July 3, 2019

What do you wish upon a star? The Tanabata Story

Tanabata, the “Star Festival” is a beautiful and romantic seasonal event in Japan celebrating love and dreams which takes place on the seventh day of the seventh month.

Tanabata is originated in Chinese folklore about the love between two deities, Orihime, a beautiful weaver, and a handsome cattle herder Hikoboshi. They were absorbed in love for each other so much that Orihime neglected her work of weaving clothes and Hikoboshi abandoned his cattle. As a result, people’s clothes became tattered and illness spread over cows. Orihime’s father, the god of the heavens enraged over them. In punishment, he separated the lovers to opposite sides of the Milky Way and declared that they were allowed to meet only once a year: on the seventh day of the seventh month.  


To honor the romance of two lovers, at the approach of July 7th, people write their wishes on colorful rectangle strips and hang them on bamboo branches to decorate their homes and schools. There will be Tanabata festivals held across Japan on July 7th or in the seventh month in the lunisolar calendar which is usually in early August.


I celebrate this day by writing my wish on a small piece of Washi paper and hanging it on a tree in the garden.  


In the U.S., many of the major cities and their Japanese communities hold Tanabata festivals. Here is information for some of them. Happy Tanabata for all!

Los Angeles, CA

San Francisco, CA

Portland, OR

Chicago, IL

Houston, TX

New York, NY

You can also google “Tanabata” following your city name to see if there are any Tanabata festivals in your area.


10 Amazing Facts about Bonsai You Should Know

August 4, 2020

You may think growing bonsai is intimidating, and It could be, especially when being absorbed in the intricate world of bonsai practice. Most bonsai today are hobbies limited to the enjoyment of growing beautiful small trees that actually mimic a large tree.


Beautiful & Delicious Japanese Fruit Sandwich Recipe

July 27, 2020

The fruit sandwich, or fruit sando as we call it, is a Japanese specialty found all over Japan in bakeries, café, and even convenience stores. It is a sweet sandwich filled with fresh seasonal fruit and velvety whipped cream between two slices of pillowy white bread.  


How Many Did You Know? 9 Japanese Dog Breeds AKC Recognizes

July 20, 2020

When it comes to Japanese dog breeds, most people think of Shiba or Akita, but Japan has so many more wonderful dog breeds. We have brought together 9 Japanese dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club® and AKC Foundation Stock Service® so you can learn more about their history, habits, and unique personalities!


How to Cook Japanese-Style Roast Beef from 1 Beef Chuck Roast Cut!

July 14, 2020

Getting Started

The Beef Chuck Roast is a cross-cut section from around the shoulder part. It is a flavorful, and relatively affordable cut that offers a range of cooking options with its large size and versatility. I am sure you have at least one go-for Chuck Roast recipe for a family get-together or a dinner party!

However, the downside of this useful cut of meat is that it is made up of different types of muscles so when cooked as a whole, you are more likely to get irregular pieces – some tender and fatty, some chewy and lean, making it a challenge to chefs.


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