“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…

Yumenoshima – Island of Dreams?

In a recent class at Cardiff University, I mentioned Yumenoshima (夢の島) in Tokyo. I visited the area in July 2019 when I was spending a week in Tokyo teaching a special short course at the nearby Ariake campus of Musashino University. There were a combinations of reasons why I visited the island. First, having come…

Supporting the Cincinnati Bengals (from the UK)

Other than a post about my sporting hobbies and writing, I haven’t really written much about my support of particular sports teams. As a break from my usual posts, I thought I would do some posts on this subject now – although, as you will discover (and as I mentioned in the post on writing…

Nostalgia and Computer Games

Growing up in the 1980s, I was amongst the first generation that had some form of computer games to play with. I had a ZX Spectrum and used to spend many hours on it when I was at home – and even more when I got my own TV (albeit a black and white one)….

Giri/Haji – Not Your Average Japan-related Drama

While Giri/Haji (‘Duty/Shame’) was first released on BBC, it is also available via Netflix. Although I had heard some good things about it, I resisted watching it. I’m not sure why exactly – probably as I feared that it could be yet another series that would play up on exoticising Japan in some way (and…

Reflecting on the Closure of the Azumazeki-Beya

Over the weekend it was announced that the Azumazeki-beya (東関部屋, Azumazeki Stable) is closing, merging with the Hakkaku-beya (八角, Hakkaku Stable). In amongst the stories about this closure, I also discovered that its former Oyakata (stable master), who had previously fought under the name of Ushiomaru (潮丸, real name Motoyasu Sano), had died at the…

Book Review: “Lies We Bury” by Elle Marr

After reading The Missing Sister, I was looking forward to reading Lies We Bury. It didn’t disappoint. They often say that the second novel can be the hardest one to write (and similarly about musical acts and their second album) as if the first one was excellent, people have raised expectations about the next one….

End the Movie-isation of World Book Day

Today is World Book Day. For last year’s World Book Day, I wrote about how we should focus on supporting independent authors rather than constantly turning to the well known authors. My post this year makes a similar appeal and builds on the problems with World Book Day that tend to stem from primary schools…