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

Art Without Oil: The people trying to end fossil fuel sponsorship of the arts – VICE

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, fields, 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

日常に潜む放射性物質の影:原発事故と福島のいま – WIRED JP

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.

COVID-19: a breath of fresh air for building design? – Modus

Stormy weather: who suffers most when the rain hits hard? Inequality after Hurricane Harvey – Modus

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 –

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 the work of artist Rokudenashiko, who was 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

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