This weekend I managed to finish going through the posts of 2005 (all 1063 of them). As I was going through these posts, I could see that it was a really important year for me. My first professional writing work started in 2004 as I became editor of MoCo Tokyo (a spinoff site to MoCo Loco, where I was also a contributor), and then at the very end of that year I started my monthly anime and design columns for Tokyo Q, but it was in 2005 that I started my monthly “On Design” column for The Japan Times, wrote for Gawker’s Gizmodo and Gridskipper, and also wrote some other freelance pieces. I’d definitely point to that year as the start of my writing career.

It was also the year I started writing almost weekly round-ups of Japanese magazines — which years later led to me starting the now-defunct The Magaziner website. It was also the year of me and Jesper’s first big collaboration together, in the form of our “Mamma Gun” exhibition/event at Cafe Pause, part of Swedish Style/Tokyo Design Week.

I’m pretty thankful that I can go through archives of my life like this, and see exactly how things happened and evolved.


Lordy, lordy, look who’s… 80.

The next edition of PauseTalk is just over a week away (happening on Monday, July 7), and not only is it the Vol. 80, but it also marks the 8th anniversary of the series.

(Well, last month would have been the true anniversary, since I started it in June, but you know, close enough.)

You never think that something will have a long life until you get there, to that point where, well, it’s fucking old. 80 events over a span of 8 years is a lot, and although there have of course been some sessions that were better than others, the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that I’ve been doing this consistently for such a long period of time. Also, I’ve met a ton of interesting people during that time, making connections that certainly would have never happened if it weren’t for PauseTalk.

So thank you, PauseTalk, for being in my life all this time.

As I mentioned, PauseTalk Vol. 80 will be held on Monday, July 7, and that’s of course going to take place at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro. Since there will be no event in August (due to the holidays), this will be the last edition of the summer. The photo included in this post was taken by Jared Braiterman at last month’s Vol. 79.

PauseTalk Next Monday

Just a reminder that PauseTalk Vol. 52 is just around the corner, happening this coming Monday (July 4) at Cafe Pause, with a regular start time of 20:00 (feel free to come earlier though to hang out before the official start). I’m quite looking forward to it, as I have a few friends in town for a visit, so should be fun. Here’s the Facebook event page (and again, I apparently can’t send out an invitation to fans of the PauseTalk page, which annoys me to no end).

Also, since I tend to skip having a PauseTalk in August (so many people leave town during the summer holidays), this may be the last edition until September.

PauseTalk Next Week

PauseTalk Vol. 50 didn’t mark the end of anything, on the contrary, we kick off a new era — well, numerically speaking at least — with Vol. 51 this coming Monday (June 6) at Cafe Pause. As always, the cafe is reserved from 19:30, and the official session will kick off at 20:00. Come on down for some good talk and some good company! And just a reminder that the PauseTalk presence on Facebook has changed to this new page.

Tomorrow’s PauseTalk Vol. 50

So tomorrow (Monday, May 9) will mark the 50th edition of PauseTalk, and to commemorate the event I’ve decided to prepare a few things, both pictured below. First up is a little booklet I quickly put together that talks about how PauseTalk started, what it’s about, and gives thanks to every single person (well, at least the ones who filled out the attendance sheet) who has attended at least one PauseTalk (277). I’m going to print out and staple a few copies for the event, but I invite everyone to download the PDF version.

I’ve also made a few badges for the event, using the “PauseTalk 50” logo, but these are very limited (only 15), and I will hand them out to the first people who arrive.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve attended one before or if this would be your first one, come join us tomorrow for a bit of talking. It all happens at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro with an official start time of 20:00, although I’ll be there from around 19:30.

PauseTalk Vol. 49

I’d like to once again thank everyone who made it to PauseTalk Vol. 49 at Cafe Pause earlier this month — it was held on April 4. I remember a lot of great discussions going on, and although it mostly focused on the Japan Earthquake and its aftermath, I think it still fit the bill as a proper PauseTalk.

