Pack Mule

Over the course of a year in Yokohama I had collected a fair amount of stuff. I was suffering a book-off addition, not to mention all the cinema memorabilia, the video games, the music cds (yes, music cds. I don’t know why but for some reason I have to confirm that with most of you),…

Under Threat of Slumber

It’s pulling at you. Sapping at your energy, weighing down on your eyelids. You’re warm and comfortable, lacking thirst or hunger or anything else that could compel you to move. You’re starting to wonder if there could be anything that could possibly be anything better right now than letting your eyes finally close, lay down…

A Suspicious Researcher

Do something new. Something nobody has done before you, or at the very least find a different spin on an old topic. That was the recommendation when we were tasked with starting our dissertation projects at university. Some chose social issues in Japan, some took on international politics, others dove into representation in cinema (lucky…

Patriotic Essays

Obligatory essays are among the more archaic aspects of university life. Doesn’t matter if you’re a language or a maths student, a university still wants to see an essay. Yokohama National University was no different, even with its ‘JOY’ program for international students. It didn’t matter that everyone was from a myriad of countries, or…

The Akiba Trials

Akihabara; one destination many ‘hikikomori’ make an exception for. It’s the middle ground between madness and sanity, between fictional realities and very real poverty. It’s situated in north east Tokyo, and lies somewhere between the pit of Japan’s sex industry and the summit of its creativity. It’s as wondrous as it is creepy, and as…

Sleepless in Shikoku

I have a humble ambition when it comes to travelling in Japan; to see all of Japan’s major islands (a little more realistic than Kara’s ambition which is to visit every single prefecture, collect pokemon socks from the area as proof, on top of seeing any foreign countries in the vicinity. As you can see,…

Post office language partners

Communication. One of the key elements that make us unique among the other creatures of the earth. The ability to express the nature of our souls to others, to describe our hazy histories, to collaborate together and ease those wisps of ideas from our heads out into reality. And to ask the nearest person to…

Charlie the Unicorn

The internet is full of darkness that overflows from the recesses of the human soul. An endless abyss that conceals vast amounts of toxicity. Pornography featuring domestic violence and non-consent, campaigns to promote white supremacy, youtube commenters, the student finance website. The list of real terrors goes on, and you can stumble across any of…

Farewell to Summer

Everyone I knew from Yokohama left at varying times of the year, and each time it felt tragic. Parties were held, and we all tried to make the effort to see each other off at the airport. Those who left each left their mark, but among all the students at Gumyoji it was Summer that…

The Trial of しょうがない

I hate this phrase. I hate it with all my being. This phrase is unquestionably guilty of dire crimes against humanity, and in this court I shall prove it. Your honour and members of the jury, please be aware that this is no small matter. If this phrase is given less than a life sentence,…

Ghost Technology

I love a good science fiction story. It’s not just the sheer imagination behind it, but how it’s used to comment on something about people. My favourite was always artificial intelligence and judging what makes a human being human. How we define and identify ourselves. So it’s with a little irony that I must admit…

Defeating Mt.Fuji

Diary entry: Day 1. 17:00 We thought we were ready, or at least I thought everyone else was ready. My bags were packed for the voyage. Winter clothes, raincoat, torch, food, it was all there. Enough supplies to survive on while we risked our lives on a hopeless cause. We weren’t doing it for money….