April 22, 2018

More Meals Offered in the School Canteen at My Daughter's University/娘の大学の学生食堂で出される他の食事

1. Mentaiko (spicy cod roe) cream spaghetti
1. めんたいこクリームスパゲティ
2. Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen
2. しょう油ラーメン 
280 yen. Quite reasonable.
3. Curry and rice
3. カレーライス 
280 yen. Quite reasonable, too.
You can have as much fukujin zuke (red pickle on the right) as you want.
I remember that when I was a university student, I often had curry and rice, which was 170 yen. I sometimes had katsudon (330 yen), which tasted so good, and had nigiri zushi (< sushi) (480 yen) once in a while.
4. Buta (pork) kimchi gohan (rice)
4. 豚キムチご飯 
5. Chicken with cheese and tomato??
5. チキン、チーズとトマト?? 
You can see part of the melon pan that my daughter mentioned earlier at the upper left of the photo.

April 19, 2018

Mixing Miso and Sake Kasu (Lees) Together for Longevity/長寿のため味噌と酒粕を混ぜる

One of the drawbacks of Japanese cuisine is that many dishes turn out quite salty because of the heavy use of salt, soy sauce, and miso. In addition, for every Japanese meal, soup, often miso soup, is not optional but required. If you follow the Japanese eating custom for every meal of the day, you will consume a considerable amount of salt.
One way to reduce the intake of salt is to cut back on the amount of miso added to your miso soup. To do so, you can mix miso and sake kasu together in advance, like I did yesterday.
500 g miso (home-made miso, made by my father)
500 g sake kasu
味噌(父が作った手作り味噌) 500 g
酒粕 500 g
If sake kasu is fridge-cold, leave it at room temperature for some time to soften.

Adding some sake lees to miso soup, thereby reducing the amount of miso added is not my idea. This has been practiced for decades in Nagano prefecture, which now has Japan's highest longevity rate.

Related stories:

April 14, 2018

School Canteen at My Daughter's University of Fine Arts/娘の美術大学の学生食堂

My daughter is now a student at a university of fine arts in the Kanto area. She recently sent me these photos.
1 Fried chicken & curry
1 フライドチキンカレー

2 Keema curry and small bowl of salad
3 Sandwich
4 Salt-grilled saba (mackerel) (half eaten)  

She added, "The melon pan at *** (university name) is super delicious!! It has plenty of cookie (on top) and has a mocchi mocchi (= mochi mochi) texture inside (meaning a sticky texture in a good way), and it has been the best melon pan I have ever had!

For those of you who are wondering what melon pan is, here is a link to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melonpan.

Results of Google image search for melon pan in Japanese

Note: This particular university has one school canteen on one campus and one cafeteria and one school canteen on another campus. In Japanese, "school canteen" (gakusei shokudo) is slightly different from "cafeteria", the former being less chic than the latter.
注: この大学では、1つのキャンパスに学生食堂が1つあり、別のキャンパスには学生食堂が1つ、カフェテリアが1つあります。日本語では、「学生食堂」は「カフェテリア」とは少し異なり、後者のほうが前者よりおしゃれです。

April 9, 2018

Bounty of the Sea and Bounty of the Mountains/海の幸、山の幸

I am currently living in my parents' house to support them, which happens to be at the heart of the Boso Peninsula. Yesterday, I got a yama no sachi (lit. happiness of the mountains; bounty of the mountains) from a neighbor, moso bamboo, as well as an umi no sachi (lit. happiness of the sea; bounty of the sea) from another neighbor, wakame seaweed.
現在、両親をサポートするため両親の実家に住んでいますが、実家は房総半島の真ん中にあります。昨日は、近所の人から山の幸、孟宗竹(もうそうちく)を頂き、 別の人から海の幸、若布(わかめ、ワカメ)を頂きました。
A common way to prepare a bamboo shoot is to boil it in a pot of water plus some rice bran or "kome no togi jiru" (milky water resulting from washing white rice before cooking). Unfortunately, I had no rice bran in the kithen, and I had no kome no togi jiru because I had planned to eat leftover rice the next morning. So, I tried preparing these bamboo shoots with plain tap water. The neighbor suggested boiling them for an hour or so, but I shortened the cooking time to about 30 minutes or so.
This morning, I tasted the bamboo shoots and found they were very tasty!
I had to use one very large pot and another large pot.
After boiled:
Wakame seaweed:
Still brown.
Preparing wakame is simple. Rinse and put in a pot of boiling water. It changes its color to vivid green in an instant. Drain and cool with tap water.
Shown on the right in the photo above are hard stems of the wakame.
My mother died of cerebral infarction at the age of 84 on March 7. Nothing makes you sadder than to lose your beloved mom.

