For the final Deep Dive of the year, culture editor Alyssa I. Smith talks to culture critic Thu-Huong Ha about the books they read, the festivals they went to and how Japanese stories are currently capturing Hollywood’s attention.

Hosted by Alyssa I. Smith and produced by Dave Cortez.

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Shaun McKenna 00:08

Hello and welcome to Deep Dive from The Japan Times, I’m Shaun McKenna and with me for the intro today is my colleague Alyssa I. Smith!

Alyssa I. Smith 00:15

Hey Shaun! 

Shaun McKenna 00:16

My former “Recultured” podcast co-host!

Alyssa I. Smith 00:18

Yay, reunited! 

Shaun McKenna 00:20

So we’re switching up the format today, Alyssa is going to take on hosting duties and I will use the time to do some last-minute Christmas shopping. 

Alyssa I. Smith 00:27

Ha ha, yes, the gift of time is my gift to you this year. 

Shaun McKenna 00:30

It’s what I always wanted! So, Alyssa is going to cover some of 2022’s big culture news, specifically books, so get out your pencils and take notes cause she has some really good recommendations. 

Alyssa I. Smith  00:48  

Hello Deep Dive listeners. I'm Alyssa I. Smith, and I'm the culture editor at The Japan Times. With me today is our culture critic Thu-Huong Ha, and it's her first time on the show. Welcome, Thu.

Thu-Huong Ha  00:59  

Hey, it's great to be here.

Alyssa I. Smith  01:01  

It's great to have you here. Now, before we get started, why don't you introduce yourself?

Thu-Huong Ha  01:05  

Sure. I'm Thu-Huong Ha, everyone just calls me Thu. I'm a culture critic at The Japan Times, I write mostly about books and art.

Alyssa I. Smith  01:12  

So Thu, you and I are big readers. So a lot of our conversations revolve around books. Let's start this conversation with one of my favorite questions: Have you read any good Japanese books lately?

Thu-Huong Ha  01:22  

Well, one author that always makes me think is Sayaka Murata, and she has a new collection out in Japanese called “Faith.” And I read the title story, which is available in English, earlier this year. And it's very characteristic of her, which means that it starts out very familiar ladies chatting, la la la la, it’s real, and then by the end, there's like, screaming and cults and, like, blood everywhere. 

Alyssa I. Smith 01:46

Classic Murata.

Thu-Huong Ha 01:47

Classic, but yeah, I'm, you know, she's just a very exciting author and I'm really excited to see what she does next. And um, I also read Yoko Tawada’s “Scattered All Over the Earth,” which just came out in English this year. It's the first in a trilogy. She's a speculative writer, and this had a very interesting conceit, which is that it's a world in which — I'm not giving anything away, I think — a world in which Japan has sort of ceased to exist as a country. 

Alyssa I. Smith 02:12 

Because it's some sort of apocalypse. 

Thu-Huong Ha 02:13

Yeah, it's an unnamed catastrophe, at least, you know, so far in the series. And it's about being a refugee, but also about being a cultural refugee. It had some really interesting themes and despite all the stuff I just said, it's actually quite fun and pretty light. So that was a nice read. And, um, just recently, Haruki Murakami had a new book of essays out and, um…

Alyssa I. Smith  02:33  

You wrote a review for us. You had some good things and some not-so-good things to say about the book.

Thu-Huong Ha  02:42  

Yeah, I mean, Murakami just continues to perplex me. You know, he's so massive, he has for someone who's considered a literary author he has, you know, sales numbers that I think are kind of unprecedented in that sphere, as opposed to a genre author. And, you know, he's sort of, in some ways, the face of contemporary Japanese literature to global readers. He's extremely prolific, he is still going strong and so I think a lot of people were really excited to read this book. “Novelist as a Vocation” is a book of essays about just that, I mean, how did he really make a career from being a person who writes novels? You know, it's one thing to be a writer, it's one thing to write a novel one time, but he has obviously made a profession of it. And so you would think that he was commissioned to write a book about this topic, and that he would maybe have some stuff to say?

Alyssa I. Smith  03:41  

Yeah, one thing that stood out to me in your review was how frustratingly unclear he is on what it actually takes to become a professional novelist. You also talk a lot about how he comes across as quite humble and surprised by his success.

