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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Three Asian 80/20 Rules for Health

Many in the West may know the 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle.  It states that “80 percent of the results are achieved by 20 percent of  the group or 20 percent of your effort will generate 80 percent of your results.”  According to the Wikipedia ” Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, observed in 1906 that 80% …

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Finding Harmony in Your Life

We live in this digital age where everything is just a finger tip away.  Questions on anything and everything can be answered instantaneously.  Want to know a meaning of a word?  A good restaurant?  directions? title of a song?  artist?  history?  Immediate answers have become the norm. From an Asian philosophical perspective, as a society, we …

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The Water Element and Listening

Chinese philosophy, culture, and traditions are deeply rooted through the influence of the Five-Element or Wu-xing Theory. The five elements are;  Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.  Each element is associated to all things in nature, such as seasons, foods, colors, emotions, organs, and shapes. Although I have been a student of feng shui for …

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How Japan Has Taught Us to be Zen

photo by Stephane D’Alu Zen Buddhism was introduced to Japan by a Japanese monk traveling back from China during the 12th Century. Since then, Zen teachings have become deeply engrained in Japanese life and culture. Ikebana (art of flower arrangement), chado (way of tea), and martial arts are a few examples of how Zen Buddhism …

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shopping, care, bear

Organize Plastic Shopping Bags

Here in Seattle there is a controversial issue regarding plastic shopping bags. The local environmentalists want to ban these bags from supermarkets, retail and convenience stores and charge 5 cents for paper shopping bags.  You can read more about this issue in the Seattle Times article by clicking here. I understand that “plastic” just doesn’t …

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Happy New Year 2011!

Wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! 開けましておめでとう御座います。今年もよろしくお願いします。 Thank you to all those who have taken the time to read my blog and I hope you will continue to visit and subscribe and invite your friends to visit too. When I see the increase in the number of visitors, it makes me …

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Asian Environmentally Friendly Living

In the U.S., everyone is talking about “green”, “sustainable” or “environmentally friendly” design and lifestyles.  Today, LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  Many follow the criteria for LEED qualification when building or remodeling to create a green home. For more information, check …

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tree, hug, love

Are You An Environmentalist?

Last week, good friends of ours invited my husband and me to a talk featuring actor, Ed Begley, Jr. and architect, Matthew Coates at the Seattle Town Hall.  It was titled “Leading the Way toward a sustainable future.” Mr. Begley is a successful actor and an environmentalist.  You can visit his website here.  He easily …

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