I really do like Mitsuoka. They’re weird and fun, and it’s impossible to be an automotive enthusiast without appreciating their accomplishments over the years. However, I’m about to say some very bad things about Mitsuoka. Because, with one exception, damn, Mitsuoka makes some ugly automobiles: Like that photo of a baby with Rowan Atkinson’s face, there’s… Continue reading Opulence. Mitsuoka Le-Seyde Has It.
The VM180 Zagato Toyota MR-S, and a Brief MR2 History
The Toyota MR2 is a wonderful little mid-engine, rear-drive masterpiece that was conceived back in the ’70s, launched in 1984 and soldiered on for more than twenty years. Mid-engine platforms had been rolling off a number of production lines since the 1960s (and even prior to that in a few micro cars), yet the MR2… Continue reading The VM180 Zagato Toyota MR-S, and a Brief MR2 History
Robot Restaurant Is Surreal and Spectacular
Visiting Robot Restaurant is a mind blowing, near spiritual experience that can’t easily be put into words. Thank goodness they allow photos and videos to be taken inside, because I’m not sure anyone would believe me if I tried to explain this place to them. It’s a fantasy world – a complete, alternate reality the… Continue reading Robot Restaurant Is Surreal and Spectacular
Engrish in Japan
Engrish is a real phenomenon. It’s not fair to poke fun too much at it (let’s be sure to check that English privilege), but sometimes the culprits have it coming. For example, when English is used for decorative purposes – especially in designs, logos, taglines and invented names – it almost always gets butchered because… Continue reading Engrish in Japan
Our Old Neighborhood in Kobe Was So Weird
Our home in Kobe was in a small, peaceful residential area bordered by love hotels and mountainside. On the surface, it was nothing special, just another cluster of homes with just a sprinkling of tiny shops. Beneath the facade, there was a sense of uneasiness – tension, even – as if something very, very bad happened there long ago. This was a neighborhood characterized by voyeurism and paranoia; I never felt alone there, but I knew I was being watched and kept at a distance.