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

Exploring early industrialization in Izu

Japan's rapid industrialization during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), when the country was re-opened to international trade after more than 250 years of isolation, was nothing short of remarkable.  The various achievements of the period were recognized by UNESCO in 2015 when it listed 23 components at 11 sites as "Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: … Continue reading Exploring early industrialization in Izu