Strong in the Rain Paints a Portrait of Survival

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The aftermath of a natural disaster is no simple affair. Even in Japan, a country long accustomed to earthquakes and the tsunamis that inevitably follow, there is an element of unpredictability. The 9.0 magnitude quake that struck on March 11th, 2011, brought with it a tsunami the likes of which had not been seen for 500 years.  Still, it was the nuclear wild card that threw this... Read More

Sustainable Living Tips from Japan: A Review of Azby Brown’s Just Enough

Detail of a screen at Koyasan.

Detail of a screen at Koyasan. As the world faces a future of global warming, increasing economic disparity, and a fiery mix of political turmoils, Azby Brown asks us to take a moment to look back to find the solutions. Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan (Kodansha, 2009) takes readers on an intimate tour of Edo Period Japan (1603-1898). In it, Brown points... Read More

Aroma from the Forests of Japan

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> See all Yuica aroma products > See all Kotoha hair care products Taking Care of Our Forests It is perhaps a little-known fact, but approximately 67% of Japan’s land is covered by trees, making Japan the world’s second most forested country, following Finland. While rainforests in Southeast Asia and South America are fast disappearing, Japan still maintains an abundance... Read More

Growing New Life in Ishinomaki with Peace Boat

At work in one of Peace Boat's gardens. 
Photo courtesy of Ikumi Sasaki.

At work in one of Peace Boat’s gardens.Photo courtesy of Ikumi Sasaki. A garden, as every gardener knows, is more than just plants and dirt. A person might first turn the soil out of a desire to save a few pennies or to taste a rare variety of tomato or pepper. The garden often moves beyond plants and harvest to become a beloved space, one where the cares of the day get worked... Read More

Rebuilding Faith: Fukushima Farmer Finds Support at Tokyo Farmers Market

Takako Kimura at the Nippori Farmers Market.

Takako Kimura at the Nippori Farmers Market in Tokyo. As a customer at Tokyo’s Nippori Farmers Market starts filling the katakuchi (shallow bamboo basket) that Takako Kimura holds for her, Takako speaks up. “It’s from Aizu Wakamatsu. Is it ok?” The woman, busy scanning Takako’s table groaning with daikon large and small, negi (long onions), broccoli and other... Read More