Hiatus, update

It’s been a while since I last posted anything. There is really no sole reason to blame for this hiatus – just a variety of things coming together. To make use of the diary aspect of blogging and to bridge the time until my focus returns, herewith some personal updates and thoughts just ahead of the holidays.


Zooming along the Den-en-toshi Line

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Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line

Japan is any rail buff’s heaven. The punctuality and efficiency of the trains is one thing, the sheer scale of the network another: 82 out of the world’s 100 busiest train stations are in Japan. The role private rail lines played in the post-war urbanisation of Tokyo is explored in the post below, using Tokyu’s Den-en-toshi LineĀ as an example.


Den-en-toshi Line signage. Thanks to kawawa for taking the shot!

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East Germany and Japan 2: economic cooperation

The 1980s are often described as the “lost decade” for much of the second and third world. East Germany was partly able to avoid economic malaise. That was partly the case because Japanese banks kept the tabs open while relations between the GDR and the East Asian miracle nation blossomed. Some further historical anecdotes after the jump.


Two icons of the 1980s GDR – Semperoper in Dresden and Mazda 323 parked to the far left next to more common vehicles Trabant, Lada, Skoda, and Wartburg; by Flickr user Felix O (creative commons)

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