Japanese Folklore and Mythology in Video Games

Japanese media are often dismissed by westerners as simply being crazy, but this is often the case because of cultural references or allusions that non-Japanese persons simply cannot understand right off the bat. Even an outlandishly off-the-wall video game will appear more sensible once the player examines the origin of certain elements in the game–and that is exactly what I’m about to do. I’ll show you several instances of mythology and folklore in Japanese video games. These instances shall be put in three categories: First, a concept or figure from folklore or mythology that is mentioned by name but does not actually appear; Second, a figure or concept that appears but is not specifically identified as that figure or concept, and may be based off that figure rather than being the figure itself; and Third, an appearance of the figure or location itself, dramatized for use in that video game.

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Hang-On [1985] |Arcade| HONORABLE MENTION

Following in the footsteps of Pole Position, Sega’s racing game Hang-On gave the player a high-speed over-the-shoulder (or more accurately, behind-the-car) racing game with sharp turns and endless AI opponents. Hang-On added something new to the mix, though. The player sat on a motorcycle-shaped seat that they had to tilt to the left or right in order to steer in-game.

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The Essential Japan Travel Prep Guide

There is a lot of information that goes into planning a trip, and the further away that destination is (not just in terms of distance, but in terms of culture, foreign language, etc.) the more daunting the task can be. While preparing for a trip to Japan, I have been discovering that there are many pieces of helpful information that I never even thought to ask about. But now that I’ve learned a wealth of knowledge about preparing for a trip, I want to compile it here for any fellow first-time travelers (and for my own reference). I’m going to sort it chronologically so that you won’t be overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done. On the contrary, if you take it one step at a time, then it will be very easily manageable. And of course, the earlier you start the better. So without further ado, here we go.

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Racism and the “New” Identity Politics

“Only white people can be racist.” This is the conclusion drawn by many activists of the modern day, who exert their various energies toward the goal of attaining justice for society. The reasoning goes that racism is prejudice plus institutionalized power, so only white persons can be racist. Let’s look at whether this is true and what it really means.

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Super Mario Bros. [1985/09/13] |Famicom|

I’m pretty sure you already heard that music in your head before playing the audio file. It is burned into all our brains! The impact that Super Mario Bros has had on modern culture is astounding. And why shouldn’t it be? SMB defined the platformer genre and inspired generations of games. Although not the first platformer, it stands in history as the iconic grandfather of platformers and is the earliest memory I have from my childhood. Before I could even speak full sentences I was already defeating Bowser. Click “read more” to go down the pipe and take a look.

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