This past week has been something of a whirlwind. My activities can be summarized in a few short sentences, so I’m not going to belabor the point.
Over the past week, I put out/was featured in three public-facing articles. The first, “To Make a More Accessible City, Turn to the Sidewalk” (Smart Cities Dive) explores how crowdsourcing technologies can help us build better cities. The second, “An Olympics Crowdsourcing Project May Be The Answer to Making Japan A More Accessible Country” (The Japan Times) investigates the implications of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo for persons with disabilities around the globe. And the third, “A Pilgrim’s Tale: Religion, Ritual, and Physical Disability in Japan” (Accessible Japan) looks at the relationship between religion, disability, pilgrimage, and community formation.
Reading and Research
Much of my time was spent researching the history of veterans and blind movements in Japan between 1940 and 1950. I read through hundreds of occupation records, as well as magazines and other materials from the National Diet Library. I also investigated resources from the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as secondary scholarship put out by the Japan Lighthouse Association and the Helen Keller Society.
In addition to research and writing, I spent a fair bit of time relaxing. I’m still waiting on my dissertation advisor’s feedback on my first chapter (although initial comments seem positive), so I had time to kill. I took the opportunity to Skype with friends and go out to Karaoke. I also visited Teamlab Borderless, a digital art installation that immerses participants in the works through lights and lasers. It was interesting seeing how many ‘borders’ I could find in the free-flowing world as a person with multiple disabilities.
This coming week will be my last week of research before I jump back into writing and begin on my second chapter. Wish me luck!