Hamish Downie’s News Sushi #144: 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”!

Last week was Golden Week, a series of public holidays which make up one of the few times almost every Japanese person takes a break from work. One of those holidays is Boy’s Day, May 5th, where they hoist up kites of colorful carp and salmon.

When I first came to Japan, I didn’t know what the festival meant, so I created one in my head. I thought it was a sort of apology to the sea for eating so many fish. Little did I know it was about wanting boys to grow up strong like salmon swimming upstream.


Filmmaker Anthony Aguiar recently took his boyfriend to Portugal, and took us along with this great film:

Says Anthony: “In this Gay LGBTQ Short Documentary Film, I take my boyfriend to Portugal. I guess this gay movie is my cinematic version of the gay boyfriend tag. This queer short film is presented with a custom super 16mm film emulation look, this isn’t just a vlog this is a film.”

If you haven’t checked it out, here’s Anthony’s interview with TGGeeks: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2022/03/11/hamish-downies-five-questions-with-anthony-aguiar/


I’m excited to finally share that the anthology that I contributed to, “The Nature of Kyoto” is finally out, and features not only myself, but also Felicity Tillack and many more:

Check it out here: https://amzn.asia/d/eZnkLZJ

My chapter was comparing life in Kyoto in 1006 to life in Kyoto in 2006. I chose those years as 2006 was the year I came to Japan, and 1006 because I’m fascinated by the Heian Period.


Bob Werley walked the red carpet at the first Yokohama International Film Festival for “Tatara”:

Here’s the poster:

We wish the film and Bob every success!


Chat with Mental Health Advocate Ellen Manning about James Dean –

You might have caught my video essay about James Dean last week. In it, Ellen Manning shared her thoughts about James Dean. Now, in this full interview, she also shares her thoughts about her personal history, as well as Britney Spears and Kanye West.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, here is Ellen’s Op-Ed for TGGeeks: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2018/08/01/psa-mental-health-awareness/


Now for a story about poop…

South Korean professor Cho Jae-weon invented a toilet that turns poop into energy and pays people in digital currency.

Here is the white paper (he he): https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/9/1/35/htm

Friend to the column, Made in DNA, wrote a short story about this very topic a year before this white paper came out, with some possible ramifications to the technology in this fun horror story: https://samuraipunk.substack.com/p/greener-cleaner-meaner?utm_source=twitter&sd=pf

If you want to know more about Made in DNA, please check out the interview I did with him for this site: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2020/05/22/hamish-downies-five-questions-with-made-in-dna/


Artist Christopher James (who you can see in my James Dean Video) is here painting Sean Connery!

Thanks again everyone for stopping by another week!


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