Articles

Climate Change

Can the Netherlands’ ground-shifting plan prevent flooding? / Financial Times

What would an entirely flood-proof city look like? / The Guardian

Can bringing back starry nights stimulate the climate movement? / Citylab 

Harnessing the power of community to drive an energy revolution / Japan Times

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.

Nine years on, Fukushima’s mental health fallout lingers – WIRED UK

Insight: Japan’s nuclear clean-up: costly, complex and at risk of failing – Reuters

For many Fukushima evacuees, the truth is they won’t be going home – Reuters

Special Report: Help wanted in Fukushima: Low pay, high risks and gangsters – Reuters

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.

Bike-dominated Amsterdam is not a walker’s paradise – Citylab

Muji is redesigning Tokyo’s cheap estate housing as a hip lifestyle choice – Quartz

Tokyo designers push the boundaries of wooden skyscrapers– Financial Times

A house for all seasons – Financial Times

Amsterdam’s incubator bureau is working with former squatters to create low rent studios for artists and entrepreneurs – Quartz

Where are the world’s most elderly cities, and how are they coping with ageing populations? – The Guardian

Japanese prefab tiny homes could change the way we think about disaster housing – Quartz

A greater share for the Japanese sharehouse – Nippon.com

Review of Tokyo Totem, a guide of how to find one’s rhythm in Tokyo’s urban sprawl – TimeOut

 

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.

White apologies are almost as bad as the crimes that sparked them – Medium

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

How Japan’s election could change the shaky balance of military power in Asia – Quartz

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

Gender inequality

 

 

Gender inequality is still stark in the home. Could a wage rectify the balance? – The Atlantic

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

Tech

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

Silicon to spinach: Japan tech helps farmers cope with climate shifts – Reuters

Deregulation at heart of Japan’s new robotics revolution – Reuters

Your fridge just texted: Japan electronics firms pin hopes on ‘smart’ appliances – Reuters

Insight: At Mt. Gox bitcoin hub, ‘geek’ CEO sought both control and escape – Reuters

Exclusive: Mt. Gox faced questions on handling client cash long before crisis – Reuters

 

Art 

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

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by MDMA – Heso

Stallion Rock – Heso

Tokyo 23rd Film Festival – Heso

For the love of cinema — Heso

Food

How to make Real Korean-Style Kimchi – Heso

Silicon to spinach: Japan tech helps farmers cope with climate shifts – Reuters

Health

Can the cold make you stronger? – On Dutch daredevil Wim Hof, The Guardian

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