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Showing posts from October, 2009

Kazeno-Mori Junmai Shibori!

Descartes once said that “I think, therefore I am!” And with that one phrase he became the father of modern philosophy. “I drink good sake, therefore I am” is what I say, and boy, did I choose a good one. (This oil painting was rendered by one of my Jukujo moms….H.M.)Another gem of a sake has been discovered once again, but this time from a prefecture in Japan called Nara which hardly ever gets any attention for its sake, but rather for its temples and shrines, most notably Todaiji, which is regarded as the largest wooden temple structure in world! Nara, the ancient capital, is also regarded as the Mecca of Japanese Buddhism, and the cradle of civilization for much of the country; the place where the samurai became civilized and enlightened, actually.The sake once again is called Kazeno -Mori, a Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu Shibori. Muroka means it’s not charcoal filtered. What charcoal filtering does to sake is clean it up and make it look clearer. Some experts argue though that…

Hulking Bovine Beauty

Towering at 186cm/or 6’2, Erika Araki is one of my favorite volleyball players.  She’s also a favorite type of mine.  Her dominance on the floor is only second to Oyama Kana’s, I think.  Nevertheless, she has proven her worth as an excellent addition to Team Japan and a formidable spiker against her Western rivals.  I have always enjoyed watching the infusion of  strength and beauty at work.  Asian female athletes have always had this dynamic, I think, where they can play hard in one sport while maintaining a sense of natural feminine beauty off the court, as opposed to female Western athletes who tend to appear a bit… masculine on and off the court.  (“There are just some female athletes in the sporting world that even I would shy away from in a cage match….The Olgas and the Eva Brauns types….”) This reminds me of the time when I was playing a one-on-one in Santa Monica with this spry young Japanese girl I had met at a language school in the area.  I took her out to play basketball w…

Asia is only as strong as its weakest link

With the departure of Taro Aso, the 59th Prime Minister of Japan, who had only proven to be just a "flash in the pan" and a major let down for many including his staunchest supporters, Yukio Hatoyama has now assumed the helm as The Boss.Japan is now faced once again with the same bleak prospects of having to choose which resource laden country it wants to foster relations with, along with whatever concessions that comes along with those choices. Once again, Japan is placed in the international spot light of having to either play the traditional double hegemony role between America and America's foes in a bid to bolster its fledgling economy and its depleting natural reserves, or to seek a new direction, one that could possibly usher in a new era of prosperity for Asia through the possible emergence of a new and dynamic type of Asian co-prosperity sphere where America plays a supporting role rather than a leading one. Never in all of modern history as Asia ever bee…

:Akita Komachi Hyouten Junmai Ginjo

On the way home the other day I stopped over at this neighborhood liquor store just to poke my head in the door to see what kind of stuff they had. Within seconds I was greeted by throngs of old Japanese men who almost drug me into the store. Of course after I had said konnichiwa they swore up and down right then that I was fluent in Japanese! So rather than get barraged by countless questions I started talking about sake. Then they were really impressed. They treated me like I was the prodigal son who at long last returned home from living in the world.(This is her robed)The oldest of the five went for the fridge and snatched out about five different sake, most of which were from either Akita or Yamagata. Now, I love all of the sake that comes out of this region of Japan, but there were two that I had to get and the one I’m drinking now is my feature sake for today. (unrobed)First off, the sake brewery is called Tenju and it’s located near the beautiful Chokai Mountains in Akit…

On This Day in History: United Nations, 1971

A lot of things were happening all over the world in 1971. The President of the United States at that time was Richard Nixon, Republican, who was the first U.S. president in history to resign from office amid scandal. He was also the first U.S. president to not only visit China but the first president to ever normalize relations with that country which it had considered a foe for quite some time. In 1971, war was also raging on in Vietnam as Asia was being swallowed up by the Communist and as a result China for years had branded Vietnam the "Cuba of the East" and had regarded its brand of Soviet style communism dangerous not only to China but to all of Asia. China eventually attacked along Vietnam's borders in an unsuccessful attempt to force the Vietnamese out of Cambodia. This action by the Chinese was an attempt to show the world that it wasn't just a paper tiger but a leader on an international level, and a country that could prove its might for the great…

Porn: Non Pro Obasan Club!

