October, 2016

What’s the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation? That isn’t the setup to one of my lame jokes, it’s just a question (as the white, male creator of a fictional bi-racial female protagonist) that I’ve been thinking about recently, and it looks like a bunch of other people have been too:

  1. Author Lionel Shrivers kicks off with her hope that the concept of cultural appropriation is a passing fad.
  2. This well-written piece on reverse culture shock of returning home after living in Asia rings true to me.
  3. I’ve just finished this retrospective on Norman Rockwell. I think his Civil Rights paintings were his best works.
  4. A blend of Japanese and British art or just a scribble? I made a video of how I sketched the above abandoned house round the corner.
  5. British journalist Richard Smart gets to grips with foreign YouTube celebs in Japan. Spoiler alert: the big ones all belong to the same Japanese talent agency.
  6. Do Japanese think they’ve been culturally appropriated when Katy Perry wears a kimono? No, if this video is anything to go by.
  7. I was appropriated by Japanese TV once and lived to tell the tale.
  8. I love this version of the James Bond theme played by Japanese musicians using traditional drums. And an accordion and a clarinet.
  9. You have read Carl Brotherstone’s Lifer, a hilarious guide/memoir to surviving Japan as a balding middle-aged English teacher, haven’t you?
  10. I’d hoped to have been done with the first draft of the third Hana Walker novel by now, but I’m in the throes of turning the romantic sub-plot into the main story. If it means a better book, then deadline be damned. Instead, may I recommend one of my earliest books, The Short Goodbye, three essays about last rites in Japan and the US, from my British perspective. I’m donating all royalties to the US Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Appropriate that.

Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts on anything I’ve written, talk to me on Twitter or Facebook.


Subscribe to this newsletter here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s