Jen Kimono

Welcome!   Asian Lifestyle Design is about sharing Asian customs, traditions, and lifestyles.

Hi, I’m Jenny Nakao Hones, a third generation Japanese American, born in Hawaii and raised in Tokyo.  As one of seven children, I am number five.  Coming from a large family, with many relatives, we learn to survive among the crowd!  Growing up, our family would always have large gatherings and people would be coming and going all the time.  My parents also came from big families so this was all very comfortable, because that’s the only thing we knew.

My childhood is full of fond memories of our mom cooking large portions of good Asian food for all us kids, while we ran around in our shorts and slippers.  Food and family were and still are a big part of our life.   As a home economics major, my mom was also good at keeping us occupied with activities, from arts and crafts to sports.  But, most of all, she was the one who shared her love of Hawaiian and Japanese culture with us.

Us kids went to the international schools in Tokyo.  I believe that’s what contributed to shape our whole family’s love for cultures.  Our friends were from all parts of the world and at the time it seemed so normal.   Everyone followed their own cultural practices and everyone had their own national costume.   At home, we played with the neighborhood Japanese kids, running up and down our little street and going to the local osembei (rice cracker) shop.  Life was simple then.

As time went on, I ended up going back to the states to attend college and then went back to Tokyo and got side tracked.  Along the way I met my husband, who is English from Bath.  Due to his job we moved to Singapore, Kuwait, then ended up near Seattle.  We have been blessed with three sons.  They have all left home now and we are empty nesters.  We are slowly adjusting to life without them.  For a while I was a bit concerned about what I’d do once they all go.  But who knew I’d like blogging….

My name is Jenny Nakao Hones and this is my blog where I share Asian culture and Asian lifestyles, from an Asian American perspective.   Because our family has moved around, I found that my feelings often change depending on where I lived.  When in Japan, I missed American culture, yet while in the States I now miss Japanese culture.  And the older I get, the more I appreciate and want to learn about not only Japanese culture but all cultures.   While living in a suburb of Seattle, Washington, I began to study Form School Feng Shui from a Taiwanese master, Dr. Shan-Tung Hsu.  Over the years, Dr. Hsu has taught me much about Chinese philosophy and culture, which has been so wonderful.  I am most grateful for his continued guidance.   Dr. Hsu and I have now published an e-book, Feng Shui:  Truths, Myths & Misconceptions that I hope you will all read.  And the learning never ends.

As parents we try our best to preserve all our cultures in the best way we can, with an open mind and an open heart.  Family is a big part of my life, so is my and my husband’s heritage.  I have found that as the world becomes smaller, we can all enrich our lives from many cultures.  This also helps us from making uneducated assumptions about others.    While continuing to enjoy your “home” country traditions, I would like to share Asian ideas and tips on culture, food and lifestyle ideas to both Asians and non-Asians alike.

First and foremost I am a mom.   Also, as interior designer at 3 Frogs Design, I enjoy all aspects of the home.  Through years of study with Master Hsu, I am also a certified Feng Shui consultant from the Blue Mountain Feng Shui Institute.

As empty nesters, our lives have taken a turn.  My husband decided that he wanted to be a farmer!  So, we sold our home and moved to the country.  We are still in the process of trying to figure this all out.  But, basically we have chosen to live a life that we feel good about.  I’m still adjusting, but it’s been a welcome adjustment.  I’ll keep you updated as we move along this life long journey.

What you will probably notice is I am extremely practical and like things kept simple.  However, that doesn,t mean I have to give up on design.   From a feng shui perspective, good feng shui is economical, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and has good energy!

Thank you for stopping by and please do share your comments and suggestions.  You can also contact me at Jenny@Asianlifestyledesign.com.

In harmony!




  1. Pingback: My Blog is Moving: AsianLifestyleDesign.com | 3 Frogs Design

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention About | Asian Lifestyle Design -- Topsy.com

  3. Hello Jenny,

    I was wondering around and noticed your blog. We seem to have similar interests, but with slightly different niches. Both of our blogs are relatively new, so maybe we can guest write or help each other out sometime. Have a great day!

    • Hi Ben,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I went to your Asianliving.me blog and you are right, I love it! We do have similar interests so I’m going to add you to my blog roll! Yes, I would love to guest post and to have you add a Chinese touch to my blog too! Have a great day too!

  4. I love your blog and the fabulous video on onigiri making! Such clarity and you make it look all so simple and can’t wait to try it myself.
    Here in NY, craving for Japonaise foods.
    Thank you!

  5. Hi Jenny – love your blog and especially the recipes! I will definitely give them a try and also recommend this blog to my brother who is in Maryland and really interested in Feng Shui.

  6. @Ben: Great blog Ben, I added AsianLiving.me to my blogroll!
    @Norine: Domo domo – must make more videos!
    @Jane: Thanks for stopping by and for recommending it to your brother. Many in Australia have an interest in feng shui too.

  7. Hi Jenny,

    My name is Anna and I am an Interior Designer in the Los Angeles area. Our firm is doing a high end model home project that has a primarly Chinese/American buyer. I was wondering if you had any advice or insight that would help me target this buyers needs.

