little irish jackhammer
- cherry blossom
- Kyoto Girls High School
- Wacky Japan
You know, Japan is not all geisha girls, zen-monks, sushi/sashimi, deeply perverted salarymen and difficult junior high school students (why did I just lump those two together?). Oh, no! There’s more clichés to it than that! Why, it’s “hi-tech” too, right? Although, I usually experience Hi-Tech-Nippon when I buy a new mobile phone, or digital camera, it just so turns out that Japan is the world leader in solar power technology. In fact Japan wants 10% of its energy to come from solar power in 2030… Marvellous! And what’s marvellouser: a company called Kyosemi, (right here in Kyoto folks!) is revolutionizing solar-power technology through the innovative use of tiny spherical solar cells capable of absorbing sunlight at any angle! There’s a very interesting article on it over at worldchanging.com which I just read (and so now I feel very clever). You can read the interview with Yoshinobu Tsujikawa, a leading engineer and assistant to the President at Kyosemi Corporation here.
Some of the exciting possibilities discussed are the integration of solar cells with other building materials to harness solar energy, and the use of this technology for small, low power applications such as portable consumer electronics and more altruistic applications. (Kyosemi has produced hearing aids for indigenous people in Africa. These clever little solar-powered devices transmit audio vibrations via bone in the ear canal!) And other possible applications “include crop monitoring in agriculture, site security, handicapped access, and visitor way-finding…”.
To be honest a lot of it is over my head: “Have you heard of ubiquitous computing? I heard the word “pervasive” is more popular in the West, but we Japanese like “ubiquitous.” But I have to admit the idea of all these Japanese egg-heads, beavering away at world-saving technologies thrills me to pieces.
And I have to say Mr. Tsujikawa’s final words charmed the pants off of me “Currently we are focused on providing energy necessary for life, but eventually we hope to enter the realm of art.”
Oh, and I found this. It’s a nice, non-confrontational, informative series of videos seeking a deeper understanding of Japan’s relationship with the mighty whale. This is just the teaser. I’ll keep on posting more until the music drives me completely nuts.
Whale-love Wagon Teaser
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