Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Jalan Jalan (68): Neighborhood Tachinomiya Under Construction - a noren to protect the entrance and a cover for the whole building during renovation...

Yeah yeah yeah... I know... A lot of construction-destruction-reconstruction themes for the jalan jalan as of late. This tachinomiya is across from my neighborhood train station and is always a temptation when returning home from work. I was concerned when I saw it was under construction but to my relief it remains open even while the renovation work goes on.

Closed the next evening (as per usual on their Wednesday holiday).

Open the next day...

The next day - open even while the construction work goes on?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

"'Children are the real victims of conflict' The global refugee crisis through the lens of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Muhammed Muheisen"

Photo borrowed from story on

Not Japan related (let's not get started by Japan's attitudes about refugees and asylum seekers...), but an important photography story none the less...

Jordanian photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen aims to bring to life the stories of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people, as well as the challenges they face settling in new countries.

The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has been documenting refugee crises across the Middle East, Asia and Europe for over a decade.

“Not everyone is aware of what is happening in our world," Muheisen tells SBS Greek.

"We always use the word 'refugee', but behind the word, there are people with homes and hopes, people who had memories and families but they were forced to leave their homes and look for a safer place."

Muheisen recently exhibited a selection of his work in Athens under the title 'Light on the Move'.

The featured images present the daily lives of refugees and internally displaced people from different parts of the world.

The photographic exhibition was co-hosted by the United Nations Migration Agency in Greece.

See/read the whole story:

Monday, June 17, 2019

"Photojournalist reveals unheard voices of 'Japanese wives' in N Korea"

Photo borrowed from "NORTH KOREA 2017-2018" project.

See the UPDATE below.

Text from Japan Today, 6/17/19.

An award-winning photojournalist has shed light on forgotten Japanese women, who married Korean men and moved to North Korea in a 1959-1984 repatriation project.

"They have been in different settings since arriving in North Korea. Some of them have lost contact with their relatives in Japan, while some still wrestle with their conscience as they left their families in Japan behind," said Noriko Hayashi.

"Each of their lives is equally irreplaceable, and as most of them are getting old, we do not have that much time left to hear what they have to say," she added.

Recording their unheard voices and photographing their present-day lives, Hayashi will soon publish a book, "Japanese Wives Who Moved to Korea," on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the launch of the repatriation project.

It brought 93,000 people -- Koreans and their families including 1,830 Japanese wives -- to the North, which was hailed a "paradise on earth," with secure employment and housing.

Hayashi, 35, visited North Korea 11 times from 2013 to 2018 and met with nine Japanese wives. While North Korean guides or interpreters attended each interview, Hayashi said she did not feel too constrained by them.


Tokyo-based Iwanami Shoten Publishers will publish Hayashi's book, which will cost just over 1,000 yen with 32 photos, on June 20.

Read the whole story:

This is a fascinating and very important project. It is unfortunate that no photos were included with the news story. Luckily Noriko Hayashi has a great website with information about her projects and lots of great and illuminating photos. This project isn't listed on her website yet but there are plenty of other photos from North Korea. And other places as well. I highly recommend checking out her work.

Noriko Hayashi's website:

Of personal interest is a project about a young deaf boy in Cambodia living with HIV/AIDS. (VAOJ readers are familiar with my research on HIV/AIDS in Japan, especially concerning Deaf communities.)


The Japan Times (6/18/19) ran the same story with a picture.

Caption: Mitsuko Minakawa, one of the Japanese wives who moved to North Korea, holds her wedding picture, taken in 1960 in Hakodate, Hokkaido, at her apartment in Wonsan in August 2016. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

New Resource: Digital Humanities Japan

Announcement from Paula R. Curtis via H-Japan:

The Digital Humanities Japan initiative is pleased to formally announce the launch of our website and its associated content. This includes a mailing list and a resource wiki.

Our wiki contains (among other things):

Scholars Directory - A submission form where you can list yourself a DH Japan scholar, including your current projects, skill sets, and contact information. We hope this will enhance everyone's ability to find collaborators and find new and fascinating work in the field.

Publications - An open-access google doc where you can list your publications or the publications of others related to the intersection of DH/Japan, whether informational blog posts or peer-reviewed writing.

DH Tools - A list of Japan-specific digital tools, as well as a database of broader DH Tools, separated by category.

There is much more on the wiki, and we hope that the present resources will help facilitate more work on the intersection of Japan and Digital Studies. We encourage contributions from the community to help our resources grow. Contact information is available on the DHJ site for those with any questions.

Mission Statement (from the website): Digital Humanities Japan is an international and interdisciplinary community of scholars and professionals interested in working with digital methods, tools, and resources for Japanese Studies. As a collective, we aim to foster collaboration between those with similar interests by promoting scholarly dialogue, holding workshops to develop technical skills and project ideas, and creating a central platform for the sharing of resources related to digital methods.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Would you get on a tour bus with this Happy Angel?

Passing through Kyoto the other day we encountered this tour bus [ヒトミ観光バス] - the company is from Wakayama Prefecture. Looks more like Horrorman than a happy angel...

Horrorman at the Anpanman Children's Museum in Kobe.