March 14, 2018

Shigefusa Kasumi Gyuto, 240 mm, with Saya/重房霞牛刀、240 mm、鞘付き

Part of the comment from the owner:
Took some pics of it, as well as some next to my older Kasumi 240mm gyuto. I loved the old one so much so I ordered a new one through you.


The order was placed in November 2016.

February 26, 2018

Japan Small-Type Whaling Assosiation/日本小型捕鯨協会

Here's a link to the website of Japan Small-Type Whaling Association:

It is strongly encouraged to browse the English version of the site to learn the current situation of the small-type whaling in Japan.

Here are some excerpts:

1. From the Introduction to Japanese Small-Type Coastal Whaling page:

It has been 17 years since
Japan's small-type coastal
whalers have been prohibited
from catching even a single
minke whale.
Despite the fact that scientists confirm a healthy stock
and marine environment; 
despite the fact that small-type coastal whalers and
people of the whaling communities are struggling; 
despite the fact that too many minke whales are considered to have detrimental effects on the ocean's ecosystem; and  despite 16 years of honest efforts of ours to meet with everyone and discuss minke whale management 
at the IWC - 
We are still not allowed to hunt minke whales.

2. From the Glossary and Issues page, the definition of IWC:

The International Whaling Commission is an international organisation which regulates whaling. The IWC is supposed to manage thirteen species of large whales, including all baleen whales and the sperm whale, the largest toothed whale. At about eight metres, the minke whale is the second smallest of the baleen whales, which means that the IWC sets the catch quotas for minkes. However, small cetaceans, such as the Baird's beaked whale and the pilot whale, as well as other dolphins and porpoises, are regulated separately by the national governments. The Japanese government therefore sets the whaling catch quotas for these species scientifically to ensure sustainable harvests.

Let me iterate the fact that the moratorium was not necessary in the first place. What we need to do now is to discuss sustainable whaling and that's exactly what the IWC is for, but the adamant anti-whaling countries, such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia, refuse to talk. Just think how culturally imperialistic these countries are!

Down with cultural imperialism!
Say no to cultural harassment!

Say to the anti-whaling countries:
We are not like you, we don't think like you, and we don't eat like you.
We don't want to live on beef alone. We regard whales as important marine resources and we want to eat whale meat as well as other marine resources such as fish and seafood. That's all.
What more do we need to say?


February 21, 2018

Shigefusa Kitaeji Mioroshi Deba, 180 mm/重房身卸出刃、180mm

A Shigefua knife lover in Europe has recently received this knife, Shigufusa kitaeji mioroshi deba, 180 mm, with a saya from Yoshizawa Riko through me, after waiting patiently well over two years.
Here's part of his/her comment:
I really like the knife. It is my first single bevel knife so I was really looking forward in receiving it. I just finished initial sharpening....(Omitted)
Now it is ready to cut like a razor.



February 19, 2018

You're still against eating whale?/それでもあなたは、クジラを食べることに反対ですか?

Here are links to this video on YouTube (already linked to in a previous post about whaling):

English version/英語版
You're still against eating whale?
Japanese version/日本語版
French version/フランス語版
Etes-vous toujours opposés à la consommation de viande de baleine?

At 0:50 and 3:12, you can hear the same sentence:

We should put whales, the ocean, and the food problem in perspective.

Let me add just one more crucial problem: Global warming due to methane gas from cows.
We should not live on beef alone. We should consume all of animal protein, plant protein, and marine protein wisely.
もう一つ重大な問題があります: 牛から出るメタンガスによる地球温暖化。

February 16, 2018

The Moratorium Is a Violation of the ICRW/モラトリアムはICRW違反

Note: Bolds and underscores are mine.

