Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Arigato (Thank You), Japan

Dear Friends,

Although I am a certifiable "homebody," I love to armchair travel through books, magazines, and good programs and videos. That way I don't have to get someone to watch the animals while I'm gone (and it's cheaper)!

For the past year we've been learning about Japan, and we've also eaten lots of Japanese food. Every country has its pluses and minuses, but the old-style Japan seems to have a more serene, peaceful way of living in the world. Here are some of the things that I love~

Venetia's Essays is a lovely, slow-paced Japanese television series that reminds us to slow down and savor the little things in life. She is an herbalist, so there are lots of nice recipes and ideas, too.

This clever way of Notebook organizing

Decorative Washi Tape!


"Sakura" means "cherry blossom" in Japan, and is said to be the symbol of the Emperor. In spring, it is traditional to picnic where the cherry trees are blooming.
(image from the internet)
Sakura #1

The philosophy of wabi-sabi
wabi-sabi 侘寂
The word "Kawaii" 
Definition: "Kawaii" in Japanese has a broader definition than the English word "cute". When applied to pop culture, "cute" will suffice; however "kawaii" refers primarily to the affection of a parent toward a child coupled with the protectiveness for the innocent and weak.

Bento Boxes
Here is a video explaining Obento~

We think this Totoro Bento Box is kawaii!!

Soba noodles, made from buckwheat, are good for diabetics.
They are slurped in Japan while eating, to enhance the flavor. Combined with miso (fermented soybean/barley paste)  and pickled "ume," most meals are naturally high in probiotics and are easily digested.

Traditional Japanese knives are the best ever! They are super-sharp, but take a lot of care to keep them from rusting.

I could go on with my list, but I think this is a good representation of the good things we've gleaned from a country far, far away. 

I hope you've enjoyed it!




  1. I so enjoyed reading your post! Going to Okinawa was a high point of my life. The people are so kind and gentle. Everything is presented with beauty and joy... and humility... My favorite memory (besides my son and his wife!) was going to a bakery where no one spoke English. I admired the lovely orchids they had displayed with the goods. One of the young men smiled and shook his head to indicate he didn't know what I was saying, but he understood. Then, he said, "Mama-san?" I nodded "yes" and he held up a finger like "just a sec". In a minute, he returned with a beautifully wrapped angel cake, bowed, and handed it to me and and said the only two English words I heard there, "Mama-son, you, gift." I hugged him and relished the cake! :)

  2. Some lovely philosophies there, Marqueta. Thanks for the link to the show. I'm all caught up on my BBC "farm" shows and am looking for something new. Like you I'm an armchair traveler also. One of the best things about it is that not only can you travel to other parts of the world, you can also time travel. Hope you have a lovely week!


  3. Hello Marqueta, it was lovely to find you had visited, so glad you enjoyed your visit.
    I am smiling to see how all your children are growing up, you have such a happy family and the children are each growing into such beautiful people. It is a joy to see your family so busy having a full and wonderful childhood. Sending you my best wishesxxx Milly

  4. Marqueta, you are the one that got me hooked on the Venetia's Essays!! :-)
    It is fun to come here and see your post about Japan! :-)
    Sending Love warmth and many blessings,xx oo Linnie


Thank you for coming to visit — I look forward to hearing from you!