Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s awesome samurai armor exhibition

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RocketNews 24:

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, also known by the acronym LACMA, the museum is right in the middle of its exhibition titled Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection.

Swiss transplant and Texas real estate mogul Gabriel has amassed a staggering array of samurai protective gear, a portion of which is currently on loan to the museum located adjacent to Hancock Park on Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles.

▼ Note the tengu (raven) motif of the face plate for the left set of armor.

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▼ Helmet ornamentation, from animal-like to religious to just plain massive.

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More than 140 pieces including lamellar breastplates, helms, face guards, and barding are on display. The exhibit is centered on armor worn by high-ranking samurai and daimyo, the regional warlords who ruled fiefs during Japan’s feudal era.

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The pieces vary in age from 14th to 19th century examples, and this broad range is reflected in changes made to armor design as the samurai adapted to the changing nature of battle. During the period in question, military engagements evolved from horseback archery to clashes of spear and sword-wielding infantry, and finally musket volleys when firearms became prevalent after contact with more technologically advanced European nations.

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The exhibition is scheduled run until February 1, so clear out your calendar quickly if you don’t want to miss the opportunity to see these awesome remnants of Japanese history.

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Museum information
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Address: 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection website

Snowboarding prodigy Chloe Kim, 14, youngest to win gold at Winter X Games

photo by Brett Wilhelm:ESPN

Grind TV:

Kelly Clark, referred to as the queen of women’s snowboarding, was seeking her sixth straight worldwide Winter X Games gold medal in superpipe but was denied by a 14-year-old prodigy who made history in Aspen on Saturday night.

The future of women’s snowboarding has arrived and her name is Chloe Kim, who became the youngest competitor to ever win a gold medal at a Winter X Games, doing so by beating her idol, Clark.

The gold comes a year after Kim made her Winter X debut by winning a silver medal and becoming the youngest to win a medal at a Winter X Games, at age 13. You might recall she was too young to compete in the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The winning run included a switch method cab 900, switchback 720, McTwist and a front 900, and it came on her third and final run, giving her a score of 92 points and catapulting her past Clark, who had a top run of 90.

My face kinda hurts right now, and I’m so amazed I was able to land all that, and it was so fun,” Chloe said. “It feels great. I just tried to grab all of my tricks and I feel so happy to win the gold medal at X Games.”

Chloe Kim, 14, became the youngest to win a gold medal at Winter X Games. Photo is a screen grab from the video

Chloe Kim, 14, became the youngest to win a gold medal at Winter X Games.

Kim’s bloodied upper lip and bandage on her cheek was the result of hitting the deck on the final hit of her final practice run.

The result probably didn’t surprise Clark, who took her fifth superpipe silver medal at a Winter X Games. She has been quite impressed with Chloe.“I think I was more scared after all that happened,” Chloe said, according to the Denver Post.

It was my last practice run. The contest starting in five minutes and I just fell on my face really hard. It wasn’t really an injury. It was more about coming back and trying to do this all over again and kind of forget that that happened. Going into my first run my legs were shaking.”

She’s one of the most talented athletes I’ve seen in a long time,” Clark told the Washington Times before the event. “She’s amazing now and she has tons of potential.”

She proved that Saturday night. No doubt you’ll be hearing the name Chloe Kim many more times in the future.

UNDERCOVER (Japan) 2015 Fall/Winter Lookbook

29th Harajuku Fashion Walk

This year’s very first Harajuku Fashion Walk took a different route through Harajuku…

The first Harajuku Fashion Walk of 2015 took place in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district today. Once again, there were a lot of participants from abroad, the majority of them living in Japan. Junnyan wanted to started the new year afresh, so we took a different route this time, walking partly through the overcrowded Takeshita-dori. The many tourists here were delighted to see us.

The next Harajuku Fashion Walk will take place on Sunday, February 22. Departure, as usual, at 2 PM from the Takeshita-dori exit of JR Harajuku Station. Mark your calendar!

