My Review of The Wind Rises and Other Articles From Map’s Newest Issue

By Mitchell Blatt | Culture

Aug 08

The new issue of map magazine has been published, and I wrote a few articles in it, including a column reviewing Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, “The Wind Rises”, which caused some controversy because it was based on the life of a Japanese World War II warplane designer. As such, I analyze the theme of the movie.

That the film glorifies the creation story of a Japanese war plane has prompted some criticism. Heck, the film was even criticized by anti-smoking activists for its frequent portrayal of characters smoking. That seems like a trivial point in comparison to the war question. Nonetheless, it encompasses the issues raised in making a movie about this time in Japan. A film about the 1920’s and 30’s without people smoking would be just as inaccurate as a film that ignores the war industry or retroactively portrays all the characters as bad.

Read it here in the electronic magazine: “The Wind Rises”: Brilliant Film Raises Tough Questions.


Another article I wrote, titled Nanjing’s Silk Road, is about the history of an old alleyway residence that once served as the headquarters of a prosperous brocade company.

Diaoyu Tai alley has white walls with black horse head terraces. Stone dogs guard doors in the wall. If it weren’t for the cars and electric lines, it would look a little like it did in the Qing Dynasty.

There’s more to it, including political intrigue, with the owner supporting underground Communists. Read it in full here: Nanjing’s Silk Road.
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The newest issue of map also has travel tips for people coming to Nanjing for the Youth Olympic Games. If you happen to be in Nanjing, make sure to pick up an issue of map magazine (can be found at some restaurants, hotels, and Starbucks shops)!


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About the Author

Mitchell Blatt is a travel writer, editor, and columnist who has lived and worked in China for six years. He is an author of two guidebooks, Panda Guides Hong Kong and Panda Guides China. He has been published in National, USA Today, the South China Morning Post, The Korea Times, Roads & Kingdoms, Vagabond Journey, Silkwinds and The World of Chinese, among other outlets. See examples of his published articles.