Category Archives: Life & Culture

Easy Recipe for Japanese Rice with Mushrooms (Kinoko-Gohan)

For this recipe I use 2 tbsps of Japanese rice wine (sake). If you can't get sake, you can substitute it with a dry white wine.Kinoko-gohan (きのこご飯) is one of my autumn favorites. I have used a frying pan with a lid to cook the rice, since I often get asked for Japanese recipes from friends who don’t have a Japanese rice cooker.

My basic … Read the rest

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Mountains, Sacred Myths, and Respect for Nature

Japanese affinity for awe-inspiring beauty of their mountains is deep-rooted in a curious mix of sacred myths, love of outdoors and respect for nature.

Nearly 70 per cent of the Japanese archipelago is covered in breathtaking mountain ranges and majestic … Read the rest

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The Humble Rice Paddy Holds Secrets of Japan’s Soul

For the Japanese, rice farming is more than just agriculture; it is the essence of culture, community and indeed life itself.

It is hard to exaggerate the reverence Japanese have for rice farming. Organized rice cultivation in Japan began about … Read the rest

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A Bold, Beautiful Lady

Tōkō Shinoda is an avant-garde Japanese painter who keeps creating masterpieces. She just turned 104.

Toko Shinoda is a leading Japanese avant-garde painter who just turned 104. For over seventy years she has kept on creating bold, evocative art which speak from her heart.

Reminiscence – 2005

Picture above is of a 2005 painting by … Read the rest

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Reflections and Hopes

thank-you-for-2016December is time for traditions, celebrations and expressing gratitude. It is also time for reflections, hopes and positive thoughts.

We have had a busy year, thanks to every single one of you. Additionally, your suggestions, reviews and survey responses have … Read the rest

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How to Take a Japanese Style Bath at Home

you can incorporate the essential elements of the Japanese bath ritual into your routineIf you live outside Japan, chances are your home is not equipped with a Japanese style bath. Even so, you can still incorporate the essential elements of the Japanese bath ritual into your routine.

Cleanse, Bathe, Power Down

The Japanese Read the rest

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Flower From Another World

Autumn has arrived in Japan and like in every year around this time, mysterious, other-worldly Higanbana flowers (Red Spider Lily) are in bloom

Autumn has arrived in Japan and like in every year around this time, the mystical, other-worldly Higanbana flowers (Red Spider Lily) are in bloom. And like in every year, it’s time for people to visit the family cemetery to clean … Read the rest

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Irises, Yomogi and Traditions of May

The deeply-hued, passionate ayame irises are an unmistakable sign of spring and early summer. Their vivid color and bold beauty have inspired poets, artists and kimono makers for generations.

It’s early May. The Japanese countryside is blanketed with some of the most beloved symbols of Japanese spring: passionate irises and yomogi, the Japanese “wonder herb”.

The love affair with irises and yomogi runs deep in Japan’s national psyche, … Read the rest

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The Legend of Satsue Mito In Memoriam

Satsue Mito in Kojma, MiyazakiApril 7th will mark the 102nd birthday of Satsue Mito.

Mito-sensei, as everybody lovingly called her, was a gentle woman. And like Dian Fossey, she is one of the greatest primatologists the world has ever known.

Early Life

Mito-sensei was … Read the rest

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A Moment of Serenity in Midst of Busy Affairs

Incense and a moment of serenityAppreciating aroma of incense is a classical Japanese art form called Kōdō (the Way of Aroma), codified in 15th century in a set of ten principles (see below). “Brings a moment of serenity in midst of busy affairs” is the … Read the rest

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