News Sushi #73: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

News Sushi #73 And we keep serving News Sushi!

Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you Hamish, for your insights.

I’d like to dedicate this opening section to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of the podcast “The Two Gay Geeks” which this website gets it’s name from. Ben and Keith work tirelessly to support independent creators like me and others you find on the website. So…


Japan’s conceptual art collective, Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group (AIAARG), philosophises about the future of art-creation process

The Container is proud to announce a new exhibition, What If AI Composed for Mr. S?, by the Japanese art collective AIAARG. The exhibition investigates the future impact of AI technologies on the process of art-making, through a philosophical discourse of the Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi and the scandal that followed after the revelation he has appointed a ghostcomposer to write his music. Would the disrepute have been so sever if Mr. Samuragochi was helped by AI technology instead of a living person? The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual (Jap/Eng) publication:

What If AI Composed for Mr. S? Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group (AIAARG) 22 July – 7 October, 2019 at The Container:


Introducing Poli

I’ve recently discovered Poli Laurito, a trans opera singer originally from Manila, in the Philippines, who now lives in Japan. Here she is with two other performers in the only video recording of her beautiful voice:

This was an excerpt from Antonin Dvorak’s Rusalka (from Act One – Opening Sequence) featuring the cast; EM ALCANTARA as the 1st WOOD SPRITE and FAY DEE REYES as the 2nd WOOD SPRITE, and finally POLI LAURITO as the 3RD WOOD SPRITE. In a production from Stage and Music Director: Alegria O. Ferrer and conducted by Josefino Chino Toledo.

Those of us in Japan now have a chance this month to catch Poli Laurito in a new production:

From the Japanese:

Hiroshima City Opera 2019 presents: First chapter “Chester” and the second chapter “Janni Nikkikki”. Two Sunday afternoon performances, August 10 and 11 starting at 2pm at the JMS Astale Plaza Large Hall.

Elisabeth Music University has signed a cooperation agreement with Hiroshima City, and this time it will be a part of this concert sponsored by Hiroshima City and the Hiroshima City Opera Promotion Committee.

Many faculty members and students from the university will also appear in the cast. In addition, chorus of attached music garden appears as a children’s chorus.

Please do not miss.

Contact: Hiroshima City Opera Promotion Committee (Phone 090-7897-0888)


X-Gender in Japan

(Translated from the Japanese) The understanding of sexual minorities is gradually expanding in Japan, with the word “LGBT” gradually gaining national recognition. However, many of these people feel uncomfortable with lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals. People who identify as “X gender” in Japan is said to be about one in 10,000 people. Although legal recognition is being made overseas, in Japan, the concept of X gender is not well known, and many people are feeling alone without being able to come out.

For more information (Japanese only):


Andy Van Scoyoc releases a book of poetry

Sinner/saint, loving/vengeful, caring/cold, giving/hard hearted… Multi faceted and hard to describe, personable but also alienating, Andy Van Scoyoc suffers the same fate as many creatives spawned long before their time… She’s misunderstood, marginalized, ignored… She’s also idolized, lauded and a fascinating riddle to those around her… All of these enigmatic qualities make up a complicated, tortured soul, full of love, light and joy…tempered with a suffocating darkness that not even she…can escape… Visit her for all her darkly delightful venturings at…

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Did you miss the pre-order of my book Of Darkness and Decay? Well, look what's back in stock on Amazon! So…get your asses over and order!

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“Of Darkness and Decay” Paperback by Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc (Author)

“Of Darkness and Decay” is a book of poetry and photographs by Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc and published by Each poem can be read as a self contained vignette, or as a part of a whole. The poems are written in a deconstructed style. The book finishes with a series of photographs taken from cemeteries, which reminds me of the book “Midnight in the garden of good and evil”.

The whole book is evocative of the southern gothic style. These were meant to be read out loud. Though, if you’ve heard the author’s voice, or bought her audiobook of poetry, you can imagine how they are supposed to sound. Dark and macabre, with the sly wink of a horror host.

As I said, these dark little vignettes could be read one at a time, or all at once. There’s something strangely uplifting about these dark little poems, evocatively written by the author. For me they were very cathartic, like releasing a valve. But, for someone else, they may be too dark.

I hope that this is successful enough to warrant a sequel. Seeing the photographs and poems, I felt that it could be perfect for one of those 365 days books that were popular when the new age movement was at it’s peak. There would be a poem and photo for each day. I also this this could make a great calendar. But, that’s just me thinking as a marketer.

I do recommend getting this! It’s a great book, that I’m planning to return to again and again.


My friend Nina recently found these giant croquettes, which are a kind of fried potato thing in Japan. The regular sized ones are sitting next to the giant ones!

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Holy carp, look at the size of this #croquette! 🙀They’ve got a standard sized one sitting atop it to show the difference. #eat #food #omnomnom #コロッケ #japanesefood

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Runaway with Dean ep 3.1

We continue our journey with Dean as he runs around Japan.

Tokyo’s Best Noodles


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Happy thai new year Songkran festival 2019 #สาดกันให้สนุก #ถ้าเจอให้หอม 1 ที 🥰🥰🥰😁

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That’s just about all for this week, before we say goodbye, I’d like to share this lonely little moon with you.

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Alone in the middle of nowhere, but at least I have a beautiful moon to guide my soul. #mexico

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Bye for now! See you next week!

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