My year on Ikijima, a remote Japanese island

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”

Rural perspective — Review of “Inaka” on WiK

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”

Creating the image of peace — Kitamura Seibo

Just north of the hypocenter where the atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki is a commemorative park honouring victims of mass destruction. Walkways wend through trimmed lawns dotted with sculptures gifted from nations around the world in a mournful solidarity. The piece that caps the display is of a powerful man, one hand pointing up atContinue reading “Creating the image of peace — Kitamura Seibo”

Island emergency broadcast system

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”

The nearly 400 year legacy of a cutting edge ceramic coffee filter

This NY Times piece on a 1,020 year old shop in Kyoto has been making the rounds online. It got me thinking about other examples of products or skills that have traversed centuries, and a random discovery we made at a shopping stall: a paperless ceramic coffee filter. Last October we travelled to Imari andContinue reading “The nearly 400 year legacy of a cutting edge ceramic coffee filter”