November 30, 2017

Part of my research with Sueo Kuwahara on the Amami islands is mapping their communication systems, including community radio and any other form of collective communicative action.

Uken FM is perhaps the best community radio I have come across and it was a delight returning there this week to talk to some of the program hosts. This community radio replaced the BusaiMusen system which was an emergency and disaster announcing tool.

Everyone had a device installed...

November 20, 2017

My research in the southern Japanese isles has been full of inspiring encounters. Mr. Nishihara is one of these rare humans whose presence makes other people's lives better.

Born in 1945 right at the end of the horrific battle of Okinawa that saw one-third of the island's population killed, he lost his father in the war and his family home taken by the US army base. That, however, did not stop him for devoting his life to be at service to others: a Red Cross pe...

November 1, 2017

Design art meets useable art. Bruce Lee Torizawa's studio in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto is a cornucopia of patterns, colors, fabrics, images and symbols but no matter how different they might be, they all come in one shape: a standing little person with a zipper at the back and the front where you can store your pencils or whatever else you can fit in. I always feel like a little girl in wonderland when I enter his studio. I first came across Bruce's unique...

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