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Waitrose Sushi

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When I first came back to England I was quite dismayed to discover how awful Tesco’s sushi was. Living in a small town as I was at the time, Tesco was my only option, and I feared I would never eat good sushi at home again. I found that Marks & Spencer’s sushi was marginally [...]

Japan: Clichés and Stereotypes

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What do you think of when you think of Japan? What words would you use to describe Japan? I’m sure most people would think of technology, Hello Kitty, sushi, and maybe geisha. They would use words like “bright”, “colourful”, “crazy”, and “strange”. I’m sure I’ve used a lot of these words and ideas, and I [...]

Weekly Shiritori #4

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Last week’s post was about Shikoku (しこく / 四国), so this week I need to start with く (ku). I didn’t get any suggestions from anyone this week, so I decided to be a bit old-school and search through the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan which is in my office to get some inspiration. In the end, … Continue reading »

Welcome to the redesign!

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Haikugirl’s Japan has been down for maintenance today in order to undergo a little freshen up. This site has been running since 2007, and things had got a bit cluttered up, so I thought it was time for a de-junk. I hope you like the new look! Here are a few notes about the key … Continue reading »

Haiku at Hyper Japan

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I was very excited to read in the Hyper Japan newsletter this week that there will be haiku at Hyper Japan! The newsletter said: Haiku at HYPER JAPAN You’ve probably all heard of haiku, that super short form of poetry consisting of 17 syllables (in Japanese), but how many of you have actually tried writing … Continue reading »

Monthly Recipe: Veggie Okonomiyaki

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This year I’m going to try to cook at least one new Japanese dish a month, and I will be sharing the recipes with you. This month I cooked an old favourite which I have been trying to improve every time I cook it. The recipe came from the Internet originally, but I’ve changed it … Continue reading »

“Image Langue: Linear Code” at the ICN gallery

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The current exhibition at the ICN gallery in Shoreditch is “Image Langue: Linear Code“  by artist Gen Miyamura. Shizuoka born Miyamura has created works which draw on the traditional Bokusho-style of calligraphy, and create a new kind of abstract expressionism. In this exhibition, “Image Langue: Linear Code”, Miyamura has built on his original dot codes, … Continue reading »

Reasons to visit Japan #2

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There are so many reasons to visit Japan, and here’s another one: it’s just so cheap at the moment!  I noticed a special offer on the Japan Travel Centre website today for an Air France London to Tokyo flight for just £529 return! KLM also appeared to be matching that price, with a whole host … Continue reading »

Competition: Win Hyper Japan tickets from Yakult!!

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Yakult is giving away free tickets to Hyper Japan 2012 Spring – Friday 24 February 2012 or Saturday 25 February 2012! From the 24-26 February Yakult’s friendly staff will be on hand at Hyper Japan 2012 Spring at Brompton Hall, in London’s Earls Court where they will be giving out free samples and chatting to … Continue reading »

Book Review: Blossoms & Shadows by Lian Hearn

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I recently read “Blossoms & Shadows” by Lian Hearn and reviewed it for the Japan Society of the UK. Click on the picture below to go to their site and read the review. Here’s an extract from “Blossoms & Shadows”, in which the narrator, Tsuru, talks about her interest in being a doctor: My father … Continue reading »

Weekly Shiritori #5

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Last week’s post was about kumihimo (くみひも / 組紐), so this week I need to start with も (mo). I got quite excited when I thought about this week’s topic as I realised I had another opportunity to write about Japanese spirits and monsters. I decided to write about… Mononoke (もののけ / 物の怪)  Many of you will … Continue reading »

Joji Hirota at the Destinations Travel Show

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Yesterday I went to the Destinations Holiday & Travel Show at Earl’s Court. Even though I can’t really afford a holiday this year, I thought I would go for some inspiration (plus I had a free ticket!). I enjoyed wandering around and looking at brochures for far away destinations but, at the end of the … Continue reading »

Manga Jiman 2011 Winners Announced

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I don’t often write about manga (Japanese or Japanese influenced comics) here at Haikugirl’s Japan. That’s not because I don’t like manga. I do like manga (or at least manga-style art), but I don’t know much about it. However, one recent competition has caught my eye: Manga Jiman 2011. This yearly competition, run by the … Continue reading »

Back to school… again!

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As some of you will recall, last October I started taking a Japanese evening class again. Determined to at least maintain my language skills (if not improve them), I persisted with the class. However, I found the style of the lesson terribly disappointing, and can honestly say I didn’t learn a thing in the eight … Continue reading »

You Are Not Forgotten: An event to remember the people affected by the tsunami

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Seven Beach Aid presents You Are Not Forgotten Sunday 11th March 2012 In association with Golders Green Parish Church 14:00 – 16:30 (doors open at 13:30) Admission free (Golders Green Parish Church, West Heath Drive, London, NW11 7QG) One year on from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami which devastated so much of the coastal area … Continue reading »

Weekly Shiritori #6

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Last week’s post was about mononoke (もののけ / 物の怪), so this week I need to start with け (ke). I decided to write about… Kendo (けんどう / 剣道)  Kendo is a Japanese martial art. If you can read the kanji, it is easy to understand what kind of martial art kendo is. The first character, 剣, means … Continue reading »

A taste of Valentine’s Day in Japan

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Have you ever wondered what Valentine’s Day is like in Japan, and how different it is to the UK? Well, at first glance it doesn’t seem that different. It’s basically an excuse to buy chocolate, and lots of it! The shops fill up with more cute candy than you can shake a chopstick at, although … Continue reading »

Theatre Review: The Bee

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Just as I was about to write this review, just as I thought I had got my head around everything I saw in the theatre yesterday, I noticed one small fact I had failed to pick up on before. I had thought that the cast of The Bee at the Soho Theatre was entirely male. It … Continue reading »

Competition: Hyper Japan tickets still up for grabs!

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Hyper Japan 2012 Spring is only days away now! If you haven’t got your ticket yet, it’s not to late to try and win one from Yakult… Yakult is giving away free tickets to Hyper Japan 2012 Spring – Friday 24 February 2012 or Saturday 25 February 2012! From the 24-26 February Yakult’s friendly staff … Continue reading »

Foreign bloggers enlisted to revive tourism in northeastern Japan

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I read with great interest today that, according to the Mainichi Newspaper (and many other sources!), “Japan’s Foreign Ministry is inviting prominent overseas bloggers and twitterers to visit areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami”. The article said, “The ministry aims to invite a total of over 10 such communicators by the end … Continue reading »