[PICS] Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood

Can you tell which one is real and which one is a creation of colored pencils, pastels and ink? If not for a tiny bit hanging off the edge of the wood, Can you tell which one is real and which one is a creation of colored pencils, pastels and ink? If not for a tiny bit hanging off the edge of the wood,

Let’s check out some of his works


ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-6-730x560 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-1-600x512 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-4-730x530 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-3-730x547 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-8-730x507 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-9-730x547 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-2-730x569 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-5-730x668 ivan-hoo-realistic-drawings-on-wood-7-730x570

Source : 24rocketnews

4 Things women are banned from doing in Japan 【Women in Japan Series】

Women have been prohibited from doing certain things (entering places, using facilities, etc.) for as long as civilization has existed. Restrictions are still common, albeit usually in religious contexts only. While religions themselves evolve and change with the times and bans are lifted, it doesn’t mean all of them get an update.

As women, we all know the purported reasons behind these bans: women are “impure” because we menstruate (the same impure biological process that allows us to give life to men), we are the physically weaker sex, and we distract men with our beauty. Yada, yada, yada.

Today, in our Women in Japan Series, we take a look at four things women are still not allowed to do in Japan. I’ve divided them into bans and semi-bans. Bans allow no women; semi-bans allow women–but only sometimes.

Of course, it’s high time these restrictions were lifted. While much headway has been made in the past, such as the lifting of the rule preventing women from climbing Mount Fuji, other bans are proving more stubborn despite protests by Japanese women’s groups. Will these restrictions be lifted anytime soon? Only the Japanese people can decide.

1. Ban: Climbing to the top of Mount Omine

Reason: Women are a “distraction”

If you’ve ever dreamed of climbing Mount Omine in Nara Prefecture (officially known as Mt. Sanjo)–a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan–we hope you’re not a woman. You might be surprised to learn that UNESCO doesn’t take gender into consideration when awarding World Heritage status, but heritage sites that ban the entire female race can be found in Burma, India, and Greece as well as Japan.

Mt. Omine won World Heritage status as part of a larger category of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. In fact, the popular Kumano Pilgrimage route goes through the sacred area but makes allowances for women hiking through this part. They are still prohibited, however, from climbing up to Ominesanji Temple at the top of the mountain.

This interdiction is carried over from the old days when, according to Shinto tradition, it was felt that women’s alluring nature would distract male pilgrims from their ascetic duties. Well, perhaps all women were drop-dead gorgeous then, or maybe during those days it was de rigueur for women to hike around naked. But that’s certainly not the case today. Besides, you’d think the real test of a pilgrim seeking religious purity via the strict denial of worldly pleasures, would be to insist that he strictly deny himself worldly pleasures!

▼This sign says: nyonin kekkai (女人結界), or “Women Banned”

▼Here’s a sign straight from the temple, complete with translation especially for foreign enchantresses.


At any rate, despite the edict seeming inimical to tourism, who are we to decide what local people should allow and not allow within their heritage sites? And one should never disrespectfully trample upon religious traditions. But we can still hope that more softening will take place to the degree of baby softness, and that women will be able to hike up the mountain some day, even while menstruating.

There is one part of the mountain, called Mount Inamura (稲村ヶ岳) that is sometimes referred to as Nyonin Omine (女人大峯), or “Women’s Ōmine,” reserved for ladies. Let’s hope there’s a bar set up there with sake and hors d’oeuvres.

2. Ban: Entering the sumo ring, taking part in sumo competitions and rituals


Reason: women violate the purity of the sumo ring

The Sumo Association claims that since women have traditionally not been allowed to take part in sumo activities through the centuries, that it would be a dishonor to all of their ancestors to change it. Well, that pretty much seals the case since we can’t get permission from the ancestors. Or can we? Why not get in touch with the Itako fortunetellers of Aomori Prefecture, known for their ability to talk with the dead? Surely this is just a formality and all she has to do is run the idea past the sumo ancestors. With the impressive Japanese women in martial arts these days, and the recent ignominy from a decade of scandals, you’d think women would get tacit approval from the ancestors as well. Besides, there have been suggestions that women’s sumo did play a role in some Shinto rituals in the past, so we could clear that up at the same time. Hey, it’s worth a try because as it stands now, women are not allowed to enter the sumo ring even to present prizes to the wrestlers (and yes, women are chosen to give prizes).

