Long time ago, in the land near Shuri Castle lived a brother with a younger sister. They always got along very well until one frightful day the older brother suddenly turned into an Oni and began attacking villagers and their livestock.Realizing something must be done to stop him, the younger sister devised a plan. She made his favorite food, mu-chi, but included a piece of iron in his. She called over her brother/Oni to the side of a cliff to eat together and enjoy the view. But because his mu-chi had the piece of iron in it, he could not chew on it, no matter how hard he tried. All the while his sister is munching on her mu-chi and enjoying it.
The brother/Oni could not understand why he couldn’t eat his mu-chi. His eyes then went to her lower body and he demanded to know what what going on with her “mouth” down there. She in turn lifted her kimono and closed in on her brother/Oni saying, “My mouth up here is for eating mu-chi…and my “mouth” down there is for eating Oni!”
This outburst surprised the brother/Oni so much so that he stumbled off the cliff and died. The younger sister was hailed a hero by the villagers on this very day, December 8th, and would be forever known as a day to ward off evil spirits.
My friend M and I went to Aoyama Flower Market Tea House for lunch on the day it snowed in Tokyo. It was the perfect place to be on that cold day because this cafe is like a greenhouse. Super warm and cozy with wonderful fragrance of flowers.
M was here in Tokyo visiting her family with her fiance and his family. So you can imagine how hectic their schedule was. But the sweetheart that she is, she found some time for me. And we spent the whole afternoon talking and laughing. It was just what I needed!
M and I went to university together but it wasn’t until we graduated that we started becoming really good friends. We were both saying that we couldn’t remember how the friendship initially started. But now she is one of my greatest friends and I feel incredibly blessed to have such a brave and kind soul in my life.
Isn’t it interesting how friendships are born? x
I have never been able to draw so I’m always absolutely in awe of anyone who can. Especially portraits. I feel like it takes a lot to capture someone’s facial expression and characteristics than, say, a building.
I stumbled upon these gorgeous illustrated portraits of musicians by Tuna Bora on her facebook page. How awesome is her name and is it possible it’s her real name? She is apparently an Istanbul born artist currently based in Los Angeles.
I love her use of colors, don’t you?
I know, I know. Plum blossom season is over.
But when I went to the bookstore the other day, I saw some of the prettiest plum blossoms at a local ume-matsuri (plum festival) and I had to share! Better late than never, right?
It was a beautiful day out but still very chilly. Very very chilly. But despite that, there were quite a few people enjoying picnics under the plum blossoms. I am guessing a lot of alcohol was consumed to ward away the chills.
There were also many festival stalls selling different kinds of food. In my recent obsession over dorayaki, when I saw the ume-flavored dorayaki in one of the stalls, I had to get it. It ended up being the very last one…lucky me!
Next to come are cherry blossoms! Are you ready? x
Hello, hello! How have you been?
I seem to have forgotten about my blog for a little while, hounded by that thing called “real life.” It can be so time consuming sometimes. But no worries. I’ll be making up lost time by posting like a maniac the next few days 😉
So a couple of weeks ago, I finally made my way to Book Apart.
Book Apart is a bookstore that opened last year in Yokohama. It’s owned by Shuhei Mita, who also owns, Book Truck, a mobile bookstore. His selection of books are wonderfully vast and diverse. But the books were not the only reason this bookstore pulled me in. I mean, books are always enough. But there was an extra cherry on top (for me).
You may have guessed from the name, this bookstore is housed in an apartment. Okurayama Apartment, to be exact. This apartment building was designed by Kazuyo Sejima, one-half of the world renowned SANAA architecture firm. They’re famous for architectural designs such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa prefecture and the Musée Louvre-Lens in France. You can say they are currently one of the most influential architects in Japan, so I was really interested in the apartment itself.
The apartment had three-stories, very uniquely designed. Large windows, white walls, and simple concrete floors made the place look quite spacious. The bookstore used various sections of the apartment to highlight different books. Children’s books by the bedroom, cooking books in the kitchen, travel books by the patio.
I was there for hours, first browsing, then sitting down with a book, then browsing some more. It was definitely a treasure box. I finally settled on a magazine that caught my eye and I headed towards the register on the first floor. With both books and architecture to tickle my toes, you can bet I went home with a smile on my face.
What do you think of this bookstore? Here are some photos: