Inspirational People

By chance, yesterday, I saw posts on social media about two new articles and a book. In my line of work, I see a lot of such posts of course (and sometimes do similar ones myself!). For whatever reason (and yes, I admit that I don’t always do this), I did actually follow the links….

My Juhachiban/’Go-to song’

Recently The Japan Society asked for contributions from members on the topic of their juhachiban or ‘go-to song’ at karaoke. Juhachiban literally means ’18’, but, according to the definition Wikipedia, its the term given to the one song which singers are especially good at and which they use to show off their singing abilities and…

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…

Favourite Photos: Haneda Arrival at Dawn

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken during as the plane I was on was about to arrive at Haneda Airport in January 2020. Little did I imagine that this would be my last trip to Japan for…

Favourite Photos: Catching the Light

On some days I just do a short post that primarily revolves around a favourite photo without much accompanying text. This picture was taken in Aokigahara in 2011, and the sapling was close to the exit of the Fugaku-Fuketsu (wind) Cave. I have a printed copy of this image in my office and it also…

Book Review: “Her Name is Knight” by Yasmin Angoe

This is a challenging book. In a good way. I have read books before (such as “Deadly Waters” by Dot Hutchison) where the descriptions and topic just seemed to go to far as I nearly stopped reading (though was pleased that I didn’t). This book wasn’t a challenge in that way. Yes, the topics were…

Book Review: “The Chaos Kind” by Barry Eisler

He’s back! No, I’m not talking about Bond, James Bond. I’m talking about Barry Eisler, one of my favourite authors. Compared to the majority of books that I read, Eisler’s books have more action, including fighting – Mr Bond would feel quite at home within these pages. But the action and fighting is always presented…

The 36th Anniversary of the Flight JL123 Crash

I have been conducting research about the Japan Air Lines flight JL123 (also known as JAL123) since 2007. The research not only covers the crash itself (you can find a summary here), but also the aftermath of the disaster and the way in which it impacted the lives of so many people around the world….

Tokyo 2020 is finally about to start

Today is 22 July 2021. It is the eve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (although some events have already taken place). The games are being associated now with a range of problems – most notably the continuing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Japanese people are opposed to the games taking place – there had…

Book Review: “The White Road” by Sarah Lotz

Having read The Three and Day Four, I was looking forward to reading another book by Sarah Lotz. I wasn’t disappointed. There is so much that I enjoyed about this book. Yet again, like The Three in particular, Lotz is happy to challenge how a book is presented and what can be achieved. In this…