Culture is never static, uniform, or absolute.
When I was a Japanese-studies grad student, my colleagues and I often complained that we couldn’t write or read about Japan without having the introduction as “Many people think Japan is like (______), but, actually, it’s like (_______).” It’s hard to get out of the trope of East vs. West, or “Misconceptions about Japan.” So when I was about to depart for what would become four years in Japan, I wanted to continue to tackle larger issues, from rural living to gender, rather than keeping a personal journal.
Here you’ll find essays about (often gender) diversity in media, specifically manga, film, and art; travel; photography; stories from my time trying to figure out how to live in rural Japan; and a whole lot of Erving Goffman. Also: semi-colons and sarcasm.
About me: I am a bilingual American who recently returned to the US after working in Ishikawa prefecture for four years, two of which were spent in the countryside before I moved to the city. In addition to my rural CIR cred, I hold an MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan; my focus was contemporary gender and media.
Comparative Geeks & WordPress Freshly Pressed. “Wibbly-Wobbly Sexy-Wexy”: Queer Comic Anthologies.” 16 October 2013.
Tofugu. 29 May 2013. (This was prior to the head editor spewing transmisogynistic bullshit all over twitter. I feel like my point is still important.)
Feministe. “‘A Mere Male': Mansplaining Women’s Art.” 1 April 2013.
WordPress Freshly Pressed. “Tonami Tulip Fair 2011.” 16 June 2011.
WordPress Freshly Pressed. “Tongue-in-Cheek Tourism: The T-Shirts of Okinawa.” 26 August 2010.