Paul Warham
  • Paul Warham 
  • By this author: 9 Latest posted: 2014.01.31
Translator and editor, First came to Japan in the late 1980s and has been a regular visitor ever since. After studying Japanese language and literature in England and the United States, joined Japan Echo Inc. in 2009. Has translated novels by Kitakata Kenzō, Hosaka Kazushi, and Seirai Yūichi. In his spare time, he enjoys running, reading, and exploring Tokyo’s izakaya, though not all at the same time.
A Visit from Sumō Sandstorm Ōsunaarashi2014.01.31

On Wednesday afternoon, the office was visited by a sandstorm—a 1.89 meter tall, 146 kilogram sandstorm resplendent in a warm winter kimono, his slicked-back hair fragrant with binzuke abura pomade. We were honored to have Ōsunaarashi (“The Great Sandstorm”), Egypt’s first professional sumō wrestler, stop by the office for a quick visit on his way to a dinner appointment downtown. We’v…

Colonel Sanders Gets Ready for the Year of the Horse2013.12.26

For obvious reasons, Christmas is not a public holiday in Japan—here at we spent December 25 in the office beavering away as usual. But it’s not quite an ordinary day either. For most of the past two months, we’ve been treated (subjected?) to decorated trees and glittering lights and “White Christmas” and all the rest of it, with Colonel Sanders resplendently clad in Santa Claus red out…

Monkeys at Large in the Big City2013.11.14

Osaka police received an unusual emergency call early in the morning of November 11, when a man driving along the city’s Chūō Ōdōri reported seeing a monkey sitting by the side of the road, according to a report in the Yomiuri Shimbun. In normal circumstances, the likely response would have been to send a team to breathalyze the driver and take away his keys. But this has been a big week for monk…

Double Typhoons, Torrential Rains, and Japan’s Six Seasons2013.10.24

Anyone who has spent time in Japan knows how important the seasons are here. It’s safe to say that the idea of four distinct seasons looms large in the national mythos. New arrivals are often surprised to be asked: “Do you have seasons in your country?” We do indeed, the proud British visitor replies—often all four in one day. Even in the cities, the ancient seasonal traditions are alive and well…

Cat Island: Felines Outnumber People 10-to-1 at This Tourist Attraction2013.10.15

A fishing boat on the tranquil waters of the Inland Sea (Seto Naikai). It may be hard to imagine when you’re being packed into a crowded Tokyo subway train or fighting your way through the Friday night crowds in downtown Osaka or Hiroshima, but in many parts of Japan the biggest population problem is not that there are too many people but that there are too few. In some parts of rural Japan…

The Sun Goddess Moves House2013.10.04

Late on the evening of Wednesday, October 2, one of the most important events in the Japanese religious calendar took place when the chief deity of the Grand Shrine at Ise moved into new lodgings for the first time in 20 years. The ritual is the climax of a massive rebuilding project that dates back some 1,300 years. Located in Mie Prefecture, the Ise Shrine has close ties to the imperial family …

Chip Kidd: How Japanese Pop Culture Inspired the World’s Best-Known Book Designer2013.06.13

As America’s most in-demand book designer, Chip Kidd has carved out a unique niche for himself as a publishing phenomenon in his own right. Routinely referred to as “the world’s greatest book-jacket designer,” he has also been described as “the closest thing to a rock star in graphic design today.” Among the hundreds of books to benefit from his eye-catching designs are numerous works by Japanese …

Junot Díaz: Writing the Past, Shaping the Future2013.03.25

One of the most exciting writers working in English today, Junot Díaz has long been inspired by Japanese popular culture. Visiting Tokyo to take part in Japan’s first major international literary festival, he spoke of his affection for Japan and the inspirational impact that Japanese novels and manga have had on his writing.

“Shitamachi” Shopping Streets2012.07.06

The completion of the Tokyo Skytree has brought new crowds flocking to the well-preserved shitamachi neighborhoods of the surrounding area. For these streets, whose chief appeal lies in their old-fashioned atmosphere and vibrant local flavor, this influx represents both an opportunity and a challenge.

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