World Book Day – Like the Other 364 Days

Today is World Book Day, a day when we should celebrate books and many children will dress up as characters from favourite books. For me, World Book Day, is not that different to many other days of the year. My life is full of books. I have written before about the significant impact of movies/films…

My Top Movies and TV Shows

This post provides a list of my favourite movies/TV programmes. It is based on the ratings that I have given them on IMDb. Given that IMDb hasn’t been around as long as I have, I suspect that there are many titles that I have forgotten to add – they may get added in due course….

Favourite Photos: Doai Station

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 Doai station in 2011. The main reason for my visits to Doai stems from Contents Tourism connected to my research about the JL123 crash and the novel/dramatization…

Book Review: “The Lucky Ones” by Mark Edwards

As I noted in my review of The Retreat by Mark Edwards, reading that book and my comments on social media, I realised that I needed to re-read The Lucky Ones. This is what I have recently done. The timing actually worked out well as I was visiting Shropshire (‘the rural environs of Shropshire, one…

Book Review: “Her Last Breath” by Hilary Davidson

As far as I remember this is the first novel I have read which has content that refers to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although COVID-19 itself is not (as far as I remember) mentioned, there are discussions about using masks, etc. I suppose it should come as no surprise and doing so (assuming we…

Book Review: “The Retreat” by Mark Edwards

I read a lot. But I rarely read novels more than once – unless, like Climber’s High (or Seventeen as it was translated into English) for example, it’s related to my research. Novels are, by definition, meant to be novel, new. Part of the reasoning for not reading a book more than once is that…

Wrapping Culture – Surrounding Much of My Research

In my recent post Reporting and Responding to Disasters, I not only pointed to the significance of the idea of important/unimportant lives in the media (and the public) that is discussed in the novel Kuraimazu Hai (‘Climber’s High’/’Seventeen’) by Hideo Yokoyama, but also pointed to how influential Mileti’s idea of a disaster being designed (as…

Reporting and Responding to Disasters

I have previously done some posts (such as Creating Disasters and Disasters by the Book – How Japanese may be Designing Disasters) relating to one of the most significant concepts to have impacted my research – the idea that disasters are ‘designed’ as put forward by Dennis Mileti. This concept has underpinned much of my…

The JL123 Crash and Manga – Recreating Iconic Images

Following on from my post about the manga Kurosagi Shitai Takuhaibin and The JL123 Crash and Manga – Unsolved Crime, this post will be discussing another manga in relation to the JL123 plane crash. The book, published in 2010, is Osutakayama-no-Atsui Natsu (御巣鷹山の暑い夏) (‘the hot summer on Mount Osutaka’). The titles reflects the popular, but…

Favourite Places in Japan: Sekigahara

Continuing with my posts about my favourite places in Japan, I’m going to write a bit about another – Sekigahara (関ケ原). Although I have never stayed there, and more often not I just pass through, I have always liked the look of the area and like its special place in Japanese history and culture. The…