Astronauts as the Origin of Space Society: Reflecting on a Webinar

Last week I attended a seminar on the topic of ‘Astronauts as the Origin of Space Society’ hosted by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. The main speaker was Naoko Yamazaki, an aerospace engineer and an astronaut. In April 2010, she was onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as part of the crew of STS-131, an assembly and…

Book Review: “At First Light” by Barbara Nickless

On the face of it, as someone who is interested in symbols and semiotics, this should have been the perfect crime book for me to read. There was certainly much that I enjoyed. But I also found elements of the book a bit of a battle. The two main battles I had actually surrounded the…

“Europa” by Holly Johnson – Frankie’s Third Album?

Continuing with my recent music review posts, this time I am covering “Europa” by Holly Johnson. As I mentioned in my post about influential albums… Europa – Holly Johnson. Great return to form from Holly Johnson. Extra bonus of having a signed copy. The concert in 2014 was amazing too. Some brilliant songs and lyrics….

Visual Packaging Culture

What underpins much of my research is an interest in symbolism and how symbols can be used to understand aspects of Japan. Although this aspect of my research may be most apparent in my publications such as Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan, Japan: The Basics, and ‘Contents Tourism in Plane Sight‘,…

Football in Japan

After mentioning my undergraduate dissertation in the posts Designs That Defined Modern Japan: The Rice Cooker and Designs That Defined Modern Japan: Hello Kitty, I decided that I would upload the dissertation so that people could read it if they are interested. The version I am making available here is not the original version. That…

Designs That Defined Modern Japan: Kaiten Sushi

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended an excellent webinar on the topic ‘Designs That Defined Modern Japan’ by Professor Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and the audience were set the challenge of coming with their own list of 8 Designs That Defined Modern Japan. I have already done seven posts (these are not in any…

Designs That Defined Modern Japan: The Emergency Exit Sign

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended an excellent webinar on the topic ‘Designs That Defined Modern Japan’ by Professor Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and the audience were set the challenge of coming with their own list of 8 Designs That Defined Modern Japan. I have already done six posts (these are not in any…

Book Review: “Her Perfect Family” by Teresa Driscoll

This was, as far I can tell, the first book by Teresa Driscoll. It won’t be the last. This was a fabulously enjoyable book and very much fell into the “confliction” type of book (where I was desperate to get to the end to find out what happened, but desperately didn’t want it to end…

My Favourite Shinkansen: The 500 Series Shinkansen

Next, at position number 3, in my series about my favourite shinkansen is the 500 series. As I mentioned before in relation to the 800 series, all of my top 4 appeared on the front cover of my book Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan (one from each of the 4 JR…

Wabi Sabi

10 October is Mental Health Awareness day, an issue which is as important today during the COVID19 pandemic as it has ever been. I am very happy to support this campaign. As I did for the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2019, I will be supporting MIND when I run in 2022 (race postponed many times!)….

Monkey: A Journey To The West

A few months ago I posted about the Netflix series The New Legends of Monkey. As I mentioned in that post, I really enjoyed the series and hope that it will continue (still waiting for news on Series 3). I also wrote in that post that it had encouraged me to get out my copy…

Designs That Defined Modern Japan: Emoji

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended an excellent webinar on the topic ‘Designs That Defined Modern Japan’ by Professor Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and the audience were set the challenge of coming with their own list of 8 Designs That Defined Modern Japan. I have already done three posts (these are not in any…