Category: Contributor


Sept.18

Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – HARVEST MOON DUMPLINGS 中秋の名月 お団子

Sept.18

Though the moon waxes and wanes every month, chūshū no meigetsu, literally “moon of the middle autumnal month,” is considered special. Perhaps because it coincides with harvesting — indeed in many cultures it is referred to as the Harvest Moon. This year (2022), the Harvest Moon falls on September 10. Eating tsukimi dango (chewy rice dumplings) is among…

Sept.05

Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – CHAMPURU a Happy Hodgepoge

Sept.05

NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai), Japan’s national broadcasting system produces and transmits television and radio shows of all sorts. One of their longest-running programs is a soap-opera like drama shown in 15-minute segments on weekday mornings. Each novella story unfolds over several months’ time. Known affectionately as Asa Dora (Morning Drama) it is often the vehicle…

Aug.03

Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – Kampyō; Edible Gourd Ribbons

Aug.03

There are hundreds of members of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) with sundry shapes, sizes and colors. Gourds were one of the earliest plants to be domesticated, about 13,000 years ago. Probably native to Africa, gourds quickly dispersed throughout the world. Archeological evidence pointing to cultivation and use of gourds in Japan dates back more than…

July.14

Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – YAKUMI condiments

July.14

Food cultures around the world employ various aromatic herbs and spices to stimulate the appetite and promote healthful eating. Japan has a long history of using yakumi, best translated as “condiments,” that enhance flavor while providing a benefit to the body in some manner. Indeed, the Japanese word yakumi is written with calligraphy for “medicine” and “flavor,” suggesting…

May.25

Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – Earthy GOBŌ

May.25

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…

May.08

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

May.08

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…

Apr.20

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

Apr.20

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…

Feb.12

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR BLUE

Feb.12

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…

Feb.02

In Praise of Shadows

Feb.02

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

STILL SPINNING

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…