JULY 2020

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Seasonal Secret: Souvenirs NOT to buy in July

O-bon lantern for sale in Inari-cho

The ultimate souvenir forever reminds you of the joys of being in Japan, in the season you were there to enjoy. Which is why you might be tempted to bring home one of these lovely handpainted flower lamps that are only sold during July and August…read more

This month’s book review: Shinjū 

Cover of Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland

As the shōgun’s personal investigator, Sano Ichirō is assigned to look into crimes too delicate to entrust to the regular police. He not only has to use his wits to figure out whodunnit, he has to do it while navigating the devilishly tricky layers of privilege and obligation that exist to protect the powerful…read more 

Beyond Tokyo: We journey to a vast and serene lotus garden grown from 3,000-year-old seeds

Lotus flower blooming at Gyoda Ancient Lotus Park Gyoda Hasuen

Since time immemorial, these ancient symbols of “pure beauty that flowers from the muckiest mud” have uplifted the human spirit, and even in these grim times, isn’t it great that we can still wander beneath their green parasols and marvel as their pink perfection unfurls?…read more

Japanese Home Cooking for July: Miso Grilling Sauce

Grilled eggplant with miso sauce miso dengaku

Dengaku sauce is one of those tasty toppings that makes even people who “don’t like Japanese food” beg for seconds. Everything from eggplant to slices of pork tenderloin to skewers of grilled chicken will disappear in record time when topped with this addictive delight…read more

Why, Japan, Why?: Why did NHK try to Japansplain the global anti-racism protests with this excruciatingly embarrassing video?

Screen shot of NHK video explaining worldwide protests against racism

You don’t have to understand Japanese to instantly grasp that this video produced and aired by NHK (the Japanese equivalent of the BBC) is exactly how NOT to explain why anti-racism protests have exploded across America and the world…read more

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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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