How to read a haiku

Three great things to look for in a haiku poem I’m going to come right out and say it: nothing makes me want to throw my hands in the air and flee faster than coming across a page that’s filled with verses instead of nice, solid paragraphs. I automatically assume I’m not going to enjoyContinue reading “How to read a haiku”

Goldfish, goldfish, everywhere

Edogawa Goldfish Festival The most delightful summer festival in all of Japan You might remember from a previous Japanagram that one traditional way of beating the Japanese summer heat is to gaze at goldfish swimming in their cool, watery world. Goldfish are so synonymous with summer in Japan that you’ll see them gracing everything fromContinue reading “Goldfish, goldfish, everywhere”

The Pillow Book

The Diary of a Courtesan in Tenth Century Japan By Sei Shōnagon Setting & details: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Authenticity of Japanese characters & dialogue: N/ATranslation quality: N/AEntertainment value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐My recommendation: This shockingly witty little volume is evidence that just because someone lived a thousand years ago doesn’t mean they weren’t a sharp commentator on human behavior that’s stillContinue reading “The Pillow Book”

It Was You

By Jonelle Patrick Click on the photo for a link to your free digital copy of It Was You All Japanagram subscribers can download a free digital copy of this all-new, not-for-sale Only In Tokyo Short, but if you still love reading books the old fashioned way and didn’t win a signed paperback copy thisContinue reading “It Was You”


Click on photo or link to read the feature Beyond Tokyo: Let’s visit the most refreshing waterfall in the world Just looking at pictures of this astonishing waterfall is enough to beat the summer heat, but being surrounded by its 180° music is one of life’s truly sublime moments. Come with me now, and experienceContinue reading “AUGUST 2020”

Exclusive for Japanagram subscribers only!

You can’t buy this book anywhere …but you can get it for FREE Between now and October 20, 2020, when The Last Tea Bowl Thief comes out, I’m giving away copies of this all-new not-for-sale Yumi & Kenji short (76 pp) to Japanagram subscribers! IT WAS YOU An Only In Tokyo Short by Jonelle PatrickContinue reading “Exclusive for Japanagram subscribers only!”

The winner of the July Book Giveaway is…

If you recognize this email, congratulations!  You just won a copy of Shinjū, by Laura Joh Rowland. If this is you, shoot a message to and tell me where to send it, and I’ll have one sent from Amazon pronto! (Much to my chagrin, I discovered there’s no ebook edition, so I regret that I can’t offerContinue reading “The winner of the July Book Giveaway is…”

Book Review & Giveaway AUGUST 2020

CLIMB By Susan Spann This month’s book giveaway is Susan Spann’s wry and moving new memoir, CLIMB. Two and a half years ago, her life appeared to be rocketing along quite nicely—not only was she a successful lawyer, she was jaunting off for extended annual stays in Japan to write a popular mystery series. NoContinue reading “Book Review & Giveaway AUGUST 2020”

Two reviews: Claws of the Cat / Climb

By Susan Spann Book #1: CLAWS OF THE CAT Setting & details: ⭐⭐⭐⭐Authenticity of characters & dialogue: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Translation quality: N/AEntertainment value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐My recommendation: A beyond-the-history-books journey into the fascinating and uneasy lives of the first foreigners allowed to stay in Japan Claws of the Cat is a tale set in the fascinating 16th-century period inContinue reading “Two reviews: Claws of the Cat / Climb”

Okinawan Brown Sugar Dessert Sauce

Dessert is the hardest thing to decide on for a Japanese meal, because most Japanese “desserts” are pretty disappointing, especially when compared to (duh) chocolate. Which is why I’m delighted to show you how to make Okinawan Brown Sugar Sauce—a very Japanese delight that can top anything from ice cream to that traditional Japanese summertimeContinue reading “Okinawan Brown Sugar Dessert Sauce”