Hi, I’m Peter. I’ve been studying Japanese language and culture since I fell in love with the country on a high school trip in the late 1990s. I loved it so much that, as soon as I finished school at eighteen, I went travelling around the country for a year. 
Here’s me at the top of Mount Fuji, age 18, in my Dryza-bone Jacket and Jika-Tabi shoes
I returned to Australia but knew I wasn’t done. I got my next chance to live there for three years when I was successful in applying for a Monbukagakusho scholarship from the Japanese government. I studied to get my Masters of Musicology from the Kyoto City University of the Arts on the outskirts of Japan’s ancient capital, took lessons in Koto and Shamisen playing, and met my wife, Fumiko.
Rocking a blonde fringe and a Koto with my teacher in Kyoto
Hanging with wife & friends
We came back to Australia so I could pursue my passion for songwriting in a country where people understood my native language. I continue to indulge my passions for Japanese culture and music. Along the way, I passed the highest level of the Japanese Proficiency Test (N1). I put out an album of songs in Japanese, released by the Magikick label, run by the mighty Tenniscoats. 

This allowed me to tour around the country six times from Sapporo to Okinawa playing music for several weeks at a time between 2014 to present. I’ve been to all the major cities, gotten deep into the countryside, and met a lot of the people you wouldn’t meet as a tourist. You can see some pictures on Pinterest here, and I do a lot about music on the Japanoscope youtube.

Since 2019, I’ve done a monthly segment on Melbourne’s RRR radio, Vital Bits Program, where I translate a Japanese song into English and perform it with my friend Caitlin Sullivan. The Japanese Songs In Translation page is here.

Finger-picking in a cafe in Tokyo and some tour posters
 Playing some Japanese translations on the radio

Languages are parallel universes. My mission with Japanoscope is to build a wormhole between worlds.

I post translations, look at products and talk about interesting nooks and crannies. I try and write about things or places that I have first-hand experience of. When this is not possible, I research other people’s first-hand experiences online, in English and Japanese, and synthesize this information into something that is useful for others. Hopefully, the result is helpful and of interest to people travelling to the country, or living in the country, or are part of the international Japanese diaspora, or, like me, find themselves having some kind of a fascination with the place.

 

I live with my wife and I had two children, Takashi and Keiko.

 

Collaborations, Profiles etc.

 

I love collaborating with people on creating different projects. Sometimes people are kind enough to profile my work in different areas.

You can find an interview I did with Tom Czaban about my experiences of living in Japan here. I’ve given comments on sites including HaykSoda & Telepaths, and Welp Magazine.

My music has been featured in various media including Pop Matters here.

I appear regularly on Melbournes RRR radio broadcaster performing translations of Japanese songs on the Vital Bits program.

Triple JJJ radio called my music “captivating in all its nervous-awkward-fast-talking-stumbly glory”. Doorstamps blog called it “folk pop music that nails the art of making simplicity sound busy”.

There is more information about the musical side of what I do here

If you’ve got an idea about how can collaborate on anything, drop me a line here

Japanese Essays – Inamoto

What’s the difference between “trying to make people smile” and “trying to make people not want to criticize you”? Find out in this translation of Japanese essay by Inazo Inamoto.

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David Bowie Space Oddity 和訳 in Japanese

Deniさんがデヴィッド・ボウイの曲「スペイス・オディティ」を日本語に訳しました。
その歌を翻訳するにあたって難しかったところ、また日本語と英語の歌詞の違いなどについて話をしました。
Ever wondered what Bowie’s Space Oddity lyrics would be in Japanese? Probably not. But we tell you anyway.
We go through and translate the song line by line, and discuss what it all means – in Japanese.

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Gurenge

Gurenge (Demon Slayer – Kimetsu No Yaiba Opening Song) Translated To English And Explained 鬼滅の刃OP紅蓮華の歌詞を英語に訳して解説 https://youtu.be/rFbA75b_rlA The opening song for Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba,

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Japanese Band Musician Chat

Recently I had a chat with few of my favourite musicians from Japan: Saya from Tenniscoats, Yuko Ikema and Sota Tateishi from Jon No Son on the radio show “Kikeru Radio”.
テニスコーツのさや、池間由布子, 立石草太と「きけるラジオ」で話をしました。
Here’s a transcription in Japanese & English.
日本語と英語の文字起こしをつけました。

Transcript and pictures here:
https://japanoscope.com/japanese-band-musician-chat/

Original recording of chat appeared on Minna Kikeru Radio here:
https://minnakikeru.com/item/al:hAWdAge29r

Sayas – New Home
https://minnakikeru.com/item/al:WtNBRiFevV

Ikema Yuko 池間由布子 Albums
https://minnakikeru.com/?q=ikema

Japanese music and Albums mentioned in the recording:
Kanako Numata –
https://minnakikeru.com/item/al:IY3WS9UdJw

Kohost Sota Tateishi’s 立石草太 album with Jon No Son ジョンのサン:
https://minnakikeru.com/item/al:QmQAX2Cpth

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