Mainoumi Showed Why Sumo Isn’t Just a Sport, But a Great Sport

With my interest in symbolism, it is natural that one of the books that I have researched is Empire of Signs by Roland Barthes – as I discuss in my book Japan: The Basics, I have discussed in a post about my visit to Paris to see his original notes, etc., and is a part…

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 Places in Japan: Kanazawa

Continuing with my posts about my favourite places in Japan, I’m writing about Kanazawa (金沢). I have been there three times (I think) – once during a trip to Japan in 1992, during my time in Japan on the JET Programme, and then in 2015 for some research and so I could travel on the…

Favourite Places in Japan: Takayama

Continuing with my posts about my favourite places in Japan, I’m writing about Takayama (高山). I have only been there once – during my time in Japan on the JET Programme in 1994. Although I went through Takayama again many years later on the train from Nagoya to Toyama, I’ve not had a chance yet…

Favourite Places in Japan: Seto

Continuing with my posts about my favourite places in Japan, I’m going to write a bit about another – Seto (瀬戸市) in Aichi. As many people assume that you are talking about the Seto Inland Sea when the name ‘Seto’ is mentioned, it is common to refer to Seto not only as Seto city, but…

Brief Encounters in Research

Over the past couple of days I have been reflecting upon the way I do some of my research. The starting point for this was a webinar delivered by Prof Joy Hendry, called ‘An Affair With A Village’. Details about the event can be found on the RAI website, and there is also a YouTube…

EXPO 2005 and Trains

In May I travelled to EXPO in Aichi with a heavy heart. I was going out of necessity rather than desire. Part of the site of this ‘environmental’ exposition is in Seto, where I used to live. However back then, rather than concrete and steel, the site was hills and trees. Yet, having seen so…