Favourite Photos: Godzilla in Shinjuku

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 a trip to Shinjuku, Tokyo, in 2018. I was in Japan for a conference related to Contents Tourism – which would ultimately lead to my chapters Contents Tourism in Plane…

Favourite Places in Japan: Naka-Itabashi

I believe that this is my 400th blog post. Given that I have been writing about my favourite shinkansen recently, it would have been appropriate to write about the 400 series – but I’m trying to do those posts in order and I wasn’t ready to get to that shinkansen yet. Perhaps I could even…

“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…

Tokyo: Art & Photography

Back in July (2021) I attended a webinar for a book launch of Tokyo: Art & Photography. The webinar was fabulous, providing insights into the book itself. The webinar was organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and is available on YouTube. One thing that became clear during the webinar is that there was also an…

Yumenoshima – Island of Dreams?

In a recent class at Cardiff University, I mentioned Yumenoshima (夢の島) in Tokyo. I visited the area in July 2019 when I was spending a week in Tokyo teaching a special short course at the nearby Ariake campus of Musashino University. There were a combinations of reasons why I visited the island. First, having come…

Reflecting on the Closure of the Azumazeki-Beya

Over the weekend it was announced that the Azumazeki-beya (東関部屋, Azumazeki Stable) is closing, merging with the Hakkaku-beya (八角, Hakkaku Stable). In amongst the stories about this closure, I also discovered that its former Oyakata (stable master), who had previously fought under the name of Ushiomaru (潮丸, real name Motoyasu Sano), had died at the…

Delighted with another 5-Star review for “Tokyo 20/20 Vision”

Delighted with another 5 star review for Tokyo 20/20 Vision, which is averaging 4.7 (out of 5.0) on Amazon. Here is the review: “I’m not a fiction lover normally, but as I’m familiar with things Japanese after having lived there for a long time, I picked this one up. The author has a fantastic grasp…

Favourite Places in Japan: Ichigaya

One of the questions I often get asked about Japan is where my favourite place (although the question often infers a city rather than something more specific than that) is. I don’t have a single favourite place – it would be too hard after visiting 47 prefectures and having been to Japan so many times,…

Book Review: The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley

I have been studying and visiting Japan for over 30 years and been lecturing for over 20 years. Because of this, I have read a lot of books about Japan and set in Japan. ‘Cat in the City’ is definitely one of my favourites. If we don’t think of ‘Japanese’ as a nationality or ethnicity,…