Movie Review: You Name (君の名は)

Movie Review: You Name (君の名は)

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa / 君の名は) is honestly one of the best Japanese movies I’ve seen – ever. It is engaging, funny, clever, interesting and brilliantly animated – just about everything you could want from a film. It’s no wonder writer and director Makoto Shinkai (新海 誠) has been dubbed the new Miyazaki … Continue reading

Ichigo Ichie: The Wasabi You Eat Probably Isn’t Wasabi

Ichigo Ichie: The Wasabi You Eat Probably Isn’t Wasabi

“Ichigo ichie” (一期一会): a Japanese idiom meaning “one time, one meeting”. The phrase embodies the cultural concept of treasuring meetings with people, and is often translated as “one chance in a lifetime”, reminding people to cherish any meeting or experience they are part of, as they may not be repeated. It’s a phrase I love, … Continue reading

Movie Review: A Silent Voice (聲の形)

Movie Review: A Silent Voice (聲の形)

Based on a popular manga comic, Japanese director Naoko Yamada’s (K-On) affecting drama about the tempestuous relationship between a boy who hears and a girl who doesn’t; this is a beautiful Japanese animation which has themes around living as a deaf person at its core. When Shoko, a young deaf student, transfers to a new elementary … Continue reading

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween weekend or, as my Japanese friend recently dubbed it, Hallo-weekend, and Japan is a place where Halloween is definitely not done by halves! The place to be at Halloween is Tokyo, and it’s the famous Shibuya Crossing which sees all the action with massive street parties, road closures and incredible costumes. Tokyo Fashion … Continue reading

Book Review: Tokyo Fashion City – Philomena Keet

Book Review: Tokyo Fashion City – Philomena Keet

Tokyo Fashion City – A Guide to Tokyo’s Trendiest Fashion Districts by Philomena Keet, with photography by Yuri Manabe (Tuttle, 2016) is a fantastically detailed fashion bible, perfect for anyone with an interest in Japanese fashion, street fashion and Japanese culture. It is packed with colourful pictures of young fashionistas on the streets of Tokyo, reminding … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

I was going to post something longer this week, but this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is ‘H2O‘ and that appealed to me, so here’s another photo blog! When I thought of H2O, I thought of rain, and I immediately thought of this photo I took in Nagoya in 2009: I remember sitting by the temple … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is ‘nostalgia‘. I wasn’t going to do another photo blog this week, but this theme was too good to resist. The word ‘nostalgia’ instantly makes me think of the Japanese word ‘natsukashii’ (懐かしい), which is one of those wonderful untranslatable words the Japanese language has so many of. It’s feeling … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is ‘quest‘, which immediately made me think of a number of adventures I’ve had in Japan. Often, both whilst living there and during my other trips, I’ve felt like I am on some kind of quest or mission. Sometimes I’m searching for the perfect photo opportunity, sometimes I’m searching for … Continue reading

Movie Review: Kubo & The Two Strings

Movie Review: Kubo & The Two Strings

“If you must blink, do it now…” What an opening line! I was captivated from the moment the film started, and Kubo & The Two Strings is without a doubt the best animated film I’ve seen this year, and in a long time. Kubo & The Two Strings is not a Japanese film, it’s an … Continue reading