Leap for success! A carp and its history in Japan

If you have ever been to Japan between mid-April to early-May you have probably seen carp-shaped windsocks. You might also have been told they are ‘Koi nobori’, which are traditionally displayed for Children’s Day. Then you wonder ‘why are carp for children?’ ‘Is carp special for Japanese people?’. Today I would like to write about carp and its history in Japanese history and culture and I hope this will increase and deepen your understanding of Japanese culture and make your next trip to Japan more interesting.

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Chrysanthemums – a flower of autumn, longevity and Japan

I just finished a new sashiko pattern –  ‘Kiku (chrysanthemums)’. So today I would like to write about chrysanthemums which are well-loved by Japanese people, and along with the cherry blossom, are treated almost as the national flower. For although chrysanthemums originated in China, their importance in legends and customs has been passed from generation to generation, and their name even associated with world famous sake – chrysanthemums have become an indispensable part of Japanese culture.

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Okonomiyaki, Japanese savoury cabbage pancake – quick, easy and healthy –

Okonomiyaki is one of the typical, casual dishes Japanese people eat at home. Each family, each region has their own recipe and they are proud of it, but today I share the standard okonomiyaki recipe with ingredients which are all easily available in most of the international cities. You can explore the other variation after you try this and make your own favourite okonomiyaki. Enjoy the flavour of Japan. For Sydney-siders I am sharing more detail information for some Japanese ingredients at the end of this article.

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Japanese ginger ‘Myoga/Mioga’ is growing in Sydney

Today I would like to introduce to you Japanese ginger – we know it as ‘Myoga/Mioga’. Originally grown in Japan, it has been loved and used for Japanese summer dishes as a herb. Unlike normal ginger, we eat the buds, not the roots. It is hardy and easy to grow in your garden or in a pot on your verandah. Winter or early spring is the perfect time to start growing  ‘Myoga/Mioga’ – so let’s get started.


ZOOM morning tea with sashiko stitchers 2021.08.03

We are all missing social connections during this lockdown, so I organised a ‘ZOOM morning tea’ with my sashiko class participants. We all enjoyed being able to meet and talk about what we are doing, and where we are at with our sashiko project. I will organise another morning tea again for my sashiko class, and I am also planning to organise one for our St James Rail travel friends as well.


Purchased Yuzu fruits in Sydney! 2021.07.10

Yuzu is a citrus fruit that has been loved and used throughout Japan for hundreds of years, and its popularity has not waned. Its distinctive aroma is unique and not replaceable by any other citrus fruits – so I was so excited when I found them! In this article you can find some information about yuzu – where and when you can purchase them, the pricerecipes  for yuzu etc. Enjoy.