Favourite Photos: Oyodo River at Sunset

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 a trip to Japan in 2013. It is a view of the Oyodo River (王淀川) in Miyazaki (宮崎). The picture is one of a series of pictures that I took…

Favourite Photos: Catching the Light

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken in Aokigahara in 2011, and the sapling was close to the exit of the Fugaku-Fuketsu (wind) Cave. I have a printed copy of this image in my office and it also…

Interview for Voices in Japanese Studies Podcast

I was interviewed for the final episode of this season of Voices in Japanese Studies (VIJS). I spoke with the hosts, Anna Vittinghoff and Matt Loten, about my life in Japanese Studies, how I got here, why I chose Japanese Studies, and how I balances my roles at Cardiff and the British Association for Japanese…

Interview for the Compounding Curiosity Podcast

As I have referred to in a few posts recently (My Favourite Shinkansen: The E3-Series Shinkansen, My Favourite Shinkansen: The 200-Series Shinkansen, Designs That Defined Modern Japan: Shinkansen, Concorde – Too Perfect?, and My Favourite Shinkansen: The 0 Series Shinkansen), I was recently interviewed for the Compounding Curiosity podcast. This podcast has now been published…

Favourite Places in Japan: Naka-Itabashi

I believe that this is my 400th blog post. Given that I have been writing about my favourite shinkansen recently, it would have been appropriate to write about the 400 series – but I’m trying to do those posts in order and I wasn’t ready to get to that shinkansen yet. Perhaps I could even…

Tokyo 2020 is finally about to start

Today is 22 July 2021. It is the eve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (although some events have already taken place). The games are being associated now with a range of problems – most notably the continuing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Japanese people are opposed to the games taking place – there had…

Book Review: “The White Road” by Sarah Lotz

Having read The Three and Day Four, I was looking forward to reading another book by Sarah Lotz. I wasn’t disappointed. There is so much that I enjoyed about this book. Yet again, like The Three in particular, Lotz is happy to challenge how a book is presented and what can be achieved. In this…

Book Review: “Bullet Train” by Kotaro Isaka

Having been conducting research about the shinkansen (‘bullet train’) for over 20 years, when I learnt of the book Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka, I knew that I had to get a copy. Up until some years ago, I would probably have been more aware of the Japanese version being released and I may have…

“Truth” in Fiction – Pillars and Cantilevers

In a number of posts (Book Review: “The Retreat” by Mark Edwards, Book Review: “Follow You Home” by Mark Edwards, Conventions in Disaster Movies, “Greenland” – A Very Good Disaster Movie, “Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac” and Remembering Air Florida Flight 90, and “The Day After Tomorrow” – Climate Change Meets Disaster Movie) I…