Hamish Downie’s News Sushi #136: Morsels of News From Japan and Beyond

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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”!


Happy Friday everyone! How are you doing? I’ve set up my tree, sent out my Christmas Cards, and done most of my Christmas Shopping. It’s a strange thing to say, but I think I’m on top of Christmas this year. That said, all of my creative work has been falling to the wayside. I got covid back in August, and I have to say, I’m still dealing with the fallout. I recently got a new phone, and I’ve been tracking how many steps I take each day, and it really has gamified keeping fit. The best part really has been getting out into the world. I got into the habit of just being inside and sedentary all the time, so it’s been nice to be able to see that there’s a world outside of home, work, and the train.


I think I’m getting back to how I was pre-covid, but I still do a nasal wash each night, and I wear my mask everywhere. For those of us it affects, it really can take a long time to recover. So, 2023 will be the year I focus on my creative hobbies.

This month will also be one year since my film was released. There’s no way to track how successful a film is on streaming, so I hope the people who have watched it have enjoyed it.

My short animation, “The Last Anomaly” has gotten into four festivals now, and I’m in the process of deciding whether or not it’s time to go out to distributors. I guess with the year winding down, it’s better to wait until next year.

I seem to have stumbled onto something on YouTube that people are interested in, so I hope to develop that more as well. I love the films of the Golden Age, and it’s been a joy to talk to people about the films we enjoy.

Speaking of which, a web series I’ve been following has just wrapped up. RATIONAL CREATURES is a modern take on the Jane Austen PERSUASION novel, and it has really captured the feel and spirit of the original story in a modern setting. I really recommend everyone binges it this weekend:

If you are interested in discovering new music, here is an interview from LOTL about a wonderful new artist and DJ:

I’ve really enjoyed seeing Felicity’s recent trip around Wakayama, as it reminds me of a very similar trip I did a few years ago with my partner. The next time you are able to come to Japan, I implore you to come to this prefecture!

I’ve been checking out some of my subscriber’s videos, and this one on Katana Art was lovely to watch:

And finally, to get into the spirit of the season, once again, here is Karen Hitchcock, my high school friend, singing the Christmas Theme from my film, “Matcha & Vanilla”:

Hope you have a wonderful week!

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