Recent Posts

Travel Tales from Hokkaido II
January 24, 2017

Travel Tales from Hokkaido Part 2: Discovering a New World

Erik’s adventures with the Japan Explorer Pass continue as he heads further west. Part Two: An Apple desktop, marching penguins and snowshoeing in the moonlight.

A train guard watching a train pass.
January 23, 2017

Hardworking Sensationalism: How International Media Misrepresents Japan

Don’t believe the hype — Japan deserves better.

Exploring Hokkaido with Japan Airlines
January 17, 2017

Travel Tales from Hokkaido: Exploring the “Wild West” of Japan

Follow one writer’s adventures to unknown corners of this wild island with the Japan Explorer Pass. Part One: Dog sledding, pork bowls, horse-racing and outdoor drinking.

December 16, 2015

Conceptions of Black and White in Japan

I can hope to shed some light on media portrayals of blackness and whiteness in Japan.

December 12, 2015

What To Do When Stopped By The Police

Police can stop you for questioning and seize you if you try to escape but you have no obligation to answer their questions.

August 14, 2015

No Guide Book Osaka: Stroll Through The Tanimachi Neighborhood

A relaxed stroll through Osaka’s Tanimachi Neighborhood.

August 3, 2015

The Ritualization of Everyday Life in Japan

It is bizarre to imagine a workplace full of such a degree of order and dedication, in which ritual practices like recitation are common experiences

June 29, 2015

No Guide Book: A Culinary Adventure in Osaka’s Tennoji Neighborhood

A couple of hidden food gems in the gritty tennoji neighborhood.

June 18, 2015

Does Japan Make the Person or Does the Person Make Japan?

How does a personal identity fit with the national identity of Japan?

June 11, 2015

Is Japanese Television a Tool for Establishing Social Order?

What role does the TV play in a country like Japan?

May 4, 2015

10 Japanese Souvenirs You Can Fit In Your Carry-on

Visiting a friend’s house in Tokyo? Going to see extended relatives for the first time? Don’t forget to bring an…

April 1, 2015

Japan’s Faltering Employment System

How will the growing fallibility of Japan’s institutions affect the country’s social values?