Happy birthday, blog!! Have some cupcakes! I’ve been keeping this blog up for 5 years now! I can’t believe it! I started keeping it as a way to keep in touch with people while I was studying abroad at Kansai Gaidai. You can even go back and read the very first post I ever wrote to help my family understand what exactly a blog is. I guess I’ll mostly talk about the cosmetic changes I’ve done to this blog. However, I will say that my content has become a lot more accessible to more readers in the past few years. Most notably, it has transformed from personal journal-type writing to all sorts of different content: photos, recipes, notes on language and culture, but still maintaining a kind of travel scrapbook type feel. I really like what my blog has turned into, and it’s a creative outlet that I enjoy.
Here was the first design I made for the blog waay back when. I used a woodblock print by Ando Hiroshige and broke it up into the little strips and faded the ones that would be behind the text. Prettyyy cool!
Since I didn’t bring my own computer to Japan with me, I didn’t always have one readily available to upload and edit photos on. This is why I didn’t use many photographs to illustrate my study abroad posts. I have a feeling that I’ll be rooting through a lot of those photos and posting them now that I’ve had a chance to really reflect on the experience and, most importantly, edit the photos ( ´∀｀)
I’ve posted this a couple times before but I kid you not that this was a complete coincidence. I still can’t get over it. I took this photo on a class trip to Nara while we visited the Nigatsudo. Apparently Kawase Hasui thought this was a nice view as well. I was going through an old calendar of mine (Japanese Woodblocks 2004, to be exact) when I noticed this image was almost the exact same view of the lanterns of the Nigatsudo with the Daibutsuden in the distance. You can seven see the railing and the mountains in the distance are the same. I decided to go with the silhouetted lanterns as a nice symbol to represent my Japan blog. I also moved away from doing the entire design myself and started using the wysiwyg editor on blogger, with a few of my own tweaks here and there. It just made my life easier since I’m not a programmer.
I also made a couple of headers for different “columns” I intended to write regularly (and did so for a decent period of time) to mimic the style of the main header.
I kept the bright colors and Arial bold font. I however did not keep up with the columns regularly. Σ(´∀｀；)
Now that I’m not IN JAPAN anymore, I had to change the name, but I still wanted to keep this as a nice outlet to share all things Japanese, so I decided to keep the lanterns in my logo, but add a Japanese name, ichi go ichi e. I toned down the bright purple color and changed to a rounded-ish handwritten-looking Japanese font.
So there you have it. 5 years of blogging! Here’s to more writing, photos and amateur web design!!