Remembering Ashitaba (angelicus keiskei) Many years ago my wife and I visited the Japanese island of Hachijojima, where the owner of our modest lodgings introduced us to an herbal tea we had never tasted. As we sipped the slightly resinous brew I asked a silly question; where was this plant cultivated? He pointed out … Continue reading The Tomorrowleaf Inn
The Listening Game In a Kodo workshop, there are more challenges than simply identifying different scents. You must grind your own india ink, take notes with a calligraphy brush, and listen very carefully. On the other hand, you will not be asked to sit seiza - though you may do so if you wish. Ask your average Japanese … Continue reading Kodo – the Way of Incense
I recently joined Eijiro Ozaki in a coffee shop in Beverly Hills to talk about his career as a screen and theater actor in Japan and the U.S. He had just finished a high-energy, forty-minute seminar with a group of visiting Japanese college students, an event he kindly invited me to observe. He has … Continue reading To Imagine without Limits
I've been talking about this place ever since I got back from my recent visit to Japan. Perhaps it cast a spell on me! Usuki is an old castle town about an hour south of Oita, Japan, and it is surely one of the prettiest places in the prefecture, if not on the entire island … Continue reading Usuki calling…
Visiting Japan, and tired of all the bland and overpriced food and drinks they're serving you in Tokyo’s tourist traps? Afraid to try one of those ubiquitous “hole in the wall” places you see everywhere else because you don’t speak Japanese, fear they might be inhabited by trolls, and haven’t developed a taste for spicy sea … Continue reading Good Vibes at Onnoji
Los Angeles Anime Convention I did some Lyft driving on July 1, the first day of the Anime Convention, and I had the chance to take a young Marine (yes, USMC) in a mophead silver wig, blue boa and knee boots there, and then pick up a few ladies in full cosplay outfits and return them to Koreatown. … Continue reading Cosplay in LA!
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