Changing Tastes – A Text-Book on the History of Painting by John Charles Van Dyke

A Text-Book on the History of Painting by John Charles Van Dyke was published a century ago. Today it offers the modern reader not only potted, period critiques of important artists, but also a remarkable insight into how aesthetics change from generation to generation. John Charles Van Dyke’s assessments of some work will surprise today’s reader, especially his attitudes towards some contemporary artists who received rather hostile reactions from some quarters when their work was first exhibited.

The book deals with the European tradition. It makes no excuses for this. At the time, non-European art was perhaps less well known in Western critical circles. Perhaps also, it was regarded as somehow inferior, perhaps also merely because it was not European in origin. But Van Dyke does offer us a working distinction that excludes most non-European art from his survey, that of the difference between observation and expression. Only that which aims at expression, for van Dyke at least, is worthy of the label “art”. Somehow ancient Egyptian art makes it into the oeuvre, probably because it was also represented in museums that were close at hand and accessible.

Two painters in particular illustrate the difference in treatment between van Dyke’s age and our own, El Greco and Alma-Tadema. El Greco is hardly mentioned as a figure in sixteenth century Spain, his achievements apparently being regarded as rather localised on Toledo. Thus a figure now regarded as a unique stylist and visionary hardly figures in this text. Alma-Tadema, whose academicism and detail might today offer summary and epitome of the staid Victorian England that toyed euphemistically with the erotic is also dismissed. And one of the few English painters to be raised to the peerage, Frederick Leighton, also did not impress Professor Van Dyke. Neither, it seems, did Albrecht Durer.

Central to Van Dyke’s aesthetic is a judgment as to whether the painter not only represents, interprets and expresses, but also constructs a painting. Mere reality is never enough, it seems, life requiring the skill of an editor or architect to render its experience communicable. It is interesting to reflect on how much or little we still value this aspect of aesthetics in today’s painting.

Some of Van Dyke’s observations will at least entertain. Franz Hals, we learn, lived a rather careless life. William Blake was hardly a painter at all. A Dutchman is attributed with the faint praise of being a unique painter of poultry. Matthew Maris is criticised for being a recorder of visions and dreams rather than the substantial things of earth, while Turner is dismissed as bizarre and extravagant, qualities that today might enhance rather than diminish his reputation.

But Van Dyke’s book remains an interesting, informative and rewarding read, despite its distance from contemporary thinking. He is especially strong in his summary descriptions of the different Italian schools of the late Gothic and Renaissance eras. It is more than useful to be reminded of how independent these city states were at the time and how little they managed to influence one another. A Text-Book on the History of Painting by John Charles Van Dyke remains, then, an essential read for anyone interested in the history of art. Much has changed, but then there is much that has not.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Philip Spires

Forbidden Images of Homosexual and Lesbian Sex in Shunga

Shunga, literally “Images of Spring”, is the generic term used to describe erotic prints, books, scrolls and paintings of Japan.


Only recently (1990s) the study of shunga images depicting homosexual (male-male sex) and lesbian (female-female sex) acts of love have been commenced. This belated research of this “hidden domain” was caused by the official censorship in Japan and also because of the unease and prudery concerning the specific subject-matter in the past.


Homosexuality, in Japanese called nansoku meaning ‘male love’, was not an uncommon phenomenon during the Edo (today’s Tokyo) period in Japan. In the early years of the Tokugawa regime (early 17th century) men greatly outnumbered women in Edo. There were very strict rules imposed by the government inspired by the loyal standards of Confucianism which excluded women to participate in any kind of work with the exception of household tasks. These regulations and the shortage of women can be seen as deciding factors for the huge amount of homosexual activities. The most characteristic feature of the depictions in shunga of male-male sex is the relation between the two involved “lovers”. The leading and dominant male with his shaven head is always the older one, this on the basis of seniority or higher social status, while the subjected passive partner was a pre-pubescent or pubescent boy or a young man depicted with a unshaven forelock. These young boys are often shown in female cloths and therefore easily mistaken for girls. They served as pages to high ranking samurai’s, monks, wealthy merchants or older servants and were most desired during their adolesence especially between the age of 15 and 17 years when the anus was still without hair. There are also several shunga designs on the theme of threesome sex depicting one man (always a young male) in the midst of sexual intercourse with a female partner while being taken from behind by an intruder. In most shunga images representing man/youth anal intercourse, the genitalia of the young man are often concealed focusing the attention of the viewer on the garment and elegant lines of the body.

Female Secrets

While there was a Japanese term for male-male (nanshoku) and male-female sex, joshoku or nyoshoku meaning ‘female love’, there was no such word to describe female-female sex or lesbianism. Most of the shunga’s I have come across as a dealer in the past 15 years regarding explicitly female concentrated designs (approx. 20 !) depicted either isolated women masturbating using her fingers or a harigata (artificial phallus/dildo) or two intimate women using this same sexual device. Hokusai (1760-1849), the most famous Ukiyo-e master designed two lesbian ehon (book) prints including one with two awabi (abalone) divers using a sea cucumber. Up to now the only shunga featuring this subject that has been described in literature is Eiri’s famous design from his oban sized series ‘Models of Calligraphy’ (Fumi no kiyogaki) published in 1801. In their book ‘Shunga, the Art of Love in Japan’ (1975) Tom and Mary Evans make an interesting comparison with Eiri’s (they attribute it to Eisho) shunga design and the paintings of the influential post-impressionist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec:

“Whereas Toulouse-Lautrec concentrated on the emotional bond between the girls, and the sad emptiness of the way of life which thrust them into each other’s arms, Eisho (Eiri) was concerned with the physical details of their relationship. And while even such an open-minded artist as Lautrec felt that such details were more than could be reasonably presented to his public, for the Japanese they were the central feature of the design”. (Evans – ‘Shunga, the Art of Love in Japan’)

It must be emphasized that these images of lesbianism in shunga were the result of male fantasies, designed by men and intended for a male audience.

Profound View

Notwithstanding the embarrassment the Japanese at first felt for the representation of these suppressed themes within the shunga genre it’s exactly these particular images that provide a profound view into the cultural and historical background of their country during the Edo period.

Recommended Literature

‘Shunga, the Art of Love in Japan’ (1975) – Tom and Mary Evans

‘Sex and the Floating World’ (1999) – Timon Screech

‘Japanese Erotic Prints’ (2002) – Inge Klompmakers

‘Japanese Erotic Fantasies’ (2005) – C. Uhlenbeck and M. Winkel

Important Shunga Artists

Hishikawa Moronobu (? -1694)

Suzuki Harunobu (c.1725-1770)

Isoda Koryusai (1735-90)

Chokyosai Eiri (act. c.1789-1801)

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 -1806)

Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815)

Katsukawa Shuncho (act. c.1780s-early 1800s)

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)

Yanagawa Shigenobu (1787-1833)

Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)

Kikugawa Eizan (1787-1867)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)

Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)

Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-89)

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Marijn Kruijff

The Best Ladder Bow in Diablo 2 for the Bowazon – Find Out How to Take Advantage of This Work of Art

Amazons who make use of Bows as their primary weapon (commonly referred to as Bowazons), should take a look at the Faith Runeword. It offers an incredible bonus to weapon damage, and several exciting mods.

This Runeword is only available to Ladder Characters.


4 Socket Missile Weapons

Runes (in order): Ohm + Jah + Lem + Eld

 The Stats:

Level Requirement: 65

Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped (varies)

+1-2 To All Skills (varies)

+330% Enhanced Damage

Ignore Target’s Defense

300% Bonus To Attack Rating

+75% Damage To Undead

+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead

+120 Fire Damage

All Resistances +15

10% Reanimate As: Returned

75% Extra Gold From Monsters

Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped (varies)

This is one of the star mods of the Faith Runeword.

Fanaticism is one of the Paladin’s many Auras, located in the Offensive Aura Skill Tree. It is one of the most popular Auras with Diablo 2 players because not only does it improves the Paladin’s own Attack Speed, Attack Rating and Damage output, but it improves all of the Paladin’s allies’ Damage output as well.

A Level 15 Fanaticism Aura can increase the party’s damage by 144%; this is more than double the amount of original damage! With your Faith Runeword, you can now make use of the incredibly useful Fanaticism Aura, and not only up your own melee prowess, but you’ll be the pride of your allies as well!

+1-2 To All Skills (varies)

All characters of all builds can always enjoy a + to All Skills mod. This is a wonderful mod to have on a weapon.

+330% Enhanced Damage

Improving the damage of your current weapon by a fixed figure of 330% is a huge upgrade in damage potential. Faith might  well be the Grief or Death of missile weapon s due to its high %Enhanced Damage mod.

Ignore Target’s Defense

Great for killing normal monsters quickly, but this ability doesn’t work on Champions, Uniques, Bosses or Players.

