Kyoto’s Tangible History

There are over 2000 temples in Kyoto. Seventeen of them are UNESCO World Heritage sites. You are somewhat spoiled for choice. I love going to the temples that are not over-run with tourists. The places where you can actually feel the gravity of the history. These enchanting places that are part of local people’s everyday … Continue reading Kyoto’s Tangible History

Uniquely Japanese- Ukiyo 浮世

A ukiyo-e (woodblock print) of a women's public bath house from early 1800s, by Torii Kiyonaga

In the last couple of weeks I have written a couple of blogs about ukiyo. One about ukiyo-e, woodblock prints of the Edo Period and one about Ukiyo, an excellent experience of story-telling and adventure in Melbourne. (Follow the links to read the blogs). During my research for these two stories I read quite a … Continue reading Uniquely Japanese- Ukiyo 浮世

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…

The Enduring Exploits of Super Sake Boy and Nihonshu Girl

A pergola and side garden with Japanese ferns, maple trees and hanging baskets. There are hops trailing to the pergola and hanging baskets on the pergola. This is a Japanese inspired garden in Ferny Creek, Melbourne.

It has been nearly a year since COVID put a big, fat STOP sign on nearly all international travel. Being obsessed Japanophiles, Super Sake Boy and I have tried to take the travel ban graciously, while feeding our need for Japanese food, sake, culture and connection with the language. We were last in Japan in … Continue reading The Enduring Exploits of Super Sake Boy and Nihonshu Girl

Americanism- why the Japanese do American better than the Americans??

When travelling in Japan it is hard not to notice the influence of American culture and how the Japanese have embraced the culture to such an extent that it has become very much a part of Japanese culture. The two cultures have become intertwined in such a way as to be inextricable from each other. … Continue reading Americanism- why the Japanese do American better than the Americans??

Geisha, Oiran and Tayu

Misunderstood Women of Japan. The mere mention of Japan will probably conjure many pervasive Japanese images in your mind. Undoubtably geisha will probably be among those images. However, for most foreign people the concept of geisha is difficult to understand, and many people are misinformed as to their cultural significance. The role they played, and … Continue reading Geisha, Oiran and Tayu

Onna-bugeisha…female Samurai

"Samurai" usually brings forth a vision of a guy in traditional Japanese feudal armour with several swords and a scary disposition. While many samurai were certainly great warriors and warlords, the term actually refers to a class of people in Japan, which, of course, includes women. The bushi class in feudal Japan were the highest … Continue reading Onna-bugeisha…female Samurai

Kunoichi… female ninja

When I think of female ninja, a picture pops into my head of a badass women, all in black, wearing tabi boots and carrying shuriken stars and swords. Sadly, this is not the reality of these women. They were definitely badass, but usually a little more understated and certainly less recognisable than their male counterparts, … Continue reading Kunoichi… female ninja

Women, criminals and other subversions in Japanese sub-culture….

Last night I watched a documentary made by a woman, a well-educated and intelligent woman, who was raped by a well respected Japanese journalist. Her story was very sad and her outcome was not satisfactory. The case was dismissed, at the last minute, as there was insufficient evidence. The man was the biographer of Shinzo … Continue reading Women, criminals and other subversions in Japanese sub-culture….

Historical Heaven

On Monday we woke up super early again, pensioner hour.... and got ready quite quickly. We were out the door and on our way into the city before 8am. This was a bizarre experience, as the last time we were in Kyoto we had four children to wrangle out the door, and it would never … Continue reading Historical Heaven