Archive for March, 2010

Elizabethan comedy traditionally ends with a marriage that resolves the tensions that have, up to the point of the marriage, been driving the plot along.  My Ayabe trilogy, on the other hand, really has no plot at all so it makes perfect sense to put the happy ending first and then fill in the details […]


The Voigtländer Bessa-T is one of the earlier models in Cosina’s revivalist lineup of handsomely designed rangefinder cameras.  Produced soon after the Bessa-L and the Bessa-R, the T sported a slightly stronger retro-classic aesthetic than the other two models in addition to being the first of the modern Voigtländers to use the Leica M mount […]


The Osaka University Photography Club holds two group exhibitions a year.  The current exhibition runs until March 16th, and it’s well worth visiting as this year’s offering features a lot of really exceptional work.  The show is being held at the Pilsner Gallery, which is within easy walking distance of Shinsaibashi Station (exit 6).  If […]


In Japan the tai (鯛) — often translated as ‘sea bream’ even though there’s no precise English equivalent — is a fish that’s associated with good luck because its name rhymes with the Japanese word medetai (目出度い), which means ‘auspicious’ or ‘lucky.’  Because of this, tai is often served during the new year period, or […]


Every city in Japan has its own specialty foods, and Nagoya is no exception.  The list of regional specialties includes miso-katsu (pork cutlets with miso sauce), tenmusu (rice balls with tempura inside), and ogura toast (anko — red bean paste — on toast).  I think my favorite of all must be hitsumabushi — grilled eel […]


Nagoya’s Atsuta-jingu (熱田神宮) is one of the most ancient imperial shrines in Japan, established during the reign of Emperor Keikō (71-130 CE).  The shrine was originally built to house the Kusanagi no Tsurugi, a legendary sword originally discovered by the gods inside the body of a serpent.  Though the Kusanagi has mythological origins, there is […]


Nagoya Castle — Nagoya-jo (名古屋城) in Japanese — is, like most of the castles in Japan, a reconstruction.  Originally built sometime around 1525 it underwent several expansions and and radical remodelings, until it was finally remodeled to the ground in 1945 during a U.S. air raid.  The current castle structure is made from concrete and […]