The Sharing of Shabu Shabu
Jan15

The Sharing of Shabu Shabu

by Mora Chartrand A shared homemade meal is a fine way to offer gratitude for friends and family and participating in the actual act of cooking the meal together makes it even more special. Shabu shabu (swish-swish) is the Japanese onomatopoeic equivalent for the name of a popular nabemono, a simple and delectable Japanese hot pot dish. It is a meal of near-paper-thin sliced meats (typically beef and pork), vegetables, and usually...

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Sake: This Year’s Rice Report
Jan07

Sake: This Year’s Rice Report

Sake: This Year’s Rice Report by Sake Expert John Gauntner Sake Rice Survived a Couple of Typhoons, But How Did it Fare Otherwise? In late October, the National Research Institute of Brewing in Japan released their annual rice report, loosely translated as the Suitability of This Year’s Rice to Sake Brewing Report. In short, the report analyzes the weather patterns of the previous summer, comparing it to analytical data, and predicts...

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Between Heaven and Earth
Nov29

Between Heaven and Earth

Between Heaven and Earth After recovering from three somewhat harrowing days driving a rental car on the road in Japan, we learned , despite the high points of the trip, not to do it again. I also relearned that there is a very small margin of error between life and death on a snake like one lane curving road where a head -on collision could catapult you from one world to the next and was possible at any time. At Koyasan, while...

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Kusama and the Compulsive Visionaries
Nov27

Kusama and the Compulsive Visionaries

Kusama and the Compulsive Visionaries by Gail Rieke Perhaps this sounds like the name of a band, but it is not. Yayoi Kusama may currently be the most appreciated international woman artist of this time. Some of you may have seen her polka dot pumpkin in Naoshima, or her mirrored installations, or the Forever Museum recently opened in the Gion area of Kyoto https://fmoca.jp/en …one of the few museums in the world celebrating the work...

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Ando Saeko, Japanese lacquer artist
Oct20

Ando Saeko, Japanese lacquer artist

Ando Saeko, Japanese lacquer artist Since relocating her studio from Hanoi to Hoi An in 2016, Saeko has been immersed in the energy of Nature which is ‘so powerful here that I have become just one of the creatures in the middle of it’. Vietnamese lacquer has long been the perfect material for her creative works. Its high transparency and glossiness naturally resembles water in living organisms. Using her experience and knowledge of...

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MATSURI SURPRISE
Oct19

MATSURI SURPRISE

Some work is infinitely more exciting than other jobs. Watanabe san, an enthusiastic and insistent customer at Blue & White urged us to take part in the Hatoyama Jinja/ Shrine market that he was helping to plan on the 15th and 16th of September. With scant enthusiasm, we agreed to bring Blue & White to the market. Hayasawa san, the unadventurous manager of Blue & White who luckily prefers to stay in the shop,...

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