August in Japan

A little something we published in Japan Echo in 2005, the sixtieth year after the end of the war. I like to revisit it when August rolls around. Remembering Hiroshima August has arrived. Soon Hiroshima will commemorate the anniversary of its atomic bombing. At 8:15 in the morning on August 6, a call for silent […]

Here’s hoping for poems

Two years ago today, right now, I was walking around central Tokyo, probably. The quake hit, we were glued to the office television, I was glued to Twitter. No phones; no contact with home until later in the evening. A walk to the Conrad to see whether the brother in law was doing all right […]

The new guy in Tokyo

So David Lee Roth has an apartment in Tokyo now, which is unexpected, I guess. There’s a good interview with him in Rolling Stone that paints him as a pretty interesting guy with interesting approaches to music at this stage of his lengthy career. He’s attending language classes to pick up Japanese and working on […]

Japan Echo on the Edo period

In 2003 Tokyo celebrated the four-hundredth anniversary of its designation as Japan’s political capital. In that year and the next, Japan Echo magazine commissioned a series of articles by Edo-period specialists outlining interesting and little-known details of life in and one of the world’s greatest cities of that age. They’re still available online, in all […]

Me and the president

Me and the president Originally uploaded by Durf Martti Ahtisaari is a former Finnish president and the recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He came to Japan to speak on conflict resolution and then toured the tsunami-stricken areas near Sendai. I got to tag along and interview him for around a half-hour in the […]