14 September, 2007
I didn’t really get a lot of pictures during Worldcon, there wasn’t much to photograph other than the Dealer’s room exhibits and occasionally some of the panel discussions. I wanted to show the Art Show but like most of them at other conventions, photos weren’t permitted.
One of the biggest exhibits at Worldcon was one produced by Comic Market, nicknamed “Comiket”, a convention held twice a year at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center. The latest Comiket had over 500,000 visitors in 4 days, and this exhibit provided a history of the convention since it started in 1975. The convention is centered around fans of anime, manga and video games, who love to write and draw their own comic books, called “doujinshi”, often using characters created by others, including copyrighted characters. Many professional creators and their publishers allow these fans to produce doujinshi, because they are doing it out of love and not out of desire to make money, and because many current creators got their start producing doujinshi. Companies often scout the best doujinshi creators and hire them to work on new manga. This display shows each of the floors at the last Comiket. Each square represents a table, which is rented by two groups of creators, called “circles”, where the circle can display and sell a handful of copies of their doujinshi. A circle usually consists of one or two artists, a writer, and an editor (sometimes one person does all of this), and they usually produce one issue for each Comiket. These are covers from a handful of circles from different years, and you can see the variety of styles and artistic skills these circles have.
Since there wasn’t much to photograph, I decided to eat lunch at the bayside park down below the convention center. It was a beautiful day, and there were families enjoying themselves, eating lunch and playing. The giant wind turbine was working, generating electricity, but I don’t know where it was being used.
12 September, 2007
On the first day of the 65th World Science Fiction Convention, Worldcon, the first Worldcon held in Asia, I went to register with my friends John and Sonia. Sonia had been living as a student in Osaka for a year, and was getting ready to head back to the US, and was quite unhappy about it, she had fallen in love with Japan. In a strange coincidence (not the first on the trip), the man in the yellow shirt in line was someone who works at the same company I do, on the same contract, in the same building, but one floor up from my cubicle! It was definitely the last thing I expected to do, to run into someone from work half a world away!
The Worldcon was small, in comparison to other Worldcons in the past, and the Dealer’s room was still being set up after we registered. There were dealers with some interesting things, like the dancing humanoid toy robots. There was a group of engineers and artists who are trying to recreate a working personal flying wing, modeled after one from the movie “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind“. They displayed the actual unpowered glider that they have been using for aerodynamic testing. They will eventually build a version powered by a small jet engine, like the device in “Nausicaa”.
After the con was over for the day, we went back to the hotel, passing “Cosmo World”, an amusement park near the convention center. The park is dominated by a huge ferris wheel surrounded by a roller coaster. Near the park is the Nautical Museum, which has a sailing ship “docked” in a pond nearby. The ship is called the “Nippon Maru” and was used for years as a training ship.
2 September, 2007
Here are my first pictures. Here in the first, I was near the hotel. Behind me is a very tall building called the Port Royal Hotel. Next, on Yokohama bay, I took this photograph. On an island in the bay, there is a large wind turbine.
The next day, my friend John and I went to a shrine and temple area, just south of the train station. It was a little out of the way, but we found one of two entrances marked by gates. The shrine had a few interesting and ornate buildings. Just a bit down the hill, there were two temples next to each other, but I didn’t get any more pictures of them.
1 September, 2007
I’m sorry, because I’ve been so busy, I haven’t been writing much. Every day, I’ve done so many things that I don’t have any time! I promise to write more, soon.
27 August, 2007
Hello, everyone! I’m in Japan!
My trip started from my brother’s house near Nashville Tennessee. To begin with, on Saturday morning I left Tennessee. Then, I arrived at Narita airport on Sunday afternoon. I met my friend John, and together we took the train to Yokohama. Finally, I checked into the hotel, and then went to sleep. It was a long day!
Today, I’m resting, eating a little bit, and walking around a little. Later on, I’ll eat dinner, but not a lot!
I’ll write more, later!
3 August, 2007
This is my new blog. Right now, I’m not writing a lot, but please come by and read every so often!