LETTERS FROM A FLOATING WORLD

It’s only Rock n’ Roll (*)

Every time they hear that an earthquake happened in Japan (and especially if it is big, like the one with a magnitude of 8.5...

Galapagos Islands

It’s the most common question I get from those who read what I write in the technology website “Deasy”: why are my articles about...

Japan drinks and goes home (*)

They drink. A lot. They drink at festivals, at restaurants and cafés, at karaoke parlors, at onsen, at bars, clubs, on the street, at...

Gates to nowhere

I think the most famous is the one in Mukojima (the name of the island is “Itsukushima” but not even locals use it) and...

The glass is half-full

In one of the classic Chinese texts, the 3rd century BC “Xunzi” there is a story attributed to Confucius and it involves a water...

Real money

Recently, I was writing an article about the difficulties when comparing cities in an effort to evaluate the cost of living in each: even...

Invisible

If you talk with those standing and selling “The Big Issue” in the western entrance of Shinjuku Station they will tell you with certainty...

Matters of style

I was reading recently an article saying that one of the marks that make a newcomer in Tokyo stand out is that they feel...

Her chasitsu

I saw her for the first time dressed in her kimono in the chasitsu, the special room for sado, the “tea ceremony” she had...

And the people bowed and prayed

What impressed me more the first time I went into a pachinko parlor was not the rows of absorbed players that seemed as if...

And miles to go before I sleep

Together with the homeless in Shinjuku Station and the inhumanly congested trains, also in Shinjuku Station, images of the Japanese sleeping in the trains...

Cleanliness, godliness etc.

I’ve written it before: During the Edo times it was said about the big city that besides Ise merchants’ shops, Inari shrines, brawls and...

Instant conscience

One of the most common reprehensions against the Japanese is that they are not inventive, that they rarely come up with an idea from...

Naked relationships

I often say that the Japanese are so clean that they take a bath before they take a bath; most people laugh thinking I’m...

Nenikekamen

Being fanatically anti-sports (mostly from the viewpoint of the spectator but to a great extent also from that of the participant –I find no...

Agora

It will probably sound like blasphemy to all those marvelous cliché: the snow-topped Fuji, the blossoming cherry trees, the suggestive smile of a geisha...

And God created the great creatures of the sea

In early 2012, animal protection organization International Fund for Animal Welfare asked two Japanese bodies, the company ESquare and the Nippon Research Center to...

From Hiroshima to the Highlands –and back

And suddenly the whole world found out what the Japanese knew for years but, due to their characteristic introversion, they had neglected to share...

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