marky star

Questions from Readers

In Japan on February 21, 2014 at 8:32 am
Wanna know who this is? So did other readers. Today I'll tell you!

Wanna know who this dude is?
So did other readers.
Today I’ll tell you!

I don’t get a lot of e-mails, but I’ve gotten a few over the past few months asking about my personal opinions or musings on certain topics. I don’t think Japan This! is really the place for my personal opinions on things like the “Do you think Korea has a good argument for renaming the Sea of Japan “the East Sea?” That said, I’m a human being and of course I have opinions on such topics.

So I wrote a 5 page article answering reader questions about my personal opinions on a few topics related to Japan and Tokyo. I included a little hate mail, too. (Believe it or not, I do get hate mail from time to time.)

I’ve posted the article on my Patreon page. For those who don’t know, Patreon is a crowd sourcing network that let’s you support artists, bloggers, and other creative people. Basically, if you like all this free content and you want to make a donation to support the blog, it’s a safe and trustworthy way to do so.

Some topics that get discussed are:

What does “Japan This” mean?
The Senkaku Islands.
Eating dolphins.
Hate mail. (My favorite part!)
 Much, much more…

The article is here:

http://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=240821

Begging for donations or charging for content makes me feel like shit, so even if you don’t donate, I’ve decided to include a free post here. I really appreciate everyone who reads Japan This! If no one read this, I wouldn’t do it.

Well, that’s not true. It’s a labor of love. I’d still do it. But it just wouldn’t be as much fun. So thank you to each and every one of my readers (even the ones who send me hate mail). I have lots of love for you. And don’t worry, this blog is always going to be free!

OK, so as for today’s post, I just went to the Regional Immigration Office (every expat’s favorite place in the world), and I had to change trains at Daimon Station. I love this station because inside they have a few old pictures up on the wall. I decided to make a video of one huge photograph they have on display. This panoramic photograph shows a view from Tokyo Station/Marunouchi to Tōkyō Castle (Edo Castle) to Yurakucho/Hibiya Park and Shiodome (which at the time was called Shinbashi). Tameike Sannō was still an 池 ike lake. Sotobori Road was still a moat. You can see the Shiba area is still more or less Zōjō-ji’s massive, wooded precincts and that the bay is lacking the sprawling man-made islands that protect central Tōkyō from the sea. It’s really a spectacular photo.

  1. Charging for a blog? Interesting. Never heard of that before. I suppose I don’t mind throwing a few coins at you for all the effort you put into this kick ass blog.

    • Maybe once or twice a year I’ll provide some unique content and run a little donation drive.

      And thanks for contributing. It’s much appreciated.

  2. I have a question – how do you do your research? Is it just a lot of books and chimei jiten? I’m sure in the case of some neighborhoods, there’ll be some plaques or signs somewhere that might explain the history of the place a bit, but few if any of those will give you the kinds of complex etymologies that you then share with us… Are there certain books you have (like, I dunno, some kind of 江戸地名の歴史 or 知られざるノ江戸の町) that you find particularly excellent?

    • There’s actually a lot of good information online. And the ward offices and plaques often have pretty decent information. But as you said, it’s not enough. And for every place name, I really try to vet each explanation because “just because the ward office says it’s so” doesn’t many it’s so. lol.

      That said, I do have books that I go to as well. The library is literally right across the street from my apartment and that supplements my private collection (Mrs. Japan This occasionally cracks down on my book spending habit).

      Some of the books I refer to are: 駅名で読む江戸東京、東京の地名由来辞典、江戸東京の地理と地名、東京都の地名、江戸東京地名事典、江戸地名の由来を歩く. They’re books of varying quality, but that’s OK, because I want to find as many possible derivations and their variants.

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