Shinjuku is literally flooded with porn shops that sell and rent porn flicks 24 hours a day. I remember stopping by one particular shop that was selling Jukujo DVDs for 1000 円, the guy behind the counter sold a few of his favorites to me, and this cover is from one of them. The lady in the read coat was the very first time I had ever seen a “Jukujo” on video, and I think that was back in 1998…..Her name is Hirata Ritsuko; age 46; 3 kids. She has absolutely no talent when it comes to acting in my opinion. In fact, It’s her lack of acting ability that makes her so appealing to me. She can’t act! And this is another reason why I chose this DVD, no acting is required, hence the name ‘non pro obasan club’. I’m not much for story lines either and I absolutely can’t stand when music is played in a porn flick. Just the natural sounds of two people making it out is best.Porn is no stranger to Japan. I mean you can watch any kind of smut flick out here, anything! In America, it’s th…

The Law of Contradiction

The U.S. of A.  It's difficult to understand America.  The law of contradiction is what governs America.  It was the slave owners who declared " We hold these truths self evident that all men are created equal."
I mean, we are the most godless and the most religious; the most puritan and the most lascivious; the most charitable and the most heartless of societies; we are interventionists to the degree that we are isolationists; we espouse Thoreoux's Maxim that government governs best which governs least, yet we look to Washington to address our every problem.  Our environmental conscientiousness  is out matched by our environmental recklessness; we are outlaws obsessed by the rule of law; we are individualist who speak of family values; we are a nation of fat people with anorexic standards of health and beauty; the only things we love more than nature's wilderness are malls and hyper-technology.

Twisted Fujiさん

This is a picture of Mount Fujii from start to twist. I think it’s lovely, don’t you?.  I think so much of the human  body goes under-appreciated.  Smooth tofu complexioned   skin, a full head of thick black hair, well developed and well toned hamstrings are just examples of really nice things one can appreciate here in Japan.

In most of my entire corpus I have always written about this  affinity towards a kind of natural order and balance in day-to-day living.  I liken things like sake and food to the female body in many ways.  I think what’s best enjoyed is when one can experience the taste of good sake, delicious food,good sleep, and Jukujo, and of course onsen  all together.  
There is just something about Jukujo who love sake.  I mean they just liven up and release themselves and allow fate to carry them into a natural direction.  My direction.  The last sake event I had attended did just that.

Have human beings forgotten about the order of being natural to the point where mate…


Back in the day when I was traveling all over Japan, I remember seeing old Japanese men drinking either beer or nihonshu for breakfast.  In fact I recall a time when I was staying at an onsen ryoukan overnight once, a very old rustic onsen actually, where the only people who frequent such places are old people, I could see these old people ordering up sake with their breakfast—imagine that.  Eggs, fish and sake.  

For me, there is nothing like waking up on a dazzlingly beautiful Sunday morning, tucked away  in an old rustic onsen hotel in a deep valley somewhere with nothing to do and with no care in the world, no schedules, no appointments—just free.   The morning sun is so radiant and so powerful this time of day, but even the radiance of the sun is calmed by the deep blue hues of the clear cloudless morning sky.  I exhale. 

The  best smells in all of life for me are Japanese womb, nihonshu, hot rice, onsen, coffee, smegma, biore shampoo, lion heart cologne, brown tea, green tea, …

1,000ml Special Sake

This is exactly how it came in the mail this morning, in bubble wrap.

1000ml of a rare “doburoku.” As you can see it looks half-full, which is by design, not a mistake. A standard bottle this size is usually 1800ml or 1.8L(isshoubin) in size and is about 90% full of sake.

This sake is called "Chiyo-no-Kame Moonshine Doburoku - Oyaji's Moonshine! Or, homebrew type sake.

A pure sake where the Sake mash that is fermenting has been scooped with a ladle. It makes you feel that you are truly drinking “Doburoku".”
The lively acidic flavor from the fermentation really compliments its creamy sweetness.

Recommended for ladies.
1 liter has been poured in a 1.8-liter bottle so the yeast does not make it overfill, and Sugi leaves are used as the cork for degassing.   It can also be enjoyed frozen. Do not topple over: KEEP REFRIGERATED Best drunk at: 0 to 10 degrees ◎The cork has a hole in it because there is no worry about spilling with Sugi leaves.