    Thank you so much for all your help!

  8. Hi Anna,
    Thanks for dropping by. From a feng shui perspective, do not place mirrors directly across the front door, as it does not welcome qi energy. Also, make sure to have plenty of live plants inside the home. If you do have a water feature outside, be aware that the water should be flowing toward the home, not away as water is a metaphor for wealth. In Chinese culture, a red door is auspicious, please read my post on that: http://asianlifestyledesign.com/2010/04/17/feng-shui-red-door-auspicious/
    Hope this helps.

  9. Hi Jenny,

    I’m currently in nursing school (RN to BSN)and enrolled in a Trans-culture nursing class. Our discussion question this week is ; What is Feng Shui and how can it be incorporated into the healthcare setting for an Asian client? As I was searching I found your blog. Can you give me some help with the later of the question. Or can you tell me your personal experience in the healthcare setting (what would of been better care by the nurse to support your cultural belief’s, etc.) I’ve been a nurse for nine years and live NC. In my area of practice, we don’t work with the Asian population much. Thanks in advance for any help

  10. Hi Brigitte,
    Good question. Feng shui today is a mixed bag of superstitions, folklore, customs and true feng shui practices. There are many Asian trinkets and gadgets that have various meanings depending on where in Asia one is from.
    In general, there are some tips that you can incorporate. First is the position of the bed. It’s best for the patient to be in a position where they can see the door. This causes less anxiety if they know who is coming and going. Second, if they can see out a window, it is believed they will recover more quickly because it connects them to nature. In Japan, observing greenery from nature is thought to be healing. There is an old wives tale, that says if you have a birthmark near your eyes and you look at natures greenery it will slowly disappear!
    From a Japanese custom perspective, they say never bring a potted plant to a hospital room as a gift because it has roots. This symbolizes growing roots at the hospital meaning, you will never be able to leave! The best is to bring cut flowers. But again there are certain rules. White flowers are not appropriate as they are for funerals, so yellow is considered cheerful and a good choice. Also, avoid bringing four flowers because the number four, pronounced “Shi” has a homonym that means “death”, five is always considered a good number. Good luck in your nursing studies and hope this helps!

  11. HI Jenny,
    I just stumbled upon your blog and I am really enjoying it. You write about many topics that are near and dear to my heart. I look forward to following your blog and reading much more in the future. Thanks for putting together such an interesting, down to earth blog. Like you, I have also lived between different cultures for much of my life – Japan, the US and England. It’s fun to see how that lives in you. Sincerely, Sheila

  12. Hi Sheila,
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m so glad that you are enjoying it and can relate. Many of us who have moved often feel like we don’t belong, because we don’t fit in any category. I want you feel at home here and please feel free to comment or even send a guest post! I’m sure you have many interesting stories to share! Warm regards.

  13. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am now not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else recognize such distinct approximately my trouble. You are incredible! Thank you!

  14. Pingback: Green Beans with Black Sesame Seeds | Asian Lifestyle Design

  15. Hey Jenny,
    I’ve got to say this site is great! I’m writing a research paper on Japan and you have been such a great help! 🙂

  16. Hi Jenny.

    I just dropped into your blog. Its educated and sophisticated.
    My blog is little more niche market, focus on Japanese snack and mini toy.

    Oops. its quite big EQ during writing this email.

    BTW, I would be much appreciated if we help each other.


    • Hi Hiro,
      Heard about the earthquake in Japan, hope all is well there. Be safe.
      Thanks for stopping by! I checked out your blog too. Very fun!
      Yes, of course we can help each other. I will email you.

  17. Hi there,

    I am representing In Style Langkawi, a one-of-a-kind lifestyle tradeshow to be held on the beautiful island of Langkawi in September this year. Was wondering if I can send you some info that you can consider for a write-up perhaps? Looking forward to hearing from you

    Truth Communications

  18. I am curious to read your page here as to why you consider your background as Asian and not Japanese? Since I believe that many Asian countries have diverse customs and histories and should not be lumped together as one… For example, when you write about Asian architecture or the custom of taking one’s shoes off upon entering a home… Is it Pan-Asian? Or is this a habit specific to certain countries and does not apply to the others?

  19. @Andora, Thanks for dropping by. I don’t know much about Langkawi but if you’d like, please send it to Jenny@asianlifestyledesign.com

    @RF: I understand why you question me. I guess I do consider myself Japanese, but because I attended an international school, growing up, my group of friends were all a mixture of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American, etc.. Yes, we had different cultural traditions but I never felt we were very different. We all played at each other’s homes and I believe although every family had different backgrounds, we had very similar values. Even today, I study under my Taiwanese master, Dr. Hsu, and we also have a similar approach to life. …as for taking off one’s shoes, all my Asian friends, Korean, Chinese, Pilipino, Vietnamese & Japanese, take their shoes off. But, yes, you have a point….my kids call me ‘old school’, so maybe my beliefs are ‘old school’.

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published