Is this thing still on?

My apologies for the extended radio silence. If you were wondering whether this mailing list is still active, it is. But I haven’t sent anything since September 29 of last year, when I was sitting, with an ice pack on my useless right foot, in my friend Joan Anderson’s dining room in Shinjuku, Tokyo, after an abandoned walk across Hokkaido. This one.

Sitting with rather more useful left and right feet in my own dining room in Tartu, Estonia, I am happy to report that things are generally on the up and up.

In brief:

The thatching book is delayed until 2024

There’s a photo-book I’ve been working on for a while called A Something Like Peace, about a medieval farmhouse north of Kyōto, Japan, that I helped re-thatch back in the autumn of 2019. I planned to publish it this year but that isn’t going to happen. The book designer I was going to work with, Ákos Polgárdi (who designed The Wilds of Shikoku, my first book), had to withdraw from the project. The need to look for someone to take his place combined with other, more time-sensitive projects mean I won’t have time to finish and publish the book before next year.

I know it kind of sounds like the book is dead but I hope it isn’t. Almost all of the non-design work is done, the photos have not become any less beautiful, and the house has been there since the 14th century.

Making physical things is the mother of complicated. I thank you for your patience.

My website is splendid

There has been a lot of mostly behind-the-scenes work on my website, and it is now very close to how I want it to function and look.

If you’ve been meaning to read my visual photo diaries but been put off by the half-assed nature of their presentation, know that they are now at least ⅚-assed, possibly more.

There are:

Additionally, the site is now set in Klim Type Foundry’s Signifier, a Brutalist response to 17th century typefaces”. It’s an amazing typeface with a story that made me question certain aspects of my own work.

Shikoku Field Diary

Back in January and February 2019, when I walked across Shikoku, the journey that became the subject of my first book, I kept a visual field diary on Instagram. Some of the entries would serve as early drafts of the book. The diary is gone from Instagram but it is now re-published on my website in much better form, with lots of previously unpublished photos and videos, and proper maps.

I didn’t touch the text of the entries at all. If you own the Shikoku book and feel curious/geeky, you can compare certain passages with the originals I wrote in the field and cringe with me.

The book itself is available in my shop.

I talk about walking

On July 17, I will be speaking about my past and upcoming work at Informasia, which is a congenial platform for academic research presentations concerning Japan in particular and Asia more broadly”. The talk will be on Zoom and I will send an abstract and a link in my next dispatch. I’m neither an academic nor a researcher but my talk will concern Japan in particular and Asia more broadly. Stay tuned.

The new new thing

I’m going on a walk in the autumn. It’s going to be fun. Details soon!

Enjoy the summer if you live in a place where summer is to be enjoyed (🍓🍓🍓) instead of endured, and expect to hear from me in two weeks’ time (promise).

P.S. Estonia midsummer vibes

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