Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

Textbook Reformations

So, as a note-taking session for my exam (today!), I decided to very briefly summarise the positions of major political parties concerned with the textbook revisions in Japan. I’m looking at things from an academic perspective to help clarify where the parties stand, so it is not meant to be uncontroversial.
Posted in Japan | 11 Comments

How to make people Angry

Professor Himonya (碑文谷潤教授), the ‘rude dude’, ‘zoomjap’ or ‘card crusher’. He’s perhaps best known in the English-speaking internet world as these things due to his hilarious DVD series entitled ‘How to make people angry’ and his bizarre facial expressions.
Posted in Japan | 30 Comments


Happy Belated New Year! My computer has been down (yet again), this time due to a graphics card failure. Having just got it back up, I found this great article linked by TameGoesWild: Procrastination. It talks about good and bad types of procrastination, so you can avoid feeling guilty on those days when Twitter or […]
Posted in Other | 8 Comments

There She Is!!! Final

After several years, the charming little Korean series created by SamBakZa involving a Cat and Rabbit has come to a close. It’s a series of animated shorts with little-to-no dialogue that paints a thoughtful social and cultural message. What happens when two people from different races fall in love?
Posted in Other | 8 Comments

Luminescent Mushrooms

Known as ‘Heavenly light mushrooms’, these bioluminescent fungi are not our usual shade of sapphire blue found often found in the deep sea, but an eerie emerald green colour. Just in time for Christmas then. They are Japan’s Mycena lux-coeli mushrooms, found in the Southern Wakayama prefecture.
Posted in Bioluminescence | 15 Comments

Christmas Dating in Japan

Illuminations, fashionable restaurants, Christmas cake, KFC, omnipresent Santa Claus avatars, Disneyland and the infamous love hotels. For many people in Japan, Christmas Day in Japan is Valentine’s Day, take two.
Posted in Japan | 40 Comments

Website v3

Finally! After a week of tinkering and tweaking (and tweeting, for that matter), my website (formerly Knowing Nothing) is re-born! This is the third incarnation of the site, codenamed ‘Kurage’ (just because codenames sound cool!). The site has been completely overhauled structurally! Read on for explanation of everything (including a secret feature!) and how I […]
Posted in Design & Web | 33 Comments

JLPT1 2008 – The Aftermath

After several months of preparation, the 2008 JLPT level 1 finally went down on Sunday. Even after my serious bouts of cramming, creating numerous Anki decks, audio files and learning over 1200 words in just two short months, I feel that I have fallen short of the 70% pass mark.
Posted in Journal | 20 Comments