300% Bonus To Attack Rating

This will really help out when your % to Hit Monsters go down as you level up and enter Hell Difficulty. A 300% Bonus to Attack Rating is huge, and for this reason, some classes who don’t rely purely on their weapons to kill (casters, or the occasional party-multiplayer oriented Paladin) might decide to give Faith a go. Combine this with an Angelic setup, and they might actually have a decent chance to hit.

+120 Fire Damage

Icing on the cake for anyone who goes for Faith

All Resistances +15

It’s rare for a missile weapon to provide a decent bonus to All Resistance, but Faith’s +15 to All Resistances really can help out with those players who want to max out their Resistance in Hell Difficulty (most players would).

10% Reanimate As: Returned

A very interesting mod for Faith, and certainly visually entertaining on-screen. Kill a monster on stage, and there is a 10% chance that it comes back as a powerful Skeleton. This is not a world-changing, Earth-shattering mod, but it does make using Faith a lot of fun.


This is one great Runeword to make in a bow. Massive weapon damage enhancement, the incredibly useful Fanaticism Aura, decent boost to All Resistances, +1-2 To All Skills, and mega boost to Attack Rating…it may be a bit expensive, but looking at all the stats and mods, it would hard for any player to deny its worth. If you’re rich enough, Faith can be a very nice Runeword to make in a bow and give to your Act 1 Rogue Mercenary, who rarely has nice weapons to choose from due to her dependency on missile weapon. With Faith equipped, she can deal good damage, and provide you with the Fanaticism Aura, while your character, if you were so inclined, can then wear or wield another item that provides  a different aura (Dream Runeword for Holy Shock, Doom Runeword for Holy Freeze), so you’d have a total of two Auras going (or three, if you were a Paladin).

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Dan Massicotte

Celtic Music: The Japanese Connection

My friend, guitarist Brian Hughes, toured with the Chieftain’s in Japan as an opening act with Loreena McKennitt. He then went on to perform with the Chieftains in North America and Europe when they were promoting their album Santiago. In Japan they played about ten shows between Tokyo and Osaka, mainly at soft seat classical concert halls. The seating ranged from 1500 to 4000 capacity. They were booked through the agent Plankton who specializes in Celtic music. Although the audiences were enthusiastic Brian felt that Celtic music was still a niche market in Japan.

Celtic Music and Traditional Japanese Music: A Comparison

If you listen to many of the traditional Japanese folk melodies they have a bittersweet quality that is similar to traditional Celtic music. The Japanese minor pentatonic scale is different from the western one but some phrases especially when they go into the major could easily be bits of Irish or Scottish folk songs. If you look at the traditional transverse folk flute the shinobue, it is really not that different from the fife, or Irish flute in terms of fingering. The technique of sliding and taping with the whistle or the shinobue are also similar.

Where to Find Celtic Music in Japan

The major labels in Japan all have Celtic music under license and CDs are available as imports. A reputable distributor of Irish music in Japan is a company called Music Plant. I think they probably are affiliated with Plankton. JVC (Japan Victor Corporation) directly signed the group ANAM. They have recorded two albums for JVC and have toured Japan three times. A talented young musician from England, Tim Edey who played button accordion on my latest album Celtic Heartland just joined the group recently. There was a company in Tokyo called Trinity who was specializing in importing traditional Celtic CDs but I am not sure they are still in operation. Brian Cullen an Irishman from Wicklow now living in Nagoya has his own label for marketing his own material called Celtic Otter music and he has published collections of ballads.

There is a Celtic festival held annually in Tokyo at Ryutsu Center. They have music and dance performances, fashion shows, arts and crafts exhibitions and seminars and workshops.

There is an organization called CCE Japan that provides lessons for most Irish instruments as well as Set Dance and Gaelic. CCE Japan is the Japanese branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, an association for promoting

Japanese Musicians Specializing in Irish Instruments

There are some quite accomplished Japanese Celtic musicians. Isao Moriyasu, who began as a classical recorder player, now specializes in Irish flutes. He lectures at Kunitachi Music College and has written a book on Irish music. He often performs with his wife Masako who plays Celtic harp, concertina and bodhran. Mayumi Nagaura who is a member of The Rising Pints, also has her own group called BIRD. She is a really good accordion, tin whistle and bodhran player. She has encouraged many other Japanese to learn Irish instruments.

Western Celtic Musicians in Japan

There are a few musicians who have formed groups with foreign and Japanese members. Examples include the Rising Pints and the now defunct Eye Wish as well as a group in Sendai called Callanish.

