On inspiration

The reason to visit China this time in 2016 had a lot to do with my new professional passion, i.e. the history and development of cities. After having met the author of a book project I have always admired as well as pondering life amid landscapes zooming by the train window, herewith some notes on inspiration.

Hongqiao Integrated Transport Hub, Shanghai

Continue reading

2016 China trip

A shame I don’t speak the language and have more time and inspiration to explore the country(side). And still, the occasional trip to China has always been worth it. This time was no different.

Niushikou, Chengdu 

Continue reading

Japan’s infrastructure investments

I have decided to put some of my little research assignments (largely “self-assigned”, that is) onto the blog in order to share them more widely and get myself to be more disciplined in articulating my thoughts. This one below is about Japan’s infrastructure investments over the last 100+ years.

infrastructure spending

Continue reading


We just came back from a two-week working holiday in Thailand. Our main aim was to escape the humid Japanese summer and find a place suitable for some concentrated work. We still ventured out of the hotel room, so some observations from Phuket after the jump.


Private house Phuket Town

Continue reading

Rangoon and Kuala Lumpur urban histories

Below is some work-in-progress on a comparative urban history piece on Kuala Lumpur and Yangon. It is the final section of a term paper that I wrote for my Southeast Asia class. I have never visited Kuala Lumpur, but found reading about it fascinating. Upon talking to my professor, though, I realize that much work remains to be done if I were to take this any further. Here’s me hoping to pick this up once my academic timetable clears up a little bit towards the end of the summer! In the meanwhile, let me know what you think!


Yangon — Accountant General’s Office (c) Manuel Oka

Continue reading

The Allied Occupation of Tokyo 1945-1952

Rather than dumping a whole 8,000-word essay on this blog, I thought that it makes more sense to fast forward straight to the conclusion. Please read below the jump what I found out about the impact the Allied Occupation of Japan between 1945 and 1952 had on Tokyo’s urban development. I may chop up the main body of the text and post it on the blog in segments if there is any interest. Just drop me a line!


Ebisu shacks 1945 – from Japan Air Raids

Continue reading


We went on a long weekend trip to Shimoda at the southern tip of the Azu Peninsula in June, and I totally forgot to put some photos up back then. It was like a trip back in time, both to the mid-nineteenth century, when Commodore Perry’s ships arrived here, and the roaring eighties, when the real estate boom reigned here just like in other seaside resorts across Japan.


Continue reading

PhD coursework

I haven’t been writing as much on my blog as of late as I used to in the past, probably because most of my energy has been channelled into class assignments. For my record keeping, some details on these classes after the jump.


GRIPS, view from 14th floor across Roppongi

Continue reading