This month I was in Unseen Japan for a piece called How Schools on Remote Japanese Islands are Fighting Depopulation→ In that article I detail the genesis of the study abroad program my family and I went on for our year on Iki Island (see FAQ). In writing the article I had the pleasure ofContinue reading “Interviewing Superintendent Kubota”
Between May 2020 and June 2021 I moved my family to the remote island (ritō 離島) of Ikijima. To find out why, check the FAQ. Three months after leaving Japan and returning to Canada, I would like to reflect on that year. Real quick though, in case you don’t already know: What are Japan’s RemoteContinue reading “My year on Ikijima, a remote Japanese island”
In the community we lived in on Ikijima there is a kids club that meets every Friday after school. A local non-profit put together a small office out of bits of wood and corrugated plastic to do its work. It had a concrete floor and big table in the center for meetings. There were strategicContinue reading “Antiracist baby in Japanese”
(This is the first of a video series driving around Ikijima. I will be uploading more vids as I edit them.) Iki is just a small island, only 17km long and 14km wide. Many of the attractions are outdoors, so when people visit, I would often take them on driving tours like this. On aContinue reading “Driving Iki: Indōji to Hara-no-tsuji, the ancient Yayoi settlement”
Our first summer spent on Iki in 2020 was a bit hectic. We had just arrived in May: new community, new house, new school, new life. We didn’t know the roads, weather, where the good beaches were, the best times to swim — we didn’t know anything about island life. So we were very muchContinue reading “Sudden Goodbyes”
The Arashiyama bamboo grove is one of those must-go places when you visit. Located in the west of the city, at the foot of Mount Arashiyama, it is a major tourist area offering all the amenities you would expect of a trip to the “ancient” capital (including Rilakkuma pancakes!). Likely the most photographed sight inContinue reading “Rural perspective — Review of “Inaka” on WiK”
Today is our 1 Year Anniversary of moving to the remote island of Ikijima. (More on Why Iki here →) We have enjoyed clear blue water, white sand beaches, stunning sunrises, windy days, typhoons, unexpected snow, cancelled flights and boats, new friends, tough days at Japanese school, trips to the mainland, and much more.
Last weekend was the first time I left Ikijima for four months. But it isn’t like we have been spending the whole time huddled in our house against the snowpocalypse. The weather was really crappy, and we did have a couple of weeks where coronavirus flared up on the island for the first time sinceContinue reading “Around Iki by video”
FAQ-style backgrounder about why me and my family moved to the remote island of Ikijima (aka “Iki Island” aka “Iki”) on a study abroad program.
Often on Twitter I will mention hearing about some local happening on the island like new coronavirus cases or massive snowfall stalling bus service. These updates come across the emergency broadcast system, or 告知放送 kokuchi hōsō. We are all familiar with speakers mounted on towers and buildings in every neighbourhood in Japan. But this isContinue reading “Island emergency broadcast system”