The Pub Circuit in Japan

There are many Irish pubs in Japan such as Dubliners, O’Carolan’s, The Pint, The Warrior Celt, Shamrock that regularly have music. Irish pubs all have regular sessions as well. Because rent is at a premium particularly in the major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto the venues are smaller than you would expect in America or Europe. Like many jazz clubs in this country the capacity ranges from as little as 50 to 200 comfortably. Brian Cullen reports that the Osaka Dubliners claims to have had 600 customers on a St. Patrick’s day a few years ago. I would say that must be the maximum and that is after a few pints. Westerners are usually surprised by the amount of the cover charges. Generally to see a band a 3000 yen cover charge is pretty typical. CD prices are still about 2500 yen as well.

While Celtic artists are not household names like major rock stars, the interest in Celtic music is likely to continue to grow in Japan for some time to come.

© 2005 Ron Korb – All Rights Reserved

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Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Ron Korb

Interior Painting: Tips From The Experts

Interior painting seems simple enough. Some people hire professionals, and others take on this simple DIY task themselves.

Unfortunately, those DIY enthusiasts often make quite a few mistakes along the way that can leave their living room in less than perfect condition. Often, these are simple mistakes that can easily be avoided.

According to professionals, following these tips can make a paint job look like a professional interior painter did the job no matter how little experience a person has.

Make sure that there is plenty of time

The most common mistake that people make when they refuse to hire an interior painter is rushing to get the job done. When a person tries to hurry up and get something done, they cut corners and they make more mistakes.

Instead, make sure that there is plenty of time to get the job done. This guarantees that a person can take their time when they paint the inside of the house, and they can be careful not to make mistakes.

Wash the walls

Most people know that they have to wash the exterior of the house before painting, but people usually forget about this step when it comes to the inside of the house. The walls on the inside of a house can accumulate dust and dirt, especially if there is trim along the room.

Wash the walls thoroughly and give them plenty of time to dry before applying the first coat of paint to make a job look like it was completed by a professional painter.

Don’t forget the primer

Sometimes, a fresh coat of paint will easily go over the paint that is already there. Sometimes, it may take a coat or two, which can lead to the paint being darker than the homeowners intended.

Avoid having a medium blue living room instead of a sky blue living room by picking up a primer. Most home improvement stores sell high quality paint that has a built-in primer to make sure that it goes on in one coat.

Don’t spread out the job over several days

When a person paints the inside of the house, they usually feel like they have all the time in the world, but this might not turn out so well.

If a person paints one part of a room one day, and spreads the rest of the room out over several days or weeks, it can lead to the paint being two different colors. This usually depends on the type of paint, and it might not be noticeable with lighter colors. On the other hand, it could look like the painter used two different colors on the interior.

When painting, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get it done in one day if possible.

Trim tools

Instead of trying to paint the trim with a standard paint brush, it’s better to pick up a nice tool to paint the part of the wall where it meets the trim. Products that have a guard that sits beside a small roller will make sure that the paint for the walls does not get on the trim.

While these tools are recommended by interior painters, there are several other tools available on the market that will do the same job. Those without previous experience painting will find these tools extremely helpful during the painting process.

Paint evenly

If it is possible, make sure to spread the paint evenly across the wall. If there is more paint on one part of the wall versus another, it will result in the wall being two different colors. The areas that have more paint on them will be a darker color than the rest of the wall.

It may sound like a lot of work, but all it takes is some time and thought to make sure that the inside of a home looks as though it were painted by professional interior painters.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Josh Berner

Know About the Fundamental Aspects to Become a Perfect Embroidery Digitizer

Knowing about the incredible phenomenon of embroidery punching, it is significant to understand that a large number of people get enthusiastic while learning about this special form of modern art.

It is such an amazing procedure that can be a permanent skill for uncountable digitizers with the passage of time by enough practice and essential knowledge.

It is just a matter of learning step by step procedures and the practice becomes voluntary once being highly trained in this incredible chore of work. However, there are three significant kinds of fundamental aspects that you need to learn before you start an embroidery digitizing business.

First of all, you need to get involved in learning about the basic tools and commands of a particular embroidery machine that how it works in coordination with different fabrics, threads, needles and so on and so forth. At the same time, it is also significant to look upon the effect of the production method on to a final design or pattern after being embroidered on a particular fabric type or other diverse products.

Then comes the turn of getting a basic understanding of an in-depth knowledge about the digitizing process as well as embroidery process.

For that matter, the essential elements like stitch terminology and their varying types of usage, role of underlay in a particular design and its impact on the quality of a design, the different types of distortion i.e. push and pull and their techniques of adjustments for avoiding rippling as well as puckering, sequence adjustment in the running of a particular design, the angles of stitching, overlapping and joints types and controlling of unraveling etc. are pertinent to know about in detail for the sake of procuring best embroidery digitizing designs and patterns on your chosen fabric or other diverse products.

