One Sunday afternoon more than seven years ago, I decided to start a blog. Because I am from Tokyo and I love to eat mangoes, I called it TokyoMango. There was nothing well thought out or profound about the title of the blog or the intention for it. At the time I was a starting-to-be-really-prolific online and magazine writer, and there were so many amazing tidbits of research that never made it into print… also, in perusing the Japan-themed blogs out there I realized that there were no native, female voices out there.
TokyoMango took off in ways that I never expected — I had a quarter million monthly views a year in; my posts were being linked to by serious news outlets and super important revenue-generating blogs much bigger than mine; and I was soon being called by the likes of NPR and Gourmet Magazine and the BBC to comment on Japanese culture and produce more stories. It was such a cool little surprise and the greatest catalyst for my journalism career. In 2008, I published a book. In 2011, I co-produced and directed my first film. Also in 2011, I started my own non-profit called The Tofu Project. In 2012, I started working for Joi Ito at the MIT Media Lab.
I got busy. And my writing tapered off into just a few magazine articles here and there every few months… TokyoMango took the greatest hit of all, dwindling down to a whopping 10 posts the entire year of 2013. Yes, this is a little bit sad, particularly if you were a long-standing TokyoMango fan or if you are me, and you have a little bit of writer’s pride left and you actually really enjoy writing but just haven’t found the time do to it anymore, and the blogosphere is saturated with so much amazingness that jumping back in seems both daunting and unnecessary. But it’s really more wonderful than sad. I don’t live on the Internet full-time anymore. I am taking all the magical things I learned from being here — how to inspire people, how to tell great stories, how to make sense out of unlikely connections — and applying them in the real world. My current projects have longer lead times, but they have me traveling the world and getting out of my pajamas before 10am, and I love that.
So… if you’re wondering what happened to the blog TokyoMango… the archives are still here, check out that menu on the right that time-warps you aaaaaall the way back to September 2006 if you feel inclined. There is some really great timeless content there. And please leave me a comment here or email me at mango [at] tokyomango [dot] com if you feel inspired to do so.
Also, finally, and most importantly, Merry Christmas! To prove that I still love you, I’ve embedded in this post a video from our favorite comedian Ken Shimura who proves he’s still got his pervy humor in check. Yes, that’s right, it’s entirely possible to be pro-women and to think this is funny. Happy holidays!