And, as with most things that claim women are impure, we’re not that impure since we’re expected to assist our sumo wrestler spouses in their duties, and, should we be married to a stable master, to dedicate our time to helping out those training under him. So there you go: “Behind every successful man is a supportive (impure) woman.”

3. Semi-Ban: Staying in capsule hotels

Reason: Targeted towards businessmen

You may have heard that many of Japan’s capsule hotels are men-only. That’s not true; almost all are men-only. To most people it’s enough to say that the rule doesn’t exist anymore because there are now capsule hotels that allow women. But if a woman just randomly rocks up to a capsule hotel, she’s going to be turned away 99 times out of 100. So it’s more correct to say that women are still not permitted at most capsule hotels.

This budget accommodation, where you stay inside a capsule-like tube, used to be the exclusively for males because such it targeted business men and those who drank until late enough at night to have missed the last train home to the suburbs (the occasional drunk business woman presumably had to either sleep in the gutter or hope she had enough money left over to stay at a higher priced hotel). Some capsule hotels are recognizing that women also work long hours and tend to drink and miss the last train home, and thus have added women’s floors. But not many. Don’t expect to find any that accept females in the countryside. I know–I slept outside once while on the Shikoku Pilgrimage because all the local hotels were full and the one nearby capsule hotel didn’t accept women.

4. Semi-Ban: Becoming sushi chefs

Reason: Women’s hands are too warm, so could ruin the flavor of the sushi.

This subject has been discussed in much detail in several English media outlets, and it was declared an urban myth by National Public Radio in the U.S.. But the fact remains that many Japanese people still believe women shouldn’t be sushi chefs. And while men are happy to have their wives make sushi at home, the denizens of the kitchen are rarely seen preparing it at restaurants, considered to be the domain of male chefs.

Jiro Ono, owner of the Michelin 3-star restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro, has a son who told Speakeasy (the Wall Street Journal blog) that women shouldn’t become sushi chefs because they menstruate. In the interview he said, “To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle women have an imbalance in their taste, and that’s why women can’t be sushi chefs.” He didn’t elaborate on their chances of becoming sushi chefs after menopause.

Of course this is just pabulum to appease the restaurant elites. We know the truth–put a beautiful woman behind the sushi bar and you’ll sell a lot more sushi!

Well, with all the ballyhoo about menstruation and impurity, it’s a wonder women can succeed in anything at all. Yet we do, all by our little menstrual selves. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a busy schedule today distracting ascetics and pandering my feminine charm to any male passerby–it’s all in a typical day of a pre-menopausal woman!

Source : 24rocketnews

Becoming Sailor Moon now as easy as saying “moon prism power, make-up!”

Sailor Moon has taken the anime world by storm this past year with the revamped Sailor Moon Crystal. Ever since it premiered this summer, we’ve gotten Sailor Moon lingerie, tortilla chips, and even a holy grail air freshener, but it’s only recently that we’re finally able to do the one thing we’ve wanted all along: become a sailor scout ourselves.

This Christmas, ACOS Premium brand wigs and the wig-specialty shop airily are teaming up to bring official, pitch-perfect replicas of the hair of five of the sailor scouts. They’ll have Sailor Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter available.

▼ Prices for the wigs are between 10,000 and 14,000 yen (US$80-$120) each, based on the hair’s length, style, and how much you want that specific one.

But any cosplayer worth their makeup knows that you can’t just show up at a convention with a wig and white sheet like the mannequins above and call it a day – you need the rest of the character too. Well ACOS has your back for that – they’re planning on releasing matching costumes for the five scouts in spring 2015. In addition to the skirts, leotards and giant bows, the costume sets will include gloves, boot covers, tiaras, and other accessories.

▼ But until then, the sheets will have to suffice.


ACOS’s official Sailor Moon wig and costume first appeared at the 2014 Yahoo! Search Awards ceremony, where “sailor scout sailor moon” was the most searched term in the fringe “cosplay” category. Here’s a picture from the event with a model sporting the full official Sailor Moon costume.




