21 December, 2005


Asian horror films were dominated by exceptionally bad B-movies until films such as the Ring and Ju-on hit the screens. Ju-on, later remade by Sam Raimi, of Evil Dead and Spider-man fame, was one of AsiaPundit’s first re-introductions to Asian horror… and it was darn creepy (Mrs AsiaPundit, who generally embraces Mr AP’s love of zombie films, couldn’t watch).

Why was a low-budget film so effective at scaring the Gaijin, those who were raised on the Exorcist and Prince of Darkness? Possibly because the Westerners couldn’t figure out why the ghost of a child would be so keen on killing everybody. Japundit explains.:

JuonIn many Western stories, ghosts are often motivated by the same things as living people namely the pursuit of justice for wrongdoings. The ghost of a murdered person will seek vengeance on the person or persons responsible for their death.

If a ghost is malevolent, it often turns out they were a bad person in life — as in the back-story to the main ghost character in the Poltergeist (1982-1986) movies.

To understand the nature of the supernatural entity of “The Grudge,” one has to understand Japanese belief in spirits and the supernatural.

In the book Ghosts and the Japanese: Cultural Experience in Japanese Death Legends by Michiko Iwasaka, there is a passage which is a direct echo of the opening lines of the movie:

“Anyone who dies under great emotional stress creates an energy which is not easily dissipated; these yurei [ghosts], thus, have an impact on the local environment. . .”

This type of spirit is called a goryo — vengeful ghost. A goryo, however, is less like a consciously aware ghost that plots revenge and would be more familiar to Western audiences. A goryo is more like the energy of the emotion created at the time of death. And to some degree it represents the unconscious mind free of the limitations and morals of the conscious analytic side.

Formal belief in goryo can be traced to the Heian Period (794-1185) when goryo were thought to be the angry spirits of political enemies that had died in exile or had been executed.

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by @ 9:54 pm. Filed under Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Film

50 hypnotized japanese women

Brian David Philips, Taiwan-based American hypnotist, without a doubt maintains the weirdest site in AsiaPundit’s blogroll. Here, Brian offers a straight-faced review of, err, a Japanese erotic mass hypnosis video.

Imagine . . . if you will . . . fifty young women, well, mostly young . . . ranging in age from eighteen to fifty-five with the bulk of them in their very early twenties . . . most of them quite attractive and adventurous . . . from different walks of life . . . all of them stepping into an exciting new event they’ve never tried before . . . mass group erotic hypnosis.

A Onna E Onna Two (aka E Nu A Nu) is the sequel to the very popular preceeding piece, the first of the mass group erotic hypnosis videos. I’ve never seen the original piece (would love to have a copy, but haven’t found one readily available here) but the still photos I’ve seen stand out similar to the clip going around where a large group of girls were hypnotized so that loud sounds would make them orgasm then they’re sent on a crawling obstacle race with a buch of guys making loud sounds all around them. You can see that clip from (NSFW).

Picture 2

The sequel is equally as ambitious, albeit without the big name hypnotist and with perhaps more sexual content then the previous film.

Overall, it is an interesting video and worth having if you are particularly interested in hypnosis. The mass group erotic hypnosis element is very interesting in and of itself as there aren’t many examples of this sort of work outside the private videos of some of the folks who do ritual trance pieces for the likes of the Temple of Ishtar so it’s worth having for its curiousity value and to see some techniques for managing large groups for effects or experiential hypnosis.

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by @ 8:59 pm. Filed under Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

india’s sting season

Via Amit Varma’s India Uncut, six more Indian parliamentarians have been exposed as corrupt through a journalistic sting operation.:

Sting2NEW DELHI: Last week 11 MPs had to wrestle with Duryodhan. Now six others have been trapped in a Chakravyuh.

A sting operation, codenamed Chakrayvuh, conducted over six months by two former Tehelka journalists, Jamshed Khan and Mayabhushan Nagvekar, and telecast on STAR News on Monday showed six MPs striking deals to get projects implemented in their constituencies using funds from the MPs’ Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

The exposé comes exactly a week after Operation Duryodhan, conducted by another former Tehelka journalist, Aniruddha Bahal, and telecast on Aaj Tak, showed 11 MPs accepting bribes to raise questions in Parliament. In fact, Chakra-vyuh had to be wound up after Duryodhan because MPs had become wary of requests from unknown parties.

Under the MPLADS, Rs2 crore is sanctioned every year to all members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for carrying out developmental works of their choice in their constituencies. With nearly 780 MPs in Parliament, the annual budget for the scheme works out to Rs1560 crore.

Indian journalists seem far more willing to resort to entrapment than their Western peers. That’s not likely because of different ethical standards, it’s probably because none of us can afford to bribe a Western politician. We simply don’t have the budget to compete with the lobbyists.

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by @ 8:15 pm. Filed under India, Asia, South Asia

facebook identity theft

At one of the Pacific Epoch blogs, which are an invaluable resource on internet and technology businesses in China, Elias reports that Chinese site Xiaonei has produced a blatant rip-off of US social-networking site facebook.:

I said in the previous post that Xiaonei is an almost exact copy of the Facebook site. I included some screenshots below comparing the sites. This is the original Facebook website:


This is Xiaonei’s site, taken Monday:


The site has undergone a slight modification since the theft.

(Via the Stalwart, who has more to add.)

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by @ 3:49 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech

india’s labor deficit

Although both India and China each boast populations of more than a billion souls, the two giants also face severe labor shortages in key areas. Via the New Economist, a Bloomberg column on the situation faced by Indian call centers.:

CallcenterTo maintain its global share of 65 percent in information technology and 46 percent in business-process outsourcing, the country will need 2.3 million professionals by 2010. According to McKinsey’s calculations, India may face a deficit of as many as 500,000 workers. As much as 70 percent of the shortage will crop up in call centers and other back-office businesses, where proficiency in English is the No. 1 prerequisite for landing a job.

People within the Indian outsourcing industry are aware of the problem: A number of executives cite high employee attrition and galloping wages as signs that the labor market for undergraduates in India is getting tighter.

It isn’t obvious why that should be so. In a country where millions of educated young people are unemployed, why do call centers feel compelled to give pay raises of 10 percent to 15 percent a year? Why don’t they boot out the highly paid workers and grab the eager aspirants?

And why do they offer their employees free dance lessons on top of a $4,000 annual wage — worth $36,000 when adjusted for purchasing power in the local currency — when they can’t pass on the increase in costs to the U.S. bank or the European insurance company that is paying for the call centers’ services?

The answers may have a lot to do with India’s education system. A labor shortage is bound to surface unless India’s colleges can produce more employable graduates.

McKinsey produced a similar item on China’s plight a few weeks earlier. While this may raise concerns on whether China and Indian have the human capital needed to sustain their booming economies, overall it should be seen as an amazingly good thing. The end result of this is a push for higher wages and improved education in both countries.

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by @ 3:33 pm. Filed under China, India, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, South Asia

lee kwan yew vs. park chung hee

In an interesting read, Jeff Ooi challenges the ‘myth’ of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kwan-yew, suggesting that South Korea has done far more with far less, and has overcome more difficulties.


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by @ 12:02 am. Filed under South Korea, Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

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