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Author Topic: We're the Tokyo Inventors Society, ask us anything!  (Read 1944 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2015, 12:28:37 am »

About names:

For anyone confused as to why the founders of the Tokyo Inventors Society are called "Kenny" and "Luke" I should explain that Kenny is Japanese, and Ken is actually a Japanese name. I (Luke) was born in England but I have lived most of my life in Japan.

Well, Kenny, Luke, thank you for your introduction.  Makes me wish I was in Tokyo.  In my neck of the woods we do have a thriving Steampunk crowd, and we do have some performance and maker oriented meetings every month here in your city of Austin (sister city to Oita), but nothing on that scale.  I did het to met Michael Moorcock personally when they impromptu-invited me to talk on the panel of the (second) Steampunk Bible release here in Austin.

BTW, Kenny - I'm an Aerospace (MSc) and Mechanical (MSc) engineer myself.  Glad to hear that I'm nor the only guy with a dual science/art mind!!
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RJBowman
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2015, 12:56:44 am »

Gakutensoku?


Can you phrase that as a question?


Gakutensoku:

The famous robot that fought demons in Doomed Megalopolis (帝都物語). I assume that the Tokyo Inventors Society is closely associated with this robot.
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SteamGardenTokyo
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2015, 07:47:41 am »

The famous robot that fought demons in Doomed Megalopolis (帝都物語). I assume that the Tokyo Inventors Society is closely associated with this robot.

Hi; I will interpret your question in 2 parts -
1 - "Does the robot Gakutensoku have any connection to the ideas of Tokyo Inventors Society?"

No. Gakutensoku was made in 1928, so it is part of the Showa period, Steam Garden focuses on the earlier Meiji and Taisho periods. However, there is a long history of Japanese mechanical dolls, called "Karakuri Ningyo", similar to western Automata.

2 -"Did the historical science fiction novel Teito Monogatari (The Tale of the Imperial Capital) influence you?"

Not directly, but the mix of alternative history and occultism is definitely part of the overall cultural mélange that influenced the "Wild East" approach to steampunk.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2015, 09:22:56 pm »

Nice to see picture of the Japanese but (slightly off topic) have you approached Danny Choo of Culture Japan?
http://www.dannychoo.com
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2015, 10:23:21 pm »

Nice to see picture of the Japanese but (slightly off topic) have you approached Danny Choo of Culture Japan?
http://www.dannychoo.com


Incidentally, Danny Choo has very tangentially and casually mentioned Steampunk once of twice, but I doubt he's ever had an interest....
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SteamGardenTokyo
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« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2015, 10:30:28 pm »

Nice to see picture of the Japanese but (slightly off topic) have you approached Danny Choo of Culture Japan?
http://www.dannychoo.com


Hello! We hadn't seen that website before, but it seems to be about Akihabara "moe" culture, and Steam Garden doesn't really gel with that. For a start, none of us are very "cute" Smiley So I don't know what kind of crossover there could possibly be.

Having said that - I just remembered that we did actually team up with "Pullip" dolls a couple of years back for an exhibition and limited-edition charity auction featuring 3 "Tokyo Inventors Society" dolls. So I guess nothing is impossible.

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RJBowman
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2015, 10:55:50 pm »

Hi; I will interpret your question in 2 parts -
1 - "Does the robot Gakutensoku have any connection to the ideas of Tokyo Inventors Society?"

No. Gakutensoku was made in 1928, so it is part of the Showa period, Steam Garden focuses on the earlier Meiji and Taisho periods. However, there is a long history of Japanese mechanical dolls, called "Karakuri Ningyo", similar to western Automata.


You Japanese inventors seem to have strict definitions of steampunk; American steampunks will have Daniel Boon and Bonnie and Clyde on a carriage-coach train, fighting it out with vacuum tube covered ray guns.

If Gakutensoku showed up to fight alongside Daniel Boon, I don't think that anyone would complain.


...
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 10:58:57 pm by RJBowman » Logged
selectedgrub
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2015, 10:59:38 pm »


You Japanese inventors seem to have strict definitions of steampunk;

I actually didn't see much inventing going on.
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SteamGardenTokyo
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« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2015, 11:13:43 pm »

You Japanese inventors seem to have strict definitions of steampunk; American steampunks will have Daniel Boon and Bonnie and Clyde on a carriage-coach train, fighting it out with vacuum tube covered ray guns.

I think you have got us at cross-purposes!!

I thought you were asking if Steam Garden had a strong relationship with Gakutensoku. Specifically, you "assume that the Tokyo Inventors Society is closely associated with this robot". This happens not to be the case. I can't change the fact that gakutensoku did not have any influence on us when we were making the story concepts for Steam Garden.

