Ear rakes

| Apr 15, 2010

Ear rakes

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, Imagine my horror when I came home one evening to find my Japanese wife bent over our little son, about to thrust a sharpened stick into his ear! I shouted at her to stop, giving her the fright of her life. She ...

Scary crow

| Dec 17, 2009

Scary crow

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, I live in rural Kyoto and am puzzled by what seems to be the local version of the scarecrow. They take plastic crows and hang them, usually upside down, on a string off a pole. I can’t figure out what the heck ...

<em>Ishigaki</em>

| Jul 16, 2009

Ishigaki

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, Is it weird to love a wall? I recently visited the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and was totally blown away by a high rock embankment on the far side of the moat. That rugged face! Those elegant lines! I am completely enchanted ...

| Jun 18, 2009

Shichimi

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, Based on my forays into Japanese restaurants in North America, I was under the impression that Japanese cuisine didn’t feature any spicy flavorsat all. Then, on my first trip to Japan, I wandered into a restaurant that specializes in soba noodles. When ...