Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

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 […]
Posted in Journal | Leave a comment

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 | 20 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 | 73 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 | 10 Comments

Abandoned Tuberculosis Sanatorium for Children

Haikyo hospitals are undoubtedly some of the most interesting urbex places to explore anywhere in the world. In Japan they range from the tiny and abandoned wooden medical shacks that pre-date World War II, to goliath graffitied monstrosities that exist only as gutted husks of their former selves. Today’s location didn’t disappoint. The Tuberculosis Sanatorium […]
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 18 Comments

Like A Boss! (Coffee)

Just a little fun I had tweaking the ubiquitous Boss Coffee logo found in Japan. I rather enjoy all those ‘Like A Boss!’ memes that surface around the internet but was surprised to see no-one had attempted to parody the obvious and the very boss-looking brand logo of Suntory.
Posted in Other | Leave a comment

36 Iconic Tokyo Metro Subway Manner Posters 2008-2010

Tokyo Metro (東京メトロ) is Japan’s largest subway system. Take a ride, and you’ll find it hard to miss the catchy posters asking commuters to mind their manners. Since September 1974, every year a new theme and unique monthly designs have been produced, but in recent years perhaps none have been more memorable than the iconic […]
Posted in Japan | 41 Comments
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