A guy who can fairly claim to have done just about everything. Now he's freelance writer and tour guide in Japan.
These days, Hugh is a blog writer and tour guide in Japan. He first visited Japan in his late twenties and, enamored, ended up staying for 14 years. During that period, he immersed himself deeply in the nation’s life, learning the Japanese language and delving into traditional culture. He was particularly attracted by Zen Buddhism, which was followed by Aikido and Japanese calligraphy and Iaido.
Hugh became an accredited instructor of Aikido achieving 3rd Dan status and took a silver medal in the 1993 All Japan Aikido Championships. He also has a 3rd Dan status in Iaido, the art of the quick draw sword. His calligraphy art work has won several awards and it has been featured in Japanese national and local media. Hiroshima Bank and the New South Wales Premier’s Department have both commissioned works from him.
Hugh’s work in Japanese arts led to him being invited on to the planning committee, as its sole non-Japanese member, for the 45th Japanese National Culture Festival held in Hiroshima in 2000. Later he fulfilled a similar role for the Japan – Australia Foundation 10th Anniversary in Sydney in 2003.
Born into a family of show business family, Hugh’s career also included being a film and TV producer, theatrical agent, casting agent and DJ. Several major Japanese related film and television projects he has worked on included Black Rain, The Thin Red Line, Japanese Story and the Changi TV drama series.
Hugh has raised three sons, who are all bilingual. He has also been an interpreter, translator, and teacher of English and Japanese, a teacher of Aikido and calligraphy, a wedding DJ; in fact occasion has found him doing almost anything to pay those bills. Prior to returning to Japan in 2015 Hugh worked leading both English language and Japanese language tours in Australia and he spent the previous four years working Japanese language tour guide and Guest Relations Ambassador at the Sydney Opera House.
Relive a favourite moment in in Japan... Japan these days is very tourist friendly but once many years ago when it was a little less so, while trying to flag down a taxi in Tokyo to meet an appointment I was stymied by the fact that as each taxi slowed to pick me up, the driver would spot me as a westerner and worried about communication I supposed, would drive off leaving me frustrated by the side of the road wondering what to do. Finally, as the next taxi slowed I simply stood in front of it with my hand up, palm out front blocking its path. The driver honked then stopping, leapt from his door and yelled at me in what sounded like yakuza slang. I opened my hands to him defenselessly and appealed to him that I was sorry but I was late and urgently needed to get across town and wouldn’t he be kind enough to take me? The driver stared at me surprised then laughing, invited me to board the taxi. Actually it had been a long day and I had been hoping to catch a quick nanna nap in the back of the cab to refresh but the driver excitedly insisted on chattering away, questioning me about all manner of things for the entire cab trip, frustrating my need to shut my eyes for the 30 minutes; similarly I did manage to pick his brain about many things.
Article, Blog Post, Ebook, Interview, Product Description, Buyers Guide, Infographic Copy, Guide, Presentation, Infographic, Motion Graphic, Illustration, Script, Live Event, General Photo, Explainer Video, Commercial, Narrative Video, Music Video, General Video, Documentary, Recipe
Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education, Dip. Ed. (Art)
Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan|English, Japanese
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