the magic of greeting

あいさつ - aisatsu - 挨拶 greeting, well-wishing, salutation, recognize 挨 - push open, greeting 拶 - be imminent, a message “...greetings make others feel happy, since it shows that you acknowledge them.”  (Japan Today) In the four minutes we had between classes in middle school, I don't recall ever really greeting anyone in any kind of conscious... Continue Reading →


Before you sign your life away….

...take a pause and make sure your jitsuin (実印, official personal seal - the kanji is "reality/truth" + "seal/stamp") is facing the right way. There are several different types of inkan or "seals" that bear one's name in Japan. They're used much like our signatures in the U.S. Because Japan is a cash-based society however,... Continue Reading →

miso potatoes

I was craving potatoes the other day and couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with them. Seeing as I don't have an oven, baking was out. Frying is good but I wanted some kind of flavor on them. No ketchup in the house. But miso goes well on everything to me these days.... Continue Reading →

freaky fruits

You really can't bring home the fruit unless you bring home the bacon. Like a lot of bacon. In some cases, $200 for a muskmelon, or over $100 for a bunch of grapes. "But MOM, these grapes are PERFECT and they match my purple shoes!" And then they're eaten and they're gone. Really though, these... Continue Reading →

Is that a nice T-shirt?

The other day in class, we were covering a page in the textbook where a teacher says to a student, "That's a nice T-shirt!", when a question arose. Was it actually a nice T-shirt? I didn't think it was anything special. It had some kanji written on it, which translated to something like "Health First!",... Continue Reading →

Hijiki Salad

  My aunt gave me some hijiki and my extended family gave me an incredible bilingual cookbook with a recipe for hijiki salad. It didn't come out as good as hers but she probably put more love (read: sugar/mirin) in than I did. Next time I want to try it with honey. Need first a... Continue Reading →

Oh btw, I’m in Japan now?

I'm two months, officially as of two days ago, into my tenure as an ALT with the JET program. It finally happened four years after I first applied when graduating from college. Guess they felt I was ready now. Hope they were right. I'm stationed in Kumamoto, on the southern island of Kyushu - a... Continue Reading →

Sundays, in Japan

One of the goals for this year was to tackle “general adulting,” including but not limited to creating routines, figuring out an appropriate wardrobe, staying organized…. Adulthood is really just those things, right? What is it if not just a label we put on a state of mind that should be attained by some arbitrary... Continue Reading →

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