Long Chicken

Long Chicken

Long Chicken

Once upon a time, important enlightenment penetrated this malleable mind at the most delicious yakitori shops in all of Japan.

Enjoy the food at Toricho-03 - Land Of The Rising Son

This out-of-the-way, hole-in-the-wall was run by the dishevelled master~

Mr. Toricho 1997 - Land Of The Rising Son

and his somewhat rustic wife.

Mrs. Toricho 1997 - Land Of The Rising Son

This kind of special place was truly representative of the Japan one encountered often back in the early days, but these kinds of atmospheric shop, alas, are now slowly fading away.

The kitchen floor was like a traditional style Japanese farm house—earthen.

Kitchen 01 - Land Of The Rising Son

Not only was his electrical octopus maxed out, it was also smothered in grease—a wonder the place didn’t burn down.

Toricho Electrical Outlet Covered With Grease 2023- Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-19 - Land Of The Rising Son

Often the guests coming in later were those who carried out business outside traditional hours.

ヤクザ - Land Of The Rising Son

One of the boys plopped himself right down beside this Occxie and started to chit-chat about this and that.

Always amicable for conversation, one could not help but notice this individual was missing both his pinkies and a ring finger.

ヤクザ Missing Fingers - Land Of The Rising Son

Nonetheless, there was never reason to inquire as to his line of work while engaging him with mediocre Japanese language skills.

The protocol here is to adhere to the age-old adage:

Do not judge a book by its cover.

All guest, no matter what class or status, were there united in a common purpose—to consume the masterfully cooked Toricho chicken-on-a-skewer—among many other types of home-style cooking in the Japanese country kitchen.

Toricho Tare Chicken On A Stick

Toricho holds a very special place in the heart of this country-boy who came from a very far away and conceptually remote world.

Enjoy the food at Toricho-02 - Land Of The Rising Son

This was a very favourite place to go to in the wee hours of one’s youth, and two dearly departed friends, in particular were an important part of that particular period.

Toricho Master in the Kitchen - Land Of The Rising Son

The closing time of this joint?

When the last customer left.

Often in tandem with the crowing of the roosters and the distant sound of newspaper deliverymen making rounds at the crack of dawn on the standard Honda Cub 50.

新聞配達中 - Land Of The Rising Son

When asked what the secret was to his delicious chicken he said:

“Cook the parts that aren’t.”

Kitchen 03 - Land Of The Rising Son

This stuck as a metaphor for things one starts but never finishes.

Half baked one could say.

Kitchen 02 - Land Of The Rising Son

This comes into much more clear focus as the week and month really start to whisk by as the days of one’s life upon earthly paradise dwindle away one-by-one—mostly unnoticed—until the final decline.

Toricho Winter 2023-12 - Land Of The Rising Son

It is folly to believe all whims of youth should come to fruition, but the niggling in the heart and the voice whispering in the ear for years can not be silenced—not up until the final door—marked EXIT.

Final Exit - Land Of The Rising Son

One has had a few of these uncooked items on the metaphorical plate for eons, and now the forward motion and inspiration to “cook the parts that aren’t” are palpable—again in the immortal words of the Toricho master:

“Cook the parts that aren’t.”

The secret of the Toricho chicken-on-a-skewer was never revealed as the heavy smoking and mostly drunk Toricho master passed away early (50ish), and the shop close many moons ago today.

Toricho Master Funeral Picture - Land Of The Rising Son

He passed his life in service to the hungry and thirsty of our community without giving a thought to his lot one way or another, for his destine was to be the Toricho master, and thus it was so.

Life passes by in the blink of an eye, so one must finish the unfinished masterpieces of one own life, before it’s too late, and to “cook the parts that aren’t.”

Mr &Mrs Toricho - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-01 - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-02 - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-05 - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-06 - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-08 - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-11 - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-17 - Land Of The Rising Son

Toricho Winter 2023-15 - Land Of The Rising Son

 

Wide Face

Wide Face

Wide Face

One of the fundamental societal protocols in Japan is the timeless nugget ringing so very true, especially here in Japan:

It isn’t what you know, but who you know.

Tokyo Shibuya crossing during rush hour - Land Of The Rising Son

Keeping in mind the deeply rooted Japanese social conventions, and up until relatively recently, being really brilliant in Japan was often more of a hindrance than a help.

One can not easily shirk away the DNA of Japanese heritage or the rigid hierarchy of the Japanese system, and historically standing out from the crowd, especially in intelligence, was taboo.

TABOO - Land Of The Rising SonUnlike Occxie-land, where innovations and inventions are dreamt up by maverick individuals and anointed discoverers, Japanese society could be described as a cohesive beehive where the embedded protocol of Form—Order—Process are adhered to innately as a matter of societal conventions.

Valuable skills to navigate the murky, social waters and unspoken conventions of Japan are not based solely upon IQ, but also in the ability to read the air and a distinct understanding one’s place in the strict hierarchical society of Japan is imperative for a successful life in Japan.

Japanese-respect - Land Of The Rising Son
Those who succeed at the highest level of any endeavour in Japan have successfully created a network of trusted individuals, in many cases starting with the original human network often created among one’s primary or junior high school classmates—dōkyūsei, kōhai, and senpai.

One who has created a very powerful extensive network of reciprocal contact is regarded as one who has a wide face—kao ga hiroi.

Traditionally all economic and political activity in Japan has been based on personal relations, having and maintaining strong contacts in all of the pertinent areas of business and government, and this ancient system continues to prevail and will do so until the end of time.

The End of Time - Land Of The Rising Son

People with kao ga hiroi know, and are known by a large number of people, and are among the most valuable connection one can have whether within a company or an organization.

This also rings true for one’s circle of friends and acquaintances, and it is always wise to have a trusted connection with those who have are “kao ga hiroi

Emperor Naruhito - Land Of The Rising Son

Generally speaking being described as kao ga hiroi is a major compliment.

Certainly in Japanese, the concept of face embodies significantly deeper implications than conceptually available to Occxies, who only communicate using Latin based languages—particularly those featuring singular and plural and countable and non-countable nouns.

Truly, there are many useful phrases in Japanese embodying the concept of “face”and using handy phrases such as these will allow one to look more skillful and adept in Japanese language proficiency, regardless of actual level.

kao ga kiku
“face is effective”
In other words “face” takes on the meaning of influence. Therefore, the individual concerned is powerful enough to get things done.

kao ga ureteiru
“person’s face sells well”
A companion to kao ga hiro, the figurative meaning is the individual having a wide circle of friends and is popular among them.

kao ga tsubureru
“lose face”
Making someone lose face is one of the most egregious error to make in Japan. Here one can be sure to have made a life long enemy if ever being the catalyst for someone losing face—especially while shaming them in front of a group of peers and colleagues.

kao wo tateru
“save face or honour.”
Here the slighted can recover honour and face. In Old Japan, face was restored by the time honoured tradition universally innate to all homo sapiens—an eye for an eye.

kao wo kikasu
“use one’s influence”
Use the “face” to influence the surroundings and make one’s own community a wonderful place for everyone.

kao wo kashite kudasai
“please lend me your face”
The Japanese are fundamentally insular people, and any foreigners showing up in Japan without some connection, which can be considered “face,” in other words, with no contacts or connections are at a serious disadvantage.

advantages-and-disadvantages - Land Of The Rising Son

It is always advantageous to associate with those who are in a position to lend their face and to “use influence to help.”

Remember, to get things done properly in Japan, especially those who are coming for the first time and do not have anyone with the power of the kao, it is well advised to take the advice described above and round up someone who has a “face that is effective” (kao ga kiku).

As the importance of kao in Japanese society can not be understated, it is imperative to be aware of the gravity of metaphors attached to one’s very own kao, and the karma of “face” will always remain after any words are spoken.

Don't lose face - Land Of The Rising Son

 

 

 

 

What Goes Around

What Goes Around

What Goes Around

What Goes Around​

The never ending flow of enchanting four-character compounds—yojijukugo—is a source of endless fascination.

Frequently, these salient phrases are embedded with profound wisdom, moral lessons, and cautionary decrees—which are to be ignored at one’s own peril.

Many have their roots in Buddhism—other deriving from more ancient spiritual tenets and protocols.

Buddhism - Land Of The Rising Son

The object of today’s examination is rooted in Buddhist philosophy and connected to Karma.

in ga ō hō
因果応報

The definitions are many definitions suck as retribution; just deserts; poetic justice; rewards (in a negative meaning).

In particular, today’s notion is about Karma.

羯磨 - Land Of The Rising SonKarma could be describe as—divine retribution—a glaring light shinning of one’s unpleasant behaviour—both in past lives, plus these day as well.

Even more so, perhaps certain types of divine retribution are meant to stings much more bitterly when the dammed can still feel a modicum of carnal sensation—in particular, when shocked monetarily—or with an unexpected death to haunt them for the remainder of their lives.

lightning-forefinger - Land Of The Rising Son

Over decades in Japan, one has encountered every character representing the full spectrum of the human rainbow—several of them were extremely unpleasant.

Everyone has a story about these kinds of parasites in one’s own sphere looking to leech away as much as they can.

Parasite - Land Of The Rising Son

This particular unsavoury man reputation preceded him—but one was taught—for better or worse—give the stranger the benefit of the doubt.

At the start of venture this miserable old person also soon employed two of his sons—this is what is known as nepotism.

Having made a verbal agreement at the beginning of the project in front of witnesses one was surprised when the time came there was no compensation forthcoming.

Alas, not one certificate of gratitude whatsoever—thus, one’s time and effort over the 6 month-period had be assigned a value of 0.

Needless to say, like all relationships that have 0 value, the connection was terminated.

Burning-Money - Land Of The Rising Son

However, the ever present grapevine brought a small bird to bear new of the fate of his unhappy family.

Indeed, both grime tidings were about the very two sons who worked in the doomed project of their delusional father.

One of the sons had just married a lovely mixed Japanese and Indian woman who was not only very beautiful, but she was very smart.

Unfortunately, the same thing can not be said about the first grandson of this family.

Karma has a cruel way to say things clear and loud while allowing for the students to pick up, open, and start to read the book of enlightenment, which has been laid at the disciples feet by Karma herself—this is optional nonetheless.

There is nothing that quite sears the truth into one’s own soul like the stark realizations embedded into pithy drivel:

Learning is a gift even when pain is your teacher.

Premature baby in an incubator - Land Of The Rising Son

It is even more so miserable when the hopes and the desires of this family rested upon this new first grandson and are vaporized up into the sad reality of mental retardation.

He is destine to be a wary soul doing penance on behalf of his grandfather in what can only be looked upon as a stinging example of Karma and quantum retribution.

This story gets to the more raw essentials of Karma, and it’s divine judgment upon all those who spread evil.

His oldest child was afflicted by a serious liver disease—sadly he died shortly after his gruesome diagnosis.

Chronic-Liver-Disease - Land Of The Rising Son

Not all the money in the world could buy another day on earth for his own son—nor will stacks of treasure console the throbbing emptiness that Karma will bring to him each and every day.

Nor can he take back the unpleasant things he did to his own son—and knowing this nasty behaviour facilitated his son’s early demise.

Beware of the presence of Karma surrounding one—analyze the person’s suffering or joy—know that what goes around comes around.

Karma is neutral—one get back what one puts out.

yin-and-yang - Land Of The Rising Son

Karma can be consciously shifted through desire—controlling one’s own destiny starts today.

Small increments of good will sprinkled with a daily dose of gratitude is the right place to start every day—consciously churn the energy—listening to the still voices.

Here lies the unlimited supply of divine Karma, and once tapped, serves as a wellspring of inspiration and joy—knowing there is an eternal spring of life—belonging to all.

Clarity Over Time - cybersensei - Land Of The Rising Son

 

Turning Of Leaves

Turning Of Leaves

Turning Of Leaves

Turning Of Leaves

Always grateful to have been raised in pristine mountains of the Great White North (Canada).

British Columbia fall colours - Land Of The Rising Son

An exquisitely beautiful season is when the leaves change colours in autumn, and the mountains lite up into a menagerie of colours and motifs.

Beautiful Leaves 2 - Land Of The Rising Son

In Japan the turning of the leaves is called kōyō—crimson leaves.

Beautiful Leaves - Land Of The Rising Son

Kōyō is beloved by most Japanese, and is certainly is the main focal point of many pleasant family and community jaunts for the lovers of leaves during the spectacular autumn season.

須川高原の紅葉秋田県 - Land Of The Rising Son

In particular, as one heads to the norther regions of Japan the spectacle grows more magnificent in magnitude.

One can see the Japanese in droves at the airport—dutifully line up in strict order waiting for the start of their 5 nights/6 day whirlwind tour of the pristine Rocky Mountains of Canada—the turning of the leaves in what is arguable the most spectacular natural phenomena in Mother Nature.

団体ツアーカナダ紅葉 - Land Of The Rising Son

Often, for the Japanese this is a seminal landmark life event with the tales of the Great White North and the beauty of Canadian kōyō to be cherished until the end of time.

カナダ紅葉ツアー - Land Of The Rising Son

One believes the essence of kōyō is to see the turning of the leaves in the autumn as an important turning each year of ones own life.

Old foliage dies away.

Dead foliage - Land Of Tthe Rising Son

Old things die away.

Fade Away - Land Of The Risisng Son

The old must also die to make way for new life.

time-change-clocks-ball-sphere-innovative-improvement-words - Land Of The Rising Son

Take this as an opportunity to rejuvenate ones heart, spirit, and mind over the winter and prepare for the coming season of renewal, and promise the spring hold as the fresh buds and leaves of life make their debut upon the mountains to repeat the precious cycle of life over and over again until the end of time.

Renewal-Land Of The Rising Son

Empress Grace

Empress Grace

Empress Grace

There’s often a debate between pet owners as to whether one is a cat person or a dog person.

CAT-DOG-PERSON - Land Of The Rising Son

Having the privilege of growing up with both cats (feline) and dogs (canine), one can truly say:

Domesticate companion animals are imperative in alleviating the suffering of isolation and loneliness—regardless of the species of animal one choose to keep as a pet.

For certain, the binary misnomer of CAT vs DOG also excludes more esoteric choices of domesticated companions such as guinea pigs, boa constrictors, turtles, and carp—among the vast array animals the humans species keep as pets.

Exotic Pets - Land Of The Rising Son

Surely this tedious binary way of thinking is now well past its expiry date—a relic of the past no doubt.

This archaic binary notion can now be retired along with the narrow-mindedness the ridiculous notion binary thinking encompasses.

In fact, one can actually ascertain the degree of empathy in those who choose to keep companion animals—in particular those who have rescued distressed animals from despair and abandonment.

Pet abandonment - Land Of The Rising Son

The Big Girl loves animals, and shortly after marriage, a most extraordinary family member entered our atmosphere in November of 2014.

Pancakes the Sage - Land Of The Rising Son

An abandoned cat, he found his way to his ancestral home by perseverance and fortitude—along with the desire to live.

Pancakes almost starved to death, but the gentle hand of fate touched his soul and brought him to what could only be considered feline paradise, where he acts as the wise sage of the Clan—in possession of Potion of Emotion, which among many traits, takes One’s sorrow away.

A short year later, Mr, Twinkle was rescued, and became the second son, One could say.

Twinkle Laid Out - Land Of The Rising Son

As the feline clan grew year by year, the individual member settled into their respective places in the hierarchy in the society of cats, in rural Japan.

This is reflected in the fact that this spoilt cat is the biggest baby of them all.

He gets lonely at night and likes to interrupt this monkey’s slumber due to his desire to play throughout the night—he is a nocturnal animal after all.

Mr. Twinkle is a beautiful boy - Land Of The Rising Son

Still a year later, two more beautiful cats came to join our clan—both of them rescued.

Unfortunately, the female of this exquisite pair died of pneumonia a couple of short weeks later.

A tragedy to say the least, but this is where the true nature of life is revealed in a painful way—all living things must die it is merely a matter of time.

Regardless, Cinnamon our third son is healthy and an important part of our Clan’s society.

He brings smiles with his innocence and joy when he demands to sit on one’s knee and get some deep love.

Cinnamon in briefcase - Land Of The Rising Son

Unlike the others, one could say he is ten nen boke, which translates nicely into “a natural airhead.”

Cinnamon Contentment - Land Of The Rising Son

Two years later, The Big Girl came across a pair of sisters in an animal shelter, and it was destiny—Empress Grace and Infinity Hisho Jasmine, joined the Clan in 2017.

Jaja and Grace together - Land Of The Rising Son

The older of the two, Jasmine is as skinny as a rail, unlike her sister, Empress Grace, in which One could say is a little on the plump side.

Jasmine, the Infinity Hisho, takes care of all affairs, and dispenses indispensable wisdom, while steering this bag of chemicals, around the Quantum Field.

Jaja doing it my way - Land Of The Rising Son

A truly awesome aspect about Jasmine is her innate trait of total flexibility where she can turn on a dime when new information crosses her radar.

Jaja - Doing It My Way - Land Of The Rising Son

She is also a history buff and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is her absolute favorite.

Jaja and Dan Carlin - Land Of The Rising Son

Indeed, the Infinite Hisho has make a world of difference in this monkey’s life—deep gratitude for all she does.

Fascinating to observe the youngest female establishing herself as the Empress, reigning above all, the sovereign ruler of this Domain.

Empress Grace Posing - Land Of The Rising Son

 

Empress Grace Icy Stare - Land Of The Rising Son

Never one to back down from a fight, she is capable of icy stares, which would make Satan himself retreat to safer grounds.

Satan Scared To Death - Land Of The Rising Son

Regardless, she does things her own way, and having an Empress in the house makes for wonderful and fulfilling days.

Grace is Erai - Land Of The Rising Son

One can not recommend a society of companion animals enough, countless animals are anticipating a loving home, and now more than ever is the time to extend hospitality, to all animals who are awaiting an ally’s dome.