However, it would not be wrong to say that applying knowledge to your desired digitizing designs, the most important thing is to learn the specific skills of your chosen embroidery software. Additionally, you should have a clear idea of using them in an appropriate manner for the sake of achieving perfect designs. In this regard, another important aspect is to have a fundamental knowledge of importing various graphical files, setting them according to your inbuilt commands of computer and then transferring them to the embroidery machine by using appropriate tools. In addition to this, you should have a complete knowledge to maximize the efficiency of your chosen software by using special commands and procedures. Also, knowing about the layout and editing tools is also very important in the acquisition of brilliant digitizing designs.

In the view of this, it would be truly right to say that while embroidering of diverse fabric types and other relevant products like handbags, cushions, bed sheets, bandanas, sporting goods and so on and so forth; you only need to have an in-depth interest in the whole process. This in return would help you out in being a perfectionist in the associated trading system.

For example, you primarily get to know about all the basics of this special trade. Knowing about diverse materials, equipment, true craftsmanship, efficient designing, proper sequencing as well as the construction of the whole design becomes so easy and relaxing for you that it becomes a common routine of your designing world.

Therefore, according to a common understanding, along with your creative, talented, and innovative artistic skills of the associated business type, a yearly practice and immense training of going through different processes is highly important in being the best artist in both the digitizing and embroidery industry, so never stop learning and achieve what you desire.

Know about the fundamental aspects to become a perfect embroidery digitizer

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Natasha Clarie

Magic Lines of Uli Art Style

Uli is an expression of the people’s capacity for creative design, which is firmly rooted in their myths and their experience of life in the past, present and future. At its best, it is an expression of their synthetic present, the epic of their search for a new order in the contemporary world. It is my traditional art style, which I have fallen in love with all over again and it is a privilege to share uli with you in my works. It has been shown that the knowledge of uli motifs and symbols and their application enables one to identify the traditional Igbo artifacts, giving validity to the people’s aesthetic intelligence and judgment. This culture is one of the first known cultures of the world in the recorded archeologically facts to have done bronze casting. (Igboukwu bronze).

Uli symbols may be said to show graphically how the organic forms grow outwards from the core of those elements to point, line, triangle, square and circle that are universal to the concentric circle at the periphery, which contains reflections of everyday world as seen by the artists. Just as the inner circle reflects the uncommon reality or ritual reality of the cultural existence, so the outer circle is in contact with the human and ecological reality, which it expresses.

Artistic activities at Enugu formed part of the early post-1960 independence developments in the country. There was the growing local and international popularity of Nigerian novelists, dramatists, poets, literary critics, architects, artists, and musicians, and scholars. Interesting collaborations took place among those in the literary performing, and visual arts, particularly in southern Nigeria. The efforts and artistic lives of these minds sowed a flourishing seed for an uncommon global harvest. I give thanks to God for these great minds, your outstanding contributions will not be forgotten.

Uli creations relied heavily on drawing skills whose content is based largely on Igbo culture, particularly female body and wall painting called uli and on Igbo tales, ceremonies, and beliefs. The revival of interest in uli through contemporary art had begun with Uche Okeke in the 1960s, when Nigeria’s independence produced a growing sense of freedom from colonial restraints on cultural tradition. It fully developed among teachers and students in the 1970s at the University in Nsukka and was linked to renewed interest in Igbo culture after the destructive Biafran War.

Traditional uli motifs, now rarely painted on human bodies or walls, have a strong linear, often curvilinear, quality. The art makes use of contrasts between positive and negative space, its images at times appearing as sky constellations. Uli’s lyrical qualities express harmony and brevity. It is art style that has often been created in freedom and spontaneity. “Uli is a pride heritage”. Uli motifs generally refer to images of everyday Igbo life, farm and cooking tools, pots, plants, birds, animals, the sun, the moon, and the kola nut, though some are pure design. For ceremonial occasions and important events, skilled Igbo female artists painted uli to add beauty to the human body and the walls of buildings and compounds. Uli has made her way in modern social settings; on sculptural surfaces and on paper, board, and canvas, framed and hung on walls in homes, institutions, and galleries of the world.

Magic of Uli Lines, which is an extended dot or a moving point, has very many possibilities, particularly, the quickly drawn one. My drawing explores the evocative and lyrical possibilities of line and derives from Uli. The Uli artist works spontaneously whether on the human body or the wall. There is no question of erasing or cleaning. There is something about the spontaneously executed work, a breathtaking vitality and freshness that defy description or repetition.

