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…

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…

England and Japan’s Early Interactions – BAJS Podcast 5

It is ironic that on the day that flights between the UK and Japan became even more difficult (apparently 16 hour plus direct flights will start at the weekend) that I have just finished listening to the latest episode of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) podcast about the early interactions between England and…

Hokusai: What Makes Him Popular?

Recently, I attended a seminar on the topic of ‘Hokusai: What Makes Him Popular’ hosted by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. The main speaker was Alfred Haft, a Project Curator in the Department of Asia at the British Museum, focusing on Japanese art of the Edo period, especially woodblock prints, and Tsuyoshi Tane, is a Paris-based…

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…

Red Weather Warnings

Today (18 February 2022) there is a Red Weather Warning in place in Cardiff for strong wind. As I started writing the post, the wind even started to pick up in intensity. We don’t get many Red Weather Warnings in the UK – and from a quick Google search, it seems they have only been…

Favourite Photos: Haneda Arrival at Dawn

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 as the plane I was on was about to arrive at Haneda Airport in January 2020. Little did I imagine that this would be my last trip to Japan for…

The British Media and its Representation of the Japanese

Earlier this month I was involved with the fifth event in the Cardiff-Japanese Lecture Series, this time with Professor Perry Hinton (University of Warwick). This was an engaging webinar and had things that will be useful for my update to Japan: The Basics and my work on Visual Packaging Culture. There were even some bits…

“You Only Live Twice” – Bond Goes To Japan

Having recently read the original novel “You Only Live Twice” by Ian Fleming, I decided to re-watch the film again. At one level, I probably didn’t need to as I’ve seen it so many times, having grown up watching it many times each year as it was one of the few films that we had…