Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In Search of the Rahmens: An Inquiry into the Origins of the Famous Sushi Video

Since my recent posting of Japan Culture Lab's The Japanese Tradition: Sushi has resulted in a number of unfortunate people googling their way into my blog in search of “japan culture lab ramen”, “japan culture lab”, “flash japan culture lab” etc., I feel a certain responsibility to elaborate a little more on the subject insofar as my gross ignorance and poor research skills allow. My findings indicate (indeed, they confirm) that Japan Culture Lab is in fact fake, much in the same way that Saturday Night Live's "Wayne's World" is a "fake" cable television program. The two main actors that help make "the sushi video" so hilarious are known as Rahmens (ラーメンズ) and belong to a comedy group called Twinkle Corporation (トゥインクル・コーポレーション). That’s about as much effort as I am willing to put into my "research" but, fortunately, someone else was much more diligent than me and compiled a comprehensive history of the sushi video way back in January of this year. If you are interested, you can check it out here.

A so called “sequel” to the sushi video called The Japanese Tradition: Dogeza is also available on You Tube and other video sites. SPECIAL REQUEST!!! If anyone has ever been able to find "机上の空論" (Kijo no Kuron) directed by Junji Kojima (小島淳二) online, please let me know!! (It also stars the Rahmens).

Since I am not able to offer a viewing of Kijo no Kuron, I would like to direct everyone’s attention to Time of the Soji by Yo-Jimbo Productions. Unlike the raw footage of my own “o”-series soji video Keitai Cinema 02: Cleaning Time, it is both funny and well made (although mine is a much more faithful rendering of what JETs actually witness at Japanese junior high schools).

Title: Time of the Soji
Creator: Yo Jimbo Productions (An ALT somewhere in Japan . . . probably a JET)

I found this short movie on Google Video while searching for more of Japan Culture Lab.