April 1, 2009


Well, I thought it was time to try and start this thing up again, so here goes. I won't go into the reasons for my absence since most of you know what's been happening and the rest probably don't care. And because the title is "Andy's Jap Blog", not "Andy's Blog 'O' Misery". Anyway whatever, I'm back to spew my creative juices onto the Interweb, so let's see what kind of wonderful mess they make.

While we're on the subject (of the blog name, not my juices) I really think I ought to change the name of this thing. Calling it my "Jap" blog seems somewhat constrictive in that I can only post about my life here in Japan, when, obviously, I have a whole universe of other thoughts and wisdom to share. But the only other name I can come up with is the deeply unimaginative "Andy's Blog", which, frankly, is a bit shit. Or there's "Taking it up the Archipelago", which I like but which might sound more than a little gay. So I'm open to suggestions.

In the meantime this blog is under construction as I fiddle with new templates and generally try to update it.

Sakura season is upon us once again! If only it was like this all year round. Hey ho. I did something slightly trainspotter-esque over the weekend for the sake of exploration...I travelled to the north-east of Nagoya (not a hugely taxing journey, considering that I live in the south-east of Nagoya) solely for the purpose of riding the Linimo train line. Linimo is a mag-lev (i.e. a train that is levitated and propelled by a magnetic rail, instead of using wheels). As I boarded I could tell that I was taking a ride...into the future!! Yes, it was next stop year 3000 as I glided (glid?) along on my cushion of magnets. Everything on board is completely automated and the train itself glides like...a thing...through...an analogy. Either way it was well swish, and hopefully I'll find an excuse to ride it again sometime soon.

Yesterday I went to see a live show by Doravideo, aka Yoshimitsu Ishiraku, a jolly chap who somehow looks like he should be a bouncer. He's also a kind of multimedia drummer who connects his drum kit to to some convoluted piece of technology which then projects video images onto a screen in sync with his drumming, accompanied by music. The use of video allows him to work in numerous political and pop culture references (many of which went way over my head), such as a song centered around an old commercial for a bathroom air freshner and another showing looping images of KISS. He played an enormously effective duet with Katsui Yuuji, a rail-thin electric violinist who somehow looks like he should be a science teacher. Really excellent stuff, none of the videos I found online really do them justice so you'll have to take my word for it I guess. I should point out that the above picture isn't mine.


Zoe,  April 02, 2009 6:11 PM  

Hello, there. Good to see you back here. ;)

Tom April 06, 2009 11:39 PM  

At last! He hath return'ed!

How about naming your blog after that weird phrase I wrote on your birthday card? The result of a random Google session for pictures of Japanese text I could copy... I remember it had something to do with Mel Gibson.

Anyway, glad you're back!

Gareth Cook April 07, 2009 3:59 AM  

Hey Andy-San! Have finally managed to send a test comment after many frustrating minutes last week and tonight when blogger refused to accept my google account details.

Wanted to say that I really like the new blog template - it's loads cleaner and has a subtle elegance. As for the name change I loved your suggestion, but agree it would probably attract a more diverse audience. If you did rebrand to that you could always divert criticism by claiming to have rejected more unsuitable titles, such as 'Japs Aye Aye', 'Nippon Nippoff' and 'A Farmer's Wisdom'. Just a thought.

Great to see you posting more regularly and you are putting me to shame - have been very slack since coming back from our hols. Thanks very much for the blatant plug - I'll do my best to reciprocate soon.

Take care and keep posting! Speak soon.

Jonathan April 12, 2009 8:49 AM  

A big "welcome back!" to you, my friend! It was a bit lonelier on the 'Net without you, man.

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