News Sushi: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond #14

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.


TGIF! It’s News Sushi Day!

If you’re on a desktop, then let’s get this party started with DJ OzYBoY:

I hope everyone’s enjoying summer. Every year when summer rolls around in Japan, I wonder at the choices in my life. And yet, here I am, ready for another summer where I shut myself inside cozying up to the air conditioner. Maybe going to the beach once.


By the time you read this, firefly season will be over, but back here, when I was writing this, I was still looking forward to it! It is one of the most magical things I’ve ever seen. I usually go down to the countryside, where my partner is, and we go to a local river, and just wait for twilight. And then, the little creatures come out. It’s probably best not to look too deeply into their mating rituals, because the mystique will be lost, like with Ducks, it gets very nasty. But, from a distance, there is harmony.


We’re probably in the throws of rainy season when you read this… and I’ll be walking home like a drowned rat with my useless 500 yen umbrella…

You see, I write these ahead of time. The reason for that is that I’m sometimes called away to do filming, like when I did something for NHK (coming soon), and when I start getting more involved with the editing process for my feature film. We’re are at a rough cut stage at the moment, and fingers crossed, we’ll be able to get it to a fine cut soon!



A Little Cross Promotion

Paul Leeming recently showed me some of the colour work he is doing for my feature (he’s developing a LUT specifically for the film), and I’m really happy to say – that it looks like… a film! If you are interested in Paul’s popular LUTs… they’ve just been given a huge upgrade:

Facebook: LeemingLUTPro


Ooopppsss, I shouldn’t have said that…

We’ve also recorded a voice cameo for the film that I’m really excited to reveal… but, not yet.


Stop the presses! An Actual Chicken crossing an Actual Road!!!!!

If feel like there’s a joke in there somewhere…


Disco chicken agrees with me (and it’s even dancing to the music by DJ OzYBoY)!

Thanks Miss Fame! Can you tell that I grew up with chickens, and running around after chickens (who didn’t want me stealing their eggs). Or wondering what three roosters piled on top of one hen could possibly be doing… chickens are fun.

Did you come up with a good joke yet?

That’s a good one.


And you can imagine me laughing at your amazing joke like this… only I don’t have a kitten. Perhaps this is what Ben and Keith will do with their cats? Why don’t you comment below (or on facebook – it really helps the algorithm) your best and worst “why did the chicken cross the road” jokes!


GET A ROOM!!!! An Architectural Love-Fest!

Chris Wells is probably the most famous “foreign” talent here in Japan. He runs the Tokyo Comedy Store, teaches stand-up and improv, as well as appearing on many TV panel shows, recently he was on the show “China WOW!”. He’s a true legend in Tokyo, and a stella guy as well. I met him at a networking event, and always found him to be one of the nicest guys in Tokyo. Then, when I started to get more into the comedy scene, I discovered just how big this guy was. I think I preferred not knowing that he was famous and powerful…

Anyway, go follow him… on social media!


A Cos-Playing Chef

Freaks! #OnePerfectShot

I’m sad to say that I’ve never watched the film despite repeated invitations from all round awesome guy and actor Johnny Panic… who you can follow at the link below:

He appeared in my short film “The Sea Monkey Girl”…

it’s not my best work, but it was a lot of fun to make, and very geeky. Plus, I got to work with Johnny Panic, who plays the delivery man here.


Tokyo-Based American Director and Producer Deborah DeSnoo recently made this fantastic episode of the NHK World series, “Inside Lens”. It’s all about Women who make Sushi (people long believed that women were incapable of meeting the requirements demanded by the “boys’ club” mentality of the sushi world). It’s available on demand now:

For more info about Deborah DeSnoo:


News Bites!

Here’s some summer reading for you!

Japan to nominate ancient tombs in Osaka for World Heritage Listing link:


For those who don’t get it… up until recently, many public service organisations and corporations in Japan still used fax machines… in the 2010s~! Anyway, actually, my partner and I want to see them. But, we’d only be walking around the border, as there’s nowhere to view the keyhole shape, except by helicopter.

The real Last Samurai (Spoiler: it’s not Tom Cruise) link:

Beautiful Lost and Found story (bring tissues):




In history today…

Black Cat and Tomato Plant art from the Edo period:


Well, like a good housewife in Kyoto, I’m going to ask if you’d like some Ochazuke (a breakfast food)… which is their way of saying it’s time to go…

It’s been great to have you!


P.S. if you haven’t already… remember to check out this week’s podcast, amazing reviews, and “old classic – newly reviewed” articles on the site!


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