Ampontan dies.

Among the few blogs in my WordPress feed was one by William Sakovich, whose blogging handle was Ampontan. He was a longtime resident in Japan (Saga Pref.), who had many unique insights into Japan as a culture. Sakovich did his own work, and by that I mean he really focused on providing some fact or perspective that the visiting reader really wouldn’t have known before the visit. He avoided a lot of the pettier debates (“Is radiation bad?”) that substitute for online discourse in some circles of the Japan-side expat community. His politics was (for me) too Jimintou-leaning, but I respected his POV.

His commentary was a small treasure to his followers, and its disappearance will be a loss to us, too.


The dialogue about Sakovich’s passing, which can be found at his site, suggests that stomach cancer was the cause—cancer that wasn’t caught in time before it spread. As someone who advocates for enrollment in the Japanese national insurance, I hope that Bill had been covered, and it wasn’t a problem of not going to check out stomach pain because of not having the coverage. It would be tragic if the health insurance issue were implicated—in a country with universal coverage.

RIP Ampontan.