The Mothers of Invention

Three sake bottles, a Fujita Shuzo, a Moriki Shuzo and a Mukai Shuzo, set up with Sake Mistress tasting glasses and two sets of Japanese ceramic guinomi sake cups. One set is metallic black and the other is matte black.

"Our need will be the real creator" Plato Monday night is sake night at our house. (Well, some other nights may be sake nights, too...) However, Monday night is Taste with the Toji night. Some of you may remember me writing about Taste with the Toji sessions last year, when our gorgeous friend the Sake … Continue reading The Mothers of Invention

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

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

Uniquely Japanese- Omoiyari 思いやり

Japanese fans clean stadium of rubbish after a World Cup match in Colombia. The Japanese people are seen picking up rubbish and filling rubbish bags in amongst the blue seats of the stadium.

You may have heard the story about the Japanese fans at the World Cup match who remained after the game to clean the stadium. It made the news around the world. This kind of behaviour is not rare in Japan. A tiny country, with LOTS of mountains and a huge population that has little crime … Continue reading Uniquely Japanese- Omoiyari 思いやり

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…

Yokoso – Welcome to Japan in Melbourne?

The official bright yellow banner for the Yosoko Festival in Melbourne. Saying experience Japanese food and culture in the heart of the City of Yarra.

Yokoso, ようこそ, means "welcome" in Japanese. The Sunday before last, the 17th January, we enjoyed being welcomed to "Japan in Melbourne". The City of Yarra, through a grant scheme, had enabled a group of Japanese restaurants, musicians, dancers and market stall holders, (and Dylan, from Chotto Motto's mum) to create an excellent opportunity for Melbournians … Continue reading Yokoso – Welcome to Japan in Melbourne?

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

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