Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

The Honourable House of Mr. H

We arrived at the House of Mr. H early one bright, spectacular morning towards the end of winter. Our spirits cheery and fingers poised ready in our attempt to do the abode justice. It had been quite a different story a few hours earlier however. My cohort and I had set out under an inky […]
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 23 Comments

Carpe Diem

Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary. -John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society
Posted in Journal | Leave a comment

Horonai Coal Mine Substation

T’was the brink of winter in mainland Japan when haikyo buddy Florian and I decided to venture north. Our joint adventures in urban exploration had not taken us much above central Japan until now, but we both felt it was time to step foot in largely unexplored terrain. To go to that most sizeable island […]
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 3 Comments

Gakuranman.com Website and Logo

It’s that time again. Yet another spasm of tinkering, tweaking, coding, designing and, of course, consuming copious amounts of sugary goods well into the early hours has resulted in the newest version of Gakuranman.com. Here’s a history of the website’s design evolution!
Posted in Design & Web | 29 Comments

Haikyo Sandy Claws for Christmas

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you’re enjoying the holiday, wherever you might happen to be in the world. This year I’m celebrating in Japan – a low-key affair at my tiny apartment in Tokyo. A chicken dinner (as is customary in Japan), but with as many British additions as I was able […]
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Haikyo Adventures in Snow Country

Here’s little teaser of my recent trip with haikyo buddy Florian to the northernmost prefecture of Japan – Hokkaido. What a trip it was, full of everything that makes urban exploration great. And that’s without mentioning all the snow! That put a completely new perspective on everything.
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 21 Comments

The Mysterious Island in Skyfall: Hashima / Gunkanjima

Recently I spotted an article in the Nagasaki Shimbun noting that the latest 007 James Bond film, Skyfall, features the Japanese ghost island of Hashima (端島), otherwise known as Gunkanjima (軍艦島) – ‘Battleship Island’. Readers of this website will undoubtedly remember my illicit account of urban exploration on the real island itself back in 2010. […]
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins, Japan | 78 Comments

Top 50 Japanese Buzzwords of 2012

Another year, 50 hot buzzwords nominated from Japanese publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha to capture the Zeitgeist. The prize has been offered since 1984 and announced every year in early December. I looked at 2011’s list here, which unsurprisingly contained many, many words from the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake that struck Japan at 2.46pm on 11th […]
Posted in Japan, Marketing & Branding | 12 Comments