Thursday, September 27, 2012

So I am going to switch this shiz up a bit. I am discontinuing writing about just Japan. I am going to throw in the other millions of things that I am interested in...mainly nature based things...or Japanese things haha. So starting sometime this week I am keeping up...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Obasan no uchi de gohan o tabemashita.

I had lunch this past Saturday at a Japanese lady's house. Her name is Yasuko-san, and this Lady is soooo nice! Not only did she invite me over for lunch, but she made me feel right at home. Thank goodness that she did, because I was so nervous. Haha. I really have not been around Japanese people for a few years, at least not on a consistent basis. There were six other ladies that joined us, and the atmosphere was very reminiscent of the cooking class I went to in Kanazawa.... It mainly reminded me of Kanazawa, because apparently Japanese ladies like to tease a lot. Haha. 
This obasan was helping us cook tempura.
The cooking class that we went to in Kanazawa consisted of three stations. There was the temupra station, the sushi station, and the soup station. Making tempura was my first actual encounter with cooking chopsticks. I was surprised at how long they were! I was pretty happy that they were long though, because I hate hate hate!!!! getting hot grease or any sort of hot anything on my skin, especially when they are little droplets! Anyways... this station was not where I was teased.

This was the station where I was teased...A LOT! First of all I apparently suck at rolling sushi, second off I had no idea that I was supposed to wet my knife before trying to cut seaweed. It was pretty funny though. I actually enjoyed making the obasans laugh, but what killed me is that when we were all done eating and I brought back everything I ate with they pointed at my sushi plate, back at me, and then started laughing all over again. I don't show color much, but I'm pretty sure that I was red.

Ingredients for tempura. My favorite
is pumpkin temupra. I had it at Yasuko-san
no uchi.

This was basically a huge wok that
we used to fry the Tempura.

I can't wait to learn how to cook
even more Japanese foods...
Hopefully Yasuko-san will teach
me! Also since going to Japan I have learned that using a sushi mold is a lot easier...just sayin.

These are just close ups of the finished products. Notice the beautiful coloring of my tempura and disregard my sad excuse for a sushi roll...however the sushi did taste better anyways so whatever.
Our beautiful meal...and my not so beautiful sushi... as you can
see in the background there is sushi that is how it is supposed
to actually look...:/ 

Ah, how we all grow up. Just another day in good ol' Kanazawa with
good ol' friends.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

O Kamisama ga Watashi o aishite imasu!

So I had been having a hard time finding native Japanese speakers around where I live, which totally sucked because the fastest way to learn the language is to immerse yourself and to speak with natives. So, at work we have quite a few Asian costumers that come in, but they are mostly Chinese or Korean. The only Japanese people that would come in are 2nd generation from Hawaii. So I have been praying that I could find at least one person to talk to. Finally a Japanese lady came in, but she was soooo new to America that she couldn't understand me at all and the accent was a lot different as well... so my Japanese didn't help either. I gave her my number anyways, but I figured that she would, more likely than not, not call me...and I was right.
I was pretty bummed out about it, but I just moved on... A few days later I was working a morning shift and one of our regulars came in. I had always felt like I should ask him what nationality he was but I never did. That morning I finally bucked up and asked him. Turns out that he is half Japanese and that his mother lived just down the road!!! He called her up on his cell and let me talk to her, right then and there, and she invited me over for lunch with her friends! I was so happy. I had really been wondering if pursuing Japanese was really for me and if it was really a path that I wanted to take. Not only did I have lunch that day, but she gave me a retired Japanese professor's number and I have also met with her! And She doesn't charge!!!
I seriously feel so blessed and happy. I have also realized that I truly am learning way more than had thought. I feel that things really are starting to fall into place!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Paper Cranes

modern art wedding origami paper cranes
This was a good picture to find because I was sort of worried
that it would look silly to have all different colors instead of
having just my wedding colors, but I love it!

I know that it has been a hot minute since I last wrote, but I have been pretty busy with wedding plans. At first I was not really sure what to base the theme on...since apparently I should have a theme haha. I think that I have finally figured it out though. Surprise! It's Japanese themed... O.K. so it is not really that big of a surprise, but I am a fairly complex person in my interest and so it was actually pretty hard for me to pick something. I have hit the ground running with this idea though and have even started folding a thousand paper cranes.
I know that you are probably supposed to fold them all yourself, but I don't have time to do such things, so I enlisted the family! Oddly enough it has been a pretty bonding pastime for us. Even my sister and I have been getting along better. I just wish that she would stop giving them away to people that see her doing them... Anyways it has only been about two weeks but we are on a role for sure.
It was impossible to find them in my exact wedding colors, which are eggplant purple, burnt orange, and scarlet red, so I just bought a bunch of eclectic designs and went to work. That is one thing that I love about japanese prints is that they are so colorful and detailed, and that is how I would like for my reception to turn out.
Folding these cranes has been so relaxing for me. You have to be patient and focus on detail and exactness and in a small way I feel as if it is honing my ability for patience with many other things. It could be my imagination, but I also feel like there is a pretty significant lesson in this practice. Its Sunday so I am gonna go ahead and throw this out there.
When I fold cranes I think of how our Heavenly Father must view us. Though I have hundreds to go, to make each one turn out right I have to take the time to align and fold each crease, and after I am done I take time to admire the one I have finished. Each is so different even with careful attention to detail, and though when I am finished people will not look at the way each one is different I will still love every one that I have made. If I can love a single paper crane think of the way that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, and think of the patience he also must hold for us as he gently, but firmly shapes us into new and beautiful beings.
Love for Japan: Paper Crane Tradition :  wedding japan traditions Paperc Paper Crane Tradition :  wedding decor los angeles traditions Paperc
This is one way to use them that I think will be very pretty.