Phuket

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.

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Private house Phuket Town

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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!

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

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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!

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Ebisu shacks 1945 – from Japan Air Raids

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Shimoda

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.

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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.

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GRIPS, view from 14th floor across Roppongi

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Tokyo housing developments

A few interesting pieces on housing, construction and real estate in Tokyo and beyond caught my attention lately. I wanted to collect them here for future reference and research. I wonder whether what was once key to understanding Japanese cities’ success in dealing with unbridled urbanisation has become an impediment to its citizens enjoying the fruits of an affluent society today.

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The view from my balcony in Nakano, Tokyo (May 2016) Continue reading

Housing the poor in Yangon

How will the 300,000 or so new inhabitants Yangon gains every year live? To conclude a series on slums and the urban poor in Yangon, I wanted to highlight a few items of note I found in a presentation by the Myanmar Ministry of Construction.

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Construction site, Yangon (c) Manuel Oka

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May update

In lieu of a proper post in May and in order to preserve some memories from this time of the year, herewith some photos taken over the past couple of weeks.

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Taipei April 2016

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