Japanese New Years Traditions

Now that Christmas has come and gone, in a Japanese household, we have to start thinking of the biggest holiday of the year, New Years or Oshogatsu.  January 1st, is called Gan jitsu.  In the olden days, it was thought that the new year’s god, Toshigami-sama,  brought happiness and good harvest.  So, to welcome this …

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Modern Showers vs. the Japanese Soaking Tub?

I must admit that I take water for granted.  Hot water for baths and showers, adjustable temperatures for laundry, and filtered iced water from the refrigerator are all conveniences that we enjoy with the push of a button or turn of a knob.  As the end user, I don’t really think about how this all …

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The Season for Gift Wrapping – Asian Accents with Origami

Gift wrapping in Japan is an art.  However, many of us don’t have the talent or fine motor skills to create such beautifully wrapped creations–including me…    To understand how this is a “skill” you have to watch this Japanese video.    She shows us how the Japanese department stores wrap their boxes.  As you will see, it’s …

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flower, plant, nature

Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition

Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, has many different schools of thought.  On Asian Lifestyle Design, we have shown arrangements from Ikenobo and Ryuseiha Schools.  Today, I’d like to introduce another school called Sogetsu.  Compared to Ikenobo, the original school of ikebana with a 550 year history, the Ryuseiha School is 120 years old, …

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Ikenobo Ikebana Grand Master Demonstration

Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arrangement has a history of over 500 years.  Last week my girlfriend invited me to a demonstration by the 45th Headmaster of the Ikenobo Ikebana School, Sen’ei Ikenobo.   He was in Seattle to help celebrate the local Ikenobo Lake Washington’s 10th anniversary.  This was a wonderful experience and …

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Panama Hotel coffee shop

Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel Part VIII

This is the conclusion of the series of  Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel: A Nisei Immigrant Story Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII From Mr. Hori’s stories, I tried to imagine camp life in the middle of the Idaho desert.  Especially, this being the age of information,I wondered if being interned was …

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Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel Part VII

Continuation from the series of Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel: A Nisei Immigrant Story Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI In the fall of 1943, the Japanese internees at Puyallup, Washington were bused to the train tracks in Puyallup, and travelled by train to their permanent internment camp called Minidoka Relocation Camp in Hunt, …

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images at Panama Hotel

Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel Part VI

Continuation from the series of Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel: A Nisei Immigrant Story Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V The government began sending a notice to each family informing them to report with their belongings on a designated day at a specific location. Mr. Hori recalls waiting in line on 8th Avenue …

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