Grace Stretched Out - Land Of The Rising Son

One thing that is always present as time marches on will be the inevitable death of these animals long before this monkey’s time on the planet is done.

Pancake With Twinkle - Land Of The Rising Son

This suffering of loss is the price One must pay, for the countless experiences of joy, fellowship, and comfort provided throughout One’s Way.

Pancakes Chill - Land Of The Rising Son

Maggie May’s Magical Garden

Maggie May’s Magical Garden

Maggie May’s Magical Garden

Maggie May’s Magical Garden

One is fortunate to have grown up in Central British Columbia, and having living one’s adult life in Japan.

Indeed, when first arriving in the Land Of The Rising Son, it was charming to see the small local supermarkets and the classic speciality mom-and-pop shops dotting the landscape of Japan, mostly filled with fresh food.

Often their wares were piled high to the ceilings through the narrow isles, boxes strewn about.

old Japanese super market - Land Of The Rising Son

Traditionally, the Japanese housewife would go out daily to forge for fresh food and prepare it for the family that day—this is the tradition way of Japanese life.

Living in Japan has lead to many foods experiences when travelling throughout Asia.

宴会コース料理 - Land Of The Rising Son

This has lead to a deep respect for food culture and and understanding of how it will always play a critical role in communal bonding in almost all cultures.

Seeing these traditional shops when first coming to Japan in the late 80s brought back fond memories of days growing up in central Central British Columbia in the 60s and 70s—ahh, the aroma of fresh alpine mountain air!

Revelstoke mountains - Land Of The Rising Son
Five decades ago, logistics systems were still in infancy—during the long months of Grandfather Winter—sometime hovering around -30°—the fresh vegetable deliveries were non-existent over the long winters for many years.

Grandfather Winter - Land Of The Risg Son

Those were certainly different time.

One saw Mother Maggie May growing her own garden every year during the short summers, and canning the fruits of her labour in anticipation of the long icy winter ahead.

he long icy winter ahead - Land Of The Rising Son
Also, one had the privilege to live in an immaculate fruit belt in the Okanagan Valley during one’s formative years.

A fun summer activity was picking fruit and helping can these delightful treats to eat as morning food throughout the frigid winters—peaches, pears, apricots, cherries, and an assortment of berries.

Canning-Peaches- Land Of The Rising Son

During the food gathering season, one’s Clan Patriarch would purchase 1/2 a cow and 2 pigs on the hoof from the local butcher.

The merry butcher would then bring back wheelbarrows full of freshly processed meat—bound for the massive freezer in the ancestral home basement to last the chilly winter months.

In the autumn, chickens were butchered and shared among friends as our families gathered and did the hard work to secure sustenance fortifying our clans against the long, cold, harsh British Columbia winters.

A Little Sapling - Land Of The Rising Son

An excellent baker extraordinaire from the beginning—Matriarch Maggie May would get piles done—butter tarts, apple pie, among other delectable pastries—she also delivered big-time on lots of bread—sourdough and rye among her specialties—the was no-end to the goodies in Maggie’s Marvellous Magic freezer.

ButterTarts - Land Of The Rising Son

The massive freezer also had plenty of room for dozens upon dozens of plump rainbow trout caught throughout the summer inside the nooks and crannies of the pristine lakes and river in what is commonly referred to as … paradise.

虹鱒- Land Of The Rising Son

Alas, as all time must pass, these thing to fade away, into the modern future, which has some how turned into today, and these arduous task of yesterday have been rendered for the most part unnecessary today.

In the name of convenience and indeed in practically, Japanese agricultural products are being slowly manipulated with sweeteners, chemicals, and preservatives.

hamburger-junk-food-box ButterTarts - Land Of The Rising Son

Convenient to be sure, but what will the long term consequences of eating highly preserved foods bring to the Japanese.

Judging by the abject failure of the American dietary model, consuming such highly-processed products may be worthy of reconsideration, or to avoid all together.

Obese American Couple - Land Of The Rising Son

Surely in this time of change and uncertainty, one’s own personal health and wellness must be of primary concern each day.

Maggie May’s Magical Garden reminded one of the now slowly-fading-away Japanese Way of Food of old.

The Japanese with the highest life expectancy in the world have a rich food tradition of fresh seasonal vegetable, incredible offerings from the sea, and sticky Japonica rice.

Make sure to take the time away from busy modern food—taste fresh and delectable delicacies—farmed with tender loving care—by the dedicated Japanese farmers throughout the regions of agrarian Japan.

天皇陛下田植 - Land Of The Rising Son