About your "mashup" point: We are all about cultural mashups. Steam Garden has featured, for example, lost Egyptian technology discovered but hidden by Napoleon, re-discovered by Aleister Crowley and put to use in a scientific-occult scheme to change the world. This is bread and butter to us.

We focus on Meiji and Taisho, from around 1870 until WW1. Simply because we like the periods, and we find it's a good way to keep thematic unity. Just as "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" mashes up all kinds of literature, but stays within roughly the same period for each iteration of the "League".

If someone else wants to make a Showa-period event, that's awesome, we'd totally wish them luck. But Steam Garden has a particular look and feel, and it works really well. We think it is broad enough to do all kinds of fun stories, while retaining a strong sense of the "world". We don't think our approach is "the right way to do Steampunk", we just have our own particular "flavor".

Edit- sorry, it is 7AM and my first draft rambled a bit. This one may, too. Time for bed.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 11:57:15 pm by SteamGardenTokyo » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2015, 12:14:47 am »

Nice to see picture of the Japanese but (slightly off topic) have you approached Danny Choo of Culture Japan?
http://www.dannychoo.com


Hello! We hadn't seen that website before, but it seems to be about Akihabara "moe" culture, and Steam Garden doesn't really gel with that. For a start, none of us are very "cute" Smiley So I don't know what kind of crossover there could possibly be.

Having said that - I just remembered that we did actually team up with "Pullip" dolls a couple of years back for an exhibition and limited-edition charity auction featuring 3 "Tokyo Inventors Society" dolls. So I guess nothing is impossible.




Just for those wondering who the heck Danny Choo is, he is a British born and raised man of Malasian-Chinese origin, who fell in love in Japanese pop culture as a child and dedicated his life to learning Japanese their culture and moved to Japan. His father is a famous shoe designer who has made shoes for the royal family in the UK.  He's an IT "whiz kid" who after college shoed his way through Japan Air Lines, Nature Magazine Japan, and then worked for the likes of Google and Amazon, and made a lot of money before "retiring" to his life project of promoting Japanese culture.  He's a somewhat (understatement) obsessive person who basically has convinced the Japanese government that he is capable of promoting Japanese pop culture, and hence promoting Japanese business over the world. So he receives some support from the Japanese government He attends all sorts of international conventions and meetings and sell in house designed robotic dolls. 
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SteamGardenTokyo
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« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2015, 11:01:39 am »

Well: looks like I'll have to get back to planning the next Steam Garden, so thank you all for your questions and comments.

I hope at the very least I made it a little easier to get in touch if anyone is interested in joining a future Steam Garden event, or simply has questions about Japan. Finally I should include our twitter, homepage and contact details for anyone who wants to keep up to date:

(I'll keep this account at brassgoggles just in case, but I don't recommend sending messages here, there's no telling when I will see them).

Twitter (Mostly Japanese, but big announcements in English too):
https://twitter.com/TokyoSteampunk

Homepage (Almost entirely bilingual):
http://www.tokyosteampunk.com/

Contact form (By far the best way to get in touch! We don't go on social networks or forums very much but email always arrives directly to our inbox and, allowing for time differences, we usually answer within 1 or 2 days)
http://www.tokyosteampunk.com/?page_id=110

Thanks again for the questions, it's really helpful to get all kinds of perspectives to help us constantly improve the event.

Keep on stretching the imagination!!
Kenny, Luke, and the TIS team.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2015, 03:17:41 pm »

Nice to see picture of the Japanese but (slightly off topic) have you approached Danny Choo of Culture Japan?
http://www.dannychoo.com


Hello! We hadn't seen that website before, but it seems to be about Akihabara "moe" culture, and Steam Garden doesn't really gel with that. For a start, none of us are very "cute" Smiley So I don't know what kind of crossover there could possibly be.

Having said that - I just remembered that we did actually team up with "Pullip" dolls a couple of years back for an exhibition and limited-edition charity auction featuring 3 "Tokyo Inventors Society" dolls. So I guess nothing is impossible.




Just for those wondering who the heck Danny Choo is, he is a British born and raised man of Malasian-Chinese origin, who fell in love in Japanese pop culture as a child and dedicated his life to learning Japanese their culture and moved to Japan. His father is a famous shoe designer who has made shoes for the royal family in the UK.  He's an IT "whiz kid" who after college shoed his way through Japan Air Lines, Nature Magazine Japan, and then worked for the likes of Google and Amazon, and made a lot of money before "retiring" to his life project of promoting Japanese culture.  He's a somewhat (understatement) obsessive person who basically has convinced the Japanese government that he is capable of promoting Japanese pop culture, and hence promoting Japanese business over the world. So he receives some support from the Japanese government He attends all sorts of international conventions and meetings and sell in house designed robotic dolls. 


