The calls

So, I got the call from the Beeb. It was a bit surreal really, listening to the presenters Mat and Liz on my mobile. Their voices are so familiar that it just seemed like they were recorded… not actually asking me questions as they were. I’d done quite a bit of research on disability in […]

Hair cuts and aubergines

Well, that was quite an experience… Last month, as usual, I went to my local Sen Yen barber (£5 barber), for the normal cut. One of the reasons it’s so cheap is that the service is minimal, I mean, they just cut you hair, and then vacuum your head afterwards. There’s no reception desk, instead […]

Then after the BBC rings, it’s NHK’s turn

Could this be my big break in Japan? I’ve been on TV over here a couple of times, but never in an acting role. I just got a call from an NHK producer (the NHK being Japan’s equivalent of the UK’s BBC) about a program that’s being filmed next week. They’ll get back to me […]


oh crikey. I just re-read the mail I sent (in Japanese) to about 50 Japanese friends, the one in which I asked for volunteers to take part in my wedding survey. Instead of saying “You can still take part even if you’re not married” I wrote “You can still take part even if you don’t […]

A post for my Japanese friends

日本人の友達の皆さん、少し時間があれば、僕の(日本語の)結婚式に対するアンケートを記入していただけると嬉しいです。 結婚していなくても大丈夫です! アドレスは: 本当にありがとうございます。

The BBC always rings twice

I’ll hopefully be on the BBC’s excellent Ouch Podcast next month, recording this coming Monday (just before the symposium at Sheffield uni) via skype. If you know of any interesting disability-related news stories connected with Japan I’d be grateful if you could leave a comment below. I have a few, but any personal tales would […]

Just what the sensei ordered: A Mini-Crisis

Of course it’s good that the current mini-crisis comes now, not in about ten week’s time at the end of the semester, or in October when my final year begins and I realise how far behind I’ve slipped. The past week has been a real shocker. Lectures going way over my head. Grammar classes in […]

A year of resistance

The resistance I have to writing my project for Sheffield University (that’s the one that we were told about a year ago, and the deadline for which is now just a couple of weeks away, and the one for which I have done virtually nothing) is pretty remarkable. You see my walking around in circles […]

Assuming a new role

Wow. Things really are rollercoaster-esque at the moment. It’s good though. It’s a result of being forced out of our comfort zones in a bid to better ourselves. One major factor is *Twinkle*’s new-found confidence, the coming into bud of which is an absolute delight to behold, whilst also being shit scary. It often happens […]

Live from the library

Tuesday, my longest day. I’m now on my lunch break having just had my first “Introduction to Life and Environment” class. I think I made a good choice there, it’s quite interesting, focusing upon the impact of humans upon the environment etc. It’s pretty simplistic stuff, perfect for someone who doesn’t speak the gauge terribly […]

New York to London (courtesy of Google Maps)

A Google Maps search for directions from New York to London suggests a somewhat interesting route. Step 23 could pose a problem for anyone wanting to reach their destination alive.

The Rieth Lectures 2007: Jeffrey Sachs

I’ve just been going through Arudou Debito’s website, a website which raises issues that every foreigner in Japan has a duty to be aware of in my opinion – those relating to the racism that we experience every day living here as non-Japanese. Another thing I should have added to the end of my banana […]

The more you know the more you realise you don’t know

Today was the first ‘proper’ day of uni. I met my adviser, the very kind Reiko Seki, and discussed my subject choices. That was all fine; she finished off by suggesting that I at least attempt to take the exams aimed at Japanese students this semester, as that way I could get more than the […]

Bananas and dandruff

So, holiday’s over. It all kicks off tomorrow, with one 90 minute lesson. Then a day off. Then another 90 minute lesson. Then two days off. I’m dead chuffed that I’ve managed to get Thursdays off again, and on Wednesdays and Fridays only have to go in for 1 class in the afternoon. This will […]

Synchronised Signalling

There’s been a lot of coverage recently of the World Figure Skating Championships, held last month here in Tokyo. I usually couldn’t give a blind wombat about that kind of sporting event – the hurty bit when they fall over puts me off – but such was the hype that accompanied the rivalry between the […]


Yo Yo YO WIGGY! Ok, so we are now conducting an experiment in Forceable Sobering Up. My spell-checker has broken into a sweat – and we’re only just into the second sentence. I’ve spent the afternoon in the delightful Shinjuku Gyouen with Stu San (of met-on-a-bus-in-Hokkaido fame), his wife Mariko and about 30 other folks […]

Oxfam tells us in no uncertain terms…

During my stint in the Oxfam office I did a fair bit of proofreading. The staff there do have pretty good English on the whole, but sometimes mistakes are made. There was one document – the mapbook, which will be distributed to over 700 Trailwalker participants (many of whom are native English speakers), which I […]

Spring REALLY is here!

On my way to the gym this morning I passed through the park. That really made me smile. Tags: Sprig | Tokyo | The Daily Mumble


I really enjoyed recording tonight’s episode of A Year in Japan. After I uploaded it, I thought I’d check the statistics which tell me how many times it’s been downloaded etc. I was a bit surprised to find that last month I almost exceeded my bandwidth limit – if I do that I’ll have to […]

A Year in Japan – Episode 8 out now!

The Tame Goes Wild Network proudly presents: www. A Year in Japan .com Episode 08: Capsule hotels, Love Hotels and Electronic Dictionaries In episode 8 of the most-downloaded podcast by Joseph Tame ever, A Year in Japan, Joseph brings to you insider information on not only life in a Capsule hotel, but also play in […]

First Day Back

Excitement. Trepidation. A little bit of fear. And a big smile. Maybe it’s not all that bad to be going back to uni after all!

A Letter to You

Dear Mumbler, In February 2007 I signed up to do some voluntary work with Oxfam Japan, a relatively young branch of the UK based charity Oxfam International that carries out vital relief and development projects in many of the world’s poorest countries. Through my work there, I came to hear about Oxfam Trailwalker 2007, a […]


I don’t like it when I feel I’m losing my grip. Too many things to do, too little time. I think it’s pretty much been brought on by tomorrow’s placement exam, a harsh wake-up call after a 11-week holiday. I need to revise, I want to podcast. I need to prepare for tonight’s English lessons, […]