Category: Contributor


Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – Earthy GOBŌ


Gobō (burdock root; Arctium lappa) most likely arrived in Japan from the Asian mainland in the 10th century AD. Early written records indicate that gobō was, at that time, valued not as a food but rather for its medicinal (diuretic), anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to boiling the root and leaves, dried bits of peel were brewed and steeped…


Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – URUI: Elusive Taste of Spring


My early years in Japan were flooded with hatsu taiken (first-time experiences), especially at table. Among those were my first bite of URUI (Hosta sieboldiana), memorable for its elusive wild-grass flavor. Urui prepared as ohitashi showered with smoky flakes of dry-cured bonito was my very first encounter with this amazing garden green,. When, several days later I was served slender stalks of urui napped with…


The foodie’s foodie, Mora Chartrand-Grant, shares about her donabe.


The foodie’s foodie, Mora Chartrand-Grant, shares about her donabe. Steve Beimel: Mora—So you finally bought a donabe??? Mora Chartrand-Grant: Yes, and I’m really proud of it. I always come back from Japan with yet another piece of rustic Japanese pottery to add to our home collection, which I regularly use in the kitchen…the crustier and…




by Amy Katoh After 43 years of Blue & White, my eyes only see BLUE. And it may well be that BLUE is taking over the color spectrum. From the skies, to the rivers to the bridges, and even the netting that surrounds them under repair, BLUE is the reigning color The autumn skies in…


In Praise of Shadows


Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, the famous novelist, wrote an essay entitled In Praise of Shadows. He laments the passing of the somber and refined Japanese sensibility he loves. He delights in “the moment of mystery, the moment of trance” He speaks of the warmth of paper… enveloping light “like the soft surface of a first snowfall” He…



Jan.25 Amy Katoh

by Amy Katoh                                                                                                                                                 Blue &White has lived in Tokyo’s Azabu Juban district for the past 43 years. See how much is going on in the world outside flying kites, trimming trees, smokey moons Our world spins in blues and whites:   Previous page: Tenugui roosters drying at Asahi Dye Works Woman modelling kimono at O…


Kawai Kanjiro

Jan.19 Robert Yellin

Kawai Kanjiro By Robert Yellin In the wake of the great tide of industrialism in the early part of this century, something of the human touch and spirit was lost in everyday articles of use. It was with a sense of urgency that Yanagi and his lifelong companions, the potters Bernard Leach, Hamada Shoji, Tomimoto…


The Sharing of Shabu Shabu

Jan.15 Mora Chartrand

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…


Sake: This Year’s Rice Report

Jan.07 John Gauntner

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…


Between Heaven and Earth

Nov.29 devapnek

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…