Monthly Archives: February 2012

An Okinawan Fishing Port

A while back I had a chance to tour around southern Okinawa with a policeman friend of mine and his family.  One of the places we stopped was a small out-of-the-way fishing port for some extremely fresh, extremely good tempura.  Around the area we saw squid drying on wire, little fishes and the Dragon Boats used in hari races later in the year.  Here are a few pictures from the area.

Okinawan Sumo

Okinawan Sumo, also known as kakuyukai, is a form of the famous Japanese martial art practiced in the southern islands. A cross between Edo Sumo wrestling and judo, the goal of Okinawan Sumo is to toss your opponent on their back.  Unlike Edo Sumo wrestlers, Okinawan Sumo-ka generally wear a heavy gi (a martial arts outfit) tied with a simple white or red cloth belt. How to Sumo, Okinawan Style Okinawan Sumo takes place on a sandy patch of ground.

Hina Matsuri – Girl’s Day

Hina Matsuri, or Girl’s Day is a popular observance in Japan on March 3rd.  The holiday is meant to foster health and happiness for young girls throughout their lives.  The most prominent aspect of the holiday is the display of traditional dolls. Girl’s Day has its roots in the idea that dolls and other inanimate objects could contain spirits, especially bad spirits.  Ancient Japanese believed that such objects, like the terracotta haniwa found at various kofun, could contain spirits, so they buried

Emperor Nintoku’s Kofun

One of the things I love about Japan is its rich history.  Unlike America, which  has only been around for a historical blip, Japan has been going for hundreds of years.  One of the interesting historical tid bits are the Kofun, the ancient tombs of the Kofun period (huh, wonder why they chose that name for the 3rd-7th century…). I dutifully took Japanese Civilization at the University of Arizona and we eventually covered the keyhole-shaped tombs. They were so interesting

School Lunch February 16-22

Thursday February 16 ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Milk, millet (awa) rice, stir fry vegetables, ‘fat’ tofu soup, orange So this one is a bit hard to translate, but its high on the Japanese side of things. The ‘bubble’ rice is regular white rice mixed with a small yellow round grain. If anyone knows what it is in English please comment! Update: Thanks to dave for the correct translation of awa! I had it marked as ‘bubble’ before.

Miso Soup Recipe

Ingredients 4 cups Water 1/2 small onion 5″ daikon (white radish) 1 packet dashi (traditional fish-based seasoning) 3 heaping tbsp light miso Salt, Pepper Recipe Boil water with a dash of salt and pepper (optional – miso contains a good quantity of salt already but you will likely want to season your vegetables). Peel the skin off the daikon then thinly slice.  Put the daikon in the water and slice half an onion.  Place the onion in the water.  Add


Natto is one of those foods many people hear about when learning about Japan.  I remember being told how bad is smelled and that most westerners didn’t like the taste.  For a long time after arriving in Japan it was easy enough to forgo what I thought would be a bad experience.  Natto is often eaten as a breakfast food, and since I live alone, I can eat whatever I make for breakfast. Still, the day finally came when it

Kiyomizu Temple – Kyoto

Kyomizu Temple in Kyoto is one of the most famous landmarks in all Japan.  The temple is famous for its high-flying construction, built 13 meters above a spring and supported by elaborate heavy wooden beam scaffolding.  I was lucky enough to visit a while back and thought I’d share some pictures with you.  Its a must see if you’re in the Kansai region of Japan. Find out more on Wikipedia.

School Lunch Feb 9-15

Friday February 15               Milk, barley rice, mackerel, boiled vegetables, noodle soup, and pineapple jelly. The jelly is the only thing holding this one back from 5.  Rice and Fish doesn’t get much more Japanese. Friday February 10 Unfortunately, this day the school I was scheduled at had off, so I went to a different school but had to go get a bento (Japanese lunch box) instead of eating the school lunch.  No picture,

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