Apologies everyone for my long absence from posting in this blog! Last November we moved home. At the same time my wife was operated on for Brain Cancer, so kendo took a back seat.
In December I got the news that I have Stomach Cancer (one of Japan’s most popular). For a lifetime henna gaijin, it seems a remarkably appropriate disease. My lack of blogging is not so much a direct response to my illness, but for me training, teaching and writing are inextricably linked and I need the stimulation of all 3 (4 with refereeing)
Thanks to great medical care and friend and family support I am continuing to enjoy life. I am still doing the job I enjoy and although I have given up on the big international engagements. I am still keeping up with many of my kendo commitments.
In the last two weeks I have taught and practised in a kendo class in Spain, run a referee’s seminar in Spain been shinpan shunin at Sunday’s Londo Cup and aim to run the big Watchet Kendo seminar in the UKs Somerset at the end of this month, with the help of some great 7th and 6th dan teachers. Best of all my buddy of 40 years from Japan, Hayashi Kyozo, kyoshi, hachidan is coming to the UK at the beginning of June, so I am hoping to be fit enough to receive yet another beating.
The one thing I do miss is my regular attendance at Mumeishi, either because of downsides in my chemotherapy cycle, or because the motorway from my home is permanently under repair at night and the journey home, causing me to break the curfew applied by my ever-caring wife. Still I try to get there when I can, and I am writing this now to congratulate …continue reading
Source: Japan Kaleidoskop
Totoya Hokkei 魚屋 北渓 (1780–1850) painted this picture in 1827. His ukiyo-e are often combined with poems as he illustrated several books. He is well-known as an excellent pupil of Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾 北斎.
Source: Manga Therapy
2017 is a year I will always remember with regards to anime conventions. The Bay
Around late summer 2011, I tweeted at a
Around 2015, things changed slowly. I
It’s almost the end of November and now with shorter days and cooler nights, it’s time to put away your lighter fabrics and tail-end of summer pieces and prepare for crisper, cooler weather. The following eight wardrobe staples, confirmed by designers in Japan and around the world, will take you through this fall-winter season in style! Ready?!
1. It’s All About Red
This season, fashion is going rouge, very rouge. From long trench coats, furry sweaters, sleek trousers and even sexy knee-high boots, red is the color for the season. With hues like scarlet, crimson, burgundy, vermilion, and ruby, the color is not only a standout key trend of the season but also a power look.
Recommended item: H&M Red Wool Coat, ¥15,999.
2. The Classic Madame Fur (or faux fur)
Vintage furs are one of this fall’s key items to have ready to wear! And when the temperatures drop sharply, nothing is better than a warm fur to keep you feeling bundled, cozy, and still runway-ready! Perfect with anything from a classic evening dress to even that casual but stylish look of denim, pumps and a blouse, fur coats are wonderful because they really make anything you are wearing underneath look posh and very runway-worthy. Simple lines, broad shoulders, nothing overly embellished or stylized is the way to go this season.
Recommended item: Uniqlo, Fur Touch-Shoulder Bag, ¥1,990.
3. Winter Florals
We saw florals this spring and then again in …continue reading
Japan is a volcanically active country and that has given rise to natural hot springs known as onsen. The country is 75% mountainous, many of those volcanic in nature. As a result, Japan boasts more than 3,000 hot springs. These hot springs are concentrated in the volcanic regions of Kyūshū,Chūbu, Tōhoku and Hokkaidō . There are also some hot springs that come from radioactive elements underground. Many Onsens have outdoor bath called 露天風呂 rotenburo allowing bathers to relish the view of the natural landscape. To be able to qualify as a legitimate onsen, the water must contain 19 different minerals and include certain levels of hydrogen ion, fluorine ion, and sulfur as specified by the Onsen Law enacted by the Japanese government in 1948.
Some onsen hot springs can be enjoyed through the ryokan, a traditional Japanese-style inn. This is the best place to experience an onsen while appreciating many elements of Japanese culture. They often feature Japanese-style wooden architecture and zen gardens that embody the Japanese principle of Wabi Sabi. Inns give guests a yukata (a thin summer kimono) and they can sleep in traditional Japanese-style rooms furnished with futon on tatami mats.
A sentō is a simple public bath that serves to fulfill the daily need for hygiene. It literally translates to “coin” (a sen is a discontinued coin worth 1/100¥) and “hot water”. Nowadays, entrance to an average sentō in Tokyo costs ¥450. When entering a sentō, guests will be greeted by the manager and they would need to pay an entrance fee. They will then be given a locker key with a chain so that it can be worn on the wrist or ankle. The guests will then proceed to a changing room depending on their gender where they will …continue reading