Straight in the Eye by Mandy Huggins

Motoki saw him before we did. Without uttering a sound he thrust out his arm to form a barrier, forcing us both to freeze mid-step as though competing in a game of musicalstatues. Just below the ridge a black bear sauntered towards us from the edge of the tree line, hoary-muzzled and sleek-furred. Like most […]

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Tea with Keiko by Maria Howard

We meet at ten o’clock on Sunday at Jodo-Ji temple in Onomichi, a port on Japan’s inland sea. As instructed, I toss 100 yen between the wooden slats at the entrance and prostrate myself in front of the altar. Explaining the fluidity between Buddhism and Shinto in Japanese culture, Keiko then leads me to the […]

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A Thousand Cranes by Mandy Huggins

As we emerged from Hiroshima station a man on a bicycle cut across in front of us, wobbled perilously, and sent a bag of leaflets fluttering across the station forecourt. He quickly dismounted and swooped down on them like a bird of prey, apologising profusely as we went over to help him. After we’d returned […]

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Expat Author Interview with Michelle Bailat-Jones

Michelle Bailat-Jones is a writer and translator. Her début novel Fog Island Mountains won the 2013 Christopher Doheny Award from the Center for Fiction and will be published by Tantor Publishing in November 2014. She has also translated Charles Ferdinand Ramuz’s 1927 Swiss classic Beauty on Earth (Onesuch Press, 2013). Her fiction, poetry, translations, and […]

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Genki deska? by Alyson Hilbourne

“An iconic image we’re all familiar with – the bathing monkeys of Japan – is itself refreshed in this behind-the-scenes account.” — Robin Graham, travel writer and judge of the 2014 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay contest _________________________ “Genki deska?” The red-faced monkey ignored me and continued to stare into the distance, unblinking, in […]

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The State of Things

(Important! If this post is cut off at the bottom, please reload the page. This usually solves the problem.) ____________________________________ Monday I got a cortisone shot in my problem-child shoulder because, after months of improvement, it’s starting to get worse–and now my right shoulder is hurting too. I’ve tried to stay away from my computer […]

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Expat Author Interview with Alyson Hilbourne

Alyson Hilbourne Alyson Hilbourne, born in the UK, has lived overseas for twenty-five years and is now into her sixth country, Japan – Yokohama to be precise. She writes short stories, young adult fiction and travel pieces but would love to find the time and the enthusiasm to complete a full-length novel. And she’s a […]

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