Not to mention that he has made two tv series about Japanese culture.
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RayneSaikoro
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« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2015, 07:46:00 pm »

Your website is beautiful. Are you planning any meetups or events in October?
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SteamGardenTokyo
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« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2015, 10:01:48 pm »

Hello Saikoro, (your name means "dice" in Japanese - I guess you already knew that!)

Right now all I can say for sure is that at Halloween our friends the corset fashion brand "Abilletage" will have their Halloween salon party, definitely good if you like corset fashion.

Any information about Steam Garden or TIS activities is posted on our website and twitter the moment it is decided. If there are no "upcoming events" announced, it means we ourselves have not fixed a date yet - usually because we are still negotiating with a venue, a lengthy and expensive process in Tokyo.

So I'll just have to say , please follow our twitter, or check in on our homepage now and again, and you can always contact us by email if you are coming to Japan and want to know "what's on" around that time.

I'll be unavailable on this forum for a while, so please excuse me for now. Anyone wanting to get in touch, check the links I posted above!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2015, 04:38:18 am »

Well: looks like I'll have to get back to planning the next Steam Garden, so thank you all for your questions and comments.

I hope at the very least I made it a little easier to get in touch if anyone is interested in joining a future Steam Garden event, or simply has questions about Japan. Finally I should include our twitter, homepage and contact details for anyone who wants to keep up to date:

(I'll keep this account at brassgoggles just in case, but I don't recommend sending messages here, there's no telling when I will see them).

Twitter (Mostly Japanese, but big announcements in English too):
https://twitter.com/TokyoSteampunk

Homepage (Almost entirely bilingual):
http://www.tokyosteampunk.com/

Contact form (By far the best way to get in touch! We don't go on social networks or forums very much but email always arrives directly to our inbox and, allowing for time differences, we usually answer within 1 or 2 days)
http://www.tokyosteampunk.com/?page_id=110

Thanks again for the questions, it's really helpful to get all kinds of perspectives to help us constantly improve the event.

Keep on stretching the imagination!!
Kenny, Luke, and the TIS team.


Then I'll keep maintenance on the Steampunk in Japan thread for general Japanese SP, and maintain this thread, if it's a discussion related to TIS / Steam Garden.

Thank you for coming and talking to us, Luke and Kenny! Consider yourselves members of Brassgoggles (like the Hotel California song reads, "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave," mwahahaha!). Feel free to visit us, hopefully not in a very long while!
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2015, 08:19:38 am »

Yes thank you for your replies and for putting me onto a new artist. Sorry I went off on a random tangent, for some reason this place still brings it out in me. Best of luck with your ventures.  Smiley
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Have her steamed and brought to my tent!
SteamGardenTokyo
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« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2015, 05:57:04 pm »

To Saikoro (and everyone else!): you will definitely want to be in October on the 31st, at Laforet Museum in Harajuku. EDIT: I can announce now: Steam Garden presents "Hunters Fair", a wild adventurous steampunky market featuring fantastical gadgets fashion accessories and wild east flavor. Entry free! Updates will gradually be added to the official page as we get closer to the date. http://www.tokyosteampunk.com/?p=1984

To Argus: hey, no problem! the political and philosophical side of SF is really important, without it you've just got "pew pew pew". In the right setting I'll get right into it, but I don't want to mislead people into thinking our event has a political focus. Basically we bring people together to enjoy themselves, and if they get inspired enough to learn about history and so on, that's a great side-effect.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 04:50:28 pm by SteamGardenTokyo » Logged
Clym Angus
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« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2015, 12:55:39 pm »

It is always good to see people getting in touch. It is also good to see people taking different things from Steampunk, historically the Meiji period was one of drastic modernization (I do like my history). One which saw massive change in many aspects of day to day life within a generation or two.

Admittedly there were regrettable events. But there always are (England has stacks of them). Then that is the point isn't it? Take the hope and leave the horror? Learn from the mistakes?

Personally I think there is a lot both personally and culturally that Japan and more specifically Tokyo has that can enrich this fuzzy edged descriptive thing we call Steampunk. On to my question, I hope you will dip into some of the other discussions on our boards? A fresh perspective from different cultures can give us all a better understanding of the nature of discourse.

Kindest regards

Clym
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