More from Universe Japan

Real-life Rurouni Kenshin reverse-blade katana now on display in Tokyo Swordsmith who’s certified cultural asset of Japan forges anime ronin’s iconic weapon. Part of what makes the Rurouni Kenshin manga/anime franchise so popular is how it blends real-world history from Japan’s Meiji period with exciting dramatic fiction. Representing the latter half of that combo are protagonist Himura Kenshin and his reverse-bladed sword, the sakabato. But while Kenshin remains a purely made-up swordsman, his sword has graduated to real-life status, and is now on display in Tokyo. The sword is being shown as part of the Rurouni Kenshin 25th Anniversary Exhibition, which opened last week at Gallery AaMo, itself located in the Tokyo Dome City entertainment complex in downtown Tokyo. As part of the event’s health safety procedures, tickets must be purchased in advance for a specific date and time, with overall attendance capped to prevent overcrowding. Guests must also have their temperature checked before entering, apply hand sanitizer, and wear a mask. “Shinuchi” means “Truly Forged,” since up until now, this type of sword existed only within the pages/episodes of Rurouni Kenshin. But Kanekuni Ogawa, a swordsmith and officially certified important non-tangible cultural artifact of Japan, put his amazing talents to work on creating the blade. Ordinarily, it’s kept at a museum in the town of Inuyama, in Aichi Prefecture, but as part of the Rurouni Kenshin 25th Anniversary Exhibition it’s made the trip to Tokyo so that fans of the series, or swords in general, can see it for themselves. The clear case and stands made it look like the sword was floating in air, adding to its already commanding presence. Between its bright shine and the hamon, the undulating patterns formed on the flat of the blade during the tempering process, the metal almost had a liquid quality to its appearance. Like all fine works of katana art, the Sakabato Shinuchi is displayed with its hilt unwrapped. Along with the date of forging, it bears the death poem of Arai Shakku, the Rurouni Kenshin swordsmith character who created it within the narrative of the series. The Sakabato Shinuchi will be on display in Tokyo until March 7, after which the event moves to Kyoto.

308 views · Feb 16th

Japanese toilets become even more high-tech with new floating panels New system aims to keep you and your rear cleaner than ever before. Japanese toilets are well known for their high-tech wash-and-dry functions, controlled by a panel of buttons located directly next to the toilet seat or on the wall beside it. They’re great for keeping your rear sparkling clean, but the current pandemic has highlighted one problem with the current system–it doesn’t keep your fingers clean. Touching a panel like this in a public toilet, when dozens of others may have used it before you, runs the risk of spreading germs and viruses like coronavirus. To that end, Shizuoka-based Murakami Corporation, a major automobile parts manufacturer specializing in rear-view mirrors, is now bringing its expertise to the world of toilets, and taking it into the realm of sci-fi with brand new technology. Working in conjunction with Kyoto-based startup venture company Parity Innovations, Murakami aims to do away with the current push-button control panel as we know it, and replace it with a virtual one, which appears to hover in mid-air like a hologram. The panel can even be used to project videos. The new technology, dubbed “Floating Pictogram Technology“, allows the user to operate floating images like a regular touch panel, thanks to an infrared sensor that can detect a human finger when it comes close to it. With no surface contact necessary, this technology opens up a wide range of uses outside the bathroom, reducing the risk of virus transmission at ATMs and inside elevators. There are other scenarios where “floating” tech could come in handy as well, like when you’re working in the kitchen with wet hands and need to operate an electrical appliance. For now, though, Murakami is concentrating on using the technology to improve Japanese toilets, with preparations to mass produce the panels in 2022 currently underway. They say this is a technology that can change the world, and with an increasing need for non-contact alternatives as a countermeasure against infectious diseases, panels like this may well become more commonplace in the near future.

262 views · Feb 16th
Japanese Man Finds Out What Happens When You’re In A Bath During A Major Quake A man in Osaki, Japan, was soaking up some suds on Saturday when a major earthquake struck, turning his relaxing bath into a few moments of sheer terror. Footage from the tub, above, shows water sloshing around the unnamed man as if he were in rough seas ... except he was in his own home during the quake, which was centered off the coast and had a 7.3 magnitude. “It’s really shaking,” he says in Japanese in the video clip, according to Newsflare. “This is insane!” https://www.newsflare.com/video/410408/sloshy-sloshy-japanese-earthquake-hits-as-man-is-having-bath?a=on&jwsource=cl
217 views · Feb 16th

