Browsed by
Category: Uncategorised

お久し振り!Long time no see!

お久し振り!Long time no see!

Greetings to you, my dear readers. After an extended sabbatical, I’ve migrated Muzuhashi to WordPress. For reasons that will be revealed on these pages in due course, I intend to start blogging again in the Very Near Future, so thank you for dropping by and keep an eye out for new content – just as soon as I get round to writing some, that is…

Alan Booth Part 2 – This Great Stage of Fools

Alan Booth Part 2 – This Great Stage of Fools

Way back in January 2011, one of the very first posts on this blog was about the writer Alan Booth, who lived here for more than two decades, produced two of the most well known and well liked travel books about Japan, and sadly passed away at the age of just 46. Little did I know at the time, but that post would become by far the most popular that I ever wrote – on a very small scale indeed,…

Read More Read More

Alan Booth

Alan Booth

Alan Booth moved to Japan in his twenties and lived here for more than half his life, until his untimely demise from cancer at the age of 46. On the face of it he would appear to have written just two books, and one of them was published posthumously, so there must be scope for a further collection of his journalism and travel writing, of which there was sufficient for him to earn a living (he doesn’t appear to have…

Read More Read More

Mount Yamizo 八溝山

Mount Yamizo 八溝山

A couple of weeks ago I had a moment of enlightenment, or satori (悟り), as they say in Japanese. At the time I was sitting on a mossy rock, next to a pool of water, in a forest, on a mountaintop, on a cold, damp night, in the pitch dark, and with a plastic bottle in my hand. If you’re wondering how such an unlikely set of circumstances led to a transcendental experience, allow me to explain. Ask most of…

Read More Read More

The Japlish-to-Engrish dictionary

The Japlish-to-Engrish dictionary

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every J-blogger must one day post a series of photographs depicting hapless, hopeless, surreal and / or otherwise amusing uses of the English language by the Japanese. And thus, after two years as Muzuhashi, so this day has come to pass. Some of the photos here were taken several years ago, some are of subjects that must surely have been spotted by other J-bloggers, some depict bizarre uses of the Japanese language by…

Read More Read More

End of the road?

End of the road?

When I created Muzuhashi, my expectations were high. I thought that I would become famous within the blogosphere, that scores of people would leave comments on my blog, and that I would leave comments on their scores of blogs in return. I thought that when people discovered the inherent genius of my writing skills, they would offer me work as a contributor to their newspaper / magazine / travel guide / website / front company for pyramid scheme spam emails….

Read More Read More

My Encounters With Alaska by Michio Hoshino

My Encounters With Alaska by Michio Hoshino

Back in 2004 when I was working for a conversation school in Tokyo, a student of mine had an important business meeting coming up with some foreign clients, and signed up for extra lessons so that he might better understand what was going on without having to be completely reliant on an interpreter. The meeting went well, and by way of thanks, he presented myself and another teacher at the school with gifts. Mine was a book called My Encounters…

Read More Read More

The deep-fried diaries

The deep-fried diaries

Before you go on holiday in – or rather, from – Japan, your friends and relatives will typically ask you these two questions: 1) What do you want to eat in England / North Korea / Swaziland? 2) What Japanese food will do you think you’ll miss when you’re in England / North Korea / Swaziland? And when you get back from your holiday, they will ask you these two questions: 1) What did you eat in England / North…

Read More Read More

Looky-likey

Looky-likey

By some freak of genetics that I don’t pretend to understand, I have been blessed with everyman-like features, and over the years a disproportionately large number of people have told me that I look like someone they know, or someone famous. For example, a friend of mine once went up to someone on the tube and, convinced that it was me, said, ‘Hi, Muzuhashi!’ only to be treated with a blank look and a ‘Who’s Muzuhashi?’ in reply, and in…

Read More Read More

James Ravilious

James Ravilious

Every now and then I come down with a bout of homesickness, and my most recent episode was brought on by the research I had been doing for a lecture about the photographer James Ravilious. Ravilious was born in Eastbourne in 1939, and both of his parents were artists: his mother Tirzah Garwood was a wood engraver, and his father Eric was famous for his watercolours of the South Downs. Having ditched his original plan of becoming an accountant, Ravilious…

Read More Read More