Tokyo Vice

By Jake Adelstein Setting & details: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Authenticity of Japanese characters & dialogue: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Translation quality: N/AEntertainment value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐My recommendation: Investigative reporter Jake Adelstein covered the yakuza beat for a Japanese newspaper like a boss, and his first person account will make your hair stand on end. This first-person account of how an American investigative journalist cultivatedContinue reading Tokyo Vice

The strange barbers of Yoshiwara

You’ve heard of Yoshiwara, right? The old Tokyo pleasure quarter? Well, it turns out that it wasn’t just any old red light district—it was its own separate, weird society, with different laws, different social rules, and even its own language. The reigning queens of this alternate universe were the oiran—courtesans who were so exclusive thatContinue reading “The strange barbers of Yoshiwara”

Japanese Chicken Soup for the Soul

When it’s cold and wet and dark outside, people in Japan long for comfort food just as much as we do, and this chicken soup will warm you right down to your toes. It’s comforting, but a little bit different, all at the same time. Serves: 4-6 12 oz. (340g) marinated chicken pieces (recipe below)Continue reading “Japanese Chicken Soup for the Soul”

40,000 dolls dressed in Imperial court robes? Yes, please!

Katsuura Doll Festival in Katsuura, Chiba Every year, the town of Katsuura puts on a Girls’ Day Doll Festival to end all doll festivals. Nearly 40,000 magnificently attired hina-sama suddenly appear all over town, in displays that are truly jaw-dropping. Just for comparison, here’s a typical Girls’ Day set, displayed on the traditional red steps.Continue reading “40,000 dolls dressed in Imperial court robes? Yes, please!”


Click on photo to read the feature Tasty Simmered Ginger Pork This Japanese winter favorite (called shōga-yaki in Japan) is fast, easy, and will make your kitchen smell delicious while you’re cooking! It’s utterly foolproof, and uses only a few ingredients that are easy to get anywhere…read more • Thousands of candle-lit igloos turn this village intoContinue reading “FEBRUARY 2020”