More from Universe Japan

Real-life Rurouni Kenshin reverse-blade katana now on display in Tokyo Swordsmith who’s certified cultural asset of Japan forges anime ronin’s iconic weapon. Part of what makes the Rurouni Kenshin manga/anime franchise so popular is how it blends real-world history from Japan’s Meiji period with exciting dramatic fiction. Representing the latter half of that combo are protagonist Himura Kenshin and his reverse-bladed sword, the sakabato. But while Kenshin remains a purely made-up swordsman, his sword has graduated to real-life status, and is now on display in Tokyo. The sword is being shown as part of the Rurouni Kenshin 25th Anniversary Exhibition, which opened last week at Gallery AaMo, itself located in the Tokyo Dome City entertainment complex in downtown Tokyo. As part of the event’s health safety procedures, tickets must be purchased in advance for a specific date and time, with overall attendance capped to prevent overcrowding. Guests must also have their temperature checked before entering, apply hand sanitizer, and wear a mask. “Shinuchi” means “Truly Forged,” since up until now, this type of sword existed only within the pages/episodes of Rurouni Kenshin. But Kanekuni Ogawa, a swordsmith and officially certified important non-tangible cultural artifact of Japan, put his amazing talents to work on creating the blade. Ordinarily, it’s kept at a museum in the town of Inuyama, in Aichi Prefecture, but as part of the Rurouni Kenshin 25th Anniversary Exhibition it’s made the trip to Tokyo so that fans of the series, or swords in general, can see it for themselves. The clear case and stands made it look like the sword was floating in air, adding to its already commanding presence. Between its bright shine and the hamon, the undulating patterns formed on the flat of the blade during the tempering process, the metal almost had a liquid quality to its appearance. Like all fine works of katana art, the Sakabato Shinuchi is displayed with its hilt unwrapped. Along with the date of forging, it bears the death poem of Arai Shakku, the Rurouni Kenshin swordsmith character who created it within the narrative of the series. The Sakabato Shinuchi will be on display in Tokyo until March 7, after which the event moves to Kyoto.

308 views · Feb 16th

Japanese toilets become even more high-tech with new floating panels New system aims to keep you and your rear cleaner than ever before. Japanese toilets are well known for their high-tech wash-and-dry functions, controlled by a panel of buttons located directly next to the toilet seat or on the wall beside it. They’re great for keeping your rear sparkling clean, but the current pandemic has highlighted one problem with the current system–it doesn’t keep your fingers clean. Touching a panel like this in a public toilet, when dozens of others may have used it before you, runs the risk of spreading germs and viruses like coronavirus. To that end, Shizuoka-based Murakami Corporation, a major automobile parts manufacturer specializing in rear-view mirrors, is now bringing its expertise to the world of toilets, and taking it into the realm of sci-fi with brand new technology. Working in conjunction with Kyoto-based startup venture company Parity Innovations, Murakami aims to do away with the current push-button control panel as we know it, and replace it with a virtual one, which appears to hover in mid-air like a hologram. The panel can even be used to project videos. The new technology, dubbed “Floating Pictogram Technology“, allows the user to operate floating images like a regular touch panel, thanks to an infrared sensor that can detect a human finger when it comes close to it. With no surface contact necessary, this technology opens up a wide range of uses outside the bathroom, reducing the risk of virus transmission at ATMs and inside elevators. There are other scenarios where “floating” tech could come in handy as well, like when you’re working in the kitchen with wet hands and need to operate an electrical appliance. For now, though, Murakami is concentrating on using the technology to improve Japanese toilets, with preparations to mass produce the panels in 2022 currently underway. They say this is a technology that can change the world, and with an increasing need for non-contact alternatives as a countermeasure against infectious diseases, panels like this may well become more commonplace in the near future.

262 views · Feb 16th
Japanese Man Finds Out What Happens When You’re In A Bath During A Major Quake A man in Osaki, Japan, was soaking up some suds on Saturday when a major earthquake struck, turning his relaxing bath into a few moments of sheer terror. Footage from the tub, above, shows water sloshing around the unnamed man as if he were in rough seas ... except he was in his own home during the quake, which was centered off the coast and had a 7.3 magnitude. “It’s really shaking,” he says in Japanese in the video clip, according to Newsflare. “This is insane!” https://www.newsflare.com/video/410408/sloshy-sloshy-japanese-earthquake-hits-as-man-is-having-bath?a=on&jwsource=cl
217 views · Feb 16th