The Master…of Meshi

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

Midnight Diner Meshi 飯 means food in Japanese. More literally, rice. However the words rice and food are almost interchangeable in meaning in Japan. Meshiya 飯屋 means food shop, or diner. Midnight Diner, is a Japanese tv show available on Netflix in Australia. The title in Japanese is Shinya Shokudo 深夜食堂. The show is about … Continue reading The Master…of Meshi

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

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

The Red Thread of Fate

A heart shaped ball of red yarn.

Unmei No Akai Ito 運命の赤い糸, the red thread of fate, connects you from your pinky finger to your destined lover's pinky finger. It is a magical, invisible cord that can stretch around the world. It can tangle but can not break. The cord will eventually bring you together regardless of place, time or circumstance. It … Continue reading The Red Thread of Fate

Romance in Japan

A traditional Shinto wedding ceremony in front of a temple in Japan. There is a large vermillion tori gate in the foreground.

"Japanese are born Buddhist, marry Shinto and die Buddhist" is the old adage about religious tradition in Japan. However, these days it would probably be more appropriate to say "born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhist". Ritual is popular in Japan. Religion not so much. Most Japanese consider themselves not to be religious, but they … Continue reading Romance in Japan

The Kimono Police

Two girls in very vibrant kimonos walking in front of traditional Japanese homes in Sannenzaka Ninenzaka area in Kyoto, in Japan

"The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don't know"Albert Einstein Last week I had coffee with a very lovely friend of mine. We used to work together and share many interests including mushrooms and moss. She is Japanese, and I am always amazed that after every conversation we have, I walk … Continue reading The Kimono Police

Osaka Obachan

Osakaobachan, a group of women from Osaka who sing popular songs. They are women in their 60s, all dressed in animal print and lycra.

Every country has its own subcultures and quirks. Some more than others. Japan has many, and I think it is one of the things that make the culture of Japan so very intriguing. One subculture I find particularly interesting is the “Osaka Obachan”. I believe it is rare to find such a trend in older … Continue reading Osaka Obachan

Zen in Space…

I have not been able to find a lot of information about this in English, and my Japanese is not good enough to decipher technical writing, however I thought this was very interesting, and I have tried to fill in the blanks with some research. Daigo-Ji Temple in Fushimi, in Kyoto, is a very, very … Continue reading Zen in Space…

Ukiyo-e, a picture of Japanese art history

A framed print of an Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) ukiyo-e triptych depicting a scene from a kabuki performance with a woman and two men, one with a sword and shield and the other hiding behind a screen.

When I started travelling to Japan, I knew precious little about Japanese art. Despite studying art and art history through school and at university, my exposure to Asian art in general was very limited. My knowledge of ukiyo-e, woodblock printing, was limited to famous images such as Hokusai's The Great Wave (actually called Under the … Continue reading Ukiyo-e, a picture of Japanese art history