Chiaki Creates

The human mind, old films, literature and podcasts.


New home wish list

New Home Wish List | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comHello, my lovelies. I’ve moved house! My new home is by Brighton Pier and it’s everything that I’ve been wishing so hard for. It’s near the seafront, beautiful, cosy, serene, and my flatmate is a warm and intelligent woman. Every morning, I watch the sea through the floor-to-ceiling sitting room windows while drinking a cup of sencha. I couldn’t be happier!

I’ve been yearning to create a calm space for myself for a very long time. A space full of candlelight, fabulous textiles, gorgeous scents and things that make me smile. I can’t wait to frame my David Bowie 40th Anniversary picture discs and put my books on display after living sans bookshelves since June.

Rainbow Braided Round Rug // Myakka
Knubbig Cherry Blossom Table Lamp // Ikea
Orange Blossom Scented Candle // Parks
Leaf Plate in Grey // Indiska
Ashai Enamel Teapot in Turqouise // Indiska
Violet Lotus Tea Light Holder // eBay


Taking stock

Taking Stock | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEnjoying: the life that I’ve created for myself.
Listening: to Something For Kate.
Wearing: my fringed, paisley patterned kimono.
Making: quick-pickled red onions.
Drinking: Pukka supreme matcha green tea and Heath & Heather apple cinnamon tisane.
Feeling: elated.
Reading: How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran.
Looking: forward to moving down to the seafront on Saturday!
Wishing: that I didn’t have to spend yet another Christmas away from my loved ones.
Waiting: for the English translation of Manatsu no Hōteishiki by Keigo Higashino to come out.
Snacking: on super yummy snacks from graze.
Coveting: a warm wrap poncho thing.
Hearing: the neighbours’ cats greeting me when I walk past their house.
Learning: how to do my eyebrows.
Loving: my waterproof phone.
Watching: American Horror Story: Hotel and my favourite AHS season: Asylum.
Getting: back into sitting zazen.
Noticing: how full of love and compassion everyone I meet is.
Giggling: at The Adam Buxton Podcast.
Bookmarking: documentaries and TV shows that I want to watch.
Deciding: that my hair is long enough for me to start using wooden hair sticks again.
Wanting: what I have.
Thinking: about naïve realism.
Knowing: that I finally have a permanent full time job that I love.

Taking Stock is a feature inspired by the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s.

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November goals

November Goals | Chiaki Creates○ Make more time for reading.

○ Buy a crested euphorbia. It’s a poisonous Franken-plant!

○ Join the library.

○ Visit the Scandinavian Christmas Market in London with my colleague and her family.

○ Get dolled up more often.

○ Buy a new pair of black super skinny jeans.

○ Drink more water.

○ Ask my mum to send me my Happy Buddha statue, Indiska teacup, kaftan and oil burner.

○ Get excited about cooking again.


5 creepy Japanese films for Hallowe’en

It comes as no surprise that I adore Japanese cinema and that I watch a lot of it. After all, I legally changed my name to that of my favourite actress. In the spirit of Hallowe’en, here are 5 creepy Japanese films ranging from tongue-in-cheek horror to full-blown psychotic. Happy Hallowe’en, boils and ghouls!5 Creepy Japanese Films For Hallowe'en | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comKagen no tsuki (Last Quarter)
Japanese romantic drama (2004)

Starring my namesake Chiaki Kuriyama as Mizuki who is mistreated and betrayed by everyone around her. On top of that, her mother recently committed suicide. On the eve of her 19th Birthday she is seemingly magnetically drawn to a dilapidated estate where she finds the mysterious Adam, played by the very talented musician Hyde. Them finding each other starts off a chain of strange events and you’ll want to stick with the film to figure out how everything is connected. This is a sweet and sad fairy tale based on the manga with the same name. If you like ghost stories and mysteries, this one is for you.5 Creepy Japanese Films For Hallowe'en | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comUzumaki (Spiral)
Japanese horror comedy (2000)

A small Japanese town becomes increasingly tormented by malevolent spirals. A schoolgirl notices that her dad has developed an unhealthy obsession with spirals. He meets his end by crawling into a washing machine turning himself into a spiral. Soon everyone is infected by the spiral virus causing strange behaviours and in some cases, physical transformations. Uzumaki is based on the surreal manga with the same name by Junji Ito, and it has been heavily treated with green colour filters. I find spirals mesmerisingly beautiful and this film is covered in them.5 Creepy Japanese Films For Hallowe'en | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEkusute (Exte: Hair Extensions)
Japanese horror comedy (2007)

Another film starring Chiaki Kuriyama. A morgue night attendant steals hair from corpses and turns it into hair pieces that he sells to unsuspecting customers. The hair pieces carry the grudge of their original owners, leading to painful deaths for those who wear them. This is a clever parody of J-horror yurei films such as Ringu (1998) and Ju-On (2002). It’s a lot more comedy than horror. Directed by Sion Sono who also did Suicide Club (2001) and the much darker Cold Fish (2010).5 Creepy Japanese Films For Hallowe'en | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comYabu no naka no kuroneko (Kuroneko)
Japanese horror (1968)

In war-torn feudal Japan, two women are raped and killed by samurai soldiers. They come back as vengeful ghosts who take their revenge on the passing samurai by seducing and brutally murdering them. The women drink their blood and exhibit feline behaviour. Kuroneko translates as black cat. This is essential Japanese cinema. It’s full of haunting imagery and breathtaking visuals. A stunning atmospheric film with a feminist angle.5 Creepy Japanese Films For Hallowe'en | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comÔdishon (Audition)
Japanese psychological horror drama (1999)

A lonely widower lives with his son after his wife passed away from illness. His film producer friend sets up a fake audition to find him a new wife and he instantly becomes fixated on the young Asami. His friend thinks she’s somehow peculiar but a romance ensues. As the story unfolds the line between reality and dream becomes blurred. Is Asami really the epitome of innocence? Perfectly directed by the outlandish Takashi Miike, based on a novel by Ryû Murakami. Two men whose work I love. This non-traditional horror comes with a warning: It will leave you feeling nauseous.

