kaisa saarinen =

Student of Politics & Japanese Studies + freelance writer/translator/copywriter + blogger


Nice to meet you! My name is Kaisa Saarinen & this website is my unruly personal/professional hybrid of freelance portfolio, poems and photographs, academic essays, my blog... I really just wanted to have a home for the various things I do in the hopes that it would motivate me to do more.

My work

I’m a freelance journalist/copywriter/editor/translator (English <-> Finnish); if you want to see my work, I have a portfolio on here, another one on Contently, and a semi-active Upwork profile. My clients so far include Kairosfuture (drafting, editing + translating reports), Tales By Trees (interviewing + writing articles), Borrowing Tape (covering the 2017 Tokyo International Film Festival) and Spotzer (copywriting for small businesses). 

Most recently, I have translated Professor Kaisa Broner-Bauer’s article “Arkkitehtuuri ja transsendenssi. Vertaileva näkökulma minimalismiin Suomessa ja Japanissa” (“Architecture and transcendence. A comparative perspective on minimalism in Finland and Japan”) from English to Finnish, published as a chapter in the book “Suomi ja Japani: Kaukaiset mutta läheiset” (Edita 2019).

I was the Features editor of Glasgow University Magazine in 2018-2019.

I’m always open to discussing new projects big and small, so if you’d like to work with me, please email me at kaisa.annikki.saarinen (at) gmail.com!


  • Politics MA (SocSci) with First-class Honours, University of Glasgow, 2015-2019

  • USTEP exchange programme, University of Tokyo, 2017-2018 (year abroad studying politics, IR & Japanese)

  • Japanese Studies MSc, University of Oxford, October 2019 ->

  • JLPT N1

  • My essay 'Hungary at the heart of a European identity crisis: the conflict of “liberal” and “realist” views on coordinating asylum policy and burden-sharing' was Highly Commended in the Politics & International Relations category of the Global Undergraduate Awards 2019.

  • I’m very interested in East Asian relations and environmental politics. In my undergraduate dissertation, I analysed the concept of ‘ecological civilization’ and its role in CCP legitimation and policy formulation in China.

What is ‘kuuhulluutta’?

“Kuuhulluutta” is the blog I’ve been writing since 2013 when I was a 1st-year high school student in Turku, Finland. One reason why I created this website was that I wanted to keep my blog but was tired of the Blogger platform. I have migrated most of my old blog posts here and am hoping to continue creating new ones!

I have a lot of interests besides politics - studying Japanese, photography, running, films, cooking, travelling.. My blog has been pretty heavy on the travel posts in recent years, but in the future I’d like to talk more about non-travel stuff as well. I love how a website is really just a blank slate to do whatever you want. This one is still taking shape, so I hope it’s not too unwieldy.

My camera

Most of the pictures in my old blog posts have been taken on a point-and-shoot camera and aren’t that great quality. This is not an excuse but a FYI. In September 2016 I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ80 (point-and-shoot with Leica lens) that was slightly better but still not that great.

In June 2018, I finally made the leap to a mirrorless camera (Panasonic GX8) which produces much better-quality images. I currently use two lenses: the kit lens (LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S.) and a pancake lens (Lumix 20mm/F1.7 II ASPH. H-H020A-K). This has definitely made taking photos more rewarding, and I’m hoping to continue learning more about photography.