Thu-Huong Ha  03:56  

Yeah, I mean, so a lot of the writing is very vague, and he equivocates a lot. It's sort of a lot of, like, “Um, you know, well, I don't know, who am I, like.” And another thing that he does is he doubts himself a lot and he doesn't really show a lot of confidence and he undermines himself quite a lot. But to the point that by the end, you know, along with this writing style, the reader is also wondering why they have paid money to read a book about writing advice from Haruki Murakami. So, how about you? What have you read this year that piqued your interest?

Alyssa I. Smith  04:29  

Well as for books that were published before this year, I got into Yoko Ogawa, I read a few of her books. One of the books that stood out to me was “Revenge,” which is a collection of stories that are connected in very subtle ways. So you have to read carefully to pick up on those details.

Thu-Huong Ha  04:47  

Hmm, she wrote “The Memory Police,” right?

Alyssa I. Smith  04:49  

That's right. That one I read at the beginning of the pandemic, which was not a great time to be reading it, actually, because…

Thu-Huong Ha  04:56  

I think I also read it at that time.

Alyssa I. Smith  05:00  

Yeah. And the characters' world is getting small, and you're starting to doubt your reality … was a little, little too relevant to anything, right?

Thu-Huong Ha  05:06  

Yeah, I felt the world closing in. Yeah, everything was getting small and tight. And I was…

Alyssa I. Smith  05:11  

Stuck inside a room, with no one to talk to.

Thu-Huong Ha  05:14  

Right. So the premise of this novel is that the people on this island are, they slowly lose concepts and memories of those concepts, am I remembering that correctly? So the concept of birds and the memories of birds slowly disappears and fades? So, yeah, the world just sort of became more limited, because… 

Alyssa I. Smith  05:35  

Well, also the people who are able to remember those things disappear, right, get taken away.

Thu-Huong Ha  05:39  

Right, that was dark. So, I'm glad to hear that other of her books, I mean, I like the darkness, actually. It was devastating. I was, I think I was crying by the end. I don't know.

Alyssa I. Smith  05:49  

Oh wow, I did not have that reaction. I was relieved to be done with the book. But a book that was released this year that I really enjoyed was Mieko Kawakami’s “All the Lovers in the Night.” It's the third of her novels to be translated into English. 

Thu-Huong Ha  06:04

What were, the first two were… 

Alyssa I. Smith 06:05

The first was “Breast and Eggs” and then, last year, “Heaven” came out. And actually “Heaven” was shortlisted for an International Booker Prize this year.

Thu-Huong Ha  06:15  

It seems that Japanese female writers are having kind of a moment right now, what do you think?

Alyssa I. Smith  06:19  

Yeah, I completely agree. Sachiko Kashiwaba’s “Temple Alley Summer,” it won the Batchelder Award, which is a prize for the most outstanding children's book originally published outside the United States. So there's a lot of interest coming from abroad in Japanese literature, but also here, domestically, female Japanese writers seem to be doing really well. The Naoki Prize went to Misumi Kubo’s collection of short stories, and the runners-up for that prize consisted of four women and one man. Then there's the Akutagawa Prize and, you know, these Japanese literary prizes, they go back nine decades, but it's the first time this year that all five nominees for the Akutagawa were women. And the winner was Junko Takase who wrote “Oishii Gohan ga Taberaremasu Yoni,” which you reviewed.

News clip  07:07

Alyssa I. Smith  07:33

So do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Thu-Huong Ha  07:35  

Sure. So we're kind of roughly translating this title to, “I Wish to Be Able to Eat Delicious Food.”

Alyssa I. Smith  07:41  

My mood all the time, every day.

Thu-Huong Ha  07:43  

And from the title, you would think that it sounds like a book that is going to celebrate food culture and be, you know, a fun appetizing book. However, that is not the case. You know, it's a simply written book. And it seems like it's going to be about familiar office drama, kind of an office, maybe an office romance, unclear, but it ends up being a commentary about, a pretty dark commentary, I think about feminism, and also about food, sort of, really, I don’t want to say satirizes, but kind of takes issue with the way that we glorify like foodie culture. And by the end of the book, you sort of don't want to eat things that are good. Kind of just want to eat like, instant ramen.

Alyssa I. Smith  08:35  

The headline that we went with for that review was, “It's a feminist’s nightmare.”

Thu-Huong Ha  08:40  

Yes, I felt horrible by the end. In a good way?

