Ofuda and Tanzaku

Following my previous post about omamori, I am going to write about ofuda and tanzaku in this post. Like my previous post, this post is inspired by an episode of the ‘Uncanny Japan’ podcast, Episode 43 Tsuno Daishi: The Great Horned Master. As noted in the ‘Uncanny Japan’ episode, an ofuda is a kind of…

Omamori – ‘Lucky’ Japanese Amulets

Like my previous post (The ‘Uncanny Japan’ Podcast and Culture Shock), this post is inspired by an episode of the ‘Uncanny Japan’ podcast. This time it was Episode 43 Tsuno Daishi: The Great Horned Master – but rather than the main topic of the episode, this post is about one of the two aspects of…

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…

“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:…

Book Review: “The Detachment” by Barry Eisler

Amongst all the books that I read during the past couple of months (about seven), four were by the same author, Barry Eisler. Eisler is one of my favourite authors (alongside Mark Edwards and Sarah Lotz), and I even included a reference to Eisler’s work in my novel “Tokyo 20/20 Vision“. Having decided to catch…

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…

Being Prepared For An Accident

I recently returned from a holiday and was allocated to one of the rows with an emergency exit. It’s not the first time that I have had this experience and many people like to be in this row as there is usually additional leg room to ensure that, in the case of an emergency, it’s…

What Caused the JL123 Crash?

When I first started conducting research about the JL123 crash (also known as JAL123), I had no intentions of looking at the cause of the crash at all. As far as I was concerned, it was a known fact: following an accident in 1978, the rear pressure bulkhead was damaged, incorrectly repaired, and this led…

Plane Crash Recreated: JAL123/Japan

Further to my post about the TV series “Plane Crash Recreated” being shown on PBS America in the UK, this post covers one of the episodes – JAL123/Japan. There are two reasons for doing a separate post on this episode (my comments on the other episodes are in the original post). First, I have been…

Plane Crash Recreated

There are many different documentary one-off programmes and series that deal with plane crashes. Some of the series have gone on for many seasons. It’s clearly a popular form of disaster narrative. Beyond any entertainment aspect, there’s also, naturally, the potential for them to be educational, to help inform the public, and, by extension, to…

Post 524 – Remembering The Victims of the JL123 Plane Crash

This is blog post number 524. For many I suspect that there is no particular significance of this number. But like 123 and 520, I will always associate it with JL123, Japan’s and the aviation world’s Titanic, which has been one of my research areas since 2007. 524 is the official number of crew and…