Category Archives: What the Heck is That?

Sashimi sides: field-guide to raw fish garnishes

In my Nov. 29 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about what a reader described as the “the stringy piles of daikon radish” that come with sashimi.  As I explained, the daikon is called “tsuma,” written with this character: … Continue reading

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Japanese police: don’t they have something better to do?

You’ve seen them in front of police stations. And outside neighborhood police boxes. Maybe you’ve seen them in busy train stations up on a box looking fierce. Don’t you wonder why Japanese police always seem to be standing around? That … Continue reading

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Is the banner better? You vote!

Those of you with eagle eyes may have already noticed I’ve got a new photo at the top of my blog. (If you hadn’t before, you have now.) Let’s call this #1. To refresh your memory, this is the original … Continue reading

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How to sink your teeth into geniune Kobe beef

In my Dec. 17 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about Kobe beef 神戸ビーフ, focusing on the myths associated with this top-of-the-market Japanese meat. With this blog post, I’d like to help readers who wish to try it for … Continue reading

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Look, then look again: fender mirrors

In my November 19 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about the rather special rear-view mirrors you see on the front of Japanese taxi cabs. I promised to post some photos of vehicles equipped with fender mirrors, including a … Continue reading

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Getting rid of stuff in Japan

In my Sept. 17 column in the Japan Times, I explained why it’s both illegal and unkind to help yourself to something that’s been put out for 粗大ゴミ sodai gomi (over-size trash) collection. Bummer, right? I mean, Japanese throw out the … Continue reading

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Mosquitoes bugging you? 蚊取り線香

In my July 16 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about mosquito coils, which were actually invented in Japan, and promised to show you some of the holders used when burning them. I couldn’t resist the photo above, not … Continue reading

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