then shown a sneak peek at the 3D conversion of 300!  It was rather fitting as the entire class went wild.  After all of the demos we then played a highstakes game of rock, paper, scissors.  I felt bad as I had won on two separate occasions and was awarded with an Otaku towel and a signed fan by the CEO of FutureScope.  Sharnise had won three separate items, so I didn’t feel too bad…

Company Visit: DNP (Dai Nippon Printing)

Our second company visit was to DNP.  Dai Nippon Printing stands for Great Japan Printing.  The technology showcased was innovative to say the least.  On the demo floor, we saw a variety of new technologies, many of them directed at museums.  The first thing demoed to us was a model car and projector.  This was unique in the fact that when I touched the car, the projector automatically sensed where and showed the internal workings  of the automobile, or change in colors.  i had no idea that it was possible for a projector to process the sense of touch from where it projected.  The second object we saw was a 3D televisions that required no glasses.  now, DNP did not develop the television, but rather the technology used to create 3D movies from a 2D source.  One thing that caught my eye were ceremonial scripts hanging on the wall, or at least that’s what they appeared to be.  When we walked closer we realized that they were not physical canvases at all, but rather HD televisions projecting images.  DNP had developed an attachment that auto corrects contrast and color to more realistically represents the original image.  I can vouch for that.  I was completely fooled!  DNP is a very innovative and successful Japanese company.

Company Visit: D3 Publisher Inc.

Our first company visit was D3 Publisher.  This video game publisher was our first look at a Japanese business while here.  What I noticed first walking into their lobby were the awards and all their past games mounted on the walls.  Majority of the games I have never heard of, and the few I have were smaller titles back in the United States.  During their presentation I was surprised with the partnership with Microsoft.  In Japan the Microsoft Xbox 360 is not the first console of choice.  Most Japanese households prefer to own Japanese branded consoles.  It was interesting to see this company’s take on an unpopular device.  The risks that this company seems extreme.  Majority of the games that they publish will never see the light of day in the United States.  Their geek genre of games is made for the Xbox 360, but the Xbox 360 is not surviving in Japan.  The locations where it is thriving, like the US, serve no market to the geek games.