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5 fun podcasts for morbid people

5 Fun Podcasts For Morbid People | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBizarre States
“Jessica Chobot and Andrew Bowser lift the veil and showcase the hauntings, urban myths, unsolved murders and general oddities that everyone has experienced but no one wants to talk about.” They read creepy listener stories and discuss weird news stories on almost every episode. The theme tune is suitably spooky, and the hosts are very funny and engaging. This Nerdist podcast is seriously addictive and you’ll soon find yourself binge listening through the whole archive!

Coroner Talk™
“A podcast dedicated to the men and women in the field of death investigation.” This is an educational podcast for coroners and death investigators, but even if you’re not in the death field, it’s mesmerising to hear them talk about past and present cases. There’s a lot to learn from what they have to say, no matter what job you have. If you’re as morbid as I am, you’ll love this podcast.

The Mind of a Murderer
A six part Investigation Discovery podcast. Narrated by criminal psychologist and trial consultant, Dr. Michelle Ward who interviews convicted murderers to gain insight into what drives people to commit murder. Dr. Ward takes us on a fascinating psychological journey and her direct approach is refreshing. This is another binge listen. Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop. If only there were more episodes!

Here Be Monsters
“An unusual podcast exploring the dark corners of the human mind and new frontiers in science, art and philosophy through visceral storytelling. We tend to produce pieces about science, drugs, death, religion, politics and medicine.” Jeff Emtman created this well produced show in order to face his fears and to help others work through their own anxieties and fears. HBM is about the unknown, about monsters in a non traditional sense. There’s a lot of first person storytelling and the sound design is outstanding.

“A podcast about crime. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” The host, Phoebe Judge, has a compelling voice that draws you in. This is a different kind of true crime show as we hear the story surrounding the crime and how it affected someone, rather than a factual retelling. At first, the short length of the episodes put me off so it took me a while to get into Criminal, but it’s a really good podcast. Start with the Dear Sheila episode.


Delightful little things

Delightful Little Things | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comA list to celebrate the delightful little things in my life.

○ Buying the 40th anniversary Space Oddity picture disc.

○ Downloading a countdown app to count down to the day I can afford to move.

○ Eating pickled homegrown shiso with chilli given to me by a dear friend.

○ Seeing the same friend for tea and cake.

○ Watching Scream the TV series snuggled up in bed.

○ Starting a new notebook.

○ Drinking smoothies and listening to podcasts on my lunch breaks in the garden at work.

○ Adding Neroli oil to my aroma diffuser in the evenings.

○ Binge listening to a fabulous new podcast which I will share with you soon.

○ Receiving an unexpected tax return cheque.

○ Stirring coconut oil into rice dishes.

○ Loving my job and looking forward to going there every day.

○ Spending a Saturday afternoon in bed reading The Changeling by Kenzaburō Ōe.

What delightful little things have happened in your life lately?


5 podcasts that will make you think

5 Podcasts That Will Make You Think | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comInvisibilia
From NPR News comes Invisibilia which is Latin for “all the invisible things”. Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, who helped create This American Life and Radiolab, perfectly combine narrative storytelling with new psychological and brain science. This is a probing podcast about the intangible forces that shape human behaviour such as ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. It will make you view your life from a different angle.

You Are Not So Smart
David McRaney explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics and logical fallacies through interviews with scientists who research how the mind works. At the end of each episode McRaney shares a piece of self delusion news and eats a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener. YANSS is a wonderful celebration of self delusion. Start with the enlightening Learned Helplessness episode.

Death, Sex & Money
“Anna Sale talks to both regular people and celebrities about the big questions and the hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.” Topics include relationships, mental health, family, money and work. This is a podcast about making it all count while we’re here. It’s intimate and occasionally uncomfortable to the point of being cringey.

Greta Johnsen and Tricia Bobeda nerd out about things we watch, read, listen to and encounter. They mostly interview people of the female genre covering topics such as science, death, feminism, cults and much more. The listeners get homework at the end of each episode. My favourite episodes are the interviews with Caitlin Moran, Margaret Atwood, Caitlin Doughty and Alexandra Petri.

This is Actually Happening
First person short format storytelling focusing on experiences that have changed people’s lives. The host Whit Missildine has a PhD in social psychology and has spent over a decade endeavouring to understand human behaviour. “Missildine is the founder of the Permatemp Corporation which produces documentary, experimental films, audio and design as a way to explore the more chaotic interiors of the human experience.” Some episodes are very sad but TIAH is an inspiring and empowering listen. If you have a story to tell, you could be featured on the show! Start with the What if your roommate had a deep dark secret? episode.


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