“I am continually inspired by my relationships, by what is taboo, the occult, my lineage, and the ability for others to love and be loved despite the cruelty they have faced...it allows me to be a channel for all that is meant to pass through me.”Read More
“Having Influence also allows you to help create space for those that need their voice heard even more.” Mariah Hamilton is an amazing talent with so much to share.
Tyler Kpakpo (@tylerkpakpo) is a photographer based in #Boston with the ability to invoke emotions in people while maintaining his creative voice and vision. “Like myself I believe a lot of artists are pushing that narrative or a similar one of self declaration and being unapologetic for who a person is.”Read More
Influencer of the Week by Human Influence is our WEDNESDAY celebration of artists around the world but most importantly in the artists inspiring their community. Having the opportunity to share other people’s journeys is our privilege. Christian Smiley is a photographer based in Los Angeles who prides himself on his versatility and ability to tell a story through an intimate vantage point.Read More
“Questioning with their eyes ‘Why are you here?’. A question I couldn't really answer myself to be honest. But the closer we got to Matsumoto, the people started to look more like they did in Shibuya. Fashionable, but more so with a purpose.”Read More
“Never pass up on good ramen…’”Read More
by Joseph Bonney
Toda Koen is a small suburb outside of Tokyo that I've stayed in for work. It's one of the quietest cities I've stayed in in my life. The foreigner population is crazy low. I was probably the one of two black people in that city alone, but it wasn't a problem. Many stares of course, and I also had Japanese citizens cross the street when they saw me. Something that absolutely blew my co-worker’s mind when it happened to us (my third time since being in the town lol).
There is one supermarket with 5 minutes of walking distance that sold just about everything. Then the amazing Bento shop that gives you a whole tray of food for ¥500 (roughly $5).
The local mall is pretty neat too (did you know Konami owns a gym?), 2 floors of Japanese and Western merchandise. This was also the first time I saw a KFC in the country. It was healthier and came with an apple pie (U.S. #StepYoGameUp)!
I saw my first daiso or, as we call it in America, a dollar store. Easily the most fascinating thing in the mall. And speaking of America, there's a Western store that sells some American-style goods like Hershey's, and beans.
Overall the town is a quiet, little Japan secret. They have all these cool things, but like Japanese culture Toda is humble about it all. A pleasant little place, but not somewhere to be for a crazy night (I mean you can make it happen, but yeah… good luck lol)
Stay tuned for more updates from me in the near future!
Joseph Bonney is a contributing writer for Human Influence. Originally from Central Texas, he moved to Japan where he teaches English.
Influencer of the Week by Human Influence is our WEDNESDAY celebration of artists around the world but most importantly in the artists inspiring their community. Rae is a photographer based in Los Angeles who uses her work to tell the stories of the unique individuals around her. Her prowess behind the camera lens consistently blurs the lines between her reality and imagination.Read More
Something that I noticed at the airport was how willingly Japan was adopting Western culture. Such as the Starbucks, large array of Kit Kats, and even the models in photos appeared to be Japanese people who could easily pass as Caucasian (an occasional site, but still often enough that it was noticeable)…Read More
Outside was very muggy. That mixed with the neon lighting of buildings made it feel like I was in some cyberpunk movie (think Akira or Blade Runner: 2049) and almost everywhere I went smelled like cigarettes. I was shocked to see a man light up in the entrance of the hotel…
Influencer of the Week by Human Influence is our WEDNESDAY celebration of artists around the world but most importantly in the artists inspiring their community. Megan Baker is a photographer in the city of Austin, with an undying hunger for more as she is a self-driven creative.Read More
I've only been on a plane 2 times before now. Both times, I had adults doing most of the heavy lifting for me. Though this time around I realized it's not as complicated as I expected. The hardest part which was more so time consuming than anything was rechecking my luggage in San Francisco…Read More
Since a young age I was always interested in Japanese culture, even before I knew what Japan was. I played their video games and watched their animes: Mario, Final Fantasy, and One Piece to Studio Ghibli films like Howe's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke, Bayonetta, and other fascinating pieces of work. With the crazy technology that I would see on TV, tied in with the amazing sushi, ramen, and taki I consumed, I wanted to explore more…Read More
I left my place in San Marcos and started packing the moment I hit Austin. My airline allows for 1 checked luggage, 1 carry on, and my backpack which is filled with drawing tools and my Surface Pro 4.
For people who don't know, I'm headed for Japan…Read More
The world is undeniably wicked and cool. Its full of bugs and lava and eons, trillion years of growth and change. This is why I started this scientific history series. Universe in Reverse exists to embolden the interesting in the world…Read More
Infused in the syncopated flickering of LA's bright lights is a curiosity. A curiosity for the unknown. A curiosity waiting to be explored by the swelling up of music, art and performance. Most artists share this curiosity but it's the ones hungry enough to pursue it that eventually realize its value. One such artist is the aspiring musician by the name of Zac West...Read More
Human Influence would like to present our new history of science series through what we call Universe in Reverse. With each installment, we unearth and catch a glance of a worthy, subversive scientific pioneer...Read More
Jade Vine is a self-described "neo-soul / indie jazz" band from right here in Austin, Texas. Kat Gualy, with whom I spoke over email, and her four bandmates - Kinseli Jazz Baricuatro on bass, Alex Duck with the drums, Caitie Butterworth tearing up the alto sax, and Stacie Angew tickling the ivories - came together at St. Edward's University before writing and composing their own music...Read More
In our ongoing series before each edition of Raise Her Voice, we reach out to former participant in the show and ask them about the experience and other questions about their artistry. For Volume 2, we're gonna publish interviews leading up to the sixth (!) edition of Austin's famous Raise Her Voice showcase, this Friday at Cheer Up Charlie's...Read More
Smaller venues and shows have stepped up in recent years in Austin, Texas, as the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival has grown into a robust, international party. Last year, at the 2017 SXSW, Human Influence talked with Roxanne Zech...Read More