'Looking Back: This Past Year after the Earthquake' is a new website that gives voice to students of Kesen Junior High School in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, on what they experienced during the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in March 2011. The website is bilingual, in Japanese and English. Dozens of teachers and scores of students from around Japan collaborated to translate the original Japanese into English. The accounts are available under a Creative Commons license. Excerpts tweeted @lookingback311. [more inside]
I wrote a post about one my passions, an entire community of Japanese vloggers devoted to the genre of tenbo shaso (展望車窓), which roughly translates as “train observation car videos.”
A guide to animal cafes in Japan - places to hang out with cats, rabbits, reptiles, small birds or raptors - plus Japanese pet-related news and trends.
Since September 2014 I have contributed stories about Japan as Global Voices' Japan Editor. I report on what Japanese people are actually saying about the news on Twitter, in blogs, and on 2chan (somewhat similar to Reddit). Often I can find eyewitness accounts (in Japanese) to what's happening in the news, sometimes even scooping Western news outlets. It's all about presenting an authentic, slightly quirky take on current events in Japan.
I had a blast making this in about 2 weeks. Make your own visual novel with just a few clicks! It's for casual users. Please let me know if anything is too difficult. (Might be NSFW) [more inside]
A database and visual search engine of over 200,000 Japanese woodblock prints. Starting in the early 1700s and exploding in popularity throughout the 1800s, Japanese woodblock prints depicted the fantastic world of Kabuki actors, courtesans, warriors, and nature. The style of the prints feels particularly modern and vibrant, even today a couple hundred years later. This project aggregates prints from a number of museums, dealers, and auction houses into a single searchable resource. [more inside]
"Brother and sister storytellers! I have seen wonders today." ...The Tale of Rinji is a fantasy novel that I published this year, an adult fairy tale set in Japan. The audiobook, unabridged and read by me, is available for free download from CDBaby.
Four years ago, I mentioned a website on MeFi projects called "Nonjatta", exploring the obscure world of Japanese whisky. That project grew a bit, and turned into a exploration of all sorts of nooks and crannies of Japanese alcohol culture, which I discovered was far more complicated than a few rice wines and whiskies. I am just publishing a book called "Drinking Japan" about that research and have started a new website to go with the book (including maps of bars, references and news updates). Mefi gave me my first surge of interest in the Nonjatta website (which has grown a bit) and I thought some people might be interested.
is a virtual jukebox oozing with time-delayed, glitchy fun. Streaming live over the web, London and Kumamoto will be joined in a sing off to end all sing offs. The first GLTI.CH KARAOKE event will laugh in the face of the nine hour time difference, of poor bandwidth, bad lip syncing, and terrible foreign language translations. All that matters is that the interwebs keep running and the participants keep on singing. From our first event we will encourage a whole series GLTI.CH Karaoke happenings. Using webstreaming software our eventual aim is to link up multiple cities across the globe for an all-out, Noon til Noon, 24 hour Karaoke marathon. This means we need YOU to help host future events, with all proceeds raised going to The Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund. [more inside]
Follow along with me on my adventure of giving birth to my first kid in Japan. The actual main event will be posted via cell phone updates by a couple of brave souls seeing the event through with me (or more likely outside of the room with celebratory beverages flowing). Also has information leading up to and after of what it's like to have a child here. Estimated due date is May 14 - but I could burst at any time! More fun and excitement than a barrel full of monkeys really.....