The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) contains Article V, which clearly states that amendments of the Schedule shall be based on scientific findings, as follows:

Article V
1. The Commission may amend from time to time the
provisions of the Schedule by adopting regulations with
respect to the conservation and utilization of whale
resources, fixing (a) protected and unprotected species;
(b) open and closed seasons; (c) open and closed waters,
including the designation of sanctuary areas; (d) size
limits for each species; (e) time, methods, and intensity
of whaling (including the maximum catch of whales to
be taken in any one season); (f) types and specifications
of gear and apparatus and appliances which may be
used; (g) methods of measurement; and (h) catch returns
and other statistical and biological records.
2. These amendments of the Schedule (a) shall be such as
are necessary to carry out the objectives and purposes of
this Convention and to provide for the conservation,
development, and optimum utilization of the whale
resources; (b) shall be based on scientific findings; (c)
shall not involve restrictions on the number or
nationality of factory ships or land stations, nor allocate
specific quotas to any factory ship or land station or to
any group of factory ships or land stations; and (d) shall
take into consideration the interests of the consumers of
whale products and the whaling industry.

The full text of the ICRW can be found here:

The moratorium was adopted in 1982 at the IWC without advice from the Commission's Scientific Committee that the moratorium was required for conservation purposes, as clearly stated in St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration in 2006, as follows:

NOTING that in 1982 the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling (paragraph 10 e of the Schedule to the ICRW) without advice from the Commission's Scientific Committee that such measure was required for conservation purposes;

The full text of St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration can be found here:

It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep in mind that the moratorium is a violation of the ICRW. The ugliest anti-whaling country, namely, the United States of America, together with some environmental groups, succeeded in winning the moratorium by resorting to some underhanded measures.



第 5 条
1.委員会は、鯨資源の保存及び利用について、(a)保護される種類及び保護されない種類、(b) 解禁期及び禁漁期、(c)解禁水域及び禁漁水域(保護区域の指定を含む。)、(d)各種類についての大きさの制限、(e)捕鯨の時期、方法及び程度(一漁期における鯨の最大捕獲量を含む。)、(f)使用する漁具、装備及び器具の型式及び仕様、(g)測定方法、(h)捕獲報告並びに他の統計的及び生物学的記録並びに(i)監督の方法に関して規定する規則の採択によって、付表の規定随時修正することができる。






February 15, 2018

Excerpts from "Whales and Whaling"/「捕鯨問題の真実」から抜粋

Here are some exerpts from the following PDF files, issued from the Fisheries Agency of Japan. Bolds and underscores are mine.
It is strongly encouraged to read throught the file.

Whales and Whaling


What is the IWC?
Present IWC membership is 88 countries*
* As of December 2013
The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) was concluded in 1946. Its purpose was the conservation and management of whale resources and ensuring the sustainable use of whales as valuable marine resources for future generations. To realize this purpose, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) was founded in 1948 with the 15 main whaling countries of the world as members. Japan adhered to the IWC in 1951.

History of the whaling dispute
IWC Organization
Establishment (1948 to 1960)
When the IWC began its work, resource management science was in an early stage. There was limited scientific data available, and catch quotas were not established other than those for the Antarctic Ocean.
1960 to 1972
From 1960, resource management became strengthened with the establishment of catch quotas per country and capture prohibition of diminished species. As a result, major whaling countries, such as the US, UK, Netherlands and Australia, withdrew from their no longer profitable whaling industry. Instead, cries for animal protection and nature conservation began to be heard, and the anti-whaling movement increased in activity. A ten-year temporary suspension or moratorium on commercial whaling was adopted in 1972 at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, but it was rejected at the IWC as having insufficient scientific grounds.
1972 to 1982
1972 marked the beginning of serious antagonism between anti-whaling and pro-whaling countries. The anti-whaling countries contrived a strategy to obtain a majority of votes at the IWC, and by 1982, managed to convince 25 countries to join the IWC as anti-whaling members. As a result, they came to command a majority of more than 75%, and the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling was adopted that year.
1982 to today
In 1982 ,the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling prohibiting the capture of great whales to take effect in March 1988. At present, the number of pro-sustainable use countries which includes Japan, and anti-whaling countries rival each other so that the three-quarter majority of votes necessary to abolish the moratorium has yet to be attained.

