Through the years: Ayumi Hamasaki

Recently the biggest news in the Japanese entertainment industry is Namie Amuro’s retirement on 16 September 2018. Namie Amuro was one of the few pioneer artists part of the J-wave fever from the late 1990s to early 2000s. This got me thinking about one of my favourite Japanese singers of all time, Ayumi Hamasaki.
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Pili Fantasy World of Puppet Art 霹靂藝術科幻特展

Two months ago, I was in Taipei specifically for Pili’s latest exhibition: Pili Fantasy World of Puppet Art or 霹靂藝術科幻特展 (if you can read mandarin). This is by far the best puppet exhibition I have ever attended because of its grand scale and the “physical closeness” to the puppets. They were literally just centimetres away from me. You could see the puppets’ pores if they actually have pores.

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Enter the World of Pili Puppetry 進入霹靂布袋戲世界

It may seem a little strange that my first travel/cultural experience post is not about Japan but Taiwan. I am not sure how many people feel the same way, but having been to both countries multiple times, to me, Taiwan is not very different from Japan. I believe there is a historical reason to this. When Qing China lost the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) to Japan, she lost the province of Taiwan as well. As such, from 1895 to 1945, Taiwan became a colony of the Japanese empire. (You can read the full wiki article here if you are interested to know more). After 50 years of colonisation, it’s reasonable to conclude that in the process of colonisation, “Taiwanese culture” became highly influenced by Japanese culture. That’s all for the mini history lesson; the main focus of today’s posts is supposed to be my most recent interest: Taiwanese puppetry!

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