Archive for the ‘society’ Category

Walking home with colleagues after dinner the other night, we passed this cute sign advertising some porcine parking, and I was reminded once again of how fantastic Japanese is for the making of inventive puns. “Boo boo” (ブーブー) is, of course, what pigs say in Japanese and, as my colleagues informed me, it’s also the […]


your name

30Mar17

It might seem a bit facetious to link Your Name (君の名は), the Japanese animated sensation of 2016, with the trauma and mourning of a documentary like Trace of Breath. Your Name, which I’m going to refer to as Kimi no Na wa from this point on (because it simply feels more natural) is a kind […]


trace of breath

26Mar17

Komori Haruka’s documentary, Trace of Breath (息の跡) tells the story of Sato Teiichi, a survivor of the 2011 tsunami who has returned to the city of Rikuzentakata to reestablish the seed shop that he used to run there. In addition to selling seeds, however, Sato-san has also written an account of his experience of the […]


The first bit of this post about the Year of the Sheep dates from two years ago. I was trying to get back to posting regularly, but in the end the work/life overload interfered with that idea, just as it always seems to do. In any case, I’ve wanted to return to this post for […]


Riding the Osaka Wheel takes you up above the Expo 70 Commemorative Park and you end up looking down on Okamoto Taro’s famous Tower of the Sun, the centerpiece of the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka, as if from a helicopter. I’ve already written about the way in which the traces of the Expo can […]


glitchopolis

05Sep13

This series of photographs was shot from the train window between Osaka and Kobe on the Hankyu line using the panorama function on my iPod touch.  The rapid shifting between foreground and background focus points ended up confusing the camera and resulted in these gloriously fragmented views of what would otherwise be a mostly bland […]


Kunio Kato’s beautiful and melancholic Academy Award winning animated short, Tsumiki no Ie (つみきのいえ) — The House of Small Cubes — is a film infused with the sadness of disappearing time.  The source of melancholy seems obvious at first: it’s the classic melancholy of old age in which the gradual erasure of the world one […]