I’m a graduate of the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. This portfolio includes all of my professional writing, mostly about Japan, and my video work. I also maintain a few other blogs.


2006 JET Programme Tokyo Orientation Assistant
2007 JET Programme Fukushima Prefecture Orientation Assistant
2016 JET Programme After JET Conference Career Consultant

Translation Work

Masquerade and the Nameless Women, Eiji Mikage, Vertical (2019)
Snow Day,” Kanoko Okamoto
Koeber-sensei’s Farewell,” Natsume Soseki
Dispatch From Tokyo,” Osamu Dazai

I’ve translated a wide variety of materials (Japanese–>English) including the following topics:

  • Mobile games, online games (in-game content)
  • Tsukemen (dipping ramen)
  • Automobile advertisements
  • Japanese history (keyhole tombs, Nikko Shrine, Nagasaki and Christianity, lacquerware, various Japanese historical figures, The Frank Lloyd Wright Imperial Hotel)
  • Japanese beer
  • Japanese law enforcement
  • Toy packaging and manuals
  • Intra-office pamphlets
  • Cosmetic products
  • Municipal websites

Writing about Beer

Goldilocks Homebrewing
Beer Essentials: The craft beer boom in Japan shows no signs of running dry,” The Japan Times

Writing about Japan

How to Japanese Substack:
This is where I do most of my writing these days. I post once a month on a language-related topic.

Distant Disasters

The Threepenny Review:
Table Talk, Fall 2012 (full text not online)

Murakami Haruki B-Sides
Still No Nobel
Mistranslating Murakami
2008: The Rise of Watanabe Atsumu
Loss and Recovery: 1Q84 and Murakami’s Sunken Continent
2011: 1Q84 Goes Abroad
Colorless Tazaki Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage
Murakami Haruki’s Advertorial Short Stories

The Japan Times:
‘Automatic Eve’ review: Familiar tropes reimagined with brilliant sci-fi originality
One man’s journey to perfect homemade nattō
Unresolved mystery from the mind of Murakami
In ‘Tsukuru Tazaki,’ Murakami once again shifts his point of view
Haruki Murakami’s new book peels back the layers of friendship
What to prepare for when you’re expecting one of Murakami’s mammoths
‘Killing Commendatore’: Murakami’s latest lacks inspired touch of earlier works
Why Did You Leave Japan?:
Tsubasa Watanabe: Model mixes punk with fashion on the runways of New York
June Yamagishi: Hitting New Orleans with a suitcase and a guitar
Leading cancer researcher Yusuke Nakamura pursues answers
Yoshihisa Arai: Floating on air in Chicago
Take your taimingu when translating loan words
The value of seemingly empty Japanese phrases
“‘Ii‘ is a perfectly good way to say, ‘No, thank you‘”
Battling language’s law of diminishing returns
Stop worrying and embrace the passive tense
Procedural phrasing: often a pain, but always polite
Japanese humor: more universally funny than you think
Ii ne! Facebook is a perfect place for Japanese immersion
Keep calm before carrying on when speaking Japanese
Being laughed at can help your Japanese evolve
Drinking in Japan: Sober words to help you socialize
Particles create the chemistry of adjectives and adverbs
Complicated characters: Let us now praise difficult kanji
Discovering verb stems: A gokan oasis in the desert of gobi
Going backward to get ahead with studying Japanese
The annual pain and pleasure of punished comedians
The myths and misery of translating Japanese video games
‘Ka’ can help you sound less like Mr. Roboto
Avoiding the subject isn’t such a bad idea in Japanese
Submitting yourself to the 50 shades of arigatō gozaimasu
In Japanese, mastery of the space-time continuum is just a few words away
Keep pounding away and eventually Japanese will reveal its secrets
Jiko-PR gives job seekers a rare chance to brag in Japanese
When translation gets tough, bow to the ‘Green Goddess’
A pocketful of Japanese immersion is just a few key taps away
Look to ‘senpai’ to help take your Japanese reading to the next level.
To furu or furareru: In Japanese or any language, breaking up is hard to do
Condolences: what to say when there’s nothing you can say
To be a more complete Japanese speaker, leave your sentences incomplete
Repetition and role-play are crucial for speaking success in Japanese
A Japanese guide to dealing with gentleman callers and unruly dogs
Wikipedia ‘deep dives’ can help recreate the joys and pains of Japanese-language immersion
‘Thursday Night Football’ NFL draws Friday morning tweeters in Japan
Japanese translators forced to grab the Trump bull by the horns
‘Tis the season for ‘tegami’ — and for facing your Japanese letter-writing fears
To email in Japanese, take a layer cake of etiquette and stuff it with meaning
Investing big but wisely in Japanese study aids can reap dividends
Watch, read, rewind: using Netflix to boost your Japanese
Conquering ‘Commendatore’: Murakami brandishes familiar lexicon in latest novel
Tanka help Japanese express emotions
Asking questions to the Japanese internet
Enka gives lessons in Japan’s unattainable love
Learn Japanese as you travel the world
Blue Sky Books is a literary treasure trove
Yonkoma manga: Lives told, lessons learned in four frames
Cheat your way to better Japanese with walkthrough video game guides
OK Google, auto-fill the gaps in my Japanese
Whose line is it anyway? Tips for deciphering dialogue in Japanese fiction
At 180,000 entries, Jim Breen’s freeware Japanese dictionary is still growing
When stumped in Japanese, go where the stumped Japanese go
Japanese that’s so beautiful it belongs in a museum
使用? 利用? Make use of a dictionary to use your Japanese properly
When giving a public speech in Japanese, tears can be your trump card
Get in tune with the sound of Japanese vocabulary
There’s more than just page numbers in the index of a Japanese literary magazine
How to address the ‘sisters’ we’ve never met
A podcast that talks to bilingual people about studying Japanese and working in Japan
Being your best self in spoken Japanese with the cast of ‘Queer Eye.’
Cleaning house (and head) at the end of the year
Life begins at 60 (or at least it starts anew)
Look for love to overcome Japanese-language study difficulties
’Emergency’ Japanese can help build fluency
Your Japanese vocabulary can expand as the new coronavirus spreads
Getting a party rolling in Japanese
Radical recombinations: Capture the moment with created kanji
Confess! Dating in Japan requires short set phrases to spark the fire
Put your yen to work with the language of investing
Focus on sentence endings to ‘see the future’ in Japanese
Immerse yourself in the creativity and language of Japanese TikTok accounts
What exactly does it mean when someone tells you to ‘act your age’?
‘PPAP,’ ‘golden jewels’ and other words that make the Japanese giggle
Make Japanese politics more concrete by training your ears
Let the verbs do the work when it comes to pronouns and polite speech in Japanese

