Japanese charcoal stick (Kishu Binchotan, Binchozumi)

Japanese charcoal stick (Kishu Binchotan, Binchozumi, 備長炭)


Kishu Binchotan is known a stick for the best quality charcoal used for freshen in the air and purifying water. It is a special charcoal made from real pieces of a type of white oak wood, uses a special tree called Ubamegashi or ubamega oak (Quercus phillyraeoides), now the official tree of Wakayama Prefecture.

The excellent of Binchotan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures because the coal burn extremely hot without any smell of chemical and burns much longer than traditional charcoal. The aroma of the burning coal is pleasantly subtle and the grilled food does not come out with an over power smoky or other unpleasant flavors; it is a favorite of Unagi (Eel) and Yakitori (Grilled chicken) cooks. And then, you drop a stick of Binchotan into a glass, bottle or pitcher of water and place in your fridge overnight. It will naturally purify and soak up the chlorine and other unpleasant tastes, while releasing natural minerals, improving the taste and softening it as well. Then, you can put it in rooms to freshen the air. There are many more supposed benefits and health values of white charcoal. Currently there are a number of Binchotan based consumer products on the market such as socks, shirts, shampoo, cosmetic products, and many more. It can be reused for up to 3 months and easily recharged once a month by boiling it for 5 minutes let it dry. It can be recycled it by breaking it small pieces place into your plant soil for creating micro water and air cavities in the soil.

admin on August 20th, 2010 | File Under Japanese stuff | No Comments -

Rice balls with deep-fried shrimp or tenmusu

Rice balls with deep-fried shrimp (tenmusu,天むす)

17_feature_tenmusuThis dish originally from Nagoya a few years ago and became very popular in Japan now. you can buy them in convenience stores and many other places.

Rice balls with deep-fried shrimp, called Tenmusu is a Nagoya specialty, are highly favored for takeout food and great as a snack. Tenmusu is a little smaller than a regular rice ball (onigiri), There are contains small pieces of deep-fried shrimp or vegetable tempura at the center of it, was wrapping each musubi with nori (dried seaweed) and placing it on dish or a dried leaf. tenmusu often come with Japanese butterbur boiled with soy sauce( kyarabuki).

admin on August 18th, 2010 | File Under Japanese Food&Drink | No Comments -

Crying Baby Sumo Contest (Konaki or Nakizumo)

Crying Baby Sumo Contest (Konaki or Nakizumo, 子泣き相撲)


Crying Sumo (Konaki) or Sumo of tears (Nakizumo) is a popular annual Japanese contest for  babies that take place all over the country. The festival held on Sunday by sumo  wrestlers, the tiny winners are determined by who cries first. If both babies start crying at the same time the winner is the one who wails the loudest in the arms of sumo wrestlers. Japanese parents apparently believe the sumo-induced cries are beneficial, with the babies crying out as a prayer to the gods for good health. At the very least, it probably exercises the lungs.


Some babies reportedly refused to cooperate and stayed silent or even dared to laugh in the wrestlers’ faces. Or, at least, that wasthe case until the wrestlers resorted to slipping on their scary masks. The event is based on the ancient Japanese proverb that ‘crying babies grow fast’(naku ko wa sodatsu). It is thought that the louder the cry, the more the gods have blessed the child with strong and good health, are supposed to drive away evil spirits. is at least 400 years old.

Locations with Crying baby Sumo contests are the Sensoji temple,Tokyo, There are also contests at Ikiko shrine in Kanuma-ski, Tochigi, in September; Yamajioji temple in Shimotsu-cho, Wakayama, in October; and at Saikyoji temple, Hirado, in February.

admin on August 18th, 2010 | File Under Japanese Culture, Japanese Festival | No Comments -

Japanese Business Card Exchange (meishikoukan)

Japanese Business Card Exchange (meishikoukan,名刺交換)

/000180.jpgThe exchange of business cards is an elaborate ceremony in many Asian countries, especially in Japan.

Japanese ceremony for a card exchange is called “meishikoukan”, is an essential part of Japanese business etiquette. The business card is a representation of your status in society. Japanese consider their traditions and culture very important, proper business etiquette demands one treats the business card with respect and honour.

/b_0024.jpgTraditionally, the vertical set-up was used for Japanese business cards. The horizontal layout has become the norm. Addresses are in a different order than in English. The country appears first, then the state, the city with the zip code in front, then the street address. Usually the person’s name is written in Japanese using both kanji and romaji (typically kanji is on the obverse of the card, and romaji is on the reverse), along with the person’s title and the company for which he/she works. Other important information is usually provided, such as business address, phone number and fax number.

/03_9gazo1.gifHow to exchange business cards in Japan

/efbc9de5908de588bae4baa4e68f9befbc92e38080.jpgIn Japan, after a person has introduced him/her, Use both hands to present your card, and received with both hands with a slight bow. The business card should be printed in both languages; it should be printed in your home language or English language on one side and Japanese on the other. If you receive more than one business card at once, leave them lying on the table in front of you neatly until the end of the meeting or carefully insert them into a business card holder. It is important to deal with another’s business card with care.

In a business situation, business cannot begin until the meishi exchange process is complete.

admin on June 19th, 2009 | File Under Japanese Culture, Japanese stuff | No Comments -

Yotsuya Kaidan or Oiwasan story

Yotsuya Kaidan or Oiwasan story (四谷怪談 )

One of the most famous Japanese classic ghosts (yuurei) story is Oiwasan, the story of Oiwa and Tamiya Iemon, is a tale of betrayal, murder and ghostly revenge. of all time, it has been adapted for film over 30 times, and continues to be an influence on Japanese horror today, which was written in the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1867.

Summary of the Oiwasan story

oiwasan.bmpA long time ago (in the Edo period), a woman named Oiwa was married to a Samurai man named Tamiya Iemon and they lived in Yotsuya in ancient Tokyo. Even though Iemon didn’t have a job, Iwa was happy because she was carrying a baby. However, Iemon was depressed due to unemployment. One day, Iemon was attracted to the lovely daughter of a wealthy family. She quickly fell under his spell and agreed to marry him. One night Iemon put a particularly horrible poison in Oiwasan’s food. The poison does not kill her, but the poison hideously disfigured the right side of her face became deformed and her hair to fall out. After she died, Iemon married his new wealthy bride. Iemon was not happy because he was tormented by Iwa’s ghost. It appeared everywhere around him. And many strange things happened and all of the people who had mistreated her died.

admin on June 12th, 2009 | File Under Japanese Book | No Comments -
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