The Brilliant Naja Ferjan on the importance and the art of developing a bilingual mind.

Among my all-time favorite Tedx Talks, Ramirez translates the value maintaining your presence in the world while staying abreast of cultural transitions. The world is ever changing, and so are we. Why not work in tandem with those around us?

Disarming and motivating. I’d love your feedback on Ramirez’ talk.

Wishing you well,

Scribes and Sake: Kasa-Jizo (かなじぞ)

Reading fairytales within the origin language. Contextual agreements between time and place, emotions and aesthetics. We might localize our hearts out but truth be told we humans are too complex to translate.

#japanese #japaneselanguage #folklore #fable

Ramen Egg (味付け玉子): Hidden Secrets of the perfectly runny, not-too-gooey Ajitsuke Tamago

Photo by Ponyo Sakana on

Frigid evening

A fresh, brothy noodles slurps

near the oishii


“I felt that I was a noodle. It was spooky. I hope to read more by Niko. Perhaps next time, something longer.”- Zob Gloop

Oh the pleasures of taste come in myriad ways. The foods and the paths they take, swirling about our world in a bath of culture, both yeast and human. One of the greatest of which comes in the shape of the oh-so perfectly runny, not-too-gooey ramen egg, the 味付け玉子 (Ajitsuke Tamago).




1 卵を沸騰した湯に入れ、7分程ゆで、冷水につけてから殻をむく
2 鍋で水・醤油・みりん・砂糖をひと煮立ちさせる
3 冷ましたタレに卵を漬けて、一晩おいて完成

Boiled eggs that can be used as side dishes, side dishes, and lunch boxes. It makes me happy when I have a soft-boiled egg with a soft-boiled egg and a thick yolk. You can easily make it using mentsuyu-type soy sauce, but I compared the taste with boiled eggs without dashi stock.

4 eggs
40 ml of water
Soy sauce 30ml
Mirin 20ml
2 teaspoons of sugar

How to make
1 Put the eggs in boiling water, boil them for about 7 minutes, soak them in cold water, and then peel them.
2 Boil water, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a pot.
3 Soak the egg in a cold sauce and leave it overnight to complete

Subscribe below to learn how to achieve otherworldly levels of umami!!!
(ps: using various soy sauces)




6 variations of boiled eggs

When I put each egg soaked in sauce and left overnight on a plate, it was nicely colored. If you put them side by side, you can see the difference in color. Then cut it in half and compare the taste. We will compare it with other ones based on the standard boiled egg of dark soy sauce.

Boiled eggs of white soy sauce and light soy sauce are recommended for those who like light seasoning because the soy sauce feeling is modest and the egg taste is strong. On the other hand, boiled eggs of re-prepared soy sauce and tame soy sauce do not feel so salty, but the soy sauce feel is firm and deep.

ビルマの竪琴 – Plucking the Burmese Harp: A Film Review

Director Kon Ichikawa plucks the fruits of Eastern spirituality throughout a film that at once condemns the horrors of war and celebrates the spontaneity of life.

The Burmese Harp resonates with optimism. It is a song that champions the individual and honors the collective in a style uniquely East Asian in philosophy. Or made available to those who have experienced the trials of war themselves. Ichikawa was no stranger to life under severe scrutiny having worked throughout the postwar U.S. Occupation Force, navigating the tedium of censorship. In fact, Ichikawa’s sensibilities echo postwar narratives of compassion. They highlight the dangers of intransigence. They waste no time in mourning – for life under occupation was unlike anything the Nation had hitherto experienced. This was the age of Japan’s democratization. After the near-decade of U.S. Occupation. The military all but dismantled. The technology boom in its infancy. The Emperor had denounced his role as godhead. Up was down, down up. But there was a radiance that shimmered encouragingly as Japan rebuilt. The Burmese Harp is an embodiment of everything all at once. A hyperlink between 1940 and 1954. A decade of feelings. Of politics. Of conflict. Of resolution. 


