Archive for November, 2011

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Good Fortune Has Tentacles

Friday night, at the Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku: I took this pic at the Tori no ichi – a festival about good luck.  These… …are bamboo rakes, to help you ‘rake in’ good fortune, each one so elaborately decorated that they made the place feel like a dragon’s treasure horde. Other stalls at the festival [...]

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Friday, November 25th, 2011

A Terrible Mistake

Near-fatal faux pas leaves author forced to climb mountain, tell gods he’s sorry: this week on Trapped By Monsters, Don’t Tangle with Tengu.

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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

What I Am Doing Here

What Am I Doing Here in Tokyo? It’s ok, sometimes I ask myself that, too. ;D The answer is, I’m writing a book. I’ve been researching and planning this story since May (and before, but that’s when I got serious). It’s wildly ambitious, thoroughly outrageous and occasionally I’m not sure if I’m good enough to [...]

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Monday, November 14th, 2011

Awesome On Tap

My brother – who has his own experience of what it’s like to live in a foreign country – asked me a very good question in an email recently. Wondering how I was finding life in Tokyo, he asked “Is it utterly alien and unsettling, or are you enjoying the change of scenery and weirdness-on-tap?“ [...]

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Sweet / Scary

This week on Trapped By Monsters: surgical masks, J-Pop and the terrifying yokai known as Kuchisake Onna.

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Monday, November 7th, 2011

First Draft, Final Draft and the Distance Between…

Absolutely delighted to have just discovered that the magnificent Mr H. of brilliant blog The Book Zone has chosen the first paragraphs of The Black Tattoo as this week’s Attention Grabber: “my new weekly feature where I post what I think is a great opening paragraph to a book, the sort of opening that pulls [...]

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

Culture Day

Yesterday was a national holiday in Japan – Bunka no hi or Culture Day. I spent the afternoon walking around the forest of Meiji Jingu… …where I was lucky enough to catch an astonishing and beautiful display of martial arts. There was sword fighting… …spear fighting… …and a particularly jaw-dropping display of how even a [...]

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

Tourist Classics

There are certain things that every visitor to Tokyo expects to see, without which any record of a stay here would feel incomplete. In this category are plastic food, as displayed outside restaurants to show what’s available inside: This selection of Western dishes is, I think, a particularly alarming example. Check out the greasy gleam [...]

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