Book Reviews

South Of The Border, West Of The Sun Review: A Dream-Like And Radiant Love Story

South Of The Border, West Of The Sun book review.

Haruki Murakami is arguably the most well-known Japanese author in the west.  His unique writing style has captured the attention of readers all over the world and one of his most memorable books is South Of The Border, West Of The Sun.

Focusing on the relationship between two childhood friends who reconnect in their thirties, South Of The Border, West Of The Sun contains all the classic tropes of a Murakami novel.  There’s jazz, joy, heartbreak and the indomitable willpower of the human spirit to go after what it yearns for. Continue reading “South Of The Border, West Of The Sun Review: A Dream-Like And Radiant Love Story”

Japanese Cuisine

Savoury Umami Porridge With Fried Egg Recipe (Perfect For Winter!)

When it comes to breakfast, porridge is a staple meal. But it can often be unexciting if you’re just eating it with milk or water every day. Mixing different ingredients with oats can make for a much more interesting breakfast and sweet toppings are a popular choice. But have you ever considered savoury porridge? It’s a revelation for me!  

A savoury porridge I love eating relies on two classic Japanese ingredients: soy sauce and butter. Top it off with a fried egg and you’ve got a wholesome, filling breakfast that’s packed full of umami. And best of all, it’s easy to make. Continue reading “Savoury Umami Porridge With Fried Egg Recipe (Perfect For Winter!)”

Japanese Cuisine

Ki No Bi Gin Review: More Complex Than Your Average Mother’s Ruin

Ki No Bi Gin has a complex bouquet of flavours that will please a lot of drinkers.

The gin boom over the last decade has led to an unprecedented amount of variations being brought out. It feels like everyone and their mum has jumped on the gin train, riding it towards an alcohol nirvana. The Japanese market is no different, with the likes of Etsu and Roku duking it out for the attention of consumers.

Ki No Bi is another Japanese gin that’s enjoyed tremendous success. Introduced in 2016, this flavourful drink brings together the best of western and eastern brewing techniques. Continue reading “Ki No Bi Gin Review: More Complex Than Your Average Mother’s Ruin”

Pop Culture and Japan

Sake On Air Review: How To Discern The Aromas Of Sake

The sake flavour wheel shows the different aromas that can be applied to nihonshu.

Japanese sake offers drinkers some of the most diverse flavours in the world. But there’s a lot of misconceptions surrounding sake, and it’s helpful to hear from experts who can educate the public on what makes Japanese alcohol outstanding. Sake on Air is exactly the kind of podcast you want to listen to for expert advice.

An episode I’ve found extremely interesting is the aroma of sake and how our sense of smell contributes towards enjoying a drink. Hosted by Chris Hughes, Rebekah Wilson-Lye and Sebastien Lemoine, sake aromas is a must-hear episode for anyone with an interest in Japanese alcohol. Continue reading “Sake On Air Review: How To Discern The Aromas Of Sake”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Stephanie Buttery

Taking inspiration from another culture can be a life-changing decision. When Stephanie Buttery travelled to Japan, she immersed herself in the local drinking culture and returned to the UK with a goal of starting her own business. As the founder of the premium soft drinks brand, Chu-Lo, Buttery has created a drink inspired by Japanese chuhai.

After meeting Buttery at the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester, I wanted to hear the Chu-Lo story and what motivated her to start her own business. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Stephanie Buttery”

Women Warriors

Women Warriors: Kaori Housako

In Japan, the role of women has varied greatly across the ages. From master sake makers to fierce fighters, many Japanese women have carved out lasting legacies across multiple fields. This includes the world of wrestling and one of most successful Japanese women wrestlers of the modern era is Kaori Housako, better known by her ring name Kairi Sane.

Starting from an acting background, Housako translated her love of theatre into the realm of sports entertainment. It put her on the path to joining the ranks of other influential Japanese women wrestlers like Meiko Satomura and Dash Chisako. Continue reading “Women Warriors: Kaori Housako”