An analysis of Igbo drawing and painting reveals that space, line pattern, brevity and spontaneity seem to be the pillars on which the rich tradition and heritage rests. It is these unique qualities that I strive for, both intuitive and intellectually to assimilate in my work. Intuitively, because during my years of studying and looking at Igbo sculpture, drawing and painting, various aspects of design and recurrent motifs have become internalized in my system and inevitably surface unconsciously in the course of executing my aesthetic challenges. It is perhaps needless to add that the great works of art is a result of the harmonious marriage of intellect and intuition.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Chidi Okoye

Japanese Glossary For Image Board Users

Image boards have become a popular web pastime in recent years. If you’ve been to places like 4chan, 7chan, and the like, you’ve seen a unique culture that mixes illustrated and photographic art from both Western and Japanese culture. After you browse these places for awhile, it starts to become apparent that Japanese and English are mixed together so much, you need a foot in each culture to understand what’s going on.

So here’s a guide to the most common Japanese words you’ll find in the world of image boards. Keep in mind that these places are inhabited mostly by anime, manga, and video game fans, so most of the terms have to do with this culture.

anime – Japanese animation. All animated cartoons originating in Japan.

baka – A fool, or art representing foolishness. Disney’s character Goofy would be considered baka.

bancho – A delinquent or rebellious boy.

bara – A gay man, or art appealing to or depicting gay men.

bishojo – A beautiful young woman, older than adolescence but younger than university age.

bukkake – A fetish for messy sex, and art depicting this fetish.

burikko – An adult pretending to be a child. Features in art depicting age-play.

-chan – A suffix meaning “relating to;” also a Japanese honorific.

chibi – A short, small person or a very young child. Also a specific anime/manga drawing style, making a character appear dwarfish or distorted. Western cartoon elves might be considered chibi.

cosplay – The activity of dressing up as a favorite character from anime/mange. Frequently done at comic book conventions and other fan events.

desu – A short Japanese word that links a noun and verb, literally translated as “it is.” Image boards have taken this as a meme, often repeating “desu desu desu,” for various reasons, including to tease the newbies or stubbornly persist in an argument.

doujinshi – Self-published work. The equivalent of desktop self-publishing for manga.

ecchi – The generic term for sexual material.

futanari – Hermaphrodites, or art depicting hermaphrodites. Half-male-half-female.

gaiden – Side or supplemental material. In image boards, gaiden would be some four-panel cartoons of manga characters, depicting events that don’t count in the manga itself. A side-story or spin-off.

guro – Very gross pornography depicting extreme injuries, mutilation, or death. The manga equivalent of “snuff porn.”

hentai – Erotic bondage manga. Most erotic Japanese illustrative material falls into this category.

hikikomori – An otaku taken to the next level: a loner and outsider whose only interest is anime/manga fandom. The equivalent of a Western “basement geek,” only suggesting a neurotic, unhealthy degree of both obsession and isolation.

itasha – The subculture of decorating a vehicle with decals of manga/anime characters.

josei – A manga genre appealing to adult women. The equivalent of Western soap-operas.

kaitou – A mysterious. elusive thief. Also someone with phantom-like aspects. A stealthy person who lives in the shadows. The equivalent of Western rogue or hobbit.

katana – A Japanese sword. About 99% of the time when you see ninjas and samurai with swords, they’re shown wielding katanas.

kawaii – Meeting the Japanese standard for “cute.”

kawaiiko – A cute child.

kei – Originally a sculpture style used to depict Buddha. As opposed to the more familiar (to the West) vision of Buddha as a jolly, laughing fellow, Japanese Buddhas are slim and serious.

lolicon – A slang term shared between Japanese and Western culture, for the preference for child-like depictions of women.

manga – Japanese comic books. All graphic, printed media of a cartoon nature originating in Japan.

mangaka – A manga creator. Japanese for “cartoonist.”

manzai – A style of humor involving a comedic duo of one “straight man” and one “funny man.” In Western culture, Abbot and Costello would be considered manzai.

mecha – Anime or manga involving large, armored, warrior robots, usually piloted by a human inside.

meganekko – The attraction to girls who wear glasses. Anime or manga depicting “geeky” girls.

miko – A female temple attendant. The equivalent to a Western nun.

moe – A slang term for a fan of anime or manga, or the attraction to anime and manga characters.

