By Avi Landau I have long extolled the virtues of the contemporary Japanese restroom. There is undoubtedly no other country I would rather be in WHEN NATURE CALLS while out somewhere about town. Stalls are immaculately clean and spacious, and seats are heated. More often than not you will find a control panel on the… Read More Wall-Charts Above Urinals Help Men`s-Room Users Monitor Hydration Levels
By Avi Landau Recently, a little pottery workshop has opened up along a street which I frequently pass, in Tsukuba’s Saiki neighborhood. In the early mornings I have sometimes seen the proprietress solemnly sweeping out front, getting ready to start the day. I have not yet been INSIDE to find out what kind of classes they… Read More MORIJIO Salt Piles (盛塩)- A Deeper Look
By Avi Landau Though the vernal and autumnal equinoxes have been designated national holidays in Japan (it is around these days that it is customary to visit and clean the family graves), the winter and especially the summer solstices usually go by without any notice. Those with this year’s Japanese calendar might notice the characters… Read More Make the Summer Solstice (June 21) Meaningful
By Avi Landau A wallet, necktie or new set of golf clubs are fine Father’s Day gifts. But nothing brings a bigger smile to a dad’s face than his portrait executed in crayon by his own toddler. And what better subject is there for all the budding young Hokusai’s and Sharaku‘s out there than that… Read More Faces for Father`s Day- and a bit on the history of that special day as it is celebrated in Japan
By Avi Landau There are about a hundred types of AZAMI (thistle) in Japan, and as you can imagine, it is not an easy task to identify any particular one of them out of this great number. However, only one AZAMI can be found blooming at this time of year ( spring and early summer)- the NO-AZAMI (cirsium japonicum), which… Read More Some Prefer Nettles- No-Azami (野薊), The First Thistles Of The Year- Beautiful AND (as most thistles are- ) Edible !
As I grew up, I also grew fond of eggplant. At first, I always associated this vegetable with ITALY and Italian cuisine, as it was in New York`s numerous Sicilian and Neopolitan-style restaurants that I first learned to savor this vegetables unique texture and flavor, especially in the form of one of my all-time favorite dishes-… Read More One of Japanese Summer`s Representative Veggies, NASU (eggplant) Is Versatile,Tasty, Culturally Significant, AND Has Beautiful Flowers
By Avi Landau Kofun (古墳), the ancient burial mounds which were erected in various shapes and sizes in Japan between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD, help define Japanese history and the Japanese landscape. Their Golden Age, a period between the 4th and 6th Centuries is actually named after them- The Kofun Period (KOFUN JIDAI), and because these mounds are… Read More Tsukuba U. Archaeologists Made HAIRY Discovery in Niihari – an intact MIZURA (みずら) side-lock!
By Avi Landau It won`t be easy finding a song with a more impressive bass and drum intro – I can tell you that. This is another of our songs born out of a Hase G bass-line creation. When I first heard him fooling around with it, I knew we had to turn it into… Read More Revolving Door – a song by the TenGooz for Bloomsday (June 16th)
By Avi Landau The Meiji Period (1868-1912), during which Japan, through a successful policy of intensive modernization and westernization, was able to rise up from the isolated backwater it had been, to the ranks of a world power, is certainly one of the most dramatic and interesting ages, not only in Japanese history – but… Read More Double Impact: The Art of Meiji Japan – at the University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, in Ueno (now closed)
By Avi Landau Long before I ever had any plan of coming to study and live in Japan, I thought of Japanese religion almost exclusively in terms of Zen Buddhism- with it`s meditation and all sorts spiritual training – including archery, swordsmanship and the tea ceremony (which I had read about in several English language… Read More Treasures of Mt. Koya (高野山の名宝) – on display at the Suntory Museum in Tokyo (now finished) – sublime models for the more rustic art found at Tsukuba`s many Shingon-Sect Temples