An expert on travel and culture in Japan, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), work abroad, study abroad, volunteer abroad, travel and culture in Trinidad and Tobago
6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kimonos
Don’t Be Like Kim K—Do Your Research First!
Before you even think of wearing the iconic kimono, here are a few things you should know about it.
Gogatsubyo: 3 Japanese movies to watch if you feel stuck in your work life
It happens every year in Japan. Golden Week (a series of national holidays from the end of April to early May) rolls around and suddenly people find themselves caught in the mysterious gogatsubyo, or “May sickness.” It’s that terrible feeling employees get when they have to go back to the drab office after having a long, relaxing vacation.
God gave us two hands: Multi-talented Japanese Actors and Musicians
Ever heard the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”? It means that if you can do many different things, then you’re probably not an expert at one thing. Well, it turns out this is not true for everyone.
Beyond ‘Mirai’: 5 Mamoru Hosoda Movies You Should Watch
With an Oscar nomination for his latest movie, the international hit Mirai in 2019, Japanese script writer and director Mamoru Hosoda is fast becoming a household name in the world of animation. Very few know, however, that the road toward fame was a hard one for Hosoda — success certainly didn’t come overnight.
Although many film critics consider him one of Hayao Miyazaki’s successors, young Hosoda was initially rejected by Studio Ghibli and later on in his career, fired from directing an ea...
Tohoku in film: Natural beauty, rich culture and community bonds beyond the tsunami
Long before the devastating March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami happened, the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan was synonymous with expansive landscapes, wild forests and gorgeous coastlines. Because of the region’s natural beauty, its six prefectures – Akita, Aomori, Iwate, Fukushima, Miyagi, and Yamagata — used to welcome hordes of tourists eager to get away from the crammed cities to the south.
Post-2011, however, Tohoku became a place associated with the unmeasurable devastation the t...
9 Japanese Female Authors You Should Add To Your Reading List
Meet the modern queens of Japanese literature
Contemporary Japanese literature is so much more than its internationally famous son of the soil, Haruki Murakami.
Talk to the average Western bookworm and they’ve probably heard of Japan’s most famous literary export, Haruki Murakami. Murakami is great — don’t get me wrong — but reading predominantly his works is merely scratching the surface of modern Japanese literature.
We Mark Your Memory: writings from the descendants of indenture
The abolition of slavery was the catalyst for the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers into the sugar colonies of Mauritius (1834), Guyana (1838) and Trinidad (1845), followed some years later by the inception of the system in South Africa (1860) and Fiji (1879). By the time indenture was abolished in the British Empire (1917–20), over one million Indians had been contracted, the overwhelming majority of whom never returned to India. Today, an Indian indentured labour...
A tale of two flowers | Word of mouth
Japan’s springtime cherry blossom festival reminds a visiting Trini of poui season at home
In the Caribbean, we often take the flowers for granted. They seem to be always there: hibiscus, bougainvillea, or frangipani blending incongruously into the tropical landscape. I only realised how much I missed them during the long, bleak winter months I spent teaching English in Japan.
The Japanese are obsessed with hana, or flowers. Although cherry blossoms can be found in many temperate regions of t...
Sorry, I’m not American: Postcards from a Trinidadian Teaching in Japan
Not all ALTs come from the Big Five countries.
What would you have done if you had packed up your entire life in two suitcases, moved across the other side of the world to teach English and realized that it wasn’t at all as you had expected? What would you have done if you had met confused stares and deathlike silence when you were just trying to share your culture? This is my story about working as an assistant language teacher (ALT) in Japan for the first time.
Teaching English as as a...
These Are Some of the Craziest Questions ALTs Of Color in Japan Get Asked
Yup, your sweet student really did just say that.
If you’re an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) working in Japan, then you probably know that you’re part of an incredibly diverse bunch. ALTs hail from countries across the globe and also come from varying racial, social, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
However, if you were to trawl the web to read about the ALT experience in Japan, more often than not, you may find yourself reading stuff written from the perspectives of white ALTs.
Word of Mouth: Long days by the beach
Mayaro Beach: a swathe of brown sand that stretches eleven miles along Trinidad’s southeastern coast. When I was in primary school, Mayaro was specifically reserved for the languid July-August holidays. My family would pile into my father’s Toyota Corolla, the black rexine seats sticking to the backs of our legs.
Soup without borders - Caribbean Beat Magazine
And where do you find chadon beni and dhal in Japan? Suzanne Bhagan learns that humble soup can cross cultural boundaries.
“How the Professor Made History” by Suzanne Bhagan – Moko
Moko is a non-profit journal that publishes fiction, poetry, visual arts, and non-fiction essays that reflect a Caribbean heritage or experience. We were founded in 2013 with a goal to create networks with a Pan-Caribbean ethos in a way that is also sensitive to our location within the Virgin Islands. We embrace diversity of experience and self-expression.
Please Stop Telling Me My Country Does Not Exist
As a traveler from an unfamiliar island nation, it’s been hard to deal with the prejudices people have and the labels they try to attach to me.
How I View Voluntourism in my Country
What does volunteering in the Caribbean sound like to you? Does it mean doing a bit of good in the morning, relaxing on the beach in the afternoon, and dancing on the bartop when the sun goes down? I sure hope not.