Ok, so the weird thing about being in a media conversation is that people come into it at different times and different ways. The public opening lectures for the program that I didn't get into in Tokyo on Media Mix were on Monday, and so I went. There was one anthropologist talking about anime production and the forces that drive it as communal effort (he wasn't ignoring the commerical aspect, but the people who create Japanese animation aren't making buckets of money off of it, they're doing it in tiny paper-filled offices tucked away on the second floor in some commercial area in Tokyo, not in ritzy sci-fi like spaces with touch screens or anything). There was a French-theory trained ... I think he was a sociologist? Who was simultaneously dismissive of the Media under consideration in this context and far too deeply embedded in it in his work group's projects (one of which was a kind of twitter-based rating system that you could use during conferences to elevate back-channel chatting to a whole weird critical evaluation level). Made for lots of food for thought though, and it was fun to get to see my friends who are at the conference and meet with the professors running it. And one of them sort of suggested that I could sit in on the classes if I wanted (though only him, and I don't want to cross the rigid Japanese-led organizers who categorically said no, unless i get TRULY bored).
Ok, so it just looks like a pretty box right? the thing to notice is when you get close up to it (LIKE CLOSE UP) the color variations are created because the person who made the box put layers of colored lacquer on the box, then carved away parts of the layers to get to the properly colored one. There were a couple of examples - all pretty amazing.