al: japonesque


└ Arashi in Kimonos: then and now


└ Japonesque @ Japonism

Japonesque [Remastered]
Masayuki Nagao, Hirofumi Murasaki, Morihiko Akiyama
Japonesque [Remastered]

Sega and M2 put out some new Sega Vintage Collection stuff on XBLA recently and it’s pretty high quality. A lot higher quality than what Backbone was doing. It’s still just an emulator and a few ROMs, but given that M2 is apparently who Nintendo hires to do their exceedingly high quality Virtual Console emulators, this is probably as good as it’s going to get.

It lead me to check out Revenge of Shinobi, finally. I never got my Shinobi games straight - I think I tried out one on the Master System and maybe an Arcade game and found them to be all pretty simplistic. For the longest time, I thought Shinobi 3 was the only Genesis game, and Shinobi 3 is probably one of the best Genesis games out there, but people seem to regard Revenge of Shinobi pretty highly too, so I decided to give it a look.

Nope, Shinobi 3 is still better. Revenge of Shinobi is to Shinobi 3 what Pitfall is to Super Mario Bros. Revenge of Shinobi doesn’t even let you run! What kind of crap is that? I also decided to give Shadow Dancer a look, which is another Shinobi game in disguise and it’s still inferior to Shinobi 3 - though having a dog with you that you can command to maul dudes is pretty sweet.

Shinobi 3 is rad because it takes basically a two-button control scheme (jump and attack, though you do use a third button to activate your special ninja arts) and does a ton of stuff with it. Most other Shinobi games let you walk and throw shuriken, and that’s kind of it. If you get in close to an enemy you’ll take out a dagger and slice them. Shinobi 3 gives you climbing, diving kicks, wall jumping, and some other stuff. It’s kind of like Ninja Kirby in Kirby Super Star (though probably the other way around - Kirby Super Star came out after Shinobi 3). None of that stuff is in Revenge of Shinobi or Shadow Dancer. You end up feeling pretty nimble and very much like a ninja.

The discussion of Shinobi among my friends lead to one wondering aloud, “I wish somebody would do a high quality version of Shinobi 3’s first stage music.”

Happy to oblige. Original MIDI by “José”

I don’t know if I’m totally happy with the way this came out, though. Too much reverb, maybe. It’s hard to nail that stuff down. Might be an EQ mixing problem, too. I’ll fiddle around with it some more.

Incidentally Drak, that instrument you were asking about on twitter a few weeks ago? I think it’s a Shakuhachi.

Japonesque Kimono Costume

※ 束ね熨斗–Tabanenoshi

In Japan, the Tabanenoshi symbolizes longevity, gratitude and bonds of love.
Tabane-Noshi: Narrow strips of dried abalone bundled together in the middle, it was the ritual offering to God in Japanese Shinto religion. It also is used to refer to a bound bundle of any kind of ribbon strips. One of the Noshi-monyou patterns. This motif is often seen in the masterpieces of furisode kimonos, from the middle of the Edo era, created by various techniques. It remains a very popular motif in design.

Butterfly(蝶)–Masa(雅) of Masaki is the meaning of refinement, elegance.Butterfly has the same meaning.
Leaves(双葉)–Aiba is the meaning of two leaves.

Biwa(琵琶)–Biwa (four-stringed Japanese) lut. Maybe it means the guitarist.
Mari(鞠)–Mari is a symbol of children’s toys.Maybe it means gamers.
Torii(鳥居)–Miya(宮) of Ninomiya is the meaning of shrine.Torii means shrine.

Noborikoi(昇り鯉)–Koi is a carp.Koi fish are capable of adapting to many different climates and water conditions and can symbolize strength. It is inherent in a koi’s nature to swim upstream. Of course, it is also a symbol of fisherman.

Sakura(桜 or 櫻)–Cherry blossom.
Wings of birds–Sho(翔) meaning that birds fly.

Matsu(松)–Matsu(松) of Matsumoto is the meaning of pine.
Namigashira(波頭)–Wave splash.Jun(潤) is the meaning of moisture.