Alyssa I. Smith  08:45  

In a good way, OK. Well, it's not out in English yet. I think there are no plans for it to be translated, yet.

Thu-Huong Ha  08:51

 And I haven't heard anything.

Alyssa I. Smith  08:53

Right, but I'm still looking forward to reading it sometime soon, hopefully.

Alyssa I. Smith  09:06

Anime seems to be driving a lot of conversation overseas when it comes to Japanese culture. I'll be honest, I don't follow anime much myself, but even I've heard of “Spy×fFamily.” And both “One Piece Film Red” and “Dragon Ball” did well at the box office overseas. But Hollywood's affinity for Japanese culture doesn't stop there. There were a lot of big budget adaptations based on books set in Japan this year, most notably “Pachinko” and “Tokyo Vice.” So Thu, did you watch “Tokyo Vice”?

Thu-Huong Ha  09:35  

I did watch the first few episodes of “Tokyo Vice,” and I've actually read the book.

Tokyo Vice” trailer  09:39

Alyssa I. Smith  09:55  

Yeah, the show, which was produced by HBO and shown here on WOWOW, was inspired by a memoir from Tokyo-based journalist Jake Adelstein that was quite popular when it came out in 2009.

Thu-Huong Ha  10:05  

Yeah, I thought the adaptation was pretty compelling. I mean, the production quality is really high, it's very dramatic, it's very, sort of, beautifully shot, very cinematic. I think the acting is pretty good. It's pretty cool as a journalist to see this kind of ’90s newsroom, you know, before the web and they're literally like printing everything out and doing all their copy edits by hand and very dramatic and, you know, calling each other on the phone and stuff. And like literally just like following each other, like just standing outside of the police precinct like waiting around. And yeah, so that's that's quite cool because obviously I didn't grow up in Japan and was not also was not a journalist anywhere in the ’90s. So that was quite cool. I thought Ansel Elgort's Japanese was very impressive. The production does a pretty good job, I think, of kind of going for it on the Japanese, it's probably half and half, English and Japanese. For a production like this, they would normally just make up an excuse and have it all be in English, which would be completely unrealistic. It's still a little unrealistic how many people speak English in ’90s Tokyo, but I still feel like the effort was there. I appreciate that as someone who's consumed content about Japan in both languages. Ken Watanabe can do no wrong. He's just, his frown should get Oscars. But yeah, actually, it's also fun. I mean, it's very melodramatic sometimes, but it's quite cool to see ’90s Tokyo, it's kind of funny that not much has changed, actually. Except that, like, the suits are a bit too baggy. And no one has a smartphone. But like, the train looks exactly the same. The apartments look exactly the same.

Alyssa I. Smith  11:42  

Did you recognize a lot of the locations?

Thu-Huong Ha  11:44  

I recognized him running for the last train.

Alyssa I. Smith  11:47  

We can all relate to that.

Thu-Huong Ha  11:50  

Yeah, you know, the show can be a little over the top, but it's quite juicy. So I think it's worth checking out if you're curious. But you mentioned “Pachinko,” right? So I know that was a huge book a couple years ago, but I haven't seen I haven't seen anything about the show. What did you think?

Alyssa I. Smith  12:03  

I read “Pachinko” this year as one of my book club books and it felt really well researched to me and written by someone who actually spent time living in Japan. The show it’s based on came out on Apple TV+ and I really liked that it highlights a part of Japanese history that isn't talked about or written about that often, focusing on the experiences and difficulties of immigrant communities as they try to integrate into society here and build a new home for their families after uprooting their lives.   

Pachinko” trailer  12:28

Thu-Huong Ha  12:42

What was it about? 

Alyssa I. Smith 12:44

Well, the story, which was written by Min Jin Lee, follows multiple generations of Korean immigrants in Japan. And a lot of the story is about the struggles that they faced in Japanese society. There was a lot of racism towards them, even though they had learned the Japanese language. As for the show, I felt like there were really great performances by the actresses who played one of the main characters, Sunja. I completely agree with what you said earlier about TV shows coming out that have a Western audience in mind, and they're becoming more multilingual, they're not entirely shot in English. And one thing that I really liked about “Pachinko” the show is it portrayed blended conversations within multilingual households. So a lot of the show was in Korean and Japanese and they had subtitles in English and the colors of the subtitles would change depending on the language and I'd never seen that before and I really appreciated that portrayal. 

