First look at “Bullet Train”

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 and you can read my review on that here. In brief, however, I had many issues with the book – including the…

“People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan”

In my recent presentations ‘Two Tribes, United by Music: Western Pop in Japan‘ and ‘Western Pop Acts in Japan: Putting the Cult into Culture‘, as well as in the part of my book Frankie Fans Say, I have been discussing the term ‘Big in Japan’. The term appears to be another one of those cliches…

Mad in Japan: Only Joking?

I am not sure whether to be shocked by the article ‘Mad in Japan’ by AA Gill (Sunday Times Magazine, 9 September 2001) or not. There are many things to consider when contemplating this. In writing this article, I hope to show how people such as myself who lecture in Japanese Studies in the UK…