Category Archives: Asia

Kumano Kodō, Japan

My feature on walking part of the Kumano Kodō pilgrimage trail in Japan will be published in a few days time in Elsewhere journal. Elsewhere is a Berlin-based print journal, published twice a year, dedicated to writing and visual art that explores the idea of … Continue reading

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Ghosts of Empire – Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata

One way of looking at this evocative, if mildly disturbing, place is as a hidden enclave populated with the ghosts of colonialism. Situated right in the middle of Kolkata, tucked away purdah-like from the mayhem of the city streets, the … Continue reading

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Hanami

The Japanese have a word for it – hanami. The full meaning of hanami is difficult to translate accurately but in literal terms it means ‘flower viewing’ and normally refers to sakura, the blossom of cherry trees in spring.  Incorporated … Continue reading

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Rainy Day Kyoto

A  rainy morning in Kyoto. The immediate reaction is one of disappointment – a damper on photographic aspirations for the day. But umbrellas have their own aesthetic charm, as do rain-washed streets and silvery skies. The kimono-clad young women who … Continue reading

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Kyrgyz Graveyards

You see them everywhere in Kyrgyzstan. From afar they resemble hillside villages of mud-brick dwellings but a closer look reveals them to be cemeteries. Usually located a little way outside a village, sometimes on top of a low bluff, they … Continue reading

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Yuri Gagarin’s Holiday

When Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin returned from the first successful manned space flight in 1961 he took a well-deserved holiday. We can only assume that this took place after a considerable debriefing by the Soviet military – it was, after … Continue reading

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Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh!

I don’t quite know what it is that has made me think of Vietnam recently. Maybe it was a casual mention in a conversation that made me realise that I don’t have a very vivid memory of the short time I … Continue reading

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Into the Sunset

Today heralds the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. The last couple of weeks leading up to this seasonal turning point have been characterised, in eastern England at least, by unseasonally sunny skies and sunsets so magnificent they seem to be defying the script that dictates … Continue reading

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Rain

Lying in bed this morning with the curtains still drawn it was obvious enough that it was raining outside, the thrum of workday traffic softened to a watery swash. Soon the hum became augmented by the unmistakeable sound of running water on the street … Continue reading

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Iranian Street Art

It is strange how what might be seen as radical and subversive in one culture is considered mainstream in another. Street art, wall murals and the like have nearly always belonged to the radical tradition in the West – Belfast’s paramilitary gables, … Continue reading

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