Playing with Food

Nov 24th, 2008 Culinary Wonders, Family & Friends, Travel Douglas 1 min read

Fascinated by its tentacles, I couldn’t look away as my mother in law (“Okaasan”) prepared the squid for dinner. Their curled limbs were covered with little suction cups which caused me to wonder aloud whether they would still stick to things. My wife, Yumi, considered this question ridiculous.”It’s food, not a toy.” Okaasan also dismissed the notion. “They’re cooked and would never stick.” I was…

Okaasan Birthday Gift

Nov 23rd, 2008 Family & Friends, Travel Douglas 1 min read

It was final. My father in law (“Otousan”) was NOT going to drive us. He suggested instead that we just stay home and celebrate Okaasan’s birthday here at the house. The kids were disappointed. They really wanted to take their Obaachan out but he wanted to get nice and drunk. Everyone agreed to my suggestion that we take the bus. By the time the women…

The Beach

Nov 11th, 2008 Family & Friends, Travel Douglas 1 min read

My Japanese uncle is in remarkable shape for a man of seventy-five. During our stay here in Kochi, He has spent most days fishing with the kids, picking yuzu and nights drinking; alternating between sake and beer. Tonight, after a few pours, I found him hovering over a stack of photos depicting scenes from his youth. Ojichan (uncle) paused on a particular image and longingly…

All About the Bride

Nov 9th, 2008 Family & Friends, Travel Douglas 1 min read

Kochi no Obachan (our aunt from Kochi) entered the room with a stack of photo albums that had once belonged to Yumi’s obaachan (grandmother) before she passed away. The albums were almost as old as Obaachan’s two-hundred-year-old house where we were spending the weekend. I eagerly poured through the pages, asking many questions as Yumi translated. I was excited to discover an entire album dedicated…

Family of Bootleggers

Nov 9th, 2008 Family & Friends, Travel Douglas 1 min read

It was no idle boast to say that they owned the mountain. And how they ended up with so much land was weighing on my mind as another round of drinks were poured. My wife’s uncle, now 75 years old, explained their samurai roots. In fact, one of the family relics, an ancient sword, was even in his possession as a child. Not realizing its…

Living a Memory…

Nov 8th, 2008 Travel Douglas 1 min read

We’ve now been in Japan for little over a month (with 3 weeks to go). This past week I had an opportunity to dance with the famed Tokushima dancers, cross accent rope vine bridge, journey in a small boat down a winding canyon river, sleep in a 200+ year old Japanese house, fish a remote stream, climb a treacherous footpath up a lush green mountain,…

Twist on Customer Service

Oct 13th, 2008 Travel Douglas 1 min read

Wandering through Mall in Hirakata and came across this store. You have to give it to them. It’s definitely a unique approach to customer service.

Walking Wardrobe

Oct 22nd, 2007 Family & Friends, Travel Douglas 1 min read

Otousan arrived today. As is tradition, Okaasan stuffed his suitcases full of goodies for the kids. This time she may have gotten a little carried away. His luggage was so full that he actually had no room for anything else and literally showed up wearing four layers of clothing and sweating profoundly.