Sakura Cherry Tree Planting in Cardiff

Yesterday I attended two cherry tree (sakura) planting ceremonies in Cardiff. The UK and Japan have a strong relationship, developed over more than 150 years. At the heart of the relationship is a desire for mutual understanding and to learn from each other’s way of life, culture and history. By planting thousands of sakura trees…

Favourite Photos: 500 series Passing

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. As this is my 500th post, I thought it most appropriate to choose a favourite picture of the 500 series shinkansen. It may not be technically the best picture ever due to the level of…

Favourite Photos: Koshien

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken during my first visit to Koshien baseball stadium in 2016. For anyone who knows about Japanese baseball, you will know how significant the Koshien baseball stadium is. You will also know…

Jaws For A Day

This post was originally posted on The Daily Jaws. If “Jaws” has a day of the year, it’s probably 4 July or possibly 29/30 July to coincide with the attack on the USS Indianapolis. I suspect for some fans of the movie, there’s not a day that goes by that isn’t Jaws day. For me…

Cincinnati Bengals are still in the Playoffs

Following my post last week about Cincinnati Bengals being in the Playoffs and the attempt to win their first playoff game in 31 years, I’m now writing about our next playoff game since we did win that one. Last week was emotional. It ended up being a lot closer than it could/should have been and…

Book Review: “Base Notes” by Lara Elena Donnelly

I got this book as part of Amazon Firsts, where you get a free book a month or so before the main release. From the blurb that accompanied the text, it sounded very good and reminded me of another Amazon Firsts book, “These Toxic Things” by Rachel Howzell, that I had recently read. With my…

Book Review: “The Making of the Movie Jaws” by Edith Blake

As I have discussed in my posts about visiting Martha’s Vineyard, watching the play “The Shark Is Broken“, My Top Movies and TV Shows, and No Escaping Jaws, “Jaws” is my favourite movie. Recently I read, for the first time, the original book by Peter Benchley. I have many other Jaws-related books – most of…

Boeing 747 Model – Owning a part of an actual B747

The Boeing 747 (B747) “Jumbo Jet” is my favourite passenger plane. I love its shape – it’s not too “perfect” like Concorde – and I love what it symbolised to me in terms of leaving Europe for the first time and many more times after that. Of course, there is a darker side to the…

Letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London

Today, in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), I jointly sent the following letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London. The letter can also be found on the BAJS website. I would like to thank colleagues in BAJS and also the British Association for Teachers of Japanese for coming…