It started with a homecoming. Familiar city streets. Streets I’ve walked a hundred times before, where I can trace the road crossings and vending machines. Hiroshima is close to my heart. Continue reading “Nearer the Smoke (Travelogue Part 2: Hiroshima- Aso- Kumamoto)”
The Drums of Summer (Miscellany #3)
Haven’t written for a month or so. I’ve been busy here, catching up with people, and making the most of a sweet spot when summer is warm but not furiously hot. For a few weeks, I wasn’t sleeping too well either, and between jobhunting, work and social life, my energy’s been fully spent. But I seem to have recovered, and I thought I’d give you a quick update on life as lived, along with some other assorted miscellanies. That’s right- it’s another fuckin’ clip show. Continue reading “The Drums of Summer (Miscellany #3)”
A Survivor’s Story
with many thanks to Kazuhiko, whom I spoke to at Hiroshima Social Book Cafe, Dohashicho (near Dobashi streetcar station). Continue reading “A Survivor’s Story”
I’ve learnt a lot about Japan in the last nine months, as I’ve got to grips with life in an unfamiliar society. I’ve written about urban geography, muzak, religion and death customs, sumo, cuisine, historical memory, work-life balance, design, international relations, arcades, football, nature, volunteering, technology and rabbits, as well as a hell of a lot about travel. Well, today, I’m writing about me, and I’m keeping it relatively short. Continue reading “Blossomfall”
The Bittersweetness of Things
‘If the cherry blossoms lasted six months, nobody would love them’.
This sentence1 lies close to the heart of Japanese culture. Right now, the cherry blossom is covering the city in a thick mist of wan, snowy petals, and the city’s outdoor spaces are coming alive again after the winter. Stirring dull roots with spring rain, and all that. Despite a cold snap, people are barbecuing on the riverfront and eating picnics in the park. Every man and his dog carries himself like a pro photographer.
Continue reading “The Bittersweetness of Things”
Valentine’s Politics and Detachable Limbs (Another Miscellany)
It’s rare for me, but I’m struggling to find something to say. Usually there’s too much, to the extent that I’m forced to self-edit. I’ve been working a lot the last couple of weeks, and I haven’t had much money, and it’s still cold here, so life’s been on the quiet side. I’ve been trying to promote the blog on Instagram and via a couple of internet forums, but without much success. Continue reading “Valentine’s Politics and Detachable Limbs (Another Miscellany)”
Leaving the Suburbs
A mere snippet today, since it’s official- I’m moving house in a few weeks! I’ll be moving to Takaramachi, in the city centre. I like peaceful suburban Itsukaichi well enough, but it’s surprisingly distant from the metropolis. Hiroshima’s not a huge city, but it stretches around the harbour, and Itsukaichi is on its southwestern edge. And the trams and trains here all stop around midnight, leaving me with few options after a night out. Continue reading “Leaving the Suburbs”
No Place (or, Stuck in the Nineties)
‘Evening. What’s new with me, you ask? Well, I’ve actually been keeping one of my new year’s resolutions! I decided to get more active, and to that end I’ve started swimming at Hiroshima Central Pool, and am going bouldering once a week with my buddy from work, Brett. He’s a seasoned climber, so he’s giving me tips. The climbing centre is great, although for some people, gravity is just a minor inconvenience. Spot the difference*:
To my chagrin, I’m forced to admit that doing more exercise does make me happier. I’ve been working on taking some more interesting photographs, too, and later in February I’m heading for Shimane Prefecture, to see the birthplace of Japanese civilization. And then in April, I’m visiting Tokyo for the first time!
Anyway, enough about me. Today I want to talk about my biggest surprise when I moved to Japan. Continue reading “No Place (or, Stuck in the Nineties)”
Little Things (小さな事)
Hey y’all citizens of the internet. No big intro this time- I’m of a sunny disposition this week, so I figured I’d write a bit about what makes me happy in Hiroshima, and more broadly in Japan. Continue reading “Little Things (小さな事)”
Fever Dreams of the First Six Months
So, inevitably I caught some kind of bug as my autumn term is wrapping up. I’ve been mulling over my penultimate offering before I fly back to the motherland, but I feel a bit feverish and ill-equipped for prose. So I thought I’d give you some weird poetry instead, based on some of my favourite photographs of my time in Japan. Haiku, naturally. Continue reading “Fever Dreams of the First Six Months”