Tag 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

Posted in Uncategorized, What the Heck is That? | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Talk Tanuki to Me: CWAJ Luncheon Sept. 10

If you’re in Tokyo on Wednesday Sept. 10, why not pop by the Tokyo American Club for my talk to the College Women’s Association of Japan? I’ll be talking about my “So, What the Heck is That?” column in The Japan Times, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Life in Japan, What the Heck is That? | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Okigusuri 置き薬 – “Use first, pay later” medicine

In my June 18 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about okigusuri 置き薬, a very old way of selling medicine in which a selection of products are left in a home or office without payment or deposit. You use … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hikyaku: the “flying legs” of early Japanese post delivery

In my May 21 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about hikyaku 飛脚, the “flying legs” couriers who moved letters and packages around Japan until the late 19th century when a modern postal system was created. The photo above, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lillian: Week Two ”What’s the difference between Suica and PASMO?”

As I explained in an earlier post, I’ve started a new column in Japan Times ST, a weekly paper for English learners. Here’s the column from April 12.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lillian: Week Two ”What’s the difference between Suica and PASMO?”

Recycling bath water for laundry 風呂水ポンプ 

It was wonderful to have some rain here in Tokyo over the weekend, after 25 straight days with no precipitation. The trees near my apartment look a little happier, but the rainfall did little to alleviate the low water levels … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chindonya: Japan’s musical signboards

In my July 17 column in The Japan Times, I write about chindonya, ちんどう屋 a delightfully wacky form of street advertising that’s making a comeback here in Japan. The picture above provides a slightly better view of the most distinctive of … Continue reading

Posted in What the Heck is That? | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The making of “moshio” seaweed salt 藻塩  

In my June 19 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about moshio, a salt made from seaweed. And in an earlier post, I mentioned an adventure I didn’t explain. Things came together so I’ll share that adventure now. In … Continue reading

Posted in Adventures in Columning, Life in Japan, What the Heck is That? | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yamamoto Motoi’s Saltworks 山本基 

I started this blog to share things I can’t fit into my column in The Japan Times. I’ve got no shortage of material because my research inevitably leads into things that are fascinating but end up being off-topic by the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment