Category Archives: Life & Culture

Making Tea with Children Helps Teach Values

Teaching tea ceremony ideals to children: manners, gentleness, consideration, and harmony.

In Japan, the tea ceremony is more than an artistic pastime for preparation and presentation of matcha. The ideals which it represents can serve as potent tools for teaching children personal and social values.

Although I am Japanese, I was … Read the rest

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Beautiful Harmony

Ideals of peace and harmony a guide for the younger generation to make this world a better place

May 1 in Japan is the dawn of the new era of Reiwa (令和, Beautiful Harmony). The entire country is abuzz with excitement, hope, and anticipation.

Empress Masako will accompany Emperor Naruhito, along with their daughter Princess Aiko

On this day, Naruhito, the 126th emperor of Japan will ascend to the Chrysanthemum … Read the rest

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Memories of Cherry Blossoms

I still hold the simple memories of cherry blossoms heralding change and hope dearly in my heart.There is so much written about the beauty and profoundness of cherry blossoms. And yet, my childhood memories of them are quite simple.

I grew up in Mimasaka, a small town in Okayama prefecture. There, like in everywhere else, spring … Read the rest

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Japanese Festival of Dolls (Hina-Matsuri)

Japanese Festival of Dolls 2019

In Japan, one of the sure signs of the arrival of spring is Hina-Matsuri, the Festival of Dolls.

Japanese have celebrated Hina-Matsuri since at least the 8th-century Heian period. During this time Japan experienced a great flourishing in culture. In Heian, playing … Read the rest

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Keeping Warm in Winter the Japanese Way

I live in a traditional Japanese wooden house with modest insulation.

Engawa is the Japanese version of a veranda/porch which also resembles a sunroom.

It doesn’t snow much here, though winters are fairly cold and nighttime temperatures can dip below freezing.

For me, staying comfortable in winter isn’t as trivial as setting a … Read the rest

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