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The Dragon’s Pearl


In pictures of Asian dragons, you often see the dragon holding or chasing after a round object covered in flames. Is this some strange draconic sport? Not at all.

From ancient times, dragons in Asia were associated with nature and particularly the weather. In the oldest depictions, the dragon is holding the sun — a red, flaming ball. As time passed, artists started to show the sun as white rather than red, which is actually more accurate if you’ve ever looked at the sun. (But don’t look too long; you can damage your vision.) Legend then said that the dragon was seeking the Night Shining Pearl. This pearl is what we see most often in Asian art.

The pearl itself has strong meaning in Asian folklore. Both Taoism and Buddhism use pearls as symbols of wisdom or enlightenment. Buddhism particularly depicts the pearl in the center of a lotus blossom as…

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How to make a mouth-watering Japanese beef bowl in just five minutes 【RocketKitchen】


BB 1

The beef bowl is essentially Japan’s equivalent to the American hamburger. Offered by inexpensive restaurants across the nation, the beef bowl, or gyudon, as it’s called in Japanese, is a tasty, hot meal that’ll give you all the protein and carbs you’re craving without costing you much money or time.

But while you’re usually never far from a beef bowl joint in Japan, what if you live in a town or country that doesn’t have a Yoshinoya, Matsuya, or, most tragically of all, a mouth-watering Sukiya? No problem, because with this amazingly simple recipe, you can make your own Japanese-style beef bowl in just five minutes!

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The Wise Scarecrow of Japan and the origin of Scarecrow Festivals, Rituals and Legends

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Shibuya’s Hachiko statue gets a snow family for a short time


The tragic yet sweet story of faithful dog Hachiko is infamous in Japan and many parts of the world. One dog’s unflinching love and dedication inspired a statue to be erected in his honor outside Shibuya Station where the real Hachiko once stood.

With a second helping of snow dumped over Tokyo in the late hours of Fundoshi Day, someone took it upon themselves to offer Hachiko with a companion.

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Three years of character bento: A single mom’s quest to connect with her cheeky teen【Pt. 1】


ttkk kaori blog, iyagarase bento harassment, kyaraben charaben

A decade ago, when blogger and single mom Kaori used to work nights at an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) and didn’t have time to spend with her two little girls, they would leave letters by her pillow, telling her about a fight they had with a friend or how school was that day. Fast forward a few years, though, and her cute younger daughter became your regular moody, demanding teenager.

So what did this amusing mom decide to do? Kaori chose to annoy her second-born every day with something she hates: character bento! See mom yearn for a Starbucks, remind her girl to throw out empty bottles, and moan about making bento while hung over—all with the help of an X-Acto knife, some nori seaweed, and dollops of ingenuity.

While it’s impossible to showcase the entirety of her achievements in one article, here’s a “highlights version” that ultimately reveals a…

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Tutorial: Creating EPUB or Mobi files of Graphic Novels or Manga

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Pretty, pretty sword boys~

A lot of my friends are obsessed with Touken Ranbu.


I don’t understand about it much except that it’s something about “Collecting personified swords and battle against evil”. Naturally nobody really cares much about the game’s “plot” or “play”. They’re in it for the sword boys. It’s like Hetalia all over again, except… these are famous tachi and katana and wakizashi and tantou throughout Japanese history.

I don’t have any particular interest in swords myself, except for those tied to warlords I’m interested about because stories surrounding the sword can give me more insight to the lords. So this could be good a springboard for more research for me.

The only swords that I know of are Akechi and Nobunaga’s because they were referenced in Samurai Warriors, and only Nobunaga’s one showed up in this one. Heshikiri Hasebe, a sword forged by Hasebe Kunishige:

He rather looks like a strange pastor, maybe because of Nobunaga’s connection to the Jesuit missionaries?

Named “Heshikiri” (pressure-cutter) because supposedly the sword was sharp enough to cut through a cupboard or desk just by applying slight pressure and not using actual physical strength. As the story goes, Nobunaga was angry at his tea servant Kannai, and chased the poor servant with the sword. Kannai tried to hide under a desk (or behind a cupboard), but Nobunaga found him and slashed him straight through the object he’s hiding in.

… yeah, see? That kind of story is interesting to me. I don’t give a darn about the sword itself. The length, the curvature, and whatever other stuff sword afficionados might take note of… Not my thing. I do sometimes take note of the smith’s name or the school he’s from, but yeah…

Also, there’s one sword that I’m particularly fond of because of its macabre name, but it didn’t show up in Touken Ranbu so I tried designing a human form for the sword:

It was fun, both designing the guy and editing the screenshot to make a fake “sword get” screenshot for him, hahah.

The name’s Okadagiri Yoshifusa, made by swordsmith Yoshifusa of the Fukuoka Ichimonji school. It was one of Nobunaga’s swords that was later inherited by his son Nobukatsu. The name “Okadagiri” was given because Nobukatsu used the sword to slay his retainer Okada. As Okada had been trying to broker peace between Nobukatsu and Hideyoshi, this slaying eventually led to the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute.

Heshikiri may also have been named in a servant-slaying incident, but at least the name wasn’t so blatant D:
If we didn’t know better, “pressure-cutter” could mean anything at all!

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