Plain Talk


De-cluttering in the time of Corona by Rhian Yoshikawa

FED-UP with gorging on Netflix and cooking up a storm, I turned in desperation to my to-do list and decided to deal with the task screaming out at me in bold capitals near the bottom: CLEAN OUT CLOSETS!

It took some time to drum up the courage but, once I’d actually got stuck in, the process of freeing up so much space was incredibly energizing. However, reality struck when I turned around and was faced with a mountain of unwanted stuff piled high in the middle of the floor.

My place isn’t very big so I had to get ruthless quickly if I was going to have any space to lay out my futon. No time to get sentimental or search for ‘joy’; the situation called for drastic measures.

Anything broken, stained or incomplete went straight into a bin bag. Goodbye yellowed T-shirts, solid nail varnish and single socks. Goodbye presents from ex-boyfriends and group photos of people whose names I never really knew. Goodbye grungy underwear, broken alarm clocks and stretched-out scrunchies. This actually felt amazing!

I decided to up the feel-good factor and googled sites asking for donations. I found recipients for books, CDs, DVDs, sportswear, bags and even bras, which were duly packaged up and set aside for sending.

Normally, I’d take the remainder along to my local recycle shop to see what I could get for them, but in these difficult times a trip to anywhere rather than the local convenience store can be challenging. So I decided it was time to bite the bullet and sign on to an online flea market site. Granted, you need some Japanese ability to do this, but it proved a lot easier than I’d imagined.

Browsing through MERUCARI*, I could see that there is a market out there for almost anything in reasonable condition. I started listing books that I’d scarcely looked at, clothes I’d only worn once, shoes I’d never worn, and collectable figures that I’d forgotten I had. The possibilities seemed endless. I got quite carried away and had to stop before my room started looking like an advert for minimalistic living.

A few days later, I had a much cleaner room. The bin bags and donation packages were gone and I’d managed to sell a few items online, actually making a tidy profit from my purge. I still had a few boxes in the corner but opening my closet was now a source of pleasure rather than pain and I had discovered another way to exercise in self-isolation: online flea market surfing!

*MERUCARI is one of the most popular online flea market sites in Japan

Netflix を検索したり、自炊ざんまいの生活に飽き飽きした私は、切羽詰まって、自分のTODOリスト(やることリスト)を覗いた。リストの下の方にあった太字で書かれた「クローゼットの整理整頓!」という大文字が私に必死に呼びかけた。私はそれをやることに決めた。




自分の気持ちを心地良くなるよう、寄贈品を募っている人を検索した。本、CD DVD、スポーツウエア、バッグ、そしてブラでさえ受取りたいという人たちを見つけた。しかるべく梱包して送付するばっかりにしてわきに置いた。





Tokyo Fab


Tokyo International Players

Tokyo International Player is offering the first episode of a new video series called Shakespeare from Home, in which TIP actors sharetheir favorite Shakespeare monologues from the comfort of their ownliving rooms (or kitchens, or backyards!) This month’s selection isfrom MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, one of the most loved comedies.
May 2020 production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA had to be postponed, but that didn’t stop their talented cast and crew from coming together for this wonderful selection of songs from the show. If you enjoyed the video (available for a limited time only), please support TIP through this tumultuous time! You can visit the donations page
You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel so you can continue to enjoy this series throughout the summer!


Tokyo Sinfonia

Tchaikovsky Serenade will bring a smile to your face, warm yourheart, and lift your spirit.
Tchaikovsky had first conceived of a work based onShakespeare’s play Hamlet, a fantasy-overture highlightingthe emotions which characterise the theatre. He set pen to paperfor a production which not to take place.
Tchaikovsky regarded Mozart as his musical godfather, and held theopera Don Giovanni in greatest awe. His suite number 4,“Mozartiana," was composed for the 1887 centennial of theopera.
Les Saisons
A Saint Petersburg music magazine commissioned Tchaikovsky to write12 piano pieces, one for each month for the year. Simple in form,the 12 resulting movements are charming little masterpieces.

Date: July 15(Wed)19:00 @ Ginza Oji Hall
Programs: Hamlet Fantasy-Overture, Op. 67, Mozartiana, Op. 61, Les Saisons, Op. 37

What’s App With You?



Moodelizer is a one-trick pony − but it’s quite a trick. It enables you to add custom soundtracks to videos − and all you need is a single finger. You select a genre, and ‘rehearse’ playback by dragging your finger around the square viewfinder. Move up to increase the music’s intensity increases and move right to adjust variation. You can perform rehearsals using the viewfinder or with an existing video loaded from your Camera Roll. Just messing about with the audio alone is fun, but it all properly comes together when making a video. Now, when you’re shooting yet another clip of your cat being mildly amusing, Moodelizer can add much-needed excitement by way of rousing club music or head-banging guitar riffs.


sok-edit is a collage app that doubles down on immediacy. Instead of neatly aligning photos to a grid, it’s the digital equivalent of hacking photos to bits with scissors, and sticking them on other photos for purposes of amusement and creativity. The app is tactile and noisy. You drag to cut out elements, which can then be rotated, resized, cloned and flipped. Most actions come with sound effects. It’s all a lot of fun. The only minor snag is if you have too much fun − in the sense of using three layers − you have to watch an advert to add another object, or plump for the ‘pro’ IAP. Mind you, even the latter is a mere US$0.99/99p/AU$1.49, which seems like a bargain for unlimited collage larks.

Strange but True


7 Simple Tips to Tackle Working from Home

A shocking new model has revealed the worrying effects that working from home could be having on your body. DirectlyApply has developed a model called Susan, to show what working from home could do to you in just 25 years. Hunched shoulders, digital eye strain, hair loss, as well as pale and dull skin with increased wrinkles due to a lack of Vitamin D… working from home could have worrying effects on your body. If you’re working from home, there are several things you can do to ensure you don’t end up looking like Susan. The NHS has several key tips to make working from home easier.
1. Establish your own routine
Try to follow your normal sleep and work patterns where you can, and stay consistent.
2. Make a dedicated workspace
Get everything you need in one place, before you start work − chargers, pens, paper and anything else − and shut the door if you can. Even in a small or shared space, try to designate an area as your work space.
3. Give yourself a break
Making time for breaks is important to help manage feelings of stress − try to take lunch and regular screen breaks.
4. Stay connected
In and out of work, human interaction matters. Schedule video calls and pick up the phone instead of emailing.
5. But set boundaries
Setting boundaries with other members of your household and work is key to mental wellbeing while working at home. It's easier to stay logged on when your home is your office, but try to switch off from work when the day is over and enjoy time with family at home.
6. Start thinking longer term
You may be continuing to work from home for a while, so think about ways you could improve how you work while at home.
7. Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you might not be as productive as you usually would be.




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