Me, Japan and Suicide

Suicide is a hard subject to talk about. Especially when your Western culture has very little idea on how to talk about it, or anything else related to death. The English stiff upper lip has lead to many subjects being deemed as taboo. However, when you find yourself in a situation where you have to…

Well, well, well…. Japanese wells, actually

What is the significance of the humble well in Japanese imagery? I had not even realised that there was a significance until I was reading Peter Carey’s Wrong About Japan. Toward the end of the book, which follows Peter Carey and his son on their trip to Japan, the father and son watch a DVD…

Japanese Etiquette 101- Honorifics

Before I went to Japan I had seen old movies where the foreigners called the restaurant owners Mama-San, and had a vague understanding that San was something like Mrs. I had no idea that honorifics are part of everyday life in Japan, and that I would one day answer to both カイリさん (kairi-san-my name- Kylie-san) カイリ先生(kairi…

Japan and poignant story telling….

I love reading books, and watching movies, and I particularly love reading books or watching movies that are insightful and provide commentary on what it is to be human. In my experience, I have found many Japanese story tellers to get the balance of joy and tragedy so right. I also find that they do…

Japanese Etiquette 101- Hashi (Chopsticks)

The day after we arrived in Japan for the first time Mya and I did a Sushi cooking class in Asakusa. It was an excellent idea (in hindsight) as our beautiful teacher, Yoshimi-Sensei, armed us with some essential local knowledge, including hashi etiquette. Hashi, or chopsticks, are, of course found in many other countries. However,…

Adam Liaw, ambassador of Japanese Cuisine

Last Friday night, the 31st of March, I went to Melbourne University to see Adam Liaw speak. Adam was the second winner of Masterchef Australia, in 2010. He was born in Malaysia, his mum is Singaporean-English and his dad is Hainese Chinese. Formerly a lawyer for Disney in Tokyo, Adam started learning Japanese in order…