Thu-Huong Ha  13:37

Sounds very cool. 

Alyssa I. Smith  13:38

Switching from TV to film, the big news of the year was the attention and praise that was heaped on “Drive My Car.” Now this film is based on a Haruki Murakami’s short story that's part of the bestselling collection, “Men Without Women.” It was nominated for four Oscars this year, including the best picture, which was a first for a Japanese film. Ultimately it won the Academy Award for best international feature. 

Thu-Huong Ha  14:02  

Yeah, about that. What did you think of the movie?

Alyssa I. Smith  14:07  

Well, I was impressed that they managed to stretch out a short story into a three-hour long film.

Thu-Huong Ha  14:14  

Impressed or annoyed?

Alyssa I. Smith  14:18  

That seems to be the thing with films these days. Everything is three hours long. 

Thu-Huong Ha  14:22

What is with that? 

Alyssa I. Smith  14:23

I don't know. Is it necessary? I don't think so.

Thu-Huong Ha  14:26  

I love when I look at a movie’s time and it's like 90 minutes and I’m like, “YES!”

Alyssa I. Smith  14:30  

Yeah, this is how movies used to be. What stood out to me was the performances in sign-language. I thought that was really compelling. The actress who did that was she did such a great job. And I was just kind of … she is very beautiful. And I was mesmerized. That was my favorite part of the film.

Thu-Huong Ha  14:48  

Yeah, I thought that, also, Hidetoshi Nishijima was great. I mean, he's just his sad face — so good. Can’t actually remember that many happy faces over the film? You know, I would watch those two smoke cigarettes for three hours.

Alyssa I. Smith  15:07  

Well, speaking of attractive actors. “Bullet Train” was just, it had a stacked cast: Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Joey King. Yeah, it's just a bunch of names that you've heard before. And that film was actually based on a book, a thriller, that was originally written in Japanese.

Bullet Train” trailer  15:28

Thu-Huong Ha 15:43

The author is Kotaro Isaka, is that right? 

Alyssa I. Smith  15:45

Kotaro Isaka, yeah, that's right. And funnily enough, the author has talked about the cast not being Japanese. I was kind of surprised that he was completely OK with it. He said, himself, I didn't specify where these characters are from really. So I'm happy to have an amazing Hollywood cast.

Thu-Huong Ha  15:03  

Was that an uncontroversial statement? 

Alyssa I. Smith  16:06

I don't think it made waves. 

Thu-Huong Ha  16:07

So everyone was on board. They're just like, “Yeah, he's cool. All right.” It's just … it's, hmm.

Alyssa I. Smith  16:11  

I mean, it got mixed reviews, the film, but it did really well at the box office. So Thu, are there any books that you want to see adapted into a film or a TV show?

Thu-Huong Ha  16:22  

While speaking of Sayaka Murata, I mean, if anyone could ever adapt one of her works, I mean, “Earthlings,” which was translated into English a couple of years ago, and which is a super, super wild ride very, very Sayaka Murata. I would be first in line.

Alyssa I. Smith  16:40  

Yeah, that's gonna be a wild adaptation.

Thu-Huong Ha  16:52  

All right, we talked about how we introverted this year. We read books, we watched movies. How did we  extrovert this year? Did you go see any music?

Alyssa I. Smith  17:03  

I went out. 

Thu-Huong Ha  17:04  

Did we party? 

Alyssa I. Smith  17:05

We partied a little!

Thu-Huong Ha  17:06

We partied … on a very scaled down…

Alyssa I. Smith  17:11  

Still wearing masks, but you know. 

Thu-Huong Ha  17:13

You went to Fuji rock, right? 

Alyssa I. Smith  17:14

I did. And it was wonderful. 

Thu-Huong Ha  17:17

You’ve been before?

Alyssa I. Smith  17:18

Yeah, I've been twice before, um in 2018 and 2019 — 2019 was very memorable because there was a typhoon. 

Thu-Huong Ha  17:25

Oh, right. I heard about that. 

Alyssa I. Smith  17:27

Yeah, this year, the weather was great, for the most part, and it just felt really nice to be outside enjoying something with a lot of people again. I was really looking forward to watching Japanese Breakfast perform. So I caught her show. And then I also was standing very close to her at a different act. 