While the mandate of the IWC as a organization devoted to the management of whale resources based on scientific evidence is clearly stipulated in the ICRW, a number of countries continue to oppose the resumption of commercial whaling even for species whose resource status has been scientifically proven to be at high levels of abundance. However, some of these countries are starting to change their positions, and new participation from countries which support sustainable whaling has been increasing.

IWC(International Whaling Commission)とは




February 3, 2018

St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration (2006)/セントキッツ・ネーヴィス宣言(2006)

One of the few bright news items for pro-whaling countries is St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration.

Link to St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration on WIKISOURCE
Link to the tentative translation of St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration into Japanese, prepared by the Fisheries Agency

It is strongly encouraged to read the whole text of the Declaration. You will see how hypocritical the anti-whaling countries are.

Some exerpts (bold and underscore are mine):

NOTING that in 1982 the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling (paragraph 10 e of the Schedule to the ICRW) without advice from the Commission's Scientific Committee that such measure was required for conservation purposes;
FURTHER NOTING that the moratorium which was clearly intended as a temporary measure is no longer necessary, that the Commission adopted a robust and risk-averse procedure (RMP) for calculating quotas for abundant stocks of baleen whales in 1994 and that the IWC's own Scientific Committee has agreed that many species and stocks of whales are abundant and sustainable whaling is possible;
CONCERNED that after 14 years of discussion and negotiation, the IWC has failed to complete and implement a management regime to regulate commercial whaling.

- COMMISSIONERS express their concern that the IWC has failed to meet its obligations under the terms of the ICRW and,
- DECLARE our commitment to normalizing the functions of the IWC based on the terms of the ICRW and other relevant international law, respect for cultural diversity and traditions of coastal peoples and the fundamental principles of sustainable use of resources, and the need for science-based policy and rulemaking that are accepted as the world standard for the management of marine resources.

January 30, 2018

Remember the Cove/リメンバー・ザ・コーブ

Let us not forget the Cove! Let us not forget how they humiliated us!

Related links:

Wakayama Prefecture Official’ View on Dolphin Fishery at Taiji.

Behind "THE COVE" Digest on YouTube:

And, most importantly, let us not do the same thing to other peoples in the world.

January 25, 2018

Analysis of a News Story about Whaling in Japan/日本の捕鯨に関するニュース記事の分析

Here's a link to a BBC news story about whaling in Japan, titled "Japan and the whale".
「Japan and the whale」(日本と鯨)と題する、日本の捕鯨に関するBBCのニュース記事のリンクです。

As with many other stories on this topic that are created by the mass media in the anti-whaling countries, the story is hostile, inaccurate, and totally wrong.

Here are some excerpts, together with comments from me. Bolds and underscores are mine, as well as numbers each followed by a ).

Hunting whales is irrelevant to feeding Japan's population1), draws global condemnation2) and is certainly not economic3). So why does Japan still4) do it?

1. Not irrelevant. Because of the notorious moratorium, whale meat has become such a luxury item in Japan, that's all.
The United States and environmental groups resorted to underhanded measures to win the moratorium in 1982, using Caribbean countries such as Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent.
2. Not global. Of the 88 member states of the IWC, 49 are anti-whaling while 39 are pro-whaling as of January 2015. Why didn't anti-whaling countries just leave the IWC when they lost interest in whaling?
3. Economically viable. Unlike present-day anti-whaling countries, which used to hunt whales solely for their oil, whaling countries consume whale meat.
4. Why are you still against whaling?
1. 無関係ではない。悪名高きモラトリアムのせいで、日本では鯨肉はぜいたく品になってしまっただけのこと。
2. 世界中ではない。2015年1月現在、IWCの88加盟国のうち、49か国が反捕鯨で、39が捕鯨国。なぜ反捕鯨国は捕鯨に興味を失っても、IWCから離脱しなかったのか?
3. 経済的に成り立つ。鯨を油を採るだけに捕獲していた現在の反捕鯨国と異なり、捕鯨国は鯨肉を消費する。
4. なぜあなたはまだ反捕鯨なの?

