Episode 14: When your main exports are spooky hippos and metal music

Two Moomin snowmen in urban setting. Photo by Spixey on Flickr.

Creator of Very Finnish Problems Joel Willans returns with a conversation on how and why Finland is big in Japan with project manager, exports specialist Sami Häikiö. We learn about the strides being made to bring Moomin to the world and the peculiarities of booking metal gigs in Tokyo. Co-host Thomas Nybergh deals with troublesome Nipponese electronics and contributes the bleakest recommendation segment yet.


Contact: veryfinnishproblems@inktank.fi

Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media



Joel’s new book: More Very Finnish Problems

Are Finland and Japan obsessed with each other?

On Japan’s love of fax machines (New York Times, 2013)

It’s 2016 And I’m Buying A New Japanese Fax Machine

An overview of new Finnish rock and metal

What you should know about the Japanese music market (2015)

The Guardian reviews ‘Who Will Comfort Toffle?’, a delightful moomin picture book

Kirkus review of Moominpappa at Sea, the most grown-up novel in the Moomin canon

About the Fermi Paradox, the possibility that the universe is surprisingly devoid of (intelligent) life

Thomas’ podcast recommendation: The End of the World With Josh Clark

Thomas’ 2nd recommendation: Kidding, superbly written dark comedy drama series starring Jim Carrey, Catherine Keener and many others

Joel’s recommendation: Kitchen Nightmares

Sami’s recommendation: Sons of Anarchy

Sami’s second recommendation: Japan Times, excellent news reporting in English

Sami’s old band, Karkkiautomaatti on Spotify

Sami’s old band, Karkkiautomaatti on Apple Music


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About the show

What’s so weird and wonderful about Finland? British born Joel Willans, creator of Very Finnish Problems, discusses, with a variety of fascinating guests, what he’s learnt after 15 years living in his much-loved, adopted country.

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Title photo credit

8 replies

  1. Tove Jansson was not a Swede, but a Swedish speaking Finn. There are about 6% of them overall. And most of them speak fluent Finnish as well.

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