News Sushi: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond #2

Welcome to News Sushi: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond #2

Guess who’s back in the house
Heels click-clackin’ about
Fine, fresh, feminine, style to eleven…

Thanks RuPaul

I’m back for the sequel… hopefully I can repeat the success of the first, or even elevate to T2 levels of awesomeness. It’s @hamishdownie writer/director of the in post production film, “Kodokushi”, here to give some morsels of news from Japan and beyond (mostly beyond today).

First up, Happy White Day!

Wait a minute… before you get your pitchforks, this has nothing to do with men who wear white sheets out of the house. It’s the day in Japan (and Korea) where men give women chocolates. Whoa Nelly! I hear you say, isn’t that Valentines Day? And yes, I would agree with you. But, the confectionary companies in Japan have devised an even more devious plan. Valentines Day here is when women give the guys they are interested in (and friends and family) a chocolate gift. So, that’s where you get these incredible chocolate fairs with goodies from all over the world to tempt people out of their hard earned money (and my expanding waistline proves that I am also a victim). So, the confectionary companies thought, what about the men? Hence, White Day, where the guy is supposed to return his affections by also giving chocolate (“traditionally” white chocolate and cookies, but anything goes these days.


Speaking of which, my gorgeous friend from outta space, Sepha, who has her own line of LINE stickers, “Shocking Pink” has a sticker just for White Day:

Link to buy: Shocking Pink Store

Sepha, who true to her word is a multi-artist, she’s produced electronic-jazz fusion albums (which are available on iTunes), and she’s also an artist and performer. Check out her official facebook: Sepha

More Sticker Goodness!

Speaking of LINE stickers, my friend Chi-Yow Lee, also has a cute collection of Dobbit stickers, her own creation of a very cute yellow dinosaur. She had him made into a real life creature, and if you follow her on instagram, you’ll see that that dinosaur eats better than all of us!

"Tea and, what's that?! Looks sweet! 😍" #Dobbit #cafelurkandsketch #kyoto #cafe #maplesugartoast #royalmilktea

A post shared by chi.yow (@inkstained_rain) on

Chi-Yow is also a concert photographer for indie Visual-Kei bands in Kansai and Tokyo. Visual Kei, is something similar to Glam Rock from the 80s and while not hugely popular, has an incredibly devoted niche audience. And you can see those photos if you go to her website: Ink Stained Rain

Before moving on, I’ll leave you with Dobbit meeting Godzilla.

「ゴジラ先輩、いっぱいいる!!!」 #Dobbit #Godzilla #ゴジラ

A post shared by chi.yow (@inkstained_rain) on


Moving on from stickers to comics, my friend Rotem has a horror web comic, “Out of Service” which y’all should be following. She writes and illustrates it yourself, and you can find it here:

Out Of Service Tumblr Page

And follow her on twitter here: @planetariumfish

Her introduction on twitter probably tells you what you need to know about this highly intelligent artist: “I like traditional media and rats.”

Rats or Mice?

Speaking of rat fans, I have some great news to share. My friend Adrian Austin, who I’ve collaborated with before, is turning the pilot script with did for “Spirulina and the Mouse Detectives” into a comic, and I couldn’t be happier. He’s already done the first draft, and comic fans, you are going to love it! It’s going to turn the whole cat and mouse detective game on its’ head!

Follow him on twitter: @doogaspeace

Adrian is a bit of a wunderkind who was plucked out of university when he got selected for the Young Filmmakers Fund for what is now called Screen Australia (the government funding body for films). He’s had a bit of a rough time since then, but he’s back in business, and better than ever. The best writer you haven’t heard about (until now).

Mentoring and Mentored Moments

Speaking of people I’ve worked with, I want to share with you a great book by Marie Campbell, “Olga”.
It’s less than a dollar, and it’s the fascinating story of Marie’s mother Olga, who left Jamaica pre-WW2 to pursue a career in Nursing in London. It’s not really a geeky story, but with Mother’s Day coming up, this really is the perfect gift. Plus, you can get in on the ground with this story, as I worked on Marie’s script as a consultant, and it is an incredible story. I can’t give too much away, but there are producers circling the project, so hopefully soon the movie version will go into production!


From the lady I mentored, to the lady who mentored me, Sheridan Jobbins. The name may not ring any bells for you (unless you listened to her feedback on the podcast #160), but her story is incredible. Up until recently, she was the Guinness world record holder for the youngest host of a TV show (at 9 years old). And she later went on to work with Stephan Elliott (of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” fame) on some of his script projects, and recently co-wrote his film “Easy Virtue”. Now, she’s got a book out, “Wish you were here” which is a kind of “Eat, pray, love” story of a recently divorced woman (it’s a memoir) who buys a red convertible and travels across what’s left of Route 66. I have to say, the book reminded me of the Hollywood America that I love, so I really recommend reading the book if you want to fall in love with America again.

*Editor Note: We love Route 66 and have driven most of what is left from California to Springfield, Mo. Keith grew up not far form Route 66 and his dream is to Drive Route 66 in a 1959 Edsel Red Villager Wagon pulling an Airstream trailer. We will be buying this book.

Suzi @farrells_bookshop making me welcome on the #morningtonpeninsula

A post shared by Sheridan Jobbins (@sheridanjobbins) on


Sheridan Jobbins Website

More Books

More books to look out for, include my friend Richard Lee (a horror writer from New Zealand living in Japan), whose manuscript, “Scorched Earth” has been picked up by an Australian publisher. It’s an adventure/time-travel/horror story, which I got the chance to be a beta reader for, and it’s an incredible roller coaster ride.

Twitter: @threeand10
Check his other work out: Richard Lee Writes

Of Course, Cats!

That’s all for today, so, I’ll leave you with another cat, this time, Nitama. She’s a calico cat that is the second generation of Station Master cats in Wakayama, Japan. Her mother, Tama, was a stray cat that used to greet people as they came on and off the train. The station was going to be closed down, as the line wasn’t making enough money, so the station workers make Tama an official station master, and the legend (and tourist trap) was born. It also saved the station from being closed down!

The fabled cat station master #cat #travel #japan

A post shared by Hamish Downie (@hamishdowniewriter) on

Until next time! Ciao!

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