A Love Supreme A film by Thomas Campbell for Supreme filmed in 1995, NYC
On Target Painted on the wings and panels of aircraft to identify them, the Royal Air Force roundel has been in existence since 1915. At the start of WWI anti-aircraft gunners would fire on anything they encountered, enemy or ally, which quickly meant identification was required. The roundel was designed after ground troops found it difficult to distinguish between the Union Flag/ St. George’s Cross and the German Iron Cross. Since then there have been many incarnations to suit a variety of tastes but it is the modern standard, called Type D (Ratio 1:2:3), which has been adopted by mods in popular culture and most notably for fans of cycling, Sir Bradley Wiggins.
An onna-bugeisha (女武芸者) was a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese upper class. Many wives, widows, daughters, and rebels answered the call of duty by engaging in battle, commonly alongside samurai men. They were members of the bushi (samurai) class in feudal Japan and were trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honor in times of war. They also represented a divergence from the traditional “housewife” role of the Japanese woman. They are sometimes mistakenly referred to as female samurai, although this is an oversimplification. Onna bugeisha were very important people in ancient Japan.
Happy B-Day, Nujabes
By Chill V.
Most hip-hop heads know today is J Dilla’s birthday. A man who is viewed as mystical as the music he produced, Dilla’s place in rap fans’ hearts is both big and small—While some people simply acknowledge the day and say their R.I.P’s, others reminiscence on how his music help shaped their perspective on life. As someone who became engrossed in hip-hop at a later stage, it saddens me that I don’t experience the heartfelt appreciation people have for J Dilla and his classic tracks.
However, my own time of appreciation comes from another man born on this day—Jun Seba aka Nujabes. My love of everything Nujabes started in a small 9th grade English classroom and evolved into a precursor that eventually led me to not only J Dilla, but the true face of hip-hop as a whole. Hip-hop simply isn’t Gucci Mane, Jay-Z, Underground Rapper A, or Mainstream Rapper B. Hip-hop is the culmination of our mind and soul ingrained in that snare or beat break. If I hadn’t press play when I heard my first Nujabes song, would have I made this realization about hip-hop? Would my musical thirst have grown beyond 16 bars and turned into a love of all things guitars, drums, MPCs, and weird sounds? I’m not really sure, but every time I hear a new song by an artist I never heard of before, I smile and become glad I did press play and never stopped.
Thank you, Nujabes for opening my ears and truly opening my soul. Many people list classic hip-hop artists as their main influence, but for me, you are hands down the reason why I love this art so much. If it wasn’t for you giving me the keys to the kingdom, I probably wouldn’t be writing this or have any connection with Trilluminati. Rest in peace to both you and J Dilla and I hope you two collaborated and created the soundtrack to heaven. Not many others can do it like you two could.
BONUS: If you’re reading this and don’t know who Nujabes is, then press play. You’ll be as glad as I was.
One of the best there ever was.
Japan’s Forgotten First Astronaut
Stardate 2006. Livedoor entrepreneur Daisuke “Dice-K” Enomoto pays $20 million to Space Adventures for a ride on a Russian rocket to the International Space Station. He then announces his attention to forgo all the customary science experimentation during his time in orbit and instead cos-play as Char Aznable and build Gundam model kits. Sure, it sounded ridiculous at the time, but perhaps in hindsight Enomoto was making a grand statement on the rise of Akihabara and anime culture on the global stage.
Yet in an equally fitting metaphor for the rapid rise and fall of Japan’s “gross national cool,” Enomoto’s otherworldly otaku aspirations never got off the ground. Unceremoniously bounced from the program for vague medical reasons, he spent the next half-decade in decidedly Earthbound courtrooms in a vain attempt to reclaim the huge sum he paid to the American space-tourism company.
Although Enomoto may certainly go down in history as Japan’s greatest failed space tourist, he can’t hold a beam-saber to Akiyama Toyohiro — Japan’s first astronaut and a living monument to the excesses of Japan’s Bubble Era.