News clip  17:48

Alyssa I. Smith  18:01

And I, like, really, I thought about tapping her on the shoulder and telling her that I loved her memoir, “Crying in H Mart,” but I didn't, I didn't have the guts to do it. So I missed that opportunity.

Thu-Huong Ha  18:14  

I'm sure she could feel it. The way you danced.

Alyssa I. Smith  18:15  

Just feel the love radiating from me.

Thu-Huong Ha  18:18  

She was like, “This girl is giving me ‘I read your book’ vibes.”

Alyssa I. Smith  18:21  

I'm sure she gets that a lot, though.

Thu-Huong Ha  18:24  

Was it, like, was the crowd much smaller than usual?

Alyssa I. Smith  18:26  

I think so. Yeah, it felt, it still felt a little bit strange and tame-ish. I'm used to seeing, in the past I feel like a lot of people dressed up for it with these crazy costumes and things like that. I didn't see that as much this year. So it did seem like a tamer version of Fuji Rock. But still, it felt so good to be out there. And Thu, you went to Labyrinth, right?

Thu-Huong Ha  18:51  

Yeah, Labyrinth is a lot less famous but it was the 20th anniversary. It's a techno event and it's sort of, I would say, like techno for nerds. I haven't been to, like, a full event before, and so I didn't get the sense that it wasn't, you know, at its capacity, because it was, it was actually right before, like the weekend right before they open the border fully again, so I think it was really pared down. But just like you said, I mean, it was just so much fun to have, to be like surrounded by people and, you know, it's outside and something I liked about music festivals here is that people bring their kids and you can see them, you know, walking around with these, like massive, like, sound-blocking headphones on. Yeah, it was, it was super fun to be part of a communal experience like that again.

Alyssa I. Smith  19:37  

Well, like you mentioned, Japan's loosened its travel restrictions this year. And well, that didn't happen until October. But before that, you saw a lot of art festivals coming back, right? And you went to visit those.

Thu-Huong Ha  19:48  

Yeah, so there were three triennales this year: the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, which is in Niigata; the Aichi Triennale, which is in Aichi; and the Setouchi Triennale, which is in the Seto Inland Sea. And, uh, yeah, I mean, what's really awesome about these, like art events is that they have a lot of site-specific work. So you know, the past couple years we've spent inside, looking at our screens, having a very flat, glassy, you know, experience of the world, everyone you talk to was, like, in a screen and couldn't really touch each other. Like, was like scared ot, like breathe in your other people. And, you know, these, like, really important ways of interacting with the world kind of became reduced to like, you know, pixels. And so what was really awesome was to be outside, aside from the importance of seeing art, it's also really powerful to see art together to watch other people watching art. It's, it really is a communal experience. And so, you know, I think that art events will be really changed going forward. I mean, I don't think it feels as comfortable as it used to, but I do think, people don't like this phrase, but we do sort of have to think about a new normal for entertainment and for live events.

Alyssa I. Smith  21:12  

But you didn't just go to music festivals and art festivals this year, right? You also went to the Ghibli Park, which opened in Aichi in November.

Thu-Huong Ha  21:20  

Yeah, that's right. The Ghibli Park was a huge deal because until now, there's been only the Ghibli Museum dedicated to the works of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki’s studio. But yeah, people have been really, really excited. It's the first amusement park dedicated to the works of this studio, you know, obviously beloved films…

Alyssa I. Smith  21:40  

Does it feel like an amusement park?

Thu-Huong Ha  21:42  

Great question. Um, it doesn't have rides, and it doesn't have, like, you know, characters and costumes and like fireworks and, like, splashing water and stuff. It's very tame. It's very quiet. I've heard it said that. It's, you know, for vibes.

Alyssa I. Smith  21:55  

So it's like walking through the world of Miyazaki. 

YouTube clip  21:59

Thu-Huong Ha  22:04  

Yeah, actually. So one of the three areas that opened, there's going to be more later, but one of the three initial ones that opened is this house, which is supposed to be kind of a replica of the house from “My Neighbor, Totoro,” the house of Satsuki and Mei, which are the two daughters in the film, “My Neighbor Totoro.” And I really liked that space. I mean, it does sort of feel like walking through his world, you can touch everything, you can sort of mess around inside the space and, like, you know, rifle through the drawers and stuff. And it's very charming. And it feels, it feels like Miyazaki. And what I mean by that is, like, you know, his worlds are, like, really handcrafted and cozy. I mean, they're, you know, there's these big fantasies, but they're also very cozy at the same time. And that that house really did feel like it represented that, it's also a little bit away from the rest of the spaces a little bit tucked, more tucked into nature. So you do get that vibe. 

