The Man Who Mistook His Computer for a Book: Portrait of a Student

It’s this time of year again, the blog has aged another year. And just like last year, there shall be a recapitulation of what I have read during these past twelve months. Again, the books listed are those that have appeared in the “Current Literature” tab in the sidebar. This time, however, I want to keep it short – just like the table, unfortunately.

As you can see below, I have not read that much in the past year. And where I complained last year that I had read too little, this year’s result is a wholly underperforming one compared to last year’s.


It’s time for announcements again! Today, I will be briefly talking about three more or less new things on this blog that I deem worthy of mentioning. They are by no means any outstanding new functions of this blog but sometimes small changes are sufficient. So, let’s start at the top.

1. Taking up what I already mentioned in my last post, I will just repeat the fact that the virtual catalogue of my library is now accessible through this blog (under


Today I added the 400th book to my library! OK, just to the virtual catalogue of my real library, which still contains roughly half a bookshelf of uncatalogued books… But I just found the number 400 to be so nice. The new acquisition is a facsimile of the 1750 first edition of Lessing’s Beyträge zur Historie und Aufnahme des Theaters (“Articles on the history and reception of theatre”), Germany’s first theatre periodical.

O Aniki, Where Art Thou?

Something paradox (but to be expected) has happened. I was in Japan for two months, with one of the hopes of being there being able to obtain various information “on location” and writing about it, and yet I haven’t written a single post for this blog in that time.

Now I am back in Germany again and can only write retrospectively about what I have done there. And so it shall be.

What’s new – Home Improvement

In the past few days, I changed some small and subtle things on this blog. Without going too much into all the details, I’ll just list them up here:

– The blog now has a favicon! It’s nothing spectacular and it’s not yet optimal, but I think it’s sufficient for the beginning. Firefox for example shows it in tabs, Safari shows it little bigger in the favorites list and on mobile devices you can drop a bookmark with the logo onto your homescreen.
– What nobody notices: I now have a page with my public PGP key for my blog mail address (oh, yeah, it’s this: info[at]


I am back in Germany. OK, I arrived a little bit more than a month ago but as always I didn’t have time until now to tell you that. Shortly before my flight back home I was planning to post a somewhat polemic article on the political landscape in Japan (see below), but as always I didn’t finish the article and I have been swamped with work since my arrival.

So, as a small compensation, I firstly present the somewhat polemic article that I only wrote in English:

The calm … during the storm?

It has recently been a little bit quieter on this blog. I missed to mention many things of importance that would have had its place in the thematic spectrum of this blog. From the commemoration days of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th 1945, and the following end of the war on August 15th (with the formal signing of the Surrender on September 2nd and how it was celebrated in China this year, for instance) to various travels of mine from Matsumoto to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to Okinawa (not in one trip).

And as much as I would have liked to write about everything, time was – despite the end of classes – not on my side. It was for a greater part occupied by thinking about my academic future and trying to find a place in Heidelberg.

Now, as it’s raining outside due to the 18th typhoon by now (the 19th is already on the weather map but is said to narrowly pass Japan), I finally get to post again. There will be a musical piece matching this weather in the next post, so be prepared: fluctus excitare in simpulo.


Through the Literature Glass: A literary retrospective

This day marks the first anniversary of this blog! To mark the occasion I have listed all books that I have read in this past year in a table with some additional information like genre and number of pages and with a rating in the form of X/10 points. These were the books that appeared in the “Current Literature” section in the right sidebar on the post pages throughout the year.

It should be noted that I read these books voluntarily, so all literature for my university classes – with the notable exceptions of Japanese Society (which I read in private last year and which later incidentally appeared as a mandatory reading in my Anthropology class) and 東京原発 (no reason) –, like textbooks and short stories, is not included. Furthermore, the following kinds of readings are not included in this table: photo-books (Brassaï, Escher etc.); reference books (Programming in Scala); and all books I only read parts of (Adorno’s Musikalische Schriften, Hofstadter’s Le Ton Beau de Marot etc. etc.).