Researching the JL123 isho (last messages) – Update

As I have posted about before, since I moved my website to this one, consistently one of the most popular post each month is the one that contains my translations of the isho (last messages) written on JL123 (JAL 123). So, a couple of years ago, I decided to do some more research about the…

My Juhachiban/’Go-to song’

Recently The Japan Society asked for contributions from members on the topic of their juhachiban or ‘go-to song’ at karaoke. Juhachiban literally means ’18’, but, according to the definition Wikipedia, its the term given to the one song which singers are especially good at and which they use to show off their singing abilities and…

Reflecting on my time as President of BAJS

Today, my time as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), came to an end. It has been one of the most enjoyable roles that I have had during my time as an academic. While COVID-19 got in the way of being able to do some of things that I would like to…

Japan’s Continuing Sakoku

I have been very critical of the Japanese government’s handling of COVID and its (relatively) closed borders and isolation (sakoku) in the past few months. In the last week alone I have written a post (Nothing Splendid About Japan’s Isolation) about the topic and a further post with details about a letter than I sent…

Another Letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London

Today, in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), I jointly (together with the Chair of the British Association for Teachers of Japanese) sent the following letter to the Japanese Ambassador in London. This is the second letter (click here for the first letter) that we have had to send…

“Truth and Limitations: Japanese Media and Disasters”

Today I got my copy of Mithani, F., and Kirsch, G., (eds.), 2022, Handbook of Japanese Media and Popular Culture in Transition… I have a chapter in this book… Japan has a long history of disaster narratives, and this chapter considers five (Kuraimāzu Hai (Climber’s High) (2005), Kuraimāzu Hai (Climber’s High) (2008), One-no-Kanata-ni (Inseparable Souls:…

Nothing Splendid About Japan’s Isolation

In the early seventeenth century Japan entered a period of self-imposed isolation known as sakoku. In reality, the level of isolation probably wasn’t as strict as is sometimes made out, but it was strong enough that it allowed Japan to develop many aspects of what we know think of as Japan’s traditional culture with limited…

12 August – A Key Date in the Year

Today seems like an appropriate day to come back from over a month’s break from writing blog posts and using social media (other than responding to a few tagged posts, for example). When making plans for the next year, we all have dates that we check to see what day they fall on, or block…

Paris Syndrome is Real

Last week I took a two-day trip to Paris for research. This post is my final post relating to the trip (after the posts my visit to the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France), my visit to the Concorde Memorials, my visit to the Paris Catacombs and Photographing Planes at Paris Charles De…

Reflecting on a Research Trip to Paris: The Concorde Memorials

Last week I took a two-day trip to Paris for research. There were a number of elements to the trip, and I am going to do a series of posts relating to each of them and this is the second (after the one about my visit to the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de…