Hamish Downie’s News Sushi #122: Morsels of News From Japan and Beyond


Hamish keeps serving the best News Sushi!
Hooray! More News Sushi for you to enjoy!
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. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

Hello everyone, it’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these. News Sushi is an interesting beast in that I’m starting to feel like I’ve said almost everything I’ve got to say about Japan in these past few years, so I struggle to find something new to say, but at the same time, so many amazing people are doing incredibly creative things that I really want to help promote them.

This past weekend felt a bit like Christmas. I just had a bout of food poisoning, though I was somewhat recovered by the time I had a day off. My partner came over to look after me (aren’t I lucky?), so I decided not to do any film work at all. And I realized that I don’t really take time off at all, except for Christmas. I need to rectify this and gain some kind of work life balance. That being said, all the things I’ve achieved these last 10 years has been because I haven’t slacked off… but, like I said, it’s time to get some kind of balance.

My partner and I found a new Aardman Animation called “Robin Robin”, which featured the vocal talents of Gillian Anderson. We had no idea that it was a Christmas movie, but we just went with it and it was delightful. Then, we put on “Queens of the Universe”, a very gentle singing competition from the makers of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Gingzilla blew away the competition in the double opening. The show had a very December vibe, the kind of show you’d watch on Christmas Eve. So, then we rounded out the marathon with RuPaul’s Lifetime Christmas Parody movie, “The B who stole Christmas”, which wasn’t a great film, but if you enjoy RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’ll enjoy the Queens from the show and the fun references.

Speaking of Christmas films, Socks, who was the star of the Magical Christmas Tree, has put out a cover song, and it’s amazing:

Read more about Socks here: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2021/12/17/hamish-downies-five-questions-with-socks-whitmore/

Also, the first five minutes of my film, “Matcha & Vanilla” is out:

You can read the TGGeeks review here: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2021/12/23/andreas-angle-matcha-vanilla-bittersweet-yet-loving/

It’s available on Gagaoolala now!


I’ve talked to Alex Kerr before for this website, and he has an amazing presence. He’s just released a new video in his series, this time on “Cong Vases”:

Watch my interview with Alex Kerr here: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2021/07/23/hamish-downies-five-questions-with-alex-kerr-video/

You can’t get more clickbait than the next title, “Japanese Town that Loves Aliens” – but it was an interesting look at a small town in Japan:

Sean Patrick Murtagh, who starred in the short film I penned “Night Disclosure”, has finally decided to record his beautiful voice onto a long player. If you are interested, here’s the album’s Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/seanpatrickmurtagh/sean-patrick-murtagh-the-mario-101

You can read his interview on TGGeeks here: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2021/07/20/hamish-downies-five-questions-with-sean-patrick-murtagh/

Speaking of people who have been featured on my 5 Questions column, Dos Goats Films have finally launched their crowdfunding campaign on Seed & Spark for their Idaho-set film, “Suffer” starring Naomi MacDougal Jones recently:

It’s about 61% funded as of writing and you can check out the trailer here: https://seedandspark.com/fund/suffer#story

You might remember that about 11 years ago, there was the Great Tohoku Earthquake, and recently some filmmaker friends of mine went back to see what it’s like today:

“My sister Soraya and I want to share with you a short documentary that we produced called ‘A Fisherman’s Tale—Fukushima 10 years later’ that you can watch on YouTube today.

We had the great pleasure of meeting Motofumi Kikuchi-san who is a lovely fisherman who survived the tsunami on March 11, 2011 and recounts how the tsunami and nuclear disaster affected his industry. His house got swept away by the tsunami and his wife was pregnant with their second daughter. She gave birth that night. It’s a surreal and moving story.
We want to thank the Kikuchi family for their kindness and for sharing their story with us. We also want to thank everyone who made this documentary possible including Chloe White and Jodie Taylor from Whalebone Films, and Topic Media.”

Thank you for checking in this week with us. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and fantastic week ahead.


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