Potatoes

In Japan, both sweet potatoes (called “satsuma-imo”) and true purple yams (called “daijo” or “beni-imo”) are grown. Boiling and steaming are the most common cooking methods. Also, the use in vegetable tempura is common. Daigaku-imo is a baked sweet potato dessert. Because it is sweet and starchy, it is used in imo-kinton and some other…

尾張 Owari

Sushima, Tenno Festival 津嶋 天王祭り Tsushima Ten’nō matsuri

ねこあつめの家 Neko atsume no ie

  Masaru Sakumoto (Atsushi Ito) is a best selling novelist, but, recently, he has been unable to write. To turn over a new leaf, he moves to a house. Things though do not get better. One day, while Masaru looks at his yard, a cat comes over. Masaru talks to the cat, but the cat…

招き猫 Maneki Neko

The maneki-neko literally “beckoning cat” is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman) which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. In modern times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine depicts a cat (traditionally a calico Japanese Bobtail) beckoning with an upright paw, and is usually displayed in—often at the entrance…

General Akashi Gidayu

Akashi Gidayu was a general under Akechi Mitsuhide. After Mitsuhide had killed Oda Nobunaga in 1582, he sent Gidayu to face the troops that remained loyal to Nobunaga. However, Gidayu was defeated at Amagasaki, a seaside village in present-day Hyogo Prefecture. Remorseful about his failure he disobeys his lord, and is about to commit suicide….

Storyteller’s Zen

Encho was a famous storyteller. His tales of love stirred the hearts of his listeners. When he narrated a story of war, it was as if the listeners themselves were on the field of battle. One day Encho met Yamaoka Tesshu, a layman who had almost embraced masterhood in Zen. “I understand,” said Yamaoka, “you are…

16.Pleasure

Do not let pleasure distract you From meditation, from the way. Free yourself from pleasure and pain. For in craving pleasure or in nursing pain There is only sorrow. Like nothing lest you lose it, Lest it bring you grief and fear. Go beyond likes and dislikes. From passion and desire, Sensuousness and lust, Arise…

Tao Te Ching 67

Some say that my teaching is nonsense Others call it lofty but impractical. But to those who have looked inside themselves, this nonsense makes perfect sense. And to those who put it into practice, this loftiness has roots that go deep. I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your…

a frog wish

May the frog spirit be with me to aid me cleanse and sing while I am passing through the dark swamp of  desire   Photography by Mu

抹茶 Matcha

Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest and the stems and veins are removed in processing. During shaded growth, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more…