Category Archives: Reviews

Konbucha: a popular tea with health benefits…or not?

Konbucha tea seems to be increasingly popular these days. For example, at one Whole Foods Market grocery store in Portland there is a konbucha bar with a lineup of teas on tap, and there are many types of konbucha drinks for sale in the refrigerated drink section. Coincidentally, when recently reading a magazine I came across an article which… Read More »

Japanese book review: “文藝年鑑” (Literature Yearbook) [an important guide for acquiring rights to publish Japanese works]

In the process of researching how to obtain official legal permission to translate and publish certain Japanese authors, I discovered the book “文藝年鑑” (bungei nenkan), which can be translated as “Literature Yearbook”. In this post I’d like to review this important reference guide, especially useful to translators and those deeply interested in Japanese literature. (By… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 11 – Miraikan science museum and Odaiba

This article is part of the series about my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. In a previous article about robots I mentioned the Miraikan museum, also known as “The National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation.” In this… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 10 – Robots in Japan

This article is part of the series about my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. I’ve been interested in robots since my college years (I took a class where we built and programmed robots), and I’m very lucky that… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 9 – Hokkaido: Sapporo and Hakodate (with pictures)

This article is part of the series on my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. None of us had been to northeast Japan before, so we decided to spend a good portion of this trip in the cities of… Read More »

Japan Trip 2018 (Tokyo/Hokkaido): Part 8 – Visiting Square Enix Cafe in Akihabara

This article is part of the series on my July 2018 trip to Japan. Please see the table of contents page for other articles in this series as they are posted. While walking through Akihabara we stumbled on the “Square Enix Cafe”, a restaurant that I had never heard of before; but being a Final… Read More »

Gotta catch ’em all (in Japanese): Learning Pokemon cards in a foreign language

In my college days, I was really into the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, although in the last decade or two I don’t think I’ve played a single game. One of the fun things about having children is the possibility of exposing your hobbies and interests to them, and if you are lucky they… Read More »

Japanese literature review: “Utopia” (ユートピア) by Kanae Minato (湊かなえ)

On a recent trip to Japan (which I am in the process of reporting on here), I browsed through many bookstores. Because my reading speed in Japanese still hasn’t quite caught up to my English reading speed, rather than actually read a few pages of a book I generally focus on searching for covers and… Read More »