Whitman Wire

Review: “Isle of Dogs” is Beautiful but Disappointing

Alasdair Padman, Staff Reporter

May 3, 2018

Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” is a visual spectacle that never quite escapes the stereotypes of a large-budget Hollywood release. Set in a near-future Japan, an authoritarian leader banishes all canines from Megasaki City to Trash Island after a vicious virus spreads through the population. ...

From Biology to History: Arch Releases First Book on Whaling in Japan

Assistant Professor of History Jakobina Arch released her first book this April on whaling in Early Modern Japan.

Ben Kunz, Staff Reporter

April 19, 2018

Assistant Professor of History Jakobina Arch studies environmental and Japanese history. Wire reporter Ben Kunz sat down with Professor Arch to discuss her first book, released this month, “Bringing Whales Ashore, Oceans and the Environment of Early Modern Japan.” Whitman Wire: What originally led ...

Tokyo Triptych: “Tokyo-Ga,” “Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo,” and “Sans Soleil”

Vincent Warne

November 22, 2014

Japan has always had a rich cinematic history. It has produced some of the all time greatest and most influential directors, including the international cinema giants Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosawa, and Yasujiro Ozu, and some of the all time great films as well, like "Sansho the Bailiff", "Seven Samurai,"...

“Pastoral: To Die in the Country”: Shuji Terayama’s Autobiographical Fiction

Vincent Warne

November 14, 2014

Shuji Terayama's massive creativity far outweighs his recognition, at least in America. Born in 1935, he seemed to have limitless artistic energy, producing avant-garde poetry, drama, prose, photography, and film until his death in 1983. Naturally I've been most interested in his film work, so I can't...

Four days until I leave for Japan!

This past semester at Whitman, I studied not only Japanese language, but also chanoyu (tea ceremony) and Japanese Art and Aesthetics. Here I am dressed in kimono for a chanoyu demonstration.

Karin Tompkins

May 28, 2012

Welcome to my blog, friends, family, and interested parties. I depart for Japan in a little less than a week, so I decided to kick off the blog with a short personal introduction as well as an overview of my summer study abroad program.   I am a twenty-year-old Whitman College junior (soon to...

My Moment as the Super Talented Foreigner

My Moment as the Super Talented Foreigner

Sara Portesan

March 23, 2012

Tokyo, 3/20/12 (pictures pending) The Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo is famous for guess what? Fish! And therefore, sushi (it's Japan, after all). So for breakfast I feasted on fresh, raw fish atop rice and seaweed. Ah, sushi, one of Japan's greatest treasures. For lunch, I picked out a tuna roll...

Slipping out of Japan

Spencer Wharton

February 25, 2012

Damn, it happened again. I have this unfortunate tendency to stifle my own writing and put off writing about easy or simple things because I have multiple big ideas for posts, and I feel like I owe it to someone to write something 'of substance' instead of 'shallower' day-to-day posts. For instance, part of t...

You Have a Small Face

You Have a Small Face

Sara Portesan

February 5, 2012

  I had to do it. It had been bothering me for weeks, months maybe. My host sister has hair down to her hips, but I can't stand it once it starts to pass my shoulders. But I am also lazy, so I let it grow and grow and grow and meanwhile I complain, complain, complain. But, I did it! I cut my...

On the Surface: Japan

Sara Portesan

January 20, 2012

"It's been four months and I've still only just scratched the surface of Japanese culture." "Every time one question is answered, another surfaces." "Japan is more than what it looks like on the surface." Blah blah blah. What is this surface? Can a country have a surface? How is it made? What's it...

More than just a good meal

Sara Portesan

January 14, 2012

A quick note on the host family experience...   As an only child, I have never and probably will never completely understand what it is like to have a sibling. It is one of the reasons I requested a host family with kids. And boy did I luck out; I got two! A 16 year old sister and a 10 year...

Blue Bamboo and a Not Santa

Blue Bamboo and a Not Santa

Sara Portesan

December 13, 2011

  Okay, so I am about to attempt to describe the past (three, four?) weeks I haven't been blogging with 12 pictures!  Here we go. Fall Break in Japan   While a bunch of people went to Tokyo (jealous! I want to go spring break...), I stayed in Kyoto and went to these places: Oh...

On state-sponsored messages

Spencer Wharton

November 24, 2011

A month or so ago, as part of a joint field trip with my Lenses of Culture and Waste and Pollution classes, we went to Osaka to visit the Osaka Human Rights Museum. Organizing thirty American students and getting to Osaka, about an hour away on the train, was an interesting (read: hair-tuggingly frust...

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