The 7th annual Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) was held on March 28-30 at Tokyo Big Site. TAF is the one of the largest animation fairs in the world with the participation of around 290 animation related businesses and more than 100,000 visitors this year.

Tokyo International Anime Fair 2008 poster
Official poster for the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2008

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Ryuki Omura, a 16-year-old Japanese high school student, has become the first nationwide pen spinning champion in Japan. [Reuters]

Omura was among the 16 finalists chosen from 276 video entries to showcase his moves in Tokyo on Sunday (Mar 30) in a contest organized by the Pen Spinning Association Japan.

You can watch Omura’s video entries here.

Video with some slick pen spinning moves by various Japanese pen spinners
(not related to the competition)

Japanese variety show “TV Champion 2” held an origami competition last week with Chuya Miyamoto challenging Satoshi Kamiya. Below are three video clips which showed their amazing origami skills… [Hat tip to Japanprobe]

The origami artists’ creation with a restaurant receipt… Miyamoto created a restaurant employee with the restaurant logo featuring at the centre of the apron; Kamiya created a cow with its calf

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Japanese jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita, in fireproof gear, played a piano which was set on fire in front of some 400 audience on Mar 8, 2008.

Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita playing fiery piano
Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita playing the fiery piano (Image via Xinhuanet)

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Keepers at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo have been honing their skills in a drill aimed at capturing animals on the loose, in case of a big earthquake. The drill seems a bit bizarre (but fun) though…

Zookeepers in Japan have only had to deal with three escapees in the last 40 years. Well, I guess it’s better be safe than sorry. [Hat tip to Neatorama]

A weird, cute and fun Japanese video with 3D computer graphics (and animations)…

The main character (with turquoise hair) of the video is Hatsune Miku (初音ミク), a character from Vocaloid, a singing synthesizer application software developed by the Yamaha Corporation that enables users to synthesize singing by just typing in lyrics and melody.

The first song is titled “Kurutto, Mawatte, Ikkaiten”, adapted from the ending theme of anime “Sgt Frog” (ケロロ軍曹; Keroro Gunsō). I am guessing that the voice is how the software (or Hatsune Miku) should sound like.

The 2nd song is “Caramell Dansen” by Swedish group Caramell. (Hat tip to reader Brighty)

Japanese shows play the darnest games, and I am loving it…

A funny Japanese commercial for Ajinomoto Stadium…

Funny Japanese video (Hat tip to Asianoffbeat)

Ajinomoto Stadium is officially known as Tokyo Stadium (東京スタジアム) and is located in Chōfu, Tokyo, Japan. Completed in March 2001, it is the first stadium in Japan that offered its naming rights, which was sold to Ajinomoto Co. for a 5-year period (Mar 2003 to Feb 2008), thus the name Ajinomoto Stadium.

The stadium is the home of the J. League football teams F.C. Tokyo and Tokyo Verdy 1969.

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