This tag is associated with 13 posts

The Great Gatsby

// by Jessie Fast // I’d been waiting so long to see The Great Gatsby that I did not hesitate to catch Toho Cinemas’ late showing on opening day. I’d read the book in high school, bought the soundtrack when it was released online, and have been a fan of director Baz Luhrmann’s style since … Continue reading


// By Jessie Fast // I realize that one of the reasons Japanese people are generally so thin is because they eat next to no bread. Occasionally a melon pan, the rare sandwich or two. I see the wisdom of their avoidance of gluten-based carbs. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I love bread … Continue reading

Snow Country and the Wildness of Words

// By Jessie Fast // Yasunari Kawabata won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1968, mostly as a result of his novel, Snow Country. Called Yukiguni in Japanese, it is the subtly portrayed account of a businessman who visits a hot spring town in winter and his relationships with a popular geisha there and a … Continue reading

Photos: LINES

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos for our latest theme, we have a great collection of images showing various forms of lines – dividing and connecting, interspersed and singled out. Click on any image below to view them at full size.

Easters Away

// by Jessie Fast // The first Easter I spent away from my family was during college, while on exchange in England. It was the first major holiday (of many to come) that I spent apart from my parents, brother, aunts, uncles and cousins, and although we tried to Skype on the day to make … Continue reading

Dance of the Fire-Swingers

// by Jessie Fast // When the term “fire-swinging festival” is being thrown around (no pun intended), it’s only natural to feel intrigue, followed quickly by an overwhelming desire to participate. Hiburi Kamakura Matsuri, perhaps better translated as the “fire dance festival,” is held every February in downtown Kakunodate in celebration of the lunar new … Continue reading

Inside the Sketchbooks of Studio Ghibli

// by Jessie Fast // Sometimes big things come to small towns. Studio Ghibli, the focus of the current exhibit at the Akita Museum of Art, is one such example. The exhibit showcases drawings and preliminary sketches from each of the studio’s movie creations. The first floor is dedicated to Hayao Miyazaki’s films, while the … Continue reading

Fukuro: For the Love of Ramen, and Owls

// by Jessie Fast // It’s not every day that a restaurant opens decorated entirely with your favorite animal. Nevertheless, it happened to me, and as soon as I saw Fukuro and the door with the owl silhouette, I knew I had to try it. After climbing a long set of stairs, the interior presents … Continue reading


// by Jessie Fast // I don’t think there are very many places on the planet where putting in eye drops during class is considered acceptable behavior, but drinking water is not. Where sixteen-year-old boys have stuffed bear pencil cases and folders with pictures of their favorite members of J-idol boy bands printed on them. … Continue reading

The Handmaid’s Tale

// by Jessie Fast // Title: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood The Plot: It’s a not-so-distant future in which women are forbidden to read. They are barred from positions of authority, and must assume the roles of Wife (raising children), Aunt (teaching other women to be blind followers), and Handmaid (breeding children for men … Continue reading