These values can be seen in other humanists at the time – a movement to which Ichikawa undoubtedly belonged. According to Isolde Standish, artists offer a “counter-aesthetic” to the stark realism employed by such directors as Ozu. “They proffer the possibility of change based on an individual’s choices and therefore they offer hope.” (pg. 237 2005)

Ichikawa’s brand of humanism observed the world through an eye of Iki 粋/いき (refinement), carried an air of Yugen. The slow-burn of The Burmese Harp is a one-two-punch of the Jo-ha-kyū (序破急) whereupon a case is opened, constructed, and executed in condemnation of war. A raw critique of colonial aspirations. Indeed, the Japanese Colonial Empire is at its most fragile in this film as we follow a Japanese platoon through the trials of life as POWs. The armed conflict has come to an end but the real struggle for identity begins as units of soldiers are once again individualized and separated into their component parts. Each and everyone a self of their own accord. We follow Mizushima’s pilgrimage throughout the film as his life works in tandem with the then-contemporary institutionalized “dotoku kyoiku” movement – seeking to re-educate and reform Japanese youth identity in relation to nationhood. To reconfigure moral obligation. A delicate task.  Mizushima’s loss as a soldier and rise as free-agent strikes a resemblance to those Japanese nations who experienced the war from the mainland, who committed themselves to the cause without question and were left to pick up the pieces when all was said and done — in this case, all was lost. 

Starring 三國 連太郎 (Mikuni Rentarō) as Private Mizushima

The Burmese Campaign as depicted in the film is a theatre of senseless violence pitting humanity against the state. And yet within every sector of the state, there stands an individual. And once isolated from the group, they are likely to proceed with kindness. Captain Inoue’s unfailing commitment to Mizushima, the British soldier’s respect for their captives. Collectively Soldiers become martyred in blind faith or captured in defeat. Whereas the individual moves throughout the world. Uneasily, sure, but with a sense of self and service. This miracle work of an individual’s volition – to dance a line between one’s needs and sacrifice for others — is the key ingredient to a truly prosperous nation.

Works Cited

Standish, I. (2005). Cinema and Transgression. In A new history of Japanese cinema: A century of narrative film (pp. 220-269). New York: Continuum.

Engaging in Japan: Tsunami Impacted Schoolchildren

Japan. Land of the Rising Sun. Home of the world’s first novel. Where spirit, body, and mind are one and the same.

In 2011 a mad-eyed tsunami tore through the seaside village of Rikuzentakata. As if the preceding earthquake wasn’t enough. The region fell into a state of anxiety. There remains work to be done after a decade of campaigns and relief. This is reflected in the education sector, the remains of which a mere remnant – school rebuilding, various institutions failed to achieve proper funding. As you may know, I have the immense privilege of studying Japanese and English and the University of Missouri where I am preparing for a career in education and translations. Through Mizzou I have built a program that will allow me to spend a semester abroad working alongside schoolchildren assisting in educational needs, providing both locals, and myself with insight, opportunity, and chances for growth. But to tell you the truth, I cannot do this on my own.

I have applied for the Gilman Scholarship, a brutally competitive program, but even their assistance only goes so far. This is not a joy ride, and it’s certainly not a vacation. My goal is to emphasize education for children in rural areas. To participate in the cultural exchange to foster ties between East and West, between the United States and Japan. To join alongside the local community in a program developed to do just this. Simultaneously pursuing a language intensive program aimed at fluency. Our role in this globalized world is to champion cross-cultural compassion. To break stereotypes. To build healthy, sustainable connections. A genuine understanding of the relationship between our wildly diverse nations while exploring the rich traditions of an extraordinary past.

These ambitions form the bedrock of my future career. As an educator, an ambassador of culture. I’ve launched a website where I will share the experience with you. Through a series of articles, I will present the places, the people, the path to achieving these goals.



The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States

Murakami Haruki is perhaps the best-known and most widely translated Japanese author of his generation. Despite Murakami’s critical and commercial success, particularly in the United States, his role as a mediator between Japanese and American literature and culture is seldom discussed. 

Bringing a comparative perspective to the study of Murakami’s fiction, Rebecca Suter complicates our understanding of the author’s oeuvre and highlights his contributions not only as a popular writer but also as a cultural critic on both sides of the Pacific. Suter concentrates on Murakami’s short stories―less known in the West but equally worthy of critical attention―as sites of some of the author’s bolder experiments in manipulating literary (and everyday) language, honing cross-cultural allusions, and crafting metafictional techniques. This study scrutinizes Murakami’s fictional worlds and their extraliterary contexts through a range of discursive lenses: modernity and postmodernity, universalism and particularism, imperialism and nationalism, Orientalism and globalization.

By casting new light on the style and substance of Murakami’s prose, Suter situates the author and his works within the sphere of contemporary Japanese literature and finds him a prominent place within the broader sweep of the global literary scene.


“This timely and thought-provoking work, which focuses on Murakami’s short stories and applies a mixture of sophisticated literary theory and close reading, is a most welcome addition to previous critical writing on the author.” Matthew C. Strecher , Journal of Japanese Studies

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