Japan has a fascinating and multifaceted culture. It is a culture that is steeped in traditions dating back thousands of years and at the same time in a constant state of rapid flux, with continually shifting fads, fashions, and technological developments. Yet, at times it seems that the more Japan evolves, the more it remains the same. Many of Japan’s traditional arts embody these characteristics as well and reflect the mutable society we have so often observed.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Rakugo – Ever Evolving Yet Never Changing”
As the only affordable sake brewery currently operating in the UK, all eyes are indeed on Kanpai. Yet, the Peckham-based business have much more to recommend them than simple default. Sake enthusiasts Lucy and Tom Wilson opened the trendy microbrewery in 2017, and quickly won the respect of other aficionados across the country, and most impressively of all, from industry operatives and experts back in Japan.
Covered several times already in Yamato Magazine (along with several gushing pieces in the national press), there’s no need for another extensive history here. It’s enough to say that all of the praise is deserved and that Kanpai are in no small part responsible for the ever-increasing interest in sake across Britain.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Kanpai Brewery Kumo Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori Review”
Watanabe Sake Brewery’s decision to take on Cody Brailsford as assistant-head brewer is famous throughout the world of nihonshu. The enthusiastic American rose through the ranks from apprentice to assistant head brewer, determined to share the joys of beautifully crafted Japanese sake with the Western world, presented in a way it could easily relate to.
The Hourai Cody’s Sake range has undeniably achieved that, its catchy names (see Cody’s Ninja Junmai) and trendy bottles stand out against a sometimes-impenetrable wall of kanji and tradition in sake lists. And whilst Cody is admittedly still a way off from his ultimate goal of having the US President drink his sake, it certainly doesn’t seem impossible, considering the ever-growing reputation of him and his produce.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Cody’s Junmai Daiginjo Review”
Whilst its reputation as a renowned and celebrated craft beer brewery is undisputable, what exactly Mikkeller has to do with Japan or its culture that would warrant a spot in this magazine is somewhat less obvious… at least at first.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Mikkeller Japanese Rice Lager Review”
It’s easy to brand Takara Shuzo Co. Ltd as nothing more than an offshoot of the Takara Group (Japan’s leading corporation for alcohol-related business and biotechnology) and all the negative connotations that can come with multinational mass-production. Yet, the brewery, based in the Nada ward of Kobe (one of Japan’s major nihonshu producing regions), have skilfully blended the best parts of traditional sake-making methods and the advantages of modern technology, to create beautiful, authentic, contemporary sake.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Shochikubai Shirakabegura Kimoto Junmai Review”
Having already provided a profile on Kuncho Shuzo Co. Ltd in a previous review of their fantastic Kaorucho Junmai, there’s not a lot to add about the ever-popular, Kyushu-based brewery here. That online references to their history and methods of production are minimal is perhaps best respected; especially if it allows their wonderful products to speak for themselves!
Instead, I wanted to say a few words on honjozo, the classification of the Kuncho brew I’ll be opening up today.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Kuncho Honzojo Review”
Japanese schools have many traditions that differ from most cultures. From elementary to high school, Simple, everyday habits are carried out by students and teachers to develop discipline and respect.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Cultural Comparisons Of Japanese Schools”
Whilst Kuncho’s English language online presence is unfortunately minimal, it’s clear that they’re a highly respectable brewery, extremely proud of their underground water supply, and wholly committed to producing excellent quality ‘old-fashioned, unchanging taste’ sake. Housed in a beautifully grand, late-Genroku period (1688-1704) building in Hita city, in the Oita prefecture of Kyoshu island, Kuncho also operate a sake museum and shop.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Kuncho Junmai Review”
The great lockdown of 2020 shocked the world, and will forever leave a mark on those living through this iconic time. The rate at which COVID-19 spread, caused many people around the world to live under social restrictions to avoid unnecessary human interactions. An almost impossible task, while living in the 21st century, but not for everyone.
Japan’s hikikomori are those who shut away from the normalities of life such as work, school, friends, hobbies, and socialising in general. It translates to ‘pulling inward’ and often referred to as ‘modern-day hermits.’
Continue reading “Guest Post: Hikikomori During A Pandemic”
interweave with maple leaves
an autumn collage
Bio: Monica St Hillaire is an aspiring writer with a love for all forms of poetry. She hopes to become a master of both traditional and modern haiku and her ambition is be the best wordsmith she can be.