Let me also bring up the fact that the next PauseTalk will indeed be Vol. 50, which is something that I think deserves to be celebrated or marked in some way. I’m not sure exactly how that will happen, but so far I’ve had a few ideas, which include possibly recording a live episode of my Codex podcast during the evening (will need to see if I can do such a thing over the cafe speakers, while avoiding feedback from using the mic), as well as me stretching my non-existing design chops to produce some memorabilia. I’ll talk more about this in a week or so. Also, please take note that it will be held on May 9, which is the second Monday of the month, following Golden Week (I always avoid having a PauseTalk during holidays).

Below is a partial list of those who attended PauseTalk Vol. 49, composed of those who filled out the attendance sheet.

Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan

If you’ve been to the front page of this site sometime this week (I have to assume that many of you reading this in your feed reader), then more than likely you’ve noticed the giant banner I have there now. It’s for the big Global PechaKucha Day – Inspire Japan event I’ve been working on over the past few weeks, set to happen this Saturday (April 16). I alluded to it in a recent post, but if you don’t know about it, it’s a big charity event we’ve put together, bringing together the PechaKucha community — we’re 404 cities strong, as of this writing — for a day/night of events all over the world, with the goal of raising funds for reconstruction efforts in Japan. As with last year for Haiti, we’re teaming up with Architecture for Humanity.

The core of the event is on Saturday, with a whole bunch of cities holding PKNs, and a lot of them will be streaming live as well — just go to the Inspire Japan site on the day of the event, and whatever is currently streaming live should be up at the top of the site. But our Inspire Japan efforts will also span all of April and May, and we’re inviting organizers of all PKNs during this period to collect donations — because this all came together so suddenly, many cities were not able to re-schedule already planned events, and some just found it difficult to organize something on the 16th.

Here in Tokyo, instead of our regular home of SuperDeluxe, the event will be held at the Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View (52nd floor), with doors opening at 17:00, and presentations starting at 18:00 (it should run until around 21:30 or so). Entry will be a minimum donation of 1000 yen — you’re of course welcome to leave more. To access the event, you’ll need to go to the 3rd floor to get a free ticket to get to the top, and we’ll have signs there to point you to the event space (where you’ll pay the entry fee).

This will also be the first time I present in quite a while — I only presented once at a PechaKucha Night, 3-4 years ago at a special Tokyo Design Week edition with my friend Jesper (it was about the Swedish Style event we had organized at Cafe Pause). This time, I’ll be teaming with Ian, who is responsible for all of the Inspire Japan graphics you’ve been seeing. The presentation will pretty much be about design efforts to raise money for Japan aid, based on that post I started a few days after the quake, as well as the follow-up I did in last month’s edition of my “On Design” column for The Japan Times. For his part of the presentation, Ian will cover the projects he worked on to help raise awareness and collect donations.

The event should be amazing — I mean, you can’t really beat that view — and you’ll also be contributing to reconstruction efforts, so I urge you all to come and support us. Also, if you’d like to help spread the word, feel free to get and use Inspire Japan banners and ads that Ian created, as well as a very cool (and workable) QR code that SET Japan designed for us.

PauseTalk Tonight

Just a reminder that tonight (April 4) is PauseTalk Vol. 49 at Cafe Pause — the official session kicks off at 20:00, but I usually show up around 19:30, so feel free to come early as well. From the Facebook event page so far, it looks like we’ll be getting a good group. As I mentioned last week, it should be nice to get together and reflect on what we’ve all just been through, and what it could mean for our cultural (and personal) lives here in Tokyo this year. I know that regular PauseTalker Edward Harrison will be there, and he’ll be able to talk about his role in working on the #quakebook charity book.

PauseTalk Next Week

I figure a lot of people are probably wondering whether there will be a PauseTalk next week or not — considering all of the events that have been cancelled of late — and after having spoken with the Cafe Pause manager, we’ve decided to go ahead and have one. Since the earthquake and following a week of being closed, the cafe has been open only until 17:00, and from today it will be closing at 20:00, but on the date of PauseTalk Vol. 49 (Monday, April 4) it will be open until 23:00 (the PauseTalk start time, as always, will be 20:00).

I know many of you are still not venturing out at night as much, but please know that I’ll be there, and it would be nice to have a nice group to share thoughts on what’s happened, and how we all move forward from it.