The Tokyo Manbo Society



Diverse Japan: Shinto shrines to Tokyo Tower

As you may know from my last blog post, I am currently in Japan where my experiences of Tokyo have been incredible and inspiring. I have never been to a main city that is quite so clean, friendly and welcoming! Outside of the research institute I have been using my spare time to visit new places, from the ultra modern Tokyo Tower to ancient wooden Shinto shrines and I would recommend travelling in Japan to anyone and everyone!

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Tokyo park with lakes filled with coy carp and terrapins. The shrine of a thousand gates, Kyoto.

Rather embarrassingly, I saw my first (living!) sunfish at the Sunshine City aquarium this week which was a magical moment. The grace and elegance of a 6 foot fish swimming slowly is wonderful to see. A little sad perhaps in a relatively small tank compared to the open ocean, but it is important to remember that this is for the greater good, and people only care about what they know. This sunfish is a hugely inspiring creature, gleaming with a gold sheen under the lights and it was a very popular exhibit so I am convinced this will encourage thousands more people to care for our marine life.


Since the sunfish is such a popular creature in Japan, I have happily stocked up on sunfish keyrings, plush mascots and stationary in the gift shop! (Apologies to my bank balance but sunfish stickers etc. are hard to come by in the UK!)


Anther sunfish story: I have heard from Dr. Yuuki Watanabe that he edits a monthly sunfish newsletter for the Tokyo Manbo Society, currently with 3 proud members, and I am hoping to become the first international (and 4th) member of the group! I am sure this will be used as the guest publication on Have I Got News For You, and I am very excited about the prospect of joining. My supervisor Dr Jonathan Houghton has suggested I submit an article to join their next edition which contains a substantial offering of sunfish stories including an arts section (making your own felt sunfish), research news (latest high impact publications), poetry corner (where the latest offerings were greeted with much laughter from the group at lunch “Sunfish, sunfish, it is not a moonfish”) and sunfish recipe ideas (yes really!) I have written a limerick which I hope will pass the test:

Two researchers went to Japan,

To talk sunfish, that was the plan!

They joined the Manbo society,

(Of international notoriety!)

 And will come back as soon as they can.*

But if anyone has any further suggestions of (better!) material then I will gladly pass them on!

*Additional information: I have just shown Dr Watanabe my limerick, and after laughing a lot he said he will consider it and see if the other senior members decide to accept or reject it (bit nervous now!)

If you have any passable poetry, or have seen a sunfish yourself and fancy a chat about it, give me a shout:

Tweet: @SunfishResearch



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