Autumn Networking 2009

By Michael Gakuran | | Japan, Journal | 33 Comments |

I’ve been pretty busy during the last few weeks, hoping back and forth between Tokyo and Nagoya, stopping off at Hakone and infiltrating numerous haikyo. And in the crevices between all that? Networking with some of Japan’s finest j-bloggers, adventurers and musicians. And hey, Autumn isn’t even over yet!

As part of my grand master plan to make my face as wide as possible (see quirky Japanese idiom: ι‘”γŒεΊƒγ„), I’ve been making extra efforts to get out and about recently. I hear that being well-connected is the key to landing sought-after jobs, securing beds to sleep in all over the country when travelling and the ticket to many cool freebies. (Did I just say that out loud?)

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Above: With Joseph Tame and Paul Papadimitriou at the Business in Japan event, Tokyo, Oct 28th. Much meishi-exchange, poken-tapping and jovial chit-chat.

But seriously now, if there’s one thing I dislike about the internet, it’s the ‘disconnectedness’ of it all. Oh sure, you can send your ugly mug thousands of miles via webcam on Skype, boast about and chat to hundreds of Twitter followers and find lists of like-minded oddballs similar to yourself, but when it comes down to it, there’s a very disconcerting feeling about only ‘knowing’ people online.

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Above: Networking at the Pink Cow, Shibuya, Oct 29th.

Meeting them face to face brings about a whole new appreciation for who they are, and what type of burrtio takes their fancy:

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Above: Reflecting on life and love in Japan with Andrew Wright at the Pink Cow, Oct 29th.

And I’ll take the human warmth of a chat about rustic ruins and tales of adventure over a shared beer any day. Serve that with a hefty plate of fish and chips, if you would:

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Above: With Tokyo Times blogger Lee at a British pub in Shibuya, Nov 8th.

Not to mention the pleasure of meeting other passionate adventurers. A pure splash of interests, mixing talk of decaying buildings with humbling tales of anguish and peril while mountaineering:

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Above: Amity between fellow explorers. Four haikyoists and a mountaineer, Pink Cow, Nov 8th. (L>R Michael John Grist, Gakuranman Michael, Tokyo Times Lee, i-cjw Chris & Mike’s Blender Mike).

And let’s not forget Japan’s aspiring musicians. I owe many hours of listening joy to the awesome band Fatblueman:

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Above: With John from Fatblueman live at Shooters, Nagoya, Nov 15th.

Truly something special to be meeting all these inspiring people. Let’s hope Christmas serves up even more of the same – a Tokyo CGM night would also go down a treat! (Here’s winking at you, Danny Choo & Andrew Shuttleworth).

In case you don’t already recognise some of these great people, below is a list to their websites and twitter accounts. Highly recommended for stimulating news on Japan!

Joseph Tame @tamegoeswild
Paul Papadimitriou @papadimitriou
Sandrajapandra @sandrajapandra
Gwen Bell @gwenbell
Kimberly Tierney @kimiecat
Masafumi Matsumoto @mma323
Jay Hori @jayhori
Alex Brooke @alexbrooke
Andrew Wright @wrightak
Lee Chapman @tokyotimes
Michael John Grist @michaelgrist
Chris White @i_cjw
Michael Beddall @blender
John Janzen @fatblueman

And of course, you can follow me on twitter here: @gakuranman

What are your experiences with networking? Do you prefer meeting people in real life as opposed to just knowing them online?

33 comments on “Autumn Networking 2009
  1. Man, you've already met more people than I have! Good job!

  2. Man, you've already met more people than I have! Good job!

  3. Harvey says:

    I love cjw blog!!!

  4. Harvey says:

    I love cjw blog!!!

  5. McAlpine says:

    Hey! That’s not fair! You didn’t meet the nationalist himself! The master blaster. Is that Micheal John Grist in your photo???

  6. McAlpine says:

    Hey! That’s not fair! You didn’t meet the nationalist himself! The master blaster. Is that Micheal John Grist in your photo???

  7. MJG says:

    In the first photo you look like you’re about to be knee-capped by a couple of gangsters, and in the second you look like someone from the 80’s in that bright tie-dye-looking T-shirt.

    I too was surprised by how Lee looks too. When Can Mike introduced me to Chris I was like- ‘who?’ then ‘oh, cjw!’

  8. MJG says:

    In the first photo you look like you’re about to be knee-capped by a couple of gangsters, and in the second you look like someone from the 80’s in that bright tie-dye-looking T-shirt.

    I too was surprised by how Lee looks too. When Can Mike introduced me to Chris I was like- ‘who?’ then ‘oh, cjw!’

  9. Ken Y-N says:

    Oooh, that’s what Lee looks like! Not what I imagined. i-cjw looks very much the mountaineer, however. Both are guys I’d want to spend some time with over a pint or two.

    When’s the Kansai meet?

    • Mike says:

      How many J-bloggers are in Kansai? I know Deas is on Shikoku, which is kinda close, in a roundabout way… Also sleepytako seems to be in Kansai too.

  10. Ken Y-N says:

    Oooh, that’s what Lee looks like! Not what I imagined. i-cjw looks very much the mountaineer, however. Both are guys I’d want to spend some time with over a pint or two.

    When’s the Kansai meet?

    • Mike says:

      How many J-bloggers are in Kansai? I know Deas is on Shikoku, which is kinda close, in a roundabout way… Also sleepytako seems to be in Kansai too.

  11. locohama says:

    wow, great choices…(:
    and yes only knowing people online is a bit disconcerting

  12. Locohama says:

    wow, great choices…(:
    and yes only knowing people online is a bit disconcerting

  13. Sandra says:

    Networking?! I thought we were just having a burrito and a laugh! Seriously, though, whatever you want to call it, let’s do it again soon. Thanks for this post and all the good links.

  14. Sandra says:

    Networking?! I thought we were just having a burrito and a laugh! Seriously, though, whatever you want to call it, let’s do it again soon. Thanks for this post and all the good links.

  15. Katie says:

    I’ve been slowly finding out what a good set of Japanese bloggers there are out there. It’s pretty much the only reason I started my own blog – to help any other newbie like me to find the professionals out there in cyberland. Good to see you’ve crossed out of the internet boundary and gotten to meet some of the best!

  16. Katie says:

    I’ve been slowly finding out what a good set of Japanese bloggers there are out there. It’s pretty much the only reason I started my own blog – to help any other newbie like me to find the professionals out there in cyberland. Good to see you’ve crossed out of the internet boundary and gotten to meet some of the best!

  17. yonasu says:

    I love meeting people in real life, but it’s not the easiest thing to do when you live in Sweden, even though there are quite a few Japan bloggers here. I hope to meet some bloggers when I’m in Japan between January 10 and February 5!

    • Mike says:

      Be sure to put a blog post out reminding everyone! You’re there for a month, so there is a chance I’ll get to Tokyo in that time. Otherwise, come to Nagoya! :p

  18. yonasu says:

    I love meeting people in real life, but it’s not the easiest thing to do when you live in Sweden, even though there are quite a few Japan bloggers here. I hope to meet some bloggers when I’m in Japan between January 10 and February 5!

    • Mike says:

      Be sure to put a blog post out reminding everyone! You’re there for a month, so there is a chance I’ll get to Tokyo in that time. Otherwise, come to Nagoya! :p

  19. joseph tame says:

    Blimey, you have been getting around!

    Great to see you again – and thanks for the links :-)

  20. joseph tame says:

    Blimey, you have been getting around!

    Great to see you again – and thanks for the links :-)

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