Nihon

If you’re a fan of the NBA and art, specifically, manga style art, follow @tatenoayako on Twitter and visit his/her art blog.

I randomly stumbled across his/her art on Twitter and I love it. Here are some of my favorites. In fact, I think I like everything that has to do with Japanese culture. I just went to Tokyo last week, it was like, my sixth time there and second time in less than half a year, but still, I loved it. I didn’t even need to buy a lot of shit, I just like walking around the street, interacting/watching (ok, mostly the latter) Japanese people, eating Japanese food, and hearing the language.

These artworks are all BY that artist, whose name, I hope I got right, is Tateno Ayako? Check out his/her blog for more.

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For the Love of the Game

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Of the four major sports leagues of North America, the NBA is, by light years, the most popular in Asia. While American media have often attributed this growth to the emergence of Yao Ming in the early 2000s, that’s simply an uneducated, misinformed guess (which I’ve gone out of way to bring up here in an interview with Voice of America and here in a feature in TurboJet magazine). I say this with no exaggeration, but in my six years of being around Asia, I’ve seen a Yao Ming jersey once — and that was in the form of a tribute on the day Yao announced his retirement (I’ve seen a Kobe jersey, oh, 4,000 times). In Hong Kong, I can say with 99.9% certainty that ballers here look up to the Kobes, the LeBrons, the Jordans, and that if you ask them to list players from whom they’ve drew inspiration, Yao probably wouldn’t even crack the top 15. Even in China, Kobe notoriously received a louder ovation¬†— the loudest, actually —¬†than Yao during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Continue reading

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