But the main space, which is the grand Ghibli warehouse, it kind of did feel like a little bit of a miss. It's in this big, like, class, high ceilings, conference-y feeling space, it feels very cold, just really didn't feel like Miyazaki. I will say that one of the main features of the space, which I think will be really, really popular, is that the museum, the one that's in Tokyo, there's no photography allowed and they're super, super strict about it. And I think in the park, there's a whole section of the warehouse, that's, it's just for Instagram. 

Alyssa I. Smith  23:31

Like, you’re encouraged to take all the pictures you want. 

Thu-Huong Ha  23:32

Exactly, yeah, there's like a, what will be a really popular space is this, you can take a picture of yourself sitting next to No Face from “Spirited Away,” just like Chihiro is sitting on the train at the end of the movie with No Face. And I think that, you can take your own photo of that, and I think that will be really, really popular. And I think that the gift store will also be a really, the gift shop will also be really popular. 

I did see that there was a little bit of controversy after it opened that strollers weren't allowed into the warehouse, because they're worried about congestion and I think the aisles might be too narrow and there's seemed to be some controversy around that, they're sort of, you know, obviously it's kids are a big audience for this park, so seems kind of hard on parents. 

Alyssa I. Smith  24:13  

Alright, so we've talked about the year in culture. We've covered books, film, TV, music festivals, art festivals and the Ghibli Park. So let's wrap up the conversation. Thu, do you have any end-of-year plans?

Thu-Huong Ha  24:28  

Yeah, I've been away from my family for the end of the year since 2018. First time to have Christmas with my family in a long time. So I'm really excited. 

Alyssa I. Smith  24:39

That sounds nice. 

Thu-Huong Ha  24:40

Yeah, what about you?

Alyssa I. Smith  23:41  

Well, I’m going to spend time with my family as well. Also, I’m four books away from reaching my goal to read 50 books in 2022. So I want to settle in with a blanket and do nothing but read for a while. 

So, one book I’m really looking forward to is “The Thorn Puller” by Hiromi Ito, which just came out this month and I’ve been hearing a lot of positive things about it. 

Thu-Huong Ha  25:01  

Oh, yeah. I want to read that. Let me know how it is.

Alyssa I. Smith  25:03

Yeah. Well, we'll have a little book club chat over it. OK, well, thanks for joining me today, Thu. It was nice talking to you. 

Thu-Huong Ha  25:12  

It was super fun. Thanks for having me. 

Alyssa I. Smith  25:17

Thanks again to our guest Thu-Huong Ha for joining us on Deep Dive, we’ll put links to her articles in the show notes. 

Elsewhere in The Japan Times, we are continuing our reviews of the year in culture, Roland Kelts will take a look at the year in anime and Patrick St. Michel will tackle the year in music. 

Also, record snowfall hit Niigata Prefecture hard causing the government there to request help from the Self Defense Forces after around 800 cars and trucks were stuck on a highway in Kashiwazaki as of 1 a.m. on Tuesday. 

The number was reduced to around 300 vehicles three hours later, authorities made sure to distribute food, drinks and blankets to those stuck in their cars. According to reports, two people have died as a result of the snow. 

So if you’re on the Sea of Japan coast, be careful this weekend as officials have warned of more snow coming in. 

Music for Deep Dive is provided by Oscar Boyd, happy holidays Oscar, and LLLL, happy holidays Kazuto! Production is by Dave Cortez, Dave, happy holidays! 

Dave Cortez  26:14

Thank you, Alyssa, same to you. 

Alyssa I. Smith  26:15

And Shaun, happy holidays and all the best in 2023! 

Shaun McKenna  26:18

Happy holidays, Alyssa! And happy holidays to my co-host Jason Jenkins, who’s back home in the States just now. We’re all taking a much-needed vacation and we will be back with new shows starting from Jan. 11. Thanks very much to everyone who is listening, we here at Deep Dive wish you a happy and successful 2023. Podtsukaresama!

Alyssa I. Smith  26:37