Gianni Simone

Gianni Simone is a mail artist, zinester and general troublemaker from Italy. When not taking pictures of Tokyo police boxes, he writes on all things Japanese for Vogue Italia, Zoom Japan, and other assorted publications. Together with Randy Osborne, he co-authored the book “Made of This.”

For Gianni Simone's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

/ Jul 8, 2012

Japanese geek cool

OTAKU SPACES, by Patrick W. Galbraith. Chin Music Press, 2012, 240 pp., $20.00 (paperback) T he word otaku and the complex mass of ideas, people and trends variously connected to its constantly evolving meaning have been discussed and analyzed ad nauseam since this term ...

Clowning around in Tohoku to help children

/ Jun 16, 2012

Clowning around in Tohoku to help children

The Japanese entertainment world is supposed to be a very hard one to crack for foreigners in these lean years of economic doldrums. Once in a while a few people manage to carve out a niche for themselves through a combination of talent, perseverance ...

Japan through the monster's eye

/ May 27, 2012

Japan through the monster's eye

THE MONSTER MOVIE FAN'S GUIDE TO JAPAN, by Armand Vaquer. ComiXpress.com, 2010, 48 pp., $15.00 (softcover) Last year was the 100th anniversary of director Ishiro Honda's birth, but most of the English-language press in Japan didn't seem to notice. Granted, Honda may not be on ...

Japan a fond spot in solitary Kiwi's running quest

May 5, 2012

Japan a fond spot in solitary Kiwi's running quest

In this age of reality TV, cheap exhibitionism and superhuman feats, is there still space for the common man? Justyn "Jup" Brown's reply is a resounding yes. When talking about himself, the 39-year-old New Zealander says, "I'm just a plumber," even though his eclectic talent ...

Portraits and memories of those who survived the horrors of war

/ Apr 29, 2012

Portraits and memories of those who survived the horrors of war

FROM ABOVE, by Paule Saviano. Contents Factory, 2011, 256 p.p., ¥8,000 (hardcover) The twentieth century had, among other things, the dubious distinction of being one of the bloodiest, deadliest times in world history. Wars, genocide, mass murders, etc, aided by the best technology available at ...

Enjoying the quiet life in Kanazawa, in black and white

Feb 11, 2012

Enjoying the quiet life in Kanazawa, in black and white

Coincidence can shape people's lives in many ways. Ask Mark Hammond, and he will certainly agree. Indeed, chance seems to have pushed his life and artistic activity into unpredictable directions. While attending college in the United States, he was more interested in broadcast journalism and ...

Used bookstores turn to Internet sales for a lift in turbulent times

Dec 31, 2011

Used bookstores turn to Internet sales for a lift in turbulent times

Last of two parts When talking about books, there are not as many polarizing issues as the contrast between chain bookstores and independent booksellers. Many people blame the former group for the gradual disappearance of the latter. Without demonizing the big chains, independent shops have traditionally ...