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Month: January 2011

Rice 米

Rice 米

Many Japanese still have rice for all three of their main meals, and while Japan’s food miles are some of the highest – if not the highest – in the world, rice is one of the few foodstuffs in which it is completely self-sufficient. What this means is that almost every square metre of arable land is given over to rice farming, and it’s fascinating to watch the process unfold, from ta-ué (planting / 田植え) in the spring to iné-kari…

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ER 緊急救命室

ER 緊急救命室

I was feeling a bit depressed last week, and at first I thought it was a post-holiday slump or a bout of homesickness. After a while, though, I realised that my depression was caused by the gaping void which had opened up in my life since Mrs M and I finished watching the final season of ER. I was addicted to ER way back in the mid-nineties, and Mrs M caught the bug when a friend of hers lent us…

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Japanese TV – a beginner’s guide

Japanese TV – a beginner’s guide

I had a TV when I first moved to Japan, but apart from the first half of England v Switzerland in Euro 2004, I never watched it. This was simply because I didn’t understand a word that was being said, and in the intervening seven years, to be honest, not a huge amount has changed. TV is the same wherever you go – quick-fire, fast-paced, and with as much information and entertainment packed into as short a time as possible…

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From the archives III

From the archives III

For the past couple of years, a good deal of my Japanese practice has consisted of reading those free newspapers that are published by the Japanese expat community in London, namely News Digest, the thrillingly titled Japan Update Weekly (formerly known as Bay Spo) and Weekly Journey. Weekly Journey is my favourite of the three, and its most interesting feature is a page of bizarre stories  trawled from the week’s news, stories that usually involve bungled crimes or deviant behaviour…

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