The last ten years...
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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2w ago
A few days ago I posted a simple "10". The reference was to the tenth birthday of TenguLife, not long until she's a teenager... With over 600 articles out there it's been a real kick when people come to me and say "I didn't know that". My audience went from 90% overseas to 60% international as many in Japan started to tune in for the information they'd missed and enjoyed reading. So what has changed in the last ten years? (And I'm going to deliberately avoid the negatives of the world today before you ask) Japanese social media went the way of MySpace and Toshiba the way of the Dodo (with Sony ..read more
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Ten
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
by
3w ago
 Who would have guessed it ..read more
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Haneda and a Dog's Breakfast
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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8M ago
So the doors have (almost) opened again. To arrive in the country you still need something akin to infinite patience as the on-line pre-registration is a little less than unreliable, the vaccine certificate wasn't accepted and the App has been discontinued and changed, re-installed and discontinued again. Still, the several hundred staff laid-on to assist were super polite (though I cannot imagine how) and helped me through as I arrived back on Terra Yamato after a fourteen plus hour flight from the UK. This is all due to change though in the coming weeks as quarantine restrictions become (um ..read more
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A day in the life
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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10M ago
Sitting in a lunchtime restaurant I'm watch two ladies, roughly late sixties, giggling and drinking their beer from the bottle. Above them the painting of three bikini clad girls with a bottle of Baileys in the corner. In front of me a guy is trying to convince his girlfriend he does love her and to the right, the same but he's clearly lost the argument. Behind, a group of ladies, one of whom sounds a little like a Macaw, somewhat drowning out the others. Everything in Japanese, which is ok if you know the subject but you lose it quickly as they flip subjects between themselves. The staff know ..read more
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The Perceptions of a Geisha
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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1y ago
The perceptions of the countries of the world are always interesting to encounter. The British food is solely fish and chips, all Americans carry guns, New Zealand is full of hobbits and all Spaniards dance The Flamenco. Etc. Obviously the stereotypes not only differ by country under review but also by the country of those enjoying the review. For example my French friends have rarely mentioned the British penchant for seafood but apparently I do (full disclosure: I'm British) eat roast beef. All day, everyday. And in return, every Frenchman rides around on bicycles in a black and white stri ..read more
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The Olympics of Kano Jigoro
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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1y ago
On a sunny 4th of August, the Japanese athlete, Naoto Tajima, leapt 7.74m into the history books of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Triple jumper by speciality, he was more than a half decent long jumper too. He came third that day and stood on the pantheon taking his place and laurels into history. Standing next to Jesse Owens who was on his way to winning four gold medals (and somewhat poking a stick in the eve of a certain dictator) (oh, and wearing very early Adidas running shoes) outlines his achievements. However, this story is about the Japanese delegation which had been lobbying hard for a n ..read more
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So Exactly When Is It In Japan?
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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2y ago
I have an interesting dilemma, though if push ever came to shove, I'm fairly sure the local constabulary probably wouldn't agree with me. The issue is, my driving license, a document that is managed under the Japanese system of defining year by the reign of the Emperor, expires in Heisei 35 as clearly displayed in bold writing on the front. Except today is Reiwa 4, and there never will be a Heisei 35 following the well earned retirement of Emperor Akihito in 2019. And in there, lies the rub. After the ascension of the new Emperor, the prior counting system ceased to continue. Government relate ..read more
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A Pina Colada at Trader Vics
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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2y ago
Some people have interesting traditions. In something of a different era, I once called a friend on the last Friday before Christmas. People were out of town and truth be told I was somewhat bored so calling around those still in situ. One friend answered thinking it was his girlfriend (let's not get into what he actually said when he found out it was me...) and we decided to catch up. He had something with him I'd never seen before, and it held a lot of music. The iPod had been launched to the world some two months prior and so I've always been able to date that last Friday to his shiny white ..read more
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A Namamugi Hike to Yokohama
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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2y ago
More years ago than I care to remember I walked "The Kiso Way" from Magome to Tsumago in Nagano-ken, one of the few remaining sections of the Tokaido, the Edo Period stone highway connecting Tokyo and Kyoto. At least I thought I did. Researching this article I've found I'd strolled the Nakasendo, the other road from Tokyo to Kyoto. Which somewhat negates the flow of this article that last weekend I walked the other end of the Tokaido, but this time I'm sure. I had a historian with me. And he had a map. Setting off from Hachiko in central Tokyo at 6.00AM beating the noise and heat of day ..read more
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A Horse to Hokkaido
TenguLife: The curious guide to Japan
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2y ago
In 1878 the (yet to be) empire of Japan had not only opened to foreigners for the first time in nearly 300 years but had been through a civil war, embraced a new (actually its first) constitution placing the Emperor (Mikado) at the center of both political and religious helms but also relocated said foreigners from Shimoda (where they could count the ships supplying supplies to Tokyo) to the sleepy port town of Yokohama (where they could be seen but not heard). And then Isabella Bird arrived. Leaving England to find balmier climes for health reasons (and not enjoying Australia too much) she ar ..read more
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