Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Live talk for Columbia Alumni Association of Japan, Feb. 8

I'm honored to be joining fellow Columbia grads in Tokyo for a talk & Happy Hour on Thursday, February 8th, 7 - 9 p.m., at Aux Bacchanales, Kioicho, Shin Kioicho Bldg. 1F, 4-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (at Hotel New Otani). Info & rsvp here.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Foreign anime artists launch studio in Japan



Arthell Isom and Henry Thurlow of D'Art Shtajio (Ben Gonzales)

In an interview with Buzzfeed two years ago, American animator Henry Thurlow, who had moved to Tokyo from New York six years earlier, summed up his dilemma. “When I was working as an animator in New York, I could afford an apartment, buy stuff and had time to ‘live a life,'” he said. “Now (in Japan) everything about my life is utterly horrible, (but) the artist in me is completely satisfied.”

Indigo Ignited (D'Art Shtajio)

He’s still here. I tracked Thurlow down in a quiet corner of Nishi-Shinjuku, where he is now in what he calls “the inevitable next iteration” of his journey through the anime industry: his own studio.

Friday, January 19, 2018

My review of GHOSTS OF THE TSUNAMI for The Monitor


Author Richard Lloyd Parry

I started reading Ghosts of the Tsunami half-expecting to be bored. Not because of its author, Richard Lloyd Parry, the Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief for the Times of London, who over the course of three books has proven himself an excellent reporter and writer. But as a fellow expat and journalist in Japan, I have already seen so many stories and documentaries about its subject – Japan’s 2011 tsunami. I have visited the devastated region, interviewing survivors and public officials for media in the US and Japan. Aside from some updated statistics and reportage, I couldn’t imagine the book would tell me anything I didn’t already know.

Japanese translation from Hayakawa

I was wrong from page one. “Ghosts” is less an analytical or journalistic account than it is a character-driven, novelistic narrative about loss and trauma in a community disfigured by tragedy. While it is filled with meditations on the rituals and possible meanings of death, it begins with a new life.