I pointed out that rabbits are not exactly an endangered species5).

5. Inaccurate wording. This sentence should be corrected to, for example,
there are about 25 species of rabbit, none of which is endangered.
There are more than 80 species of whale in the world, not all of which are endangered. Minke whales, for example, are not. The United States permits Inuits in Alaska to hunt bowhead whales, an endangered species, under the name of aboriginal subsistence whaling. Catches have increased from 18 whales in 1985 to over 70 whales in 2010, according to Whaling in the United States, linked to below.
5. 不正確な言葉づかい。この文は、例えば、次のように修正すべき:
世界中には鯨は80種以上いるが、そのすべてが絶滅危惧種ではない。例えば、ミンククジラは絶滅危惧種ではない。米国は、先住民生存捕鯨という名目でアラスカのイヌイットに、絶滅危惧種であるホッキョククジラを捕獲することを許している。下記の「Whaling in the United States」では、捕獲数は、1985年18頭、2010年70頭以上となっている。
YouTube Video: Our Alaska: Bowhead whale hunt
YouTubeのビデオ: Our Alaska: Bowhead whale hunt(私たちのアラスカ:ホッキョククジラの捕獲)

...fin whale meat, an endangered species its trading banned by CITES6).
6. Japan holds reservations on ten species of whales.
6. 日本は、10種の鯨に関して留保しています。

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

But Junko Sakuma thinks the answer lies in the fact that Japan's whaling is government-run, a large bureaucracy with research budgets, annual plans, promotions and pensions.
"If the number of staff in a bureaucrat's office decreases while they are in charge, they feel tremendous shame," she says.
"Which means most of the bureaucrats will fight to keep the whaling section in their ministry at all costs. And that is true with the politicians as well. If the issue is closely related to their constituency, they will promise to bring back commercial whaling. It is a way of keeping their seats."
It may seem incredibly banal7). But Japan's determination to continue whaling may come down to a handful of MPs from whaling constituencies and a few hundred bureaucrats who don't want to see their budgets cut.
7. Incredibly stupid observation. That may be one reason but a trivial one. The primary reason has to do with food security. With its food self-sufficiency rate less than 40%, Japan must constantly endeavor to ensure its food security. This will never be understood by those countries that are abundant in food resources such as the United States and Australia.
7. 信じられないほど馬鹿げた見解。それは理由の一つかもしれないが、取るに足らない理由である。第一の理由は食糧の安全保障に係わることである。食糧自給率が40%に満たないため、日本は食糧の安全保障の確保に常に努力する必要がある。それは米国やオーストラリアなど食料資源が豊富な国には決して理解できないことである。

January 24, 2018

Ugly Anti-Whaling Countries/醜い反捕鯨国

When will the anti-whaling countries realize that the problem lies in themselves? When will they realize that they are ugly, rude, barbarous, unscientific, emotional, and culturally imperialistic, trying to impose their narrow-minded views on the whaling countries and disrespecting the cultures of these countries? When will they stop taking the arrogant attitude and start talking about sustainable whaling?

The anti-whaling movement is a gross human rights abuse akin to colonization and slavery.

Not only whales but also all other animals, as well as all plants, are special in their own way, regardless of their intelligence. It is totally wrong to attempt to rank living creatures according to intelligence. We all need to sacrifice the lives of other creatures to sustain our own. This is just a fact of life.

It is pathetically ironic that the present-day anti-whaling countries, which used to hunt whales in large numbers only for their oil and baleen and never worshiped them, now accuse Japan, which has worshipped whales and consumed every part of every whale.

