Monthly Archives: March 2011

Guesthouse character

A girl in my guesthouse, Megumi, is fed up with the blanket news coverage of the crisis. Last week, together with another guesthouse resident, she went out to rent a video for a change of atmosphere. Surprisingly, they picked 2012, a disaster film about city-swallowing tsunamis. Advertisements

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The Spirit in the Toilet

I discovered something unusual last night. On TV, a young Japanese woman was singing and strumming the guitar. That`s normal enough. But, the listening audience were in floods of tears.

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Don`t panic, he only farted: A reaction to the nuclear crisis.

A couple of weeks ago I went to watch a rakugoka (a sit-down comedian) perform in Kagurazaka, Tokyo. I was curious to know what kind of humour would make the locals laugh. It did not take long to find out, and it was … Continue reading

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From the Japan Alps

I am still far away from Tokyo, in Matsumoto in the Japan Alps. It`s quiet and peaceful here, despite the terrifying scenes on TV.

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The Earthquake

I am now in the Japan Sea coast city of Kanazawa, unaffected by the tremors. I do not have any friends in any danger. When the earthquakes struck, I was 500 miles away in Hiroshima with a group of American tourists. The first I knew of it was … Continue reading

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Under The Seaweed Afro

At 5am in the pouring rain I left my hotel room to find some seaweed. Specifically, I wanted a strip of seaweed wrapped around rice – packaged to look like an afro hairstyle. In the dark downpour, without an umbrella, I trekked from conbini to conbini. Perhaps inevitably, I did not find my seaweed treasure. And I now have a cold. … Continue reading

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Chinese Wisdom: The Best Bits

The Chinese are a strange bunch. After travelling for two weeks in China, I still have no idea what goes on in their heads. But I saw much to admire there, so I have chosen 5 aspects of Chinese wisdom to adapt into my … Continue reading

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