Even with a 2-hour Tokyo commute

In Japan, the effects of coronavirus were tangible as early as February 2020. That’s when the Japanese government started implementing travel restrictions and closed all the schools. It made little difference to university teachers at that stage because our students had already broken up for the spring holiday. Plus, we didn’t imagine that it would last long enough to impact the new academic year starting in mid-April. Haha.

By March 2020 though, my university had decided to switch to online for at least the first semester, which runs from April to July. This came as a bit of a surprise…


As someone with overeating tendencies, I needed to read this.

Body positivity manifests itself in many ways, so the comments criticizing the first photo for not being fat enough are just headbangingly frustrating. I agree the writer looks great in both photos, but she worked hard to achieve the results in the second and she's proud of herself. There's really no need to piss on her bonfire.

Aesthetics are only one part of any body transformation journey, whether it weight loss, muscle gain or something else. The mental discipline you employ to actually achieve your goal is just as, if not more, impressive.

And anyway, I didn't perceive weight loss as the article's most important message. My main takeaway was the idea of using a mantra as a tool for not giving up on something you're striving towards, whether that be health-related or otherwise. And I liked it.

So thanks.


(Bar a slight eye-roll for locating it exclusively in the men’s section)

Photo: Uniqlo

Two of Japan’s most celebrated exports have joined forces to create this new graphic tee range, coming March 8th and 15th to Uniqlo stores in Japan and the US, respectively. Whether you find Murakami’s writing style compelling or confusing, there’s no denying Murakami’s global cultural influence, and it’s not slowing with age.

Surreal, obscure, off-kilter — all these adjectives have been used to describe Murakami’s fiction. They’re not entirely unapt for the T-shirts either. …

Claire Louise Bower

English Teacher. Sussex-bred, Japan resident. Dark chocolate, red wine, and black coffee lover.

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