Guest Posts

Guest Post: Hikikomori During A Pandemic

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.’

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Book Reviews

Forest Bathing: The Rejuvenating Practice Of Shinrin Yoku Review: Forging A Positive Mental Health Routine With Nature

Forest Bathing book.

Having a connection to nature is a feeling that’s as old as the human race. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors lived in harmony with the land and relied on it for food, shelter and warmth. But as we’ve built more cities and created new technology, our connection to nature is no longer what it used to be.

Rediscovering that bond is a therapeutic practice, as presented in Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles’ Forest Bathing: The Rejuvenating Practice of Shinrin Yoku. This book delves into the Japanese concept of forest bathing, providing helpful tips on how to embrace the natural world and building it into a positive mental health routine.

Continue reading “Forest Bathing: The Rejuvenating Practice Of Shinrin Yoku Review: Forging A Positive Mental Health Routine With Nature”

Book Reviews

Men Without Women Review: Haunting, Beautiful, Playful And Relatable

Haruki Murakami is arguably the most well-known Japanese author for western audiences. With a writing career that spans over forty years, Murakami has been delighting readers for decades with his signature surrealist humour and bittersweet reflection on the transience of life. 

While Murakami has written some wonderful novels, I’ve found myself gravitating towards his short stories lately. One of his most memorable collections is Men Without Women, a poignant series of short stories that delves into the concept of loneliness and what it means for different people. 

In the absence of female company, all of the men in this collection have lost something. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s obvious. The reader feels it in every word and that is Murakami’s talent on full display.

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Guest Posts

Guest Post: 10 Interesting Historical Facts About Matcha

Matcha has many health benefits.

Today, matcha green tea has grown its popularity and can be easily accessible to tea lovers through cafes, ice cream shops, and restaurants. Even fast-food chains have started offering matcha flavoured desserts.

The tea is considered a popular commodity for the youth and a sought-after alternative drink for health enthusiasts.It’s no secret that the tea powder has high concentrations of nutrients, antioxidants, and essential amino acids.

It has a vital antioxidant called EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate and a crucial amino acid called L-Theanine, which is a stress-relieving flavonoid that contributes to the tea’s taste.While it’s common knowledge that matcha is of Asian origin, there are many exciting things about it that you might have never heard of.

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Poetry

Of Flowers, The Cherry Blossom; Of Men, The Warrior

When the ronin chose his path

He walked it bravely

To cast aside tradition 

To become his own master

Is a lesson that resonates through time

No matter the situation

Relationships, jobs, money

All fall to the wayside 

In the pursuit of inner peace

A priceless feeling that can never be replicated

The stake that sticks up gets hammered down

And rises again

Stronger than ever before 

Pop Culture and Japan

4 Ways In Which Sake Has Helped My Mental Health

 

Discovering new hobbies is a great technique for developing a positive mental health routine and in my case it’s been sake. Since setting off on my journey into the world of nihonshu, I’ve found it’s been a positive experience during times of poor mental health and I wanted to share four ways in which it’s helped.

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Pop Culture and Japan

Punching Depression In The Face: An Exploration Of Mental Health In One-Punch Man

In recent years, mental health has become an important debate that people are discussing all over the globe. Men and women are opening up about their experiences with conditions like anxiety, but despite this progress, there is still an ingrained stigma attached to mental health, with many choosing to suffer in silence.

Creative mediums such as TV and comics can drive the discussion about mental health and help to break down the stigma of talking about it in public. By seeing fictional characters go through relatable struggles, fans might feel inspired to share their experiences with others and make positive steps towards managing a disorder.

A franchise that does an excellent job of portraying mental health in pop culture is One-Punch Man. With a mixture of comic and celebrity culture themes, One-Punch Man follows the story of Saitama, the most powerful superhero in the world who is on a mission to find an opponent worth fighting.

But for all of Saitama’s strength, he has constantly battled with depression and it’s proven to be the only opponent he cannot defeat with one punch. Mental health is one of the most important themes of One Punch Man, so let’s explore it in greater depth. Continue reading “Punching Depression In The Face: An Exploration Of Mental Health In One-Punch Man”