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 […]

Cabinet numbers

So the voting is now underway for the Democratic Party of Japan’s presidency, and thus the next prime minister of Japan. Tomorrow all the papers will carry their pieces on “the ninety-fifth prime minister.”* Which is odd, really. The number 95 doesn’t refer to the number of prime ministers who have headed up Japan’s government, […]