neko – A kitten or a cat, especially when shown as being cute. Also applies to describe a woman in a cat costume, or half-human-half-cats.

oekaki – Scribbling and doodling. Amateur art by fans.

ojou – A high-class or wealthy woman.

omorashi – A fetish for urination. The equivalent of Western “water sports.”

oni – A demon or evil spirit.

oranyan – A male who is by turns aggressive and aloof, and sweet and charming.

otaku – A very strong fan of manga, anime, or video games. More serious than moe, not as serious as hikikomori.

pokemon – The most famous anime/ manga/ video game franchise in Japan.

sakura – A cherry blossom. A very common artistic theme in Japan.

seinen – A manga genre appealing to adult men. The male equivalent of josei.

sensei – A teacher or master.

sentai – Japanese superheros. Also refers to military heros; in the West, Hercules and G.I. Joe would both fall under the category of sentai.

shibari – Japanese bondage, involving rope bondage raised to an intricate and specialized art form.

shinigami – A Japanese angel of death, in mythology. The equivalent of the Western “grim reaper,” although shinigami are a whole class of entities and not just one.

shojo – A manga genre appealing to young women and girls. The younger equivalent of josei.

shonen – A manga genre appealing to young men and boys. Usually action and adventure stories.

shotacon – The Japanese version of “boy’s love,” the depiction of young boys in an erotic context. The male version of lolicon.

sukeban – A delinquent or rebellious girl.

tan – A suffix meaning a character used as a mascot for a product. For instance, characters used to represent different computer operating systems are “OS-tans.”

tsundere – A female who is by turns aggressive and aloof, and sweet and charming.

yakuza – Japanese gangs and gangsters. Organized crime. The equivalent of Western Mafia.

yandere – A psychotic stalker. A genre of Japanese manga/anime depicting shy, quiet people who become smitten to the point of obsession with someone, eventually turning violent and abusive, maybe even murderous.

yaoi – Japanese manga/anime depicting male homosexuals but intended for females. In the West, if you made fiction especially for “fag hags,” it would be called yaoi.

yuri – A lesbian, or art appealing to or depicting gay women.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Pete Trbovich

The Art of Assertiveness

Assertiveness is the art of being vigorously self-assured. It is being able to tactfully express your opinions, feelings and rights without hesitation in a way that doesn’t offend others. However, a thin line separates assertiveness from aggressiveness. Being assertive comes from a sense of self-worth and confidence, hence reflects strength, while being aggressive comes with the need to defend hence, it conveys hostility.

Unassertive Behavior

While growing up the world teaches us the art of ‘fitting in’ or ‘blending into the background’. Which means that even though our opinions and desires would differ from those around us, we are taught not to voice them because that might bring unnecessary attention towards us and the probability of it being negative is high. So we walk through life accepting situations that are internally unacceptable by us. This is highly dangerous because it leads to ‘escapist behaviour’. We escape situations that require a response by simply letting others take the lead and make crucial decisions on our behalf. Following a leader isn’t necessarily wrong, but keeping quiet when the outcome is impermissible is a mark of unassertiveness.

Advantages of Being Assertive

An assertive approach allows effective, honest and solution-oriented communication. It allows positive control over a situation and an attitude of fairness towards both parties.

Since most of us are used to being unassertive and docile, adopting an assertive style might be challenging initially. Small risks have to be taken in daily conversations. This way an assertive approach can be adopted gradually and with minimum risk.

Being assertive, however, doesn’t mean being disrespectful. An important thing to keep in mind while learning how to practice assertiveness is to remember that the other person is entitled to their opinions and rights too. Your task is not to prove them wrong but to glorify your own point. The tone and volume in which you speak is a key factor that differentiates assertiveness from aggressiveness.

“Assertiveness is your ability to act in harmony with your self-esteem without hurting others.”

Different Communication Styles

The four different styles of communication are passive, aggressive, manipulative and assertive.

  • Passive:

A passive style is okay with others dictating the flow even when it is unacceptable for them. It is avoiding conflict at all times by keeping quiet and playing safe.

  • Aggressive:

An aggressive style wants to win at all costs and is focused on proving the other party wrong.

  • Manipulative:

A manipulative style is quiet but sly and hostile at the same time. It manipulates the situation without being in the focus.

  • Assertive:

An assertive style is empathetic and looks for a win-win solution for both the parties.

Each of these communication styles is used by us in varying degrees and at different times. Our communication style changes depending on the people we are communicating with. For example, owing to a strong comfort level, a person could be assertive with his family but passive in a professional background due to lack of confidence.

