Music Review: Pet Shop Boys Live

Having previously done a review of a concert that featured Altered Images, Tom Bailey, and The Human League, I’m doing one about the Pet Shop Boys concert that I went to last night. This was the second time that I have seen the Pet Shop Boys (one of my favourite acts), and again, like both…

Is it the End that Counts? The Blades are in the Playoffs

Yesterday I did a post discussing how It’s The Journey, Not The Ending, That Counts. I also suggested that one of the reasons why I feel like this is thanks to my exposure to Japanese literature/culture. But there is an elephant in the room. What about the world of sports? Surely here it is the…

The Need for Physical Books

Earlier this week I made a trip to Sheffield, where I had lived for nine years and did both my undergraduate degree and doctorate. I managed to combine many things into the visit, including meeting up with friends and colleagues to discuss a wide range of things. One of the reasons for going up related…

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…

The Japan Foundation/ BAJS Postgraduate Workshop 2022

On Friday (25 February 2022) , in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies, I took part in the The Japan Foundation/BAJS Postgraduate Workshop. This was the eleventh one and, I’m glad to say, that we were back to having the workshop in person, with it being held at the University…

Letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London

Today, in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), I jointly sent the following letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London. The letter can also be found on the BAJS website. I would like to thank colleagues in BAJS and also the British Association for Teachers of Japanese for coming…

Remembering the Great Hanshin Earthquake

Today (17 January) is the anniversary of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake – also known as the Hanshin Awaji Daishinsai (Great Earthquake) or Kobe earthquake (阪神・淡路大震災). On that day I was in Sheffield, in the first year of doing my PhD – but it could have been very different. A little over 24 months earlier,…

2021 in Review – A Difficult Year with Some Positive Highlights

Much like 2020, 2021 didn’t really work out as planned. When I look back at 2021 the over-riding memory is of losses. First, my father, Peter Hood, and then also friends, most notably Masaaki “Mick” Yamada. But there were other losses too – such as Shin’ichi Iida, fellow-Blade David Wainwright, and Salti (the owner of…