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…

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…

“People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan”

In my recent presentations ‘Two Tribes, United by Music: Western Pop in Japan‘ and ‘Western Pop Acts in Japan: Putting the Cult into Culture‘, as well as in the part of my book Frankie Fans Say, I have been discussing the term ‘Big in Japan’. The term appears to be another one of those cliches…

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…

Short Course covering Culture, Stereotypes, Management and Brexit

In July 2019 I had the opportunity to do a special short course of 8 lectures at the Ariake Campus of Musashino University. The lectures covered ‘Cross-Cultural Misunderstandings and Clichés’, ‘Symbols and Marketing Trains and Planes’, ‘Education and Cross-Cultural Management’, ‘Managing a Transport Company’, ‘Nationalism and Internationalism in Management’, ‘Managing the Challenges of Depopulation’, ‘Disaster…

Mad in Japan: Only Joking?

I am not sure whether to be shocked by the article ‘Mad in Japan’ by AA Gill (Sunday Times Magazine, 9 September 2001) or not. There are many things to consider when contemplating this. In writing this article, I hope to show how people such as myself who lecture in Japanese Studies in the UK…