Pursuing an Assertive Style

A common mistake most people make while trying to be assertive is that they simply raise their voice and become more demanding. This increases hostility and the desired outcome is rarely achieved. Being assertive requires the tactful use of both language and behaviour.

To communicate assertively you need to keep in mind two key elements- how and what? How you communicate refers to your tone and volume, while what you communicate is about the script you use. The script includes the language you chose and how well you are putting across your message. The best way to implement this is to frame a draft in advance and rehearse it a few times in different tones in front of the mirror. This way you can edit and choose the most appropriate words and tone.

Preparing an Assertive Script

• Focus on the message you’d like to communicate. Do not include too many different messages since that creates confusion and the real aim is lost. Pick a point that is most important to you and emphasize on it.

• Use positive language. Your choice of words should be such that it communicates your message without proving the other party wrong.

For example, your boss is suggesting that you conduct a meeting in a particular fashion. Instead of outwardly turning him down and declining his suggestion, put forth yours by saying, “That is a lovely suggestion but how about we try a new approach this time? I’ve been researching about it, and I think this is the right time to try it!” This way you have shown appreciation for his suggestion while also speaking about what you’d like to do.

• Be flexible with regard to the outcome you desire. Being assertive doesn’t mean you have to win. Sticking to a pre-defined outcome fans the air of conflict. Rather channel your energy towards creating a win-win situation. And this can only be done by showing the other party that you genuinely have the best interests in mind for them.

“Being assertive and somewhat really firm has to be backed up with being fair.”- Gordon Ramsay

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Virendra Rathore

Tea Facts – Why the Shape of the Japanese Tea Bowl Is So Important

Japanese tea sets are considered today as a status symbol in Japanese and Asian homes, and they come in certain shapes and a great variety of colors, sizes, and styles, both to give every tea enthusiast a fine tea-drinking experience and the chance to enjoy the creativity and ingenuity of the Japanese potters and artists in creating superior quality tea pots, tea bowls, and tea cups, which transcend both time and culture.

A Basic Guide to the Shapes of Japanese Tea Bowls

The relationship between Japanese tea bowls, also known as Chawan, and Japanese teas can be slightly compared to that of wines and wine glasses, or of beer and beer steins, in that their shapes, basically answer the preparation, serving requirement, and serving temperature needs of specific or certain varieties of Japanese tea, which, in effect, brings out the best flavor and aroma of the latter, as well as answer the needs of their user.

The Common Shapes of Japanese Bowls for Tea

Japanese bowls for tea are found in various shapes, among which are half-circle shaped; circle-shaped, which is usually distinguished for its tapered rim; cylindrical, which are usually found among the everyday tea cups, called Yunomi; half-cylindrical, which appears almost rectangular due to its low height and the equal diameter of the bowl from the bottom to the rim; funnel-shaped, which includes the shallow but wide summer tea bowls; inverted bell-shaped; triangular, and square-shaped, among many others.

Which Shape to Choose when Preparing or Serving a Japanese Tea?

Basically, it depends upon a few factors, like the:

The Type of Japanese Tea: Aromatic varieties, like the Ryokucha and Sencha, for instance, are usually served on the half-circle or bell-shaped bowls, which wide and concave rim allows their aroma to escape and linger easily, while the same shapes are preferred for preparing and serving the Matcha, or the powdered green tea that is used during Japanese tea ceremonies, as their wide bowl shape allows a good space for the bamboo tea whisk to be worked with ease and to efficiently mix water and Matcha together without spilling.

The Bancha and Hojicha, on the other hand, are customarily served on a Yunomi as its taller than wide shape not only proves easy to hold for everyday tea drinking, their generally thick walls also helps to keep the Bancha and Hojicha warm for a long time.

The Season: Low and wide-rimmed bowls are used in summer, which allow tea to cool easily, while the narrow and tall varieties are used during the winter to keep the tea warm for a long time.

The Occasion: Certain Chawan flaunt a rare shape, like the diamond-shaped tea bowls, which some people reserve for special occasions or choose according to their design aesthetics, or are designed for a purpose, like the Rider’s Cup, which tall stem or foot makes them convenient for the ancient horse-riders to drink tea from.

Pick the Right Japanese Bowl for Your Tea

Enjoy drinking your Japanese tea on the right tea bowl shape and don’t stop there though: Pick the shade, color, and style of tea bowl that suits your style, the occasion, or your guest; the appropriate size for serving a specific type of tea; and, don’t be afraid to try those in fancy shapes to make your tea drinking experience more fun and exciting.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Anne Therese

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