January 21, 2018

Grinding Buckwheat Grains into Flour Using a Coffee Grinder/コーヒーミルで蕎麦の実を粉にする

Here is a description of how to grind buckwheat grains into flour, using a coffee grinder capable of making a grind suitable for espresso.
Coffee grinder
2 large pots
1 coarse sieve
1 #60 mesh sieve
1 bucket
大きな鍋 2つ
粗いふるい 1つ
#60メッシュのふるい 1つ
バケツ 1つ
(Grinder or bucket not shown in the photo)
Buckwheat grains:
Previously put in a mesh bag and cleaned by rubbing
Commercial grade coffee grinder:
Fuji R-440, "cut type" (not grind type)
1. Set the grinder to the Coarse position. Place one pot under the outlet.
1. ミルを粗い設定にします。出口の下に鍋を1つ置きます。
2. Close the dumper.
2. ダンパーを閉めます。 
3. Put the grains in the hopper.
3. 実をホッパーに入れます。 
4. Turn ON the grinder and open the dumper.
4. ミルの電源を入れ、ダンパーを開けます。 
Contents of the pot:
5. Filter the contents of the pot, using a coarse sieve above the other pot.
5. 粗いふるいをもう一方の鍋の上で使って、鍋の中身をふるいます。
6. Put the husk in the bucket.
6. 殻はバケツに入れます。 
Contents of the second pot:
7. Place the first pot under the outlet of the grinder. Close the dumper again, set the grinder to the Fine position this time, and put the contents of the second pot in the hopper.
7. 最初の鍋をミルの出口の下に置きます。ダンパーを再度閉めて、ミルを今度は細かい設定にして、2番目の鍋の中身をホッパーに入れます。 
8. Turn ON the grinder and open the dumper.
8. ミルの電源を入れ、ダンパーを開けます。 
Here's a short video. Watch out for the loud noise!
Contents of the first pot:
9. Filter the contents of the first pot in several parts, using a #60 mesh sieve.
9. 最初の鍋の中身を何回かに分けて、#60メッシュのふるいでふるいます。
End product:
Portion that remained on the #60 sieve.
Don't just dispose of this portion or the husk. Add them to your compost!
I got 500 + 195 g of buckwheat flour this time.
今回は、蕎麦粉が500 + 195 gできました。 
I should have measured the weight of the buckwheat grains first.

Edited to add some notes:

1. The procedure described above is for making buckwheat flour for use in making soba (buckwheat noodles). A #60 mesh sieve is a standard one for this purpose.
2. I have never used the common, "grind type" of R-440 to make buckwheat flour. I hope to be able to give my grind type a try some day to see if it can grind buckwheat grains fine enough for soba (buckwheat noodles).
1. 上記の手順は、蕎麦切りを作るのに使う蕎麦粉を作るためのものです。この際は、#60メッシュのふるいを使うのが一般的です。
2. 蕎麦粉を作るのに、一般的な「グラインドタイプ」のR-440を使ったことはありません。いつか、自分のグラインドタイプのミルが蕎麦用に細かく挽けるかどうか試したいと思います。

January 15, 2018

Harvesting Amanatsu/甘夏の収穫

On January 14, I harvested some of the fruits from the two amanatsu trees, as requested by my father.
To harvest the fruits on branches too high to reach,
I used a "taka eda kiri basami" (high branch pruning scissors) 
rather than a stepladder.
I harvested the bigger ones, and left the smaller ones on the trees.
Kaki (persimmon) tree:
Ume tree:
As you can see, there are lots of buds on the branches.
I also harvested some grapefruits.
Hana yuzu tree:
The fruits can be put in a bathtub (to take a "yuzu buro") and can also be used in cooking.
While I was harvesting the amanatsu and other fruits, my father worked in the other areas of his field. He reported that the door of the greenhouse for strawberries had been blown off by strong wind, so that birds could enter the greenhouse, leaving only this amount of strawberries for us.
He also collected one head of cabbage, one head of broccoli, and some nazuna (a type of greens).
And, some overgrown komatsuna leaves.
I boiled the nazuna, komatsuna, and broccoli.
I used this home-made ponzu (1:1:1 mixture of yuzu juice, soy sauce, and water, plus some instant dashi and katsuobushi) to eat the nazuna and komatsuna. I used mayonnaise to eat the broccoli.
We sent the amanatsu to four relatives, including my wife.