Shakado Museum of Jomon Culture – really digging back in time

The valleys and mountains north of Mt. Fuji are full of remnants of the lives of some of Japan's earliest inhabitants--the Jomon hunters and gatherers of Japan's pre-agricultural period (traditionally dated between 14,000 and 300 BCE).  But archaeologists have had to dig for it. Archaeology has only been undertaken in Japan for about 150 years, a … Continue reading Shakado Museum of Jomon Culture – really digging back in time

Sekigahara: New movie brings the battle, and the battlefield, to life

This article is a combination movie review and travel piece, looking at both the new release movie "Sekigahara" and the Sekigahara battlefield in Gifu Prefecture.  Both deserve attention.  Readers in Tokyo, note especially the screenings of the movie with English subtitles during the first week of its release. (Archived article - Originally published by Japan … Continue reading Sekigahara: New movie brings the battle, and the battlefield, to life

Getting salt from the sea the old-fashioned way

Salt is an essential nutritional element for humans.  It is also a widely used preservative and, in some cultures--like Japan--, it's regarded as a purification element for religious purposes. Over millenia we've learned many ways to extract this mineral from the world around us.  In the Japanese archipelago, where one is never more than 90 … Continue reading Getting salt from the sea the old-fashioned way