Elephant flies to the moon

I’ve been enjoying drawing lately. It started out when I tried to create some original art to illustrate episodes of Japan Podshow. As the series has progressed so I’ve spent a little more time on the pictures. It was inevitable in a way that I would find myself drawing elephants again – something I’ve done for many years when doodling.

I’m now in the process of creating a whole series of pictures which may or may not then have little messages added in Japanese and English, before being printed as postcards. Most of the drawing takes place on the Hibiya Subway line – my creative space. This means it doesn’t eat into the time I need for podcasting, allowing me to do it without stress.

Also, later today I’l be going out with Pepe and my friend / Japanese teacher / ideas guru @naminamy. We’ll be taking photos with Pepe for a book that I’m going to publish. Whether this means self-publishing or pro-publishing, at this stage I don’t know.

I’m also working on a more ‘professional’ podcast aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs / artists etc in Japan. The website’s nearly complete, and I hope to launch in the next few days. Initially, it’ll just feature the interviews I record for Japan Podshow (without all the bumph). It’ll be interesting to see where it heads.

One thing I’m enjoying is seeing that a lot of what I read in literature on achieving dreams is ‘correct’. Life has a truly uncanny way of working out for the best. It’s just a case of making a decision, acting on that decision, and having faith that those actions will lead to the goal (which of course may be somewhat different from that initially outlined). Whilst all these elements are vital, if I was to write a ‘keys to success’ book it would only contain two words:

“Just act”.

Books such as The Secret are all very well and good, and I agree that it’s important to align thinking with desired outcome, but at the end of the day, the single biggest factor that will determine if you reach a goal is whether you act on your ideas.

(Wow Joseph. What groundbreaking stuff!!!)

I have to laugh at myself for having put up all these imaginary barriers that ‘prevented’ me from doing what I wanted to do, whether it was a lack of time / lack of contacts / lack of money. It’s nothing that can’t be changed through action.

Life’s generally pretty cool at the moment. I’ve applied for a renewal of my spouse visa, which should be a three-year visa this time. I’m eating banana-and weetabix or banana-and-muesli milkshakes most mornings – it’s incredible how much easier 5 bananas slip down when drunk as opposed to being eaten. We’ve entered two teams for the next ekiden (relay race) in November, and Tom and I have submitted our entries for the Tokyo Marathon – being oversubscribed we get put into a lottery for places (result October).

Work is going OK. Now I know the basics of most things I’m not having such a hard time. I’m extremely busy most days, which is a good thing (no overtime so I just do what I do).

I grew a magic bean this week. It really was magic. This is what happened in 4 days.
Bean Progress

With so much to do for the podcast I don’t have a social life as such, but that’s OK for now. I do of course meet people in the process of gathering material, and am always making new contacts.

Anyway, I’m feeling quite hungry now. Time for breakkie, then editing – we recorded episode 9 at the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building this week. It was a lot of fun but there’s a fair bit of material to wade through!


2 Responses

  1. Hi Joseph,

    Your blogs, posts and podcast are getting really good. I’ve been following you original TGW stuff for quite a few years now and it really is interesting the way you working towards what you like.

    I only got into listening to podcasts early last year, but I must be a little like you as I have a small interest in Nihongo and Japan, as such I only like listening to J podcasts. I’m studying Nihongo in my spare time, bit by bit and also a little all over the place. I use Jpod101, classroom classes from time to time and also even did some online live classes. I’m still not that good but is kind of a hobby.

    So over the past year or so, I’ve listened to most of the J podcasters, Metpod (regular), Planet Japan, Kobe Beef, Japundit, etc. Some have sadly gone, they really seem quite personal so really sad to see some disappear for various reasons. I’m really enjoying your work though, and interesting to get a snippet of your journey in life and Japan.

    I’m living in Oz this year, had been in London the past 8 years before moving back here. I’ve travelled Japan a fair amount the past 5 years and dream of living there somehow as well. Right now though I just miss London and want to get back there. Its kind of difficult because I now know I don’t wish to live back in Oz right now, would like to study and work in both Japan and the UK… My idea is to go back to London now for maybe a few years while I work and study, then try and do a couple of years in Japan after that. I love staying in Japan but I guess the career thing there is the more difficult aspect to deal with… It’s amazing to see all these Gaijins living there life in Japan, I’d like to do too but maybe like you a number of years ago feel I need to get some more qualifications behind me before going. I’d been working for Network Rail in the UK the past 6 years, so think I’ll head back there and do more study in the Rail Engineering. I’m kind of thinking in the future I maybe able to do some kind of work exchange/experience/training with Japan Rail. Thought this might be a good idea to make use of my interest in Japan… Takes time, so I’ll have to wait and see how the next few years turn out.

    Anyhow, I’d just been meaning to drop you a message for sometime (long one now). Don’t do enough commenting really, just enjoying everyone’s blogs and Podshows so feel I should start giving some feed back and thanks. If I ever come and live in Japan, I think I’ll have to do my own little blog, not sure I could do the podcasting though.



    1. Rob,

      Thank you so much for your feedback, it’s very much appreciated. Sometimes I find it difficult to know whether or not what I’m doing is going down well, so it’s great to receive a message like yours.

      I agree, it is sad to see some of the podcasts go, but I totally understand why they do now. I know in my case it dominates my spare time (I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it though).

      Job market is very tough here in japan at the moment – maybe the Uk would be a better bet with your experience etc. I think we’re starting to see things pick up slowly though.

      Do keep in touch, it’s always nice to hear from the people behind the statistics! …and I really do appreciate you putting in the time to share your thoughts.

      Make sure you get in touch when you visit Japan next time.