John D. Moore

Student of Japanese language, literature, and screen culture


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The State of Play

I feel very privileged to announce that brilliant scholar and all-around amazing person Kathryn Hemmann published a review I wrote on her absolutely essential blog, “Contemporary Japanese Literature.” The review is for an anthology of video game-related essays entitled The State of Play.

Contemporary Japanese Literature

The State of Play

Title: The State of Play
Editors: Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Pages: 256

This guest review is written by John D. Moore (@johndmoore5 on Twitter).

The State of Play is a collection of sixteen diverse essays on a variety of topics related to contemporary video game culture written by game creators, journalists, and academics. The collection comes from Seven Stories Press, a company that has demonstrated a dedication to publishing interesting and new kinds of books about video games in the last few years, including anna anthropy’s Rise of the Videogame Zinesters and The State of Play editors Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson’s own Minecraft. The essays consist of some previously published material as well as pieces original to or adapted for this volume. This is not a video game culture primer; while each essay does an adequate to great…

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Something I Find Comforting

“The Master said, At fifteen I set my heart upon learning. At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities. At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven. At sixty, I heard them with a docile ear. At seventy, I  could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.”

The Analects of Confucius, II:4


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Salt Lake City’s Japantown

This blog has been left somewhat neglected over the past year, largely because my writing energies have mostly been expended in the service of my schoolwork.  One of the most exciting and interesting assignments I had this semester was a pretty standard profile assignment about any person, place, thing, event, or whatever we wanted to write about.  I selected Salt Lake’s City’s Japantown as my subject.

I threw myself into the work more than was probably necessary to attain a decent grade, spending dozens of hours in research, studying maps, reading interviews, and tracking down publications.  Salt Lake’s Japantown (demolished in the sixties to make room for the Salt Palace Convention Center) and Utah’s early Japanese population as a whole have a rich history vital to the development of Utah and the United States that is largely unrecognized outside the Japanese American community.

This paper is a modest report on a deep and fascinating topic.  I wish I’d had more time to research and write a more polished and thorough survey.  Instead, I offer here this cursory overview of the Salt Lake neighborhood from its beginnings with E.D. Hashimoto’s employment agency, its role during World War II as Japanese Americans’ center, and through to its destruction in the mid-sixties.

Click cover to read

If it’s something you’d like to know more about, the University of Utah’s special collections department has an impressive amount of material, from interview transcripts to photography collections to a complete record of the Terasawas’ Utah Nippo, a newspaper that ran for eight decades.