News Sushi: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond #13


Editor Note: It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. He brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan. Thank you Hamish for your insights.


Angela Lansbury and Basil Rathbone having lunch during the filming of The Court Jester, 1956 from r/Moviesinthemaking

The Queen will have a burger, waiter! Speaking of Ms. Murder She Wrote…

I’ve been listening to a fascinating new podcast. As the elderly lady that my sister or mother overheard in Newcastle, Australia said… “I like a good murder, I do.”




And there’s a great new podcast called, “Death in Ice Valley”. From the website, “An unidentified body. Who was she? Why hasn’t she been missed? A BBC World Service and NRK original podcast, investigating a mystery unsolved for almost half a century.” The describe this case as Norway’s greatest unsolved murder case, something on the level of the assassination of JFK. The story certainly has all the hallmarks of a great cold war spy drama, but, the podcast itself is quite calmly presented, so it takes a bit to get into. But, once you are hooked, it’s really quite the intrigue. Check out episode one below:


Some more murder a little closer to home (i.e. my home in Japan)… “In the summer of 1949 in Japan, 10 people lost their lives because of three mysterious incidents related to Japan National Railways (JNR). The unsolved death of JNR’s leading figure and two train derailments shocked the nation, sparking varying rumours as to the causes, yet almost seven decades on we’re still none the wiser.” Read more here:


Masks in the City of Night

I’m 73% done now… it’s a long slog. But, something really intriuged me about this last chapter. It’s set in New Orleans, where a lot of the malehustlers go during Mardi Gras to cash in on people letting their hair down. A gypsy woman, who reads out virtually blank slate of a main character tells him, “People wear masks 364 days a year. Mardi Gras, they wear their own faces! What you think is masks is really — …Themselves!… Witches! Devils! Cannibals! Vampires! Clowns — lots of em…. And some… just some, mind you: some—… angels!…” It is essentially the worldview of the entire book. It’s a pretty cynical worldview at that, but there is some truth to it. We all wear masks at work, or in different situations with different people. Or we emphasis one element of our personality, and hide the other. It’s a pretty rare person that we reveal our whole selves to. What do you think?


Beautiful. Shot by English Cinematographer Roger Deakins. It’s a beautiful tender moment in the film.


A happy story…

After last week, where I shared some of the struggles that LGBT people in Japan have… here’s some good news. The younger generation is starting to be more forthright about their sexuality. Hopefully this has a ripple on effect like it did back in the day when Ellen Degeneres came out of the closet.



‘I’m not one to hide’: Yukiya Terai shows pride in both his sexuality and his skill as a chef. Cheers to you Mr Terai! Read more here:

And here is some of his famous lunch boxes:


Some fun cosplay for the geeks out there!

A bit late, but congratulations to Pablo on 8 years in Japan! Pablo and I worked together on Paul Leeming’s “Pieces of 8” short, and she was the one who introduced me to the Two Gay Geeks!


Congratulations also to Helena Czajka, a very talented composer in Sydney, who I met while she was working in Tokyo. We met because she’d liked one of the films that Paul and I made, the “Silent Hill” fan film ‘Stolen Heart’. Funnily enough, she’d worked on “A few best men” which was directed my one of my favourite directors, Stephan Elliott! The film world is very small.

That’s a wrap! Final mix for the feature film CHASING COMETS is complete. Had a blast composing the music over the last few months. I must thank the dream team: @bigjasonstevens – writer, producer, legendary footy player whose life story the film is based on. @jasonperini – bloody awesome, super intuitive director with whom it was a total joy to collab. Anthony Marsh – incredibly talented, dedicated and PATIENT sound engineer. I’m going to miss these screenings at @spectrumfilmsfs with you guys! This hilarious, heart-warming film will be out in cinemas soon. Starring Dan Ewing @_danewing Isabel Lucas @isabellucas Stan Walker @stanwalker Beau Ryan @therealbeauryan John Batchelor @jb_theactor Rhys Muldoon @rhysam Justin Melvey @jjmelvey Havana Brown @djhavanabrown George Houvardas @ghouvardas

A post shared by Helena Czajka (@helena.czajka) on


Want nice biceps and triceps like the God of Thunder? For those of us geeks who love big muscles, and lean bodies… Kaori Takee (you remember her from the first News Sushi ) has a great workout plan for those of you who want to look like your favourite superheroes! Link to the workout here:

Silk. 📸: @nels._ #cosplayer #cosplay #marvel #silk #spiderman

A post shared by 香織ちゃん (@kaorious) on


And lastly… bunnies!


Hope that you have a great week! Remember to check out all the other columns on TGGeeks, and as Ben and Keith say… play nice!


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1 thought on “News Sushi: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond #13

  1. Regarding masks – people only see what they want to see, so even if you drop your mask they will still look at you through their own lens of who they think you should be.

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