Archives for January 2017

A circle of kindness

CARA’S KINDNESS By Kristi Yamaguchi; illustrated by John Lee (Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks Inc., 2016, 32 pp.; $16.99, hardcover) Our favorite Olympic ice skater, Kristi Yamaguchi, has recently released her third children’s book, “Cara’s Kindness.” Cara the Cat, an ice skater, is the shining light. She helps other animals and encourages them to “pass on the […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: First shrine or temple visit of the Japanese New Year

初 (Hatsu) means “first” or “beginning.” The left side of this character represents clothes or kimono. The right side indicates a knife. To make a kimono, one must first cut the cloth. 詣 (Mode or mairu) means “to visit a shrine.” The left side of the character indicates talking. The top of the right side indicates people and the bottom of the right […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: #Thiswas2016

“When the house is going up in flames, does what’s on the TV matter?” That’s the question I kept asking myself as I sat down to write this year-end column. In October, Michael Luo, then an editor for The New York Times, was accosted on the street by a woman yelling, “Go back to China!” […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: Looking back, looking forward: Traditions on the decline

I’ve been teaching English in Japan for a long time, and around New Year’s, I always ask students if they eat osechi ryori. Out of the 50 or so elementary school students that I asked this year, about half said “no.” Given that it’s a very small sample size in a remote part of Japan, […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: A wake up call

Uncertainty is an uncomfortable emotion and state of existing, and we’re living through such times, what with the outcome of the elections. But we have to go on living and going about our business in our usual ways. What were we thankful for at Thanksgiving time? The bountiful tables and cheery dinners were as good […]

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