Book Review: “Blackout” by Erin Flanagan

As I mentioned in my previous post, due to the break from posting in recent weeks and the number of books that I have read during that time, there are going to be a lot of book review posts in the next week or two. I really enjoyed “Blackout” – though there were aspects that…

Book Review: “British Nuclear Culture” by Jonathan Hogg

I have been reading this book carefully for a few weeks now, but it’s appropriate that I reached the end this week. I first came across the book when I heard the author, Jonathan Hogg, speak at Troubling Anniversaries Conference in 2021. Now, like coming full circle, I’ve just finished the book having given a…

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…

Blogging and Social Media: Impact and Reach

Today I will yet again be giving a training session to post-graduate research students and early career researchers about writing blogs. I have run this session (or a similar one) a number of times now – not only to those at Cardiff University, but also to students on an MA programme at the School of…

Interview for Voices in Japanese Studies Podcast

I was interviewed for the final episode of this season of Voices in Japanese Studies (VIJS). I spoke with the hosts, Anna Vittinghoff and Matt Loten, about my life in Japanese Studies, how I got here, why I chose Japanese Studies, and how I balances my roles at Cardiff and the British Association for Japanese…

Interview for the Compounding Curiosity Podcast

As I have referred to in a few posts recently (My Favourite Shinkansen: The E3-Series Shinkansen, My Favourite Shinkansen: The 200-Series Shinkansen, Designs That Defined Modern Japan: Shinkansen, Concorde – Too Perfect?, and My Favourite Shinkansen: The 0 Series Shinkansen), I was recently interviewed for the Compounding Curiosity podcast. This podcast has now been published…

Presentation – ‘Two Tribes, United by Music: Western Pop in Japan’

How many times has the headline ‘Big in Japan’ been published in relation to some Western (i.e., North American or European) pop act? The reality is that, as an article by Guy De Launey’s in 1995 (‘Not-so-big in Japan: Western pop music in the Japanese market’, Popular Music, 40:1) pointed out, very few Western acts,…

Thinking About Food Hygiene

Thanks to COVID-19 many of us have faced lockdowns and other restrictions. That has meant less eating out – even if there has been the occasional take-away (and of course we’ve still been getting food from supermarkets, etc.). I am sure that I am not alone in looking forward to it being easier to eat…

‘Natural Symbols’ and ‘Learned Symbols’

Further to my post about kamon, and the various posts that I have done about symbolism, which underpins a lot of my research and writing, I thought I would do a post about where my interest in symbolism may have begun and also discuss issues relating to ‘natural symbols’ and ‘learned symbols’. First, let’s begin…

Interview for the New British Association for Japanese Studies Podcast

I was recently interviewed for the new British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) podcast. The homepage for the podcast can be found here, and the link to the one that I was interviewed on can be found here. I was primarily interviewed, alongside Dr Helen Macnaughtan, due to currently being the President of BAJS. I…

JET, Jets and Japanese Studies

This post is based on a presentation I gave at the JET Alumni Association Special Interest Group Workshop at the University of East Anglia in December 2017. Let’s just remind ourselves of the aims of the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme: ‘To increase mutual understanding between the people of Japan and the people of…

The Japan Foundation/ BAJS Postgraduate Workshop 2021

For the last two days, in my capacity as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies, I have been taking part in the The Japan Foundation/BAJS Postgraduate Workshop. This was the tenth one and, thanks to COVID-19, the first one which had to be held online. The main theme this year (the theme tends…