【Quality Level】Junmai Daiginjo Pur…

Oktoberfest German Beer Festival

I just love walking to Aka Renga Soko, so tonight I took a little night stroll.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This event will last until Oct. 18th 2009, and it starts from 12 to 9pm; entry is 200 yen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The prices for beer average around 1,000 to 1500 yen for these large ones.Great time to be had, lots of music and great energy. Dress warm and get there early. Tickets sell out quickly.

Shimane Sake Tasting Event Oct, 09’

Just around these giant sake containers I entered into another of Japan’s prefectures.  Shimane prefecture to be exact, a place with a long history of culture, great sake, and home of the portentous looking Japanese Black Pine and the Whooper Swan. 

Here, there were over 17 breweries  exhibiting a variety of different sake, each with its own unique flavor characteristics.  I was not disappointed at all over any of the choices that were offered.

This event, which was organized by Etchan, of TokyoFoodcastwho did an excellent job of explaining about the event and the sake, was glowing with joy over the anticipation of this sake event.  Thank you for spreading the joy around.

Of the 17 different breweries present, there were a few that really impressed me, actually all of the sake was good, but namely was IzumofujiTheir junmai ginjo received full marks by me and a few others too.

Izumo is located in 出雲市今市町(Izumo City, Ima Ichichyou Town),
Special Note For Japanese Readers
[ 出雲富士 純米��…

故郷 (唱歌)

Today's Song Furusato 1. 兎(うさぎ)追いし かの山 I hunted rabbits on that mountain. 小鮒(こぶな)釣りし かの川 I fished for minnows in that stream. 夢はいまも めぐりて I still dream about those days I spent when a child. 忘れがたき ふるさと How I miss and long for my old country home. 2. いかにいます 父 母 Mother and father ― are they doing well? つつがなしや 友がき Is everything all right with my old friends? 雨に風に つけても When the rain falls, when the wind blows, I recall 思いいずる ふるさと My happy childhood and my old country home. 3. こころざしを はたして Some day when I have done what I set out to do, いつの日にか 帰らん I will return to where I used to have my home. 山はあおき ふるさと Lush and green are the mountains of my homeland. 水は清き ふるさと Pure and clear is the water of my old country home. Anyway, I really love this song. Even when I was traveling around Japan for so many years, this song was always perfect for those journeys.

Kochutenchi こちゅうてんち

高橋酒造 長岡市
大吟醸(酒米:山田錦) 精米40%

Roku No Esshu

Junmai Daiginjo:
Green apple; rice; Senshuraku rice; complex taste;
杜氏:木曽健太郎 郷正博
I enjoyed drinking this sake a lot.  I enjoyed the full range of complexity in every sip.   The after-taste was interesting, though.  I picked up on hints of rice….

The Letourneau Effect

Ok, so maybe that's a bit of a stretch since I'm not young anymore, at least not young enough to be victimized by a female teacher.   I mean, I was always a  'teachers' pet' all through out my primary school days, but in my thirities...?  Is there even such a term called The Letourneau Effect?  Probably not...

In 1997, Mary K. Letourneau was arrested on charges of statutory rape of a 13 year old boy(student) whom she was impregnated by. The boy was 13 at the time. Mrs. Letourneau, because she had been married to her first husband Steve Letourneau at the time of the incident, was sentenced to 89 months in prison, but her sentenced was eventually reduced down to 6 months and then reimposed after she had violated her terms of parole.

Since the Letourneau affair there have been many such similar incidences of ' teacher student' relationships. In fact, the courts have become more lenient in how they sentence teachers who are involved in physical relation…

Autumn Poetry by Georg Trakl

Whispered Into AfternoonSun of autumn, thin and shy
And fruit drops off the trees,
Blue silence fills the peace
Of a tardy afternoon's sky.
Death knells forged of metal,
And a white beast hits the mire.
Brown lasses uncouth choir
Dies in leaves' drifting prattle.
Brow of God dreams of hues,
Senses madness' gentle wings.
Round the hill wield in rings
Black decay and shaded views.
Rest and wine in sunset's gleam,
Sad guitars drizzle into night,
And to the mellow lamp inside
You turn in as in a dream.