Feature Article Achive

"Moms in the Fast Lane - Biking With Kids" By Cornelia
"Child-safety experts now believe that bike riding with a baby involves too many risks. Don't even consider taking your baby along unless your child is at least one year old. Avoid busy thoroughfares. Better yet hire a sitter."
I am quoting from the very popular book (in the USA), What to Expect the First Year, by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff and Sandee Hathaway (copyright 1989, p 318). Yikes! Some advice simply does not apply to dwellers of Tokyo-to. (continued)

"Home is Where the Heart Is" By Kit
It's noisy here. It's constipated with people, yet isolating. It's expensive and rule-bound. A melon really can cost $30, and the nail that sticks up frequently does get beaten down. And where are the geisha, and mountains, and Zen sensibilities, for crying out loud? Neither as exotic as you hoped, nor as normal as it seems, Tokyo can take getting used to. Plus, here you are with the kids, who expect you, oh Wise One, to know how to read the label on a can of beans! You might tell yourself that you don't really live here. But watch out. Despite everything, Tokyo has a way of growing on you. (continued)

"Greetings in Japanese; A Primer, A Story, A Moral" By Kit
Hi there, everybody! Geeky beginning, right? Well, the article actually starts here, and the focus is on greetings. Salutations of one sort or another come naturally to most of us the world over. But in Japan, formalized greetings acknowledge a social structure full of responsibilities and complex hierarchies. (continued)

"The Family Tree: A Tale of Sex, Fame, and Sorrow" By Kit
The view from my living room window isn't bad, but you can't miss the rusting T.V. antennae and the inelegant butts of buildings. Last fall, hoping to block out the eyesores, I bought a potted tree, a skinny Benjamin ficus that was on sale at the local florist shop. I should have bought a baobab, of course, but the ficus was all I could afford. I kept shifting the six foot tall, poodle-cut tree from one side to another, trying for the best camouflage. (continued)

"Tutu Funny; A Foreign Ballet Student in Japan" By Susan Hirakawa
I should have known from the first lesson that I got more than I had bargained for in joining a Ballet class here in Japan. It was not so much what I got but what I ended up giving to the rest of the class. (continued)

"Positive Experience at Local Public School: A Group Effort" By Lynda Watson
For me, sending our children to a Japanese Elementary School was a bit like giving birth for the first time. There was the blissful anticipation of something new, the reality that you have to cope with something you know nothing about, and the realization that this is a time consuming occupation! (continued)

"Drawing is FUN !" By Kristin Newton
Maybe you are 100% certain that you can't draw, or maybe you are very competent and confident in your drawing ability. Maybe you are one of those who have had the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" on their book shelf for the last 10 years, or maybe you are one of those who have never even heard of it.

"Making Japanese Plum Syrup and Umeshu (Plum Liqueur)" By Cornelia and Lesley Takeda
Why make plum syrup? Well, it's incredibly easy. Think of it as similar to a raspberry cordial but with a completely different and unique flavor. It is sweet, yet refreshing, when it is mixed together with ice cold water, or club soda, or even shochu (a white grain alcohol), to make a light beverage good for hot and humid weather. It is considered a healthy drink by the Japanese!

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