Wigs/costumes available for pre-order here.


Source : 24RocketNews

Naruto the Movie


Another Amuse boy, fresh-face Koudai Matsuoka
is taking the mantle of bring real life into popular Anime Characters~
Koudai is cast as the main character, Naruto,
for the Live Stage Show adaptation of popular Anime, Naruto!!!

Check out the official poster artwork for the show!!
Looks awesome!!

This action-filled stunt/acrobatic spectacular live show
will open in Tokyo and tour Japan nationwide from next March!!

The article also says that after the Japan tour,
it will start touring Asia, such as Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore!!!!

Can’t wait to see this!!!


Over the L’Arc~en~Ciel is going worldwide


Get ready: This December, the new L’Arc-en-Ciel film, “Over The L’Arc-en-Ciel”, is coming to countries worldwide, including Argentina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, and Thailand. Stay tuned for more news here:


The movie trailer :

Belanja Penuh Hiburan Di Festival Jepang “Plaza Blok M Matsuri”


Belum punya rencana untuk berlibur di akhir tahun? Datang saja ke Plaza Blok M Matsuri dari tanggal 6 Desember 2014 – 11 Januari 2015.
Di acara ini pengunjung bisa menyaksikan berbagai hal mengenai kesenian, budaya dan aneka kuliner khas negeri sakura (Jepang).

Seni dan budaya Jepang yang akan ditampilkan pada acara tersebut seperti Taiko. Seni yang menampilkan atraksi piawai dari para penari dengan tambuhan drum besar ini akan tampil setiap hari Rabu dan Jum’at pukul 17:00 dan 19:00. Kesenian lain yang akan ditampilkan yaitu “Senbonsakura Dance”, akan hadir setiap Selasa dan Kamis pada jam yang sama. Selain itu pengunjung juga bisa berfoto bersama teman atau keluarga dengan interior khas Jepang setiap hari.

Seni beladiri Jepang juga akan ditampilkan di acara ini seperti Aikido pada Kamis 25 Desember 2014 pukul 18:00 – 19:00 dan Iaijutsu pada tanggal 28 Desember 2014 dan 4 Januari 2015 pukul 17:00 – 17:30. Yang tak kalah serunya juga akan ada performance yang membawakan lagu-lagu berbahasa Jepang dari Bina Vokalia Pranadjaja pada tanggal 7, 14, 21, 28 Desember 2014 dan tanggal 4 – 10 Januari 2015 pada pukul 17:00.

Disamping itu pengunjung juga bisa membuat namanya dalam Japanese Caligraphy di acara ini. Yang membuat acara ini semakin heboh adalah di gelarnya berbagai lomba. Seperti lomba Karaoke Japanese Song (6 Desember 2014), Japan Cosplay Manga (14 Desemeber 2014).Cover Dance JPOP (3 Januari 2015), Sushi Eating Competition (6 & 20 Desember 2014), Fried Rice Curry Competition pada 7 & 21 Desember 2014 dan Ramen Eating Competition (13, 14, 27, 28 Desember 2014 dan 4 Januari 2015)

Hiburan lain yang bisa dinikmati pengunjung Plaza Blok M misalnya Idol Fiesta dan Aza Miyuko meet & greet (25 – 26 Desember 2014), workshop membuat boneka Jepang Washi dan Kansashi yaitu hiasan rambut seperti tusuk konde yang disisipkan ke rambut sewaktu memakai kimono (27 – 28 Desember 2014).

Ada juga penampilan Obake Band, band lokal yang membawakan lagu-lagu berbahasa Jepang ini akan hadir tanggal 7 Desember 2014 pukul 15:00 – 17:00. Pada 11 Januari 2015 juga akan digelar Impacnation Festival yang akan menampilkan cosplay, band dan kebudayaan Jepang lainnya sebagai closing ceremony.

Untuk mencicipi aneka kuliner khas Jepang, pengunjung bisa mencobanya di booth Sushi Kios, Gokana Ramen dan IchipanYa. Sedangkan untuk bermain game Taiko & Samurai bisa ditemukan di booth Amazone.

Jadi segeralah datang ke Plaza Blok M, untuk berbelanja sambil menikmati aneka hiburan dan dekorasi yang menarik.