Can the Netherlands’ ground-shifting plan prevent flooding? / Financial Times
What would an entirely flood-proof city look like? / The Guardian
Fukushima’s nuclear disaster
Since I sat in a shaking building in Tokyo on March 11, 2011, watching the tsunami swallow homes, field and people live on television, the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident has been a focus in my work. In 2020 I went back to write a long read for WIRED on how people in Fukushima are still coping with the consequences of the disaster, and how a manmade tragedy differs from a natural disaster.
Fukushima farmer says government got it all wrong – Asahi Shimbun
Urban issues and housing
Some of these articles were the output of a six-month research project I led at the Asia Initiative Foundation on Japan’s built landscape. You can find more about the project here.
Tokyo designers push the boundaries of wooden skyscrapers– Financial Times
A house for all seasons – Financial Times
A greater share for the Japanese sharehouse – Nippon.com
Culture, politics, and society
Culture and society have been a focus for me ever since I studied anthropology at university. Many of these articles are about contemporary culture in Japan, where I lived for seven years. You can find a more comprehensive collection here.
What Pokemon, Japanese schoolgirl punks, and cocaine have in common – Foreign Policy. A look at the psychological response to cute objects that makes Pokemon so addictive as an escapist pleasure in dark times.
Under the ‘Orientalist’ kimono – Exploring Japan’s “orientalisation” of the kimono, in The Japan Times
Asylum seekers find little refuge in Japan – Originally in Metropolis magazine
Novelist Mizumura fights to arrest fall of Japanese literature, Review of “The Fall of Language in the Age of English” in the Japan Times
A minicar named Hustler? Japan’s brand names raise eyebrows – On inappropriate Japanese brand names, for Reuters
Japan has a cute problem – Why “kawaii” culture holds women down, in Matter
The vagina, in all its ‘obscene’ glory A review of artist Rokudenashiko’s manga, which is about being arrested for making controversial art based on her genitalia.- The Japan Times
A woman’s lowly place in Japan, mirrored by its language – The Japan Times
Between 2012-2014, I was a correspondent at Reuters in Tokyo. You can find a more comprehensive collection of my articles from that time here.
Yayoi Kusama: at 85, ‘the ideas just keep coming’ – The Sunday Telegraph
In the Kinky City – Tokyo Art Beat
If you cut into the present, the future leaks out – Tokyo Art Beat
Sentimental Journeys – Tokyo Art Beat
The Queasy Trinity – Tokyo Art Beat
Guerrillas in the Midst – Tokyo Art Beat
Film & Music
Excerpts and details of these articles can be found here.
Stallion Rock – Heso
Tokyo 23rd Film Festival – Heso
For the love of cinema — Heso
Can the cold make you stronger? – On Dutch daredevil Wim Hof, The Guardian