Writing Portfolio

A growing collection of work spanning several publications and styles, from interviews to reviews to educational pieces to long-form journalism.

Click the image to read the full article.

BitSummit 7 Spirits: What is Indie?

Start Menu

Japan’s largest indie games festival entered its seventh year and I was there to cover it, talking to all sorts of developers about what the medium means to them.

Kimigayo: A Guide to Japan’s Controversial National Anthem


You wouldn’t know it, but for such a short song Japan’s national anthem manages to pack a lot in. Here I unpack that lot, looking at the lyrics, history and controversy that make up this minute-or-so of patriotism.

Haiku: a whole lot more than 5-7-5


There's no getting around it: this is a big article. But haiku are small poems, so once you have a handle on them you'll spend far less time reading each one than if I'd written a piece about sestinas. Haiku has a long history and is much, much more complicated than throwing a few syllables together. It can be humorous, witty or utterly profound, and occupies a principal position in the Japanese poetic tradition.

Shedding Light on Tokyo's Underground Noise Scene


Japanese punk rock in the 1970s and 80s was characterised by brutally violent shows, ear-splitting volume and a flagrant disregard for the futurism pervading Japanese urban culture. Photographer Gin Satoh was there to capture it, and I was here to interview him.

Dajare: 13 Types of Japanese Puns


Japanese humour isn't all slapstick or delicate wit — they have terrible puns just like the rest of us.  This article breaks them down into 13 forms with some analysis, and offers some ideas of how they can help your Japanese study more generally. Humour purists steer clear.

Wabi-Sabi and Understanding Japan


Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy and aesthetic that looks to celebrate natural imperfection and transience. It, like most philosophies and aesthetics, is difficult to summarise or pin down, but since when did that ever stop someone trying? This article discusses wabi-sabi's roots, its basic precepts, and some examples in order to provide an introduction to the slippery concept.

Call Me Gizmo

AJET Connect

Living in Japan via Arizona via New York via Trinidad gives rapper Gizmo a lot of cultures to draw upon in his music. I talk to him about his life, his travels and his music.

Peripheral Vision


Álvaro Laiz's photography documents people on the very edges of their society: Ugandan women living with HIV; transgender people in Mongolia; the lives of the Udedge people in the Russian Far East. Deborah Lam and I talk to him about his experiences and work.

2016 was punk's 40th birthday. While Joe Corré thought it best to torch several millions of pounds of memorabilia on the Thames, The Photographer's Gallery hosted The Punk Weekender: a celebration of punk through the eyes of the photographers there to capture it. I spoke to Derek Ridgers and Anita Corbin about their experiences in, and photographs of, the subculture.

Japanese Particle KANA: The Definitive Guide


Japanese particles often pull double- or triple-duty to cover varied ideas and senses, but かな really takes the biscuit. This article breaks down its (many, many) meanings and offers tips on how it might be used.

Live Long and Die Out


Reproducing is one of our most fundamental biological urges. For most of us, that is. Founder of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, Les U. Knight, believes that what we really need is a lot, lot less breeding. None, to be precise. He sets forth his reasoning in this interview.

The Six Feet Under Club: an art project burying kinky couples alive


Austrian art collective monochrom are no strangers to sex, death or controversy, but this project combines all three. (Consenting) couples are buried in a coffin and watched via webcam above ground. Concepts of public and private lie in warped tatters at the feet of the establishment.