Researching the JL123 isho (last messages) – Update

As I have posted about before, since I moved my website to this one, consistently one of the most popular post each month is the one that contains my translations of the isho (last messages) written on JL123 (JAL 123). So, a couple of years ago, I decided to do some more research about the…

Being Prepared For An Accident (again)

Back in May I did a post about ‘Being Prepared For An Accident‘ and I wanted to build upon this, drawing on a few additional recent travel experiences. The first of these relates to taking a cruise on NCL. This is my second cruise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in terms of…

‘Japan Says Western Pop? No, Thanks, Don’t Do It’

On 10 September I gave a presentation at the British Association for Teachers of Japanese (BATJ) annual conference in Cardiff. I spoke about ‘Western’ pop acts in Japan. In 1995, Guy De Launey’s article ‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’ was published. It sought to explain some of the reasons why…

Reflecting on my time as President of BAJS

Today, my time as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), came to an end. It has been one of the most enjoyable roles that I have had during my time as an academic. While COVID-19 got in the way of being able to do some of things that I would like to…

Japan’s Continuing Sakoku

I have been very critical of the Japanese government’s handling of COVID and its (relatively) closed borders and isolation (sakoku) in the past few months. In the last week alone I have written a post (Nothing Splendid About Japan’s Isolation) about the topic and a further post with details about a letter than I sent…

Another Letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London

Today, in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), I jointly (together with the Chair of the British Association for Teachers of Japanese) sent the following letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London. This is the second letter (click here for the first letter) that we have had to send…

“Truth and Limitations: Japanese Media and Disasters”

Today I got my copy of Mithani, F., and Kirsch, G., (eds.), 2022, Handbook of Japanese Media and Popular Culture in Transition… I have a chapter in this book… Japan has a long history of disaster narratives, and this chapter considers five (Kuraimāzu Hai (Climber’s High) (2005), Kuraimāzu Hai (Climber’s High) (2008), One-no-Kanata-ni (Inseparable Souls:…

Nothing Splendid About Japan’s Isolation

In the early seventeenth century Japan entered a period of self-imposed isolation known as sakoku. In reality, the level of isolation probably wasn’t as strict as is sometimes made out, but it was strong enough that it allowed Japan to develop many aspects of what we know think of as Japan’s traditional culture with limited…

12 August – A Key Date in the Year

Today seems like an appropriate day to come back from over a month’s break from writing blog posts and using social media (other than responding to a few tagged posts, for example). When making plans for the next year, we all have dates that we check to see what day they fall on, or block…

‘Japan Says Western Pop? No, Thanks, Don’t Do It’

I have been invited to give a presentation at the British Association for Teachers of Japanese annual conference in September 2022. I will be speaking about ‘Western’ pop acts in Japan. In 1995, Guy De Launey’s article ‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’ was published. It sought to explain some of…

Reflecting on a Research Trip to Paris: The Paris Catacombs

Last week I took a two-day trip to Paris for research. There were a number of elements to the trip, and I am going to do a series of posts relating to each of them and this is the third (after the one about my visit to the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de…

Reflecting on a Research Trip to Paris: The Concorde Memorials

Last week I took a two-day trip to Paris for research. There were a number of elements to the trip, and I am going to do a series of posts relating to each of them and this is the second (after the one about my visit to the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de…