Hong Kong police hunt 13 year old girl over diamond heist

The Telegraph: 

Hong Kong police say they are hunting a girl aged between 12 and 14 years old over the theft of a diamond necklace worth more than HK$36 million (£3.5 million) from a luxury jewelry store.

Police say she helped carry out the audacious theft with two women and a man, all aged between 30 and 40.

The adults “pretended to be customers choosing items from the shop” police said, while the girl stole the necklace. The gang of four then left the store before a staff member realized it was missing.

The necklace was 100-carat gold embedded with more than 30 diamonds, the South China Morning Post said, and police confirmed it was worth HK$36 million.

The young girl managed to steal a key from a drawer to open a cabinet while staff were distracted, the SCMP said, citing an unnamed police source.

The three adults posed as big spenders and demanded employees show them jewellery in an apparent move to divert staff attention,” the source said.

Local media reported that the theft was from the Emperor Jewellery store in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, but the store would not confirm it had been targeted when contacted by AFP.

A CCTV capture of the girl leaving the gold smith shop in Tsim Sha Tsui (HK POLICE)

The girl was caught on CCTV as she left the mall, the SCMP said, showing a picture of a girl dressed in black trousers, a blue shirt and a grey hooded top.

Police described her as “slimly built“.

The gang spent around half an hour in the shop and staff did not notice the necklace was missing until later in the day, the SCMP added.

Wooyoungmi 2015 Fall/Winter Collection


Ronin sets a new standard for turn-based ninja stealth-action tactical platformers

“Oh man, Gunpoint,” the person standing behind me at the demo station exclaimed. “I love Gunpoint!”

I wasn’t playing Gunpoint, though you could be forgiven for thinking so — I was actually playing Ronin, a clever action-platformer from indie developer Tomasz Waclawek, on the show floor of PAX South. One of the game‘s core mechanics — a superhuman, arcing leap, which you can use to smash through windows and knock down foes — is remarkably similar to a mechanic that made Gunpoint a standout game back in 2013. Fortunately, the similarities stop there.

Ronin initially launched last year as a freeware game, which Waclawek has improved upon for the full game, which launches later in 2015. In it, you play a vengeful ninja, who, in addition to super-leaping, can climb walls and ceilings, swing on grappling hooks, drop holographic decoys to distract foes, teleport between said decoys and execute foes with a slice (or a throw) of their sword. It’s as fast and as slick as you’d expect a ninja-led action-platformer to be — unless you’re in combat, when it turns into a contemplative turn-based game.

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In what may just be the most difficult-to-explain scheme ever conceived, entering an enemy’s field of vision brings the game to a screeching halt, giving you an opportunity to execute one of your deadly acrobatic maneuvers. The action, from this point on, takes place in second-long chunks. Enemies spend one turn lining up their shots or charging melee attacks, which are represented by red lines on the screen. During your one-second chunk, you have to devise a plan to avoid those attacks (which kill you in one hit) or incapacitate your potential attackers.

What makes that idea so brilliant is the game’s ninja locomotion itself. You have to be extremely precise with your movements, because your turn can, and most often will, end in the middle of your jump — and if you happen to be in an enemy’s crosshair when that happens, you’re toast. Trickier still is deciding how to spend your next mid-air turn. Do you throw your blade at a distant foe, leaving you vulnerable until you can recover it? Do you Spider-Man swing out of danger? Or do you continue the arc of your original jump into the fray?

It’s a surprisingly exciting combat system, one that rewards deft maneuvers with combo multipliers and score bonuses. It’s also completely optional — if you can stay in the dark, or on ceilings above unassuming foes, you can stealth-kill the lot of them without ever entering into turn-based mode. It’s not nearly as flashy, of course, but it gets the job done.

Ronin will launch this fall on PC, Mac and Linux. It might be easier to understand if you see it in action — which you can do in the trailer posted below.