Savory Japanese Beef & Vegetables/Curry Rice

This month’s recipe delivers a leftovers transformation that might be even better than the first night! Savory Beef & Vegetable Simmer Makes 4 servings (or two servings the first night, and two the second) 4 potatoes, peeled2 carrots, peeled2 onions, peeled12 oz. (340g) flavorful beef (I use ribeye)2.5 c. (600ml) dashi (Japanese soup stock, which can beContinue reading “Savory Japanese Beef & Vegetables/Curry Rice”

How can Oreos be more Japanese than sumo wrestlers?

In last month’s Japanagram, we talked about turning foreign things Japanese, but I bet you never thought that the most extreme example of that might be…sumo. Foreigners have dominated this most sacred of Japanese sports since 1990. This photo, for example, is Asashoryu, the Mongolian who introduced revolutionary – and, for a while, unstoppable – techniques based onContinue reading “How can Oreos be more Japanese than sumo wrestlers?”

Did you win the Jan-Feb book giveaway?

If you recognize your email, congratulations! You just won a copy of The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi! If you think this is you, shoot a message to and tell me if you’d like an ebook or paperback (and if paperback, let me know a mailing address you’d like it sent to) and I’ll getContinue reading “Did you win the Jan-Feb book giveaway?”

Let’s hike through bowers of flowers

Shiofune Kannon-ji Temple in Ome Every April, this temple’s kilometers upon kilometers of hiking trails look out on riotously blooming azaleas, as far as the eye can see. Around every bend, each view is more jaw-dropping than the last. Shiofune Kannon-ji is out in Ome, about an hour and a half train ride from Shinjuku (which makesContinue reading “Let’s hike through bowers of flowers”

The Wizard of Oz is alive and well

…and living in Japan Behold the Japanese train ticket vending machine, which is about as close to infallible as a machine can get. You stick in your money, and—unlike the ticket machine I once encountered in San Francisco, which rained down $14.00 IN CHANGE like some sort of demented Vegas slot machine—even if you putContinue reading “The Wizard of Oz is alive and well”

Fiddler on the Roof…in Japanese

Japanese musicals: So far off Broadway, they’re an art form in themselves There’s nothing more entertaining than a good old-fashioned musical, performed by an all-Japanese cast. Boggle along with me as they tackle these classics of stage and screen… Mozart-san Yep, it’s the thoroughly be-wigged, all-Japanese production of Amadeus. • Just a spoonful of nattōContinue reading “Fiddler on the Roof…in Japanese”

Sweet Sesame Greens

Horensō Goma-ae This magical Japanese way to serve up spinach reduces an entire day’s worth of virtuous greens to a few delicious bites that will leave your family asking if there’s more. Yes, it’s that good. (And it’s fast! Five ingredients, fifteen minutes.) Ingredients: Serves 4 8 oz. (227g) baby spinach leaves 1/4 cup (35g)Continue reading “Sweet Sesame Greens”

All I Asking For Is My Body

By Milton Murayama Setting & details: ⭐⭐⭐⭐Authenticity of Japanese characters & dialogue: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Translation quality: N/AEntertainment value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐My recommendation: Told by a Japanese-American boy caught between cultures, this entertaining and poignant memoir spotlights the traditions and ways of thinking (both the sublime and the ridiculous) that Japanese emigrants take with them wherever they go. “All IContinue reading “All I Asking For Is My Body”

JAN-FEB 2022

Click on photo or link to read the feature Japanese Home Cooking: Spicy Japanese Eggplant One day in Tokyo, I was at a lunch made by the women in this crazy Japanese women’s club I belong to. When I tasted the eggplant dish, I moaned with delight and said, “OMG who made this? It isContinue reading “JAN-FEB 2022”

MAR-APR 2021

Click on photo or link to read the feature Why, Japan, Why?: Japanese ceremonies we didn’t know we needed Everybody knows about Japan’s famous tea ceremony, and of course they also mark weddings, funerals and graduations with appropriate pomp, but the Japanese have ceremonies for all kinds of great things besides the biggies…read more • BeyondContinue reading “MAR-APR 2021”