Image from an exhibit at the Tokyo Design Week exhibition 2015

The Japanese language is sprinkled with onomatopoeia, which has the same effect as sprinkling furikake on a bowl of rice: it adds color and flavor and sometimes an element of surprise.

The name of this site is a play on this Japanese art of using sound as a way to describe something. Perapera is used frequently in Japanese, to describe speech or conversation. It is often said to foreigners as a way of complimenting them on their Japanese language skills (of course, I always hear it used to describe the third person, not myself). But in a negative sense, it can be used to describe someone who is an incessant talker. By adding a third “pera” to the word, perhaps you can get a sense of what this blog is about, a random spew of my experiences in Japan as a travel writer, editor and photographer, frequently for the website Voyapon. At Voyapon, you can get an embarrassment of wonderful articles about traveling in Japan. Here, you just get whatever I can wring out of my brain.

And About Me

In 2014, my family and I moved to the suburbs of Tokyo from the San Francisco Bay Area to start a new life in a country we had always dreamed of living in. For 20 years, I worked in the high tech world as an IT manager but coming to Japan, I had to find something new. Apart from volunteering with our local Japanese Christian church (which I love), I stumbled into photography and later, travel writing.

As a photographer, I had the privilege of being introduced to Dr. Sheila Cliffe, renowned in Japan for her expertise and style in kimono fashion. I did photography for Sheila’s second book and from 2017-2018 we worked on a book together, “Sheila Kimono Style“. Kimono portraiture is still my favorite style of photography and you will likely see some of my work published here.

One way I hope to differentiate myself from the masses of bloggers writing about life and travel in Japan is that although I don’t want to write about Japan sounding like a Weeb crash landing in the middle of Akihabara, I never want to lose my sense of wonder about this amazing country. Famous Japanophile Pico Iyer infamously quipped that he purposely maintains his outsider status by never learning the language, and by staying in Japan for years on a tourist visa. While I post no judgment on his perspective, I admire his commitment on never becoming so familiar with Japan that you lose your joy of living here. Every day, I thank God for the privilege of being in this land of a million mysteries.

If you love Japan as much as I do, let’s connect and pool our resources to share about this beautiful country with the world. I am also available as a freelance writer and photographer for any projects, so feel free to contact me about any opportunities we can discuss.

Thanks for reading PeraPeraPera. If you love the content here, buy my kimono photo book. It has nothing to do with PeraPeraPera, but it can’t hurt to ask, right?

Privacy Policy

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