John Toomey comments

Posted in: Noh + Ninja + Taiko: An Exclusive Online Event from Odawara Castle See in context

I would very much have liked to see the Noh, Ninja, Odarawa Castle online event this last September 12th. Unfortunately you have just today September 30th announced it, well after the event has been over. Is there any way that I can access this marvelous video, perhaps through YouTube? I'd love to share with friends and sine fellow Japanoohiles what I miss about my 16 wonderful years on Japan, Takigi Noh , Odawara 小田原 城Castle with its marvelous plum blossoms just down the road from where I lived in Yokohama, through this video. Thank you much。ありがとございます

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Posted in: Make fluffy omelettes in the microwave with this handy kitchen gadget See in context

The problem arises that using plastic, such as tupperware, silicone, Saranwrap cling film or those plastic "microwaveable" dome covers that abound in Japan has been linked with the production of amyloids in the brain which causes Alzheimer's disease. It's no wonder that Japan is seeing a rise in dementia patients. Ironically it was a Japanese-American doctor who discovered and published this. But when I lived in Japan in the late 60s--early 70s Japanese friends expressed contempt and utter hatred (kirai) for nisei, 2nd generation Japanese. Who could hate their own descendants!? Hopefully this ignorance will pass soon, but as of this date, my Japanese friends still use plastic in the microwave.

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Posted in: More than 200 scientists urge WHO to acknowledge virus can spread in air See in context

It is common exerience that viruses can be airborne. When I had encephalitis, I asked the doctors how I got it. They answered that the blood tests and spinal tap showed a mixture of viruses . I asked how they got into me and the doctors replied that they are in the air all around us, but our immune system (mine was weak at that time from too much stress and over-volunteering) can ward them off.

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Posted in: A complete guide to Japanese tea See in context

I would love to hear Shonen Knife's song about tea. I live outside of Bangkok and in my home I had a double chashitsu built with a tea garden and waiting arbor and koi in the waterfall pond, as I often invite people to tea. I am certified in Ura Senke, but don't usually teach; though I do sometimes chose local Thais to teach. I've been enjoying "Japan Today" for a few years. In my teaching life in the American schools in Okinawa, Japan, Korea and Germany, I specialized in AP English Composition and so am a stickler for correct grammar, spelling, mechanics and usage. This comes in handy as in my retirement here I founded the Thai Textile Society Newsletter and write and publish articles there and in the Bangkok National Museum Volunteers Newsletter and the newsletter of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum; and I've often given public lectures and guided at the Siam Society and at the Bangkok National Museum.

It is the usage of the tea article author that I wish to help, regarding the correct usage of "unique". "Unique" means that there is only one ("uni") of a kind; therefore, unique has no comparative or superlative degrees because it is already superlative, as there is no other to compare it with. Thus, it is logically impossible to say or write "rather unique" or "very unique". Those are simply bad usages and make the author or speaker appear ignorant and uneducated. But the authors for "Japan Today" are highly knowledgeable and well educated.

Wishing all the best to everyone during this time of plague when we cannot gather to share tea in our tearooms or in the many tea salons and tea shops of Bangkok. Do visit the blog "Bangkok Tea Enthusiasts" which hosts writings on the tasting notes and qualities of various Asian teas, by a dear young Thai friend. And also visit my YouTube channel where you will find my videos on tea ceremony along with other Asian cultural topics.

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Posted in: Tokyo 2020 organizers hold earthquake drill at Olympic venue See in context

Is there any way to bake the Italian almond cake without all that sugar, or can something be substituted for the sugar? Thank you

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Posted in: 'Once-in-a-hundred years' sightings of bamboo blossoms reported in Japan See in context

Many thanks for thus article as I have been trying to tell my Thai friends and neighbors here near Bangkok about this world-wide phenomenon. Two of my 3 species of bamboo in my tea ceremony garden near Bangkok, Thailand, the green species and the golden species, bloom about once every two years. The Philippines species which looks like a very tall Japanese "sasa" bamboo grass has not bloomed since I planted it nearly 15 years ago. When completely dry the bamboo flower makes a lovely accent in a box of potpourri. I wish I could attach a photo for your readers.

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Posted in: NEC's VR system enables user to smell products at online store See in context

Wonderful technology. Last month the Seoul National Museum had a special exhibition "The Glory of Goryeo" ( Korean dynasty 12th-14th century). Green tea drinking, including powdered matcha (Kor. malcha) became widespread during that time. One corner of the exhibition featured the history of tea with a table of virtual reality "light ( tea flower and leaf designs projected onto the table) and scent show" for visitors to breath in the VR wafting scent of Korean green tea. I have photos of this that I wish I could post here, especially ones of children enjoying the fragrance of green tea emanating from the table together as the light patterns of the tea flowers and leaves danced on the table.

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Posted in: Fire walkers See in context

I walked this fire 3 times during my life in Japan and received the abbott's blessing each time as he touched the dorge vajra to my chest; and each time was wonderful! One definitely feels the heat when stepping on the glowing red coals. One clarification: Takao-san is a separate town just west of Tokyo, not in Tokyo. One steps into a bed of salt to coat one's feet as protection from burning the soles of the feet. The only injury I had was very light and not from the fire. I stepped onto a burning twig which cracked in two and got a slight cut which healed very quickly! Japan Today readers may be interested to know that Takao-san plays a role in one of Mishima Yukio's novels in which he takes two Thai male college students up the mountain to see the memorial stone behind the temple commemorating the King of Thailand's donation of relics of the Buddha to the Emperor of Japan. Turning around the two students catch a glimpse of the Great Buddha of Kamakura in the distance and immediately prostrate themselves on the ground to worship it.

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