We all romanticize our youth

INTERVIEWER What about Joseph Conrad? MITCHELL His story “Youth” has this beautiful passage about your first landfall in Asia and how it haunts you for the rest of your life—everything is downhill afterward. There’s something of that in the end of Thousand Autumns. We all romanticize our youth, but when East Asia is intertwined withContinue reading “We all romanticize our youth”

The Japanese food you need to eat: Ramen

You know what you should eat if you go to Japan? Ramen, especially if you go in the Spring or Autumn (the best seasons to visit Japan, perhaps because they’re well suited to ramen). So what is it? A giant bowl of thick broth with noodles, sliced meat and other goodness. This article from theContinue reading “The Japanese food you need to eat: Ramen”

Fashion versus Clothes (and Apple, of course)

Image: Flickr user JBlaze B It’s always interesting to look at the choices a successful business makes, particularly, choices that are conscious limitations. So-and-so inc expanding into a new area or launching a new copycat product is fairly dull. Looking for new markets, consumers and money is a given in a modern economy. In contrast,Continue reading “Fashion versus Clothes (and Apple, of course)”

Two cool Japanese iPhone apps

Via App.itize.us, a new iPhone apps blog, comes 51 Japanese Characters. Simple but fun, it features 51 Japanese “characters” – otaku, samurai, gyaru etc; give it a shake and it’ll mix and match their body parts. Secondly, from the Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA) and Heidelberg Japan K. K.,  “(^_^)365(O_O)” (Hello 365) tear-off calendar forContinue reading “Two cool Japanese iPhone apps”

Added to the wishlist: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

[Book] How could it not be? The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is the new one from David Mitchell, my favourite living author. It sees Mitchell’s fiction returning to Japan – site of the many of the stories in his first book, Ghostwritten, and a place that helped shape him as a writer: “InContinue reading “Added to the wishlist: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet”

Flickr Superstars

A post on the Flickr blog got me thinking about my 12 ‘Flickr Superstars’. As I made my notes, several themes emerged: i. The Far East, specifically Japan. Having visited the Far East specifically, and having a Japanese fiancee, it’s no surprise that I’m fascinated by Japan, and I think there’s also a sense ofContinue reading “Flickr Superstars”

On the Todo list: Japanese Human Tetris

The Jesteress, the most expert YouTuber I know, just sent me this link to an exerpt from a Japanese TV game show, where contestants play “human tetris”. They’re the last block and must complete the game by fitting into the shape in the advancing wall. It’s a funny watch, but even funnier was what happenedContinue reading “On the Todo list: Japanese Human Tetris”