Following up Roy’s latest, I thought I would post my personal favorites from 2008:
- 40% of Japanese blogs are spam—This wasn’t my own discovery or anything, but it was nice to see a reality check from the oft-cited “Japan is the bloggingest nation” myth.
- The New Yushukan— Reflection on my trip to the war museum connected to Yasukuni Shrine. No pictures, but I was very pleased with the discussion it generated.
- Why does Japan need more foreigners again?—I look at some of the recent arguments calling for calm, rational debate on Japan’s immigrant question, and conclude that Japan needs a comprehensive but conservative immigration policy.
- No photos please, this is a press conference—I was shocked—SHOCKED!—to learn that pop stars don’t like fans taking unauthorized photos of them.
- Japanese TV is full of dangerous frauds—I again express righteous anger at the prospect that the people on TV might not have my best interests at heart.
- Where will all the eikaiwa teachers go? —Some tough love for all those unemployed English teachers out there. Again, if your best job prospects in Japan aside from English teaching are truck driving or electronics sales, it’s time to think about boning up your resume.
I also wrote some pieces for David Marx’s Neojaponisme project, all of which I am fairly happy with. In addition to a review of TV drama Change, I co-translated a series on the WaiWai scandal and contributed two essays to the site’s year in review, on Roppongi Hills and the lay judge system.
Though 2008 was a light year for posting, I feel like there was more substance to what I did end up writing. This year, I acquired a taste for persuasive writing (not sure how many people I persuaded…), and my experience with Neojaponisme in particular has made me a better essayist. My goals for next year are to keep up the stream of thoughts on both sites, read more books, and hopefully get a better grasp of the media industry, a topic I have really struggled to understand but will no doubt be facing new challenges during this economic recession.
Happy new year everyone!