Tuesday, June 02, 2015

View 35 from Utagawa Hiroshige's 53 Tokaido Views Series

東海道五十三次之内 御油 旅人留女

A present-day view (Wikipedia) from Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture.

I know what it is, but what's it called?

This is a meteorological data collection station, and you may have come across a few in your day in Japan.

Rendered in English, it's the "100 Leaf Box", or 百葉箱 (hyakuyoubako) in Japanese.

Lyrical name for a box containing remote weather monitoring apparatus.


Summer Cycling: Castle to Castle


This summer (August 1-2) several cycling mates and I will be riding from the castle town of Tsuruoka, Yamagata, to Aizu Wakamatsu, Fukushima, itself a castle town (hence the ride's moniker).

Should you be interested in joining us for this event, Japan's first ever brevet not geared toward road cyclists, please see here.

Deleted Posts, Self-censorship

Criticism of the current administration's position regarding Japan's wartime past has caused more than one outspoken academic considerable grief.

With an application for a university instructorship pending, I thought it wise to remove certain recent posts.

I desperately need the job.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Japanese Curry

Forced to leave neighboring Fukushima after the tsunami and nuclear plant disaster, the proprietor of this 200 yen curry shop moved his business to Niigata City. On a good day he moves 500 servings of curry.  As a native of Louisiana, USA, I especially like the hot sauce and the New Orleans jazz he plays at the shop.


Yamagata Prefecture Specialities

A stall at a recent food festival in Niigata featured authentic Yamagata いも煮 (imo-ni, or boiled potato stew) and すじ肉煮込み (suji-niku nikomi, or stew with meat and vegetables). Very tasty, and just the thing on a cold winter's day.

Japanese School Lunch: The Real Deal

Read Mother Jones' piece here about the kerfuffle surrounding health- conscious restaurant chain Sweetgreen and its "School Lunches around the World" photo essay, in which "representative" lunches from Finland, Italy, and France, among other countries, shame typical fare served in US school cafeterias.

Unlike the "staged" photos in the Sweetgreen gallery, those of Japanese school lunches shown in these pages are the real deal.

Yesterday's lunch (with a touch of hinamatsuri, or Girls' Festival, which is observed on March 3):


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Hossu

This Buddhist monk is holding a hossu (払子), defined by my dictionary as a "priest's bushy flapper", one of the implements used in Buddhist ceremonies.

The Onusa

Ever wonder what this is called? 

It's the onusa (幣), the sacred staff used in Shinto ceremonies.