Book Review: Auspicious Animals, The Art of Good Omens by Jun’ichi Uchiyama

If you have ever looked at a Japanese silk screen print or sculpture and wondered what the cranes, monkeys or bears mean…this book is for you! I found this beautiful book in an art gallery and decided that, despite the hefty price-tag, I simply had to own it! This elegant coffee table book charts the artistic symbolism of animals in northern Asia with a particular focus on Japan and China. Each page is translated and in both Japanese and English.

Comforting Thought: Soft Fascination

We pay attention differently when we are in nature. This is called ‘soft fascination’ The great 19th century thinker William James (brother of novelist Henry James) proposed that there are two ways of paying attention. The first is voluntary and directed, which is used for tasks that demand concentration. For example doing work, walking alongContinue reading “Comforting Thought: Soft Fascination”

Ancient Word of the Day: Komorebi

This Japanese word has no direct translation to English but means ‘the sunlight filtering through the leaves of the trees’. It is made up of three Kanji characters: 木 means tree 漏 means ‘to leak’ or ‘to escape’ 日 means sun Komorebi 木漏日 ~ from Japanese. ‘Sunlight filtering through the leaves of trees The wordContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Komorebi”

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #88

Cuddle your furry ones closely, plant some forests, enjoy some funky house music and chomp down on some crispy tofu in this week’s edition #88. Hope you enjoy this trans-aurealian train journey.

Ancient Word of the Day: Sansai

Sansai. n. ‘mountain vegetables’ from Japanese. Sansai grow wild in marshlands, and grasslands, or in the forest. Japanese people have been gathering wild food to cook with since ancient times. In fact, wild plants or Sansai have helped Japanese when food has been scarce because of drought or some other natural disaster. When food wasContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Sansai”

Book Review: Shinrin-Yoku The Art and Science of Forest Bathing by Dr Qing Li

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Publisher: Nippon Medical School/Penguin Books. Genre: Non-Fiction, Health, Nature, Spirituality. Review in one word: Immersive This is one of the most supremely nourishing books to gift yourself or someone you love. Shinrin-Yoku is your guide to the ancient Japanese art of ‘Forest Bathing’, which is the English translation of the eponymous title. IContinue reading “Book Review: Shinrin-Yoku The Art and Science of Forest Bathing by Dr Qing Li”

Surreal vintage mental health posters from Japan

I found these amazing Japanese advertisements and vintage posters advertising Abilify, Zoloft, Ritalin, Serenase and other medications that are used for a variety of different mental health conditions. Despite me not knowing how to read Japanese, the storytelling here through design is evocative, straight-forward to understand and incredibly imaginative. It brings to mind Dali andContinue reading “Surreal vintage mental health posters from Japan”

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #83

Welcome to the cosy cabin of your collective fantasies, featuring Aphex Twin’s serene ambient music, snow globe creatures encased in pure sugar and a softly-spoken Japanese woman whispering compliments to you, frozen ghost apples, post-partum pomeranians, African samurais and more. It’s edition #83…indulge it’s sugar-free and palm oil free. Richard D James AKA Aphex TwinContinue reading “10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #83”

Netsuke & Gashapon toys Ancient Japanese treasures and modern collectibles

Netsuke are uniquely Japanese and sublime in their beauty. They are tiny objects carved of ivory, ceramic, wood, tortoise-shell, gold or many other materials. They tell the story of the culture of Japan during the old Edo period and before. Netsuke featured fishermen and farmers, who rubbed shoulders with scholars, samurai warriors, royalty and evenContinue reading “Netsuke & Gashapon toys Ancient Japanese treasures and modern collectibles”

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #76

In edition #76 we will check out a Pink Floyd concert in Venise, read adoring odes to beautiful trees, see a beetle’s face up close and meet a man saving apples from extinction. I hope you enjoy this trip… Remarkable macro-photography of a Longhorn beetle Cerambyx Scopolii by Thorben Danke Originally tweeted by Thorben DankeContinue reading “10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #76”