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Hokusai, The Movie

All photos are from the movie and attributed to the makers and the movie poster to Imdb. Katsushika Hokusai's ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) are probably one of the most recognisable series of artworks in the world. The Great Wave off Kanagawa is the quintessential visual of Japan. It has been replicated and reproduced in pop-culture and … Continue reading Hokusai, The Movie

In Conversation with Maki Ueta, owner of a Kyoto Guesthouse

Maki and I met in April 2015 when my kids and I stayed in her exceptional guesthouse in Higashiyama in Kyoto. I had a feeling while I was booking Guesthouse Soi and reading reviews that something very special was going to eventuate. I was right. We stayed four nights in Kyoto and I made a … Continue reading In Conversation with Maki Ueta, owner of a Kyoto Guesthouse

Yamato Kotoba- The Original Japanese Language

Starting to learn Japanese is a daunting prospect. There are two 46 character syllabaries, hiragana and katakana, and then the Chinese characters, kanji. When I began learning, I had a basic concept that the early Japanese language had no written form and the characters were borrowed from China. Most kanji characters have an on'yomi, or … Continue reading Yamato Kotoba- The Original Japanese Language

In Conversation with Cindy Bissig, a Digital Nomad

All of the photos contained in this article are Cindy's own photos. Cindy Bissig is a multi-faceted content creator. She writes and makes videos about travel, food, art and sake. She is a brilliant photographer and artist in her own right. I met Cindy through the Taste with the Toji online sake group. We became … Continue reading In Conversation with Cindy Bissig, a Digital Nomad

Amabie, the cute way Japan is fighting COVID

Yokai are "monsters" of Japanese Folklore. Though previously considered scary, many are now regarded as cute and friendly, and often benevolent. They take many forms and are seen as a way of processing difficult feelings and unpleasant situations. Superstition is not uncommon in Japan and many believe there is a thin veil between this world … Continue reading Amabie, the cute way Japan is fighting COVID

Japanese Names

Name Conventions When I started reading a lot of Japanese history, I initially found the names a little confusing. Although having some understanding, there are a number of practices that I still find really intriguing. I wanted to write about myōseki, the passing down of a family name to someone who is not necessarily related. … Continue reading Japanese Names

Eating in Japan- Omurice

Window display of wax models of omurice dishes in a restaurant in Aeon Mall in Hinode in Tokyo. The omurice, omelette stuffed with tomato rice served with various sauces.

My first time in Japan I was really surprised restaurants were so specialised. Rather than having a selection of assorted dishes on their menu, most places specialise in one type of food. Often, they offer many different iterations, or variations on a theme (or flavour). One of my favourite types of places to eat is … Continue reading Eating in Japan- Omurice

In Conversation with Van Milton, a Kyoto Tour Guide

Last week I had an enlightening conversation with Van Milton. A tour guide in Kyoto, without customers to guide at the present time. In addition to tour guiding, Van is a botanist, a teacher, a keen hiker and cyclist and a fellow sake lover. We met through the Taste with the Toji online sake group. … Continue reading In Conversation with Van Milton, a Kyoto Tour Guide

Eating in Japan- Yokochō

Yokochō means "alleyway" in Japanese, and the busy alleyways of Tokyo, Osaka, and other large cities in Japan, are an opportunity to connect with the past. Bustling and crowded alleyways are packed with small izakaya, bars, ramen joints and other cheap and delicious eateries. Many of these establishments seat only 4-10 people. They are very … Continue reading Eating in Japan- Yokochō

Feel like a chat?

Hey, everyone 😊 I thought I would change it up a bit while Melbourne continues to wallow in its seemingly eternally endless lockdown. I am so very sick of myself, my own voice, my thoughts and the four walls of my lovely, but claustrophobia inducing home. I have decided to have a chat with some … Continue reading Feel like a chat?