Archive for March, 2015

Ryomei Shirai Faces the Music


Multi-talented musician Ryomei Shirai is best-known as a member of The Moonriders, a genre-busting band formed ay back in 1975. Over the last few years, the members have released a number of solo albums and projects, and this is Ryomei’s. “Face to Guitars” is an album that ranges from straight-ahead rock to jazz/funk, progressive rock, and even Celtic reels in an eclectic fifty minutes worth. Ryomei held a special promotional event at Ebisu Livegate on Sunday March 22nd – and I was very happy to be a part of it.

“Face to Guitars” is out now on Vivid Records.

Youtube preview link here.

3/11: Four Years On


3/11 was four years ago, and the publication of the charity anthology “Tomo” was three years ago. I was honored to be a part of it; here’s the email I received today from Holly Thompson, editor of the anthology and Co-ordinator of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Japan branch.

Hello Tomo Contributors,

I hope you are all well and in good health on this fourth anniversary of 3/11. As you all know there is still much struggle and hardship in Tohoku, and Tomo has continued to support teens in a small but important way through the NPO Hope for Tomorrow Japan.

Peter Goodman, Stone Bridge Press publisher of Tomo, has informed me that the print run of the trade paperback edition of Tomo has nearly sold out, and that when the final remaining copies are sold, no new print copies will be available. The ebook/Kindle version will continue to be available, however.

Perhaps you will consider taking this occasion on this fourth anniversary to speak up about the Tomo anthology, about the extensive readers’ guide on the blog, and about the store of incredible interviews (–thank you all!

It is my hope that Tomo will continue to enable people to keep in mind all those who have suffered hardship and unspeakable losses in Tohoku during and following 3/11. It is also my sincere hope that Tomo may also continue to serve as a reminder of the the many ways, small and large, that we, as writers, illustrators and translators, can, through words and story, help support communities in times of disaster.

Wishing you all the best,

Holly Thompson
Editor, Tomo Anthology

Here’s a link to the Tomo page …

Here’s a link to an excerpt from “Staring at the Haiku”, my contribution to the anthology!

Blue Bottle Coffee, Tokyo


One of America’s hottest coffee shops, Blue Bottle Coffee, now has branches in Tokyo! Its flagship roastery and cafe, in the residential shitamachi area of Kiyosumi,opened last month. Their cafe in Aoyama opened March 7th and they’ll have a kiosk soon in the Aoyama Tartine Bakery building, currently under construction. That’s the good news! The bad news is … everyone else knows this too. Be prepared for a wait. Lines of customers go winding down the street and on average, it takes an hour to get inside.

Directions to the stores will follow soon.

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