Author Archives: Kiyotake

About Kiyotake

Lives in Miyazaki, Japan and is a contributing editor to WAWAZA’s blogs.

Rice Harvest Season in Miyazaki

rice-harvest-in-miayazaki

Most parts of Japan have little choice as to when they plant their rice.  It’s usually transplanted into the rice paddies soon after the last frost has passed in the spring.

This means that mountainous areas often can’t plant their … Read the rest

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Cozy in Winters the Japanese Way

Kotatsu with a built-in heater is a wooden table frame covered by a blanket and a table top.

Over the centuries, Japanese have learned how to stay cozy and comfortable in winters using minimal energy and resources, and I try to put the old wisdom to use.

I live in a traditional Japanese wooden house with modest insulation. … Read the rest

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A Day in the Country

a day in Japanese countryside

A friend of ours owns some land deep in the mountains of Miyazaki. It’s a couple of kilometers from the nearest house and the only sounds heard are those of nature.  It is a wild place, where deer, boars and … Read the rest

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Nanakusa – Signs of the Awakening Spring

In Japan, in the beginning of January, soon after the New Year’s festivities have ended, the first signs of Spring begin to sprout from the soil.

This new growth is manifest in the nanakusa (七草), literally “7 wild herbs,” Read the rest

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Natural Farming, the Viable Alternative

Leave the care of the natural garden to the birds, no need for human knowledge or human doing, leave it to nature. Masanobu Fukuoka, natural farming pioneer

Modern agriculture and its methods have been hurting the environment and people’s health for decades.   There is a growing interest in organic food and natural farming as well as preserving biodiversity, and many seek to gain more understanding about the … Read the rest

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Love at First Sight

Aya is a leading sustainable organic farming community in Japan, located about 20 kilometers from Miyazaki.

I fell in love with Aya the first time I saw her. She sat quietly under an impossibly blue sky, ringed by emerald green mountains and evergreen forests.

The hills around her were dotted with wild camellia forests and citrus … Read the rest

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Shamisen and the Kimonoed Woman

Kimono-clad-lady-playing-shamisenDowntown Miyazaki is full of tall buildings packed with shops and restaurants.  At night, the neon lights and crowds of people can cause a bit of sensory overload.  That’s when I like to get off the busy roads and find … Read the rest

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Mr. Shiitake

Miyazaki-shiitake-mushroomsOne of the benefits of living near Japanese countryside is that fresh food is always nearby, and always affordable.  

Even so, I was completely surprised today when our local ‘shiitake man’ motored up my driveway with his truck full … Read the rest

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Mamachari: a Bike for Everyone!

In Japan, mamachari bicycles — literally “mother’s bike” — are everywhere! And they are not just for moms.

Riding a mamachari to work, school, or the local market is a part of daily life for many Japanese. Seemingly everyone, from … Read the rest

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Good-bye Rivers

I live in an older, traditional style Japanese house that was designed to stay cool during summer.  But this was the hottest summer in decades, and my house could not keep up! So most every day around noon I would … Read the rest

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