Let’s Go: Japan
I researched and wrote copy for the first (and only) edition of Let’s Go: Japan. I was responsible for Kamakura, Yokohama, Nagoya, Awaji-shima, all of Shikoku, Beppu, and Kita-Kyushu.

CNNGo Tokyo:
In the bag: Black tea’s revival at G Clef
Domo arigato, Mr Robata: Classic robatayaki at Musashi
Hoofin’ it in Oimachi: Jingisukan grilled lamb at Kitaichi Club
The great Shibuya Station beer-lover’s pub crawl
Japlish: It’s two confusing languages in one!” (Please note that I did not title this piece.)

Japan Pulse:
Pulse Rate: 社畜 (shachiku)
Baum cake blitz
Internet Go BOOM: Visual Kei’s Deep Throat
How to make a Big Bang in show business
Big (only) in Japan? Beer Salesgirls
Will a coven of Witch Girls grow in Japan?
Kings of comedy yuck it up on April Fools
With Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, is a hit for the PSP at hand?
The knock-on effect of Murakami’s “1Q84” series
Major beer companies diet excessively while craft brewers beef up
Big (only) in Japan? Tape as proof of purchase
Apartment shares in Japan draw a share of the herd
No Konbini No Life: instant maze-soba
Daburu Koron hit big time with pun-riddled riddles
Mixi helps users socialize with new apps
Pulse Rate: ‘Free rent’ pricing aims to fill up empty apartments
Big (Only) in Japan? ‘Greensleeves’
Who will feed the Haruki Murakami fans online?
KFC goes for finger-lickin’ health-conscious goodness

Ploughshares Blog

Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft – An Introduction
Fantasy Blog Draft – Team Introductions
Round 1 – Editors
Round 2 – Fiction Writers
Round 3 – Wildcard Picks!
Round 4 – Nonfiction Writers
Round 5 – Poets
Round 6 – Final Wildcard Picks!
Fantasy Blog Draft Hype Week!
Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 1 – Leave it to Cheever vs The Mighty Duck Palahniuks
Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 1 – Buckle Your Corn Belts vs Vonnegut to the Chopper!
Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 2 – The Mighty Duck Palahniuks vs The Holden Caulbabies
Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 2 – Vonnegut to the Chopper! vs What the Chuckin’ Buk?!
Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Finals: The Holden Caulbabies vs What the Chuckin’ Buk?!
The Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Champion
MFAs Do It Best: Your Graduate Degree in the Workforce

Video Work

How to Japanese Video Supplements:
How to Shinjuku Station
Underrated Japan Vol. 1 – Shinagawa Morning Rush
Old Edo Great Beer Pub Crawl
Underrated Japan Vol. 2 – Mikan
Underrated Japan Vol. 3 – Tonkatsu
How to Higaeri Onsen
How to Bank Mad Cash in Japan
My New Orleans
Natto Experiments
Good Eats – Musashi
JR Station Pub Crawl – Yamanote
Collabo-Ramen – 魚雷 Gyorai
Free Tourism – The Tokyo International Forum
Collabo-Ramen – 六厘舎 Rokurinsha
Yokohama 開港 Great Beer Pub Crawl
Collabo-Ramen ひるがお Hirugao
Collabo-Ramen – むつみや Mutsumiya
Collabo-Ramen – けいすけ二代目 Keisuke Nidaime
Shibuya Station Circumnavigation Great Beer Pub Crawl
Collabo-Ramen – Bassanova
Collabo-Ramen – naginicai
Collabo-Ramen – Shichisai
Collabo-Ramen – Junk Garage
Collabo-Ramen – Ikaruga
Collabo-Ramen – Honda
Baird Beer Taproom Pub Crawl
Cafe du Monde Abroad – Beignets in Japan