Monthly Archives: March 2012

10,000 Drummers Drumming

Japan has the little drummer boy beat on all counts.  There are many kinds of traditional drumming in Japan, but perhaps one of the most original is Eisa.  In Okinawa, Eisa is a cross between dance and music, with performers moving in a limited fashion while beating a variety of portable drums.  Sometimes these performances include music and calls. In August there is an even on the main Okinawan Island on Kokusai-dori (dori = street, a popular tourist destination) in Naha City, where

School Lunch March 8-14

Thursday March 8               Milk, millet rice, sukiyaki, ‘island’ burger, orange This meal is a level 4 on the Japan scale, being held back only by the orange (instead of the more Japanese mikan) and ‘burger.’  The shima burger (aka island burger) is mostly made of squid and tasted nothing like a hamburger.  Sukiyaki was a mix of beef and other vegetables fried up together. Friday March 9 This is the day iOS5.1 came

Dejima Island – Nagasaki Bay

Dejima Island in Nagasaki bay was the only point of formal international trade and communication during Japan’s  period of isolation in the Tokugawa period.  Construction of the artificial land mass ended in 1636 and was for use by Portuguese traders.  The missionaries that accompanied them were viewed as a threat and were eventually banished.  The Dutch took over the island and were sequestered there.  Dejima was eventually surrounded as land reclamation began from 1861, where it eventually lost its original boarders

Graduation: It’s All Over After Jr High

This past weekend (March 10ish) Junior High students from all over Japan graduated.  I find it pretty interesting how big a deal is made over these ceremonies.  They provide a unique insight into Japanese Culture, and provide a chance for better understanding between East and West.     School in Japan In Japan, school is mandatory only through Junior High.  In the West this would mean 9th grade, so the graduating Jr. High kids would already be in High School

Three Years Ago We Graduated

There will be many posts like this.  There have been many for days.  March 11 had and is still having such a profound impact on so many people.  It is one of those incidents in history that people will ask, “Where were you?” I was on an island with a total land area of only 13km2 (5sq mi) in the middle of the South Pacific.  We were busily preparing and rehearsing for our Junior High graduation ceremony.  The ceremony was important since

Nara- Todai-ji and Deer

Nara is known for the wandering semi-tame deer and Todai-ji temple.  As you can see from this hilarious, but truthful sign, the deer are kept tame only by the shika-senbei available for sale to feed them.  They still do crazy things when tourist season winds down, but are fat and lazy during the busy periods. Todai-ji is the home of the largest bronze daibutsu (buddha) in the largest wooden building in the world.  Below are some pictures of the area surrounding the

School Lunch March 1-7

Thursday March 1               Milk, Taco Rice, Seaweed Soup, Grape Fruit Taco Rice is a classic Okinawan adaptation of the Mexican taco.  Instead of shell or tortilla meat, cheese, and vegetables are placed over white rice.  This meal is saved from being a corn-dog by the accompanying seaweed soup with tofu.  Something you’d be hard pressed to find in Mexico.  For an awesomely healthy version of this dish, try my recipe. One drawback to

White Day

Last month marked Valentine’s Day around the world.  As I mentioned in that post, things work a bit differently here in Japan.  Since girls do all the work on Valentine’s day, boys will return the favor this month.  The companion day is called White Day in Japan and takes place March 14th. Boys will give return gifts for all the chocolate they received.  For the giri choclate (obligation) gifts they received, there are plenty of specially decorated chocolates available for sale.  For the homei (homemade) gifts

Flaming Nabe

It’s on Fire! Winter is coming to a close, but there are still plenty of cold places around the world.  If you don’t know what nabe is, you’re missing out.  Perhaps you’d like to checkout the post I did on the Japanese hot-pot awhile back. We had this version of nabe at one of our regular moai meetings.  Instead of   the usual broth bases (soy, kimchi, miso, and dashi are just a few) this time they used a strong

« Older Entries Recent Entries »