Walk Into the Storm and Stroll Around Hokkaido in Ink with Illustrator and Digital Artist Mateusz Urbanowicz

Walk into the storm andstroll around Hakkaido with illustrator and digital artist Mateusz Urbanowicz, Polish born, based in Tokyo.

I picked Into the Storm for 2 reasons. First here in New Jersey as I write this thunderstorms are on the way, second it in a way illustrates our walk into (and hopefully through) the Covid storm.

Into the Storm Stand Alone Works Mateusz Urbanowicz

The stroll around Hokkaido, spoke to me through its ink illustrations. The small Hokkaido in Ink book contains 30 something ink illustrations, each with side notes. Book is available for purchase both in print and digital editions.

Hokkaido in ink Mateusz Urbanowicz

Let me give credit to Scott Pack for putting Mateusz Urbanowicz.

Watercolor and Ink for Tokyo Thursdays #320


Himono Nights, French Air Dry their Laundry, Japanese Air Dry their Fish, Balcony a Plus

French air dry their laundry, Japanese their fish, balcony a plus.

Air dried fish food sake tokyo

What you can see above as described by Yukari Sakamot0 in her own words:

"The fish hanging are sayori halfbeak. When we make himono (air-dried fish) at home we usually hang the fish out overnight and then after that we move the fish into the freezer or refrigerator."

Yukari Sakamoto is the author of 'Food, Sake, Tokyo', The Blog, and also The Book 

Fish at night for Tokyo Thursdays #319

(* Photo courtesy of Yukari Sakamoto, location details: "#Teradomari #寺泊 is a charming village on the Sea of Japan. This #Niigata #新潟 town has about a dozen seafood and omiyage souvenir shops facing the sea"...taken a few years ago)


Koyo, Red Leaves and the Colors of Autumn, Big in Japan, Catch them While you Can

Koyo, red leaves (whose colors might have faded by now) 

The colors of autumn, big in Japan!

Autumn Leaves Grover Cleveland Park

If I can trust GaijinPot Travel map, best places to still catch them early December are in Kiyomizudera (Kyoto) and near Kintaikyo Bridge in Yamaguchi.

Catch them while you can!

Tradition in Transition for Tokyo Thursdays #318

(* Not even Half-Japanese photo, snapshot today at Grover Cleveland Park)


Dye and Textile Art and a Garden, Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, Fujikawaguchiko, Japan, Near Lake Kawaguchi

Textile art and a garden, find both at Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in Fujikawaguchiko (Japan) near lake Kawaguchi...

Not to forget views of Mount Fuji.

Itchiku museum

Here's a short introduction to the work of textile artist Itchiku Kubota (1917-2003) as shared by museum website:

"This museum contains the works of the textile artist Itchiku Kubota who revived the traditional fabric dyeing technique of Tsujigahana. Tsujigahana flourished in Muromachi period and then disappeared just as suddenly.
When Itchiku Kubota was 20 years-old, he was absolutely-fascinated with the beauty of the fabric dyeing and created his own contemporary style called Itchiku Tsujigahana."

Distant travels and dye art for Tokyo Thursdays # 317

(* Image from Itchiku Kubota Art Museum from museum's website)


75 Years of Japanese Design, One Book by Naomi Pollock, Japanese Design since 1945

75 Years of Japanese Design, One Book by Naomi Pollock, Japanese Design since 1945 (Abrams Books, November 3-2020) 

Japanese design since 1945

"For the Japanese, the concept of design is not limited to functionality and materiality—it is deeply connected with culture and tradition. In this sense, everyday objects become more than their function: they are to be reflected upon, to be touched and cherished."

I also wrote in Tree House for Grown Up Escapes, Pilotis in a Forest (May 5, 2016) about a previous book by Naomi Pollock titled 'Jutaku, Japanese Houses'

75 Years of Japanese Design on the menu for Tokyo Thursdays # 316


Olive Not, Turn a Green Leaf on your Martini, Shiso Martini from 'Japanese Cocktails' by Leigh Clarke

Olive not, turn a green (and purple leaf) with this Shiso Martini from 'Japanese Cocktails' (Over 40 highballs, Spritzes and other refreshing low-alcohol drinks) by Leigh Clarke (Ryland Peters & Small, 2019), photography by Alex Luck.

Shiso Martini

Shiso is a beautiful green and purple leaf used throughout Japanese cuisine. Its delicate flavour combines well with vermouth in this martini. The measure is kept small so that the drink doesn’t warm too much in the glass.

Ingredients:

50 ml/1 2⁄3 fl oz. Shiso Vodka*

10 ml/2 teaspoons dry vermouth

Small shiso leaf, to garnish

ShisoVodkaSoda+ShisoMartini

Directions:

Place a small coupe glass in the freezer. Pour the vodka and vermouth into a mixing glass full of ice. Stir well, then strain into the frosted coupe glass. Garnish with a small shiso leaf.

Shiso Vodka Soda

Shiso is part of the mint family and has a unique grassy, peppery flavour. It gives a perfect little twist on this classically ‘clean’ drink.

40 ml/1 1⁄3 fl oz. Shiso Vodka*

5 ml/1 teaspoon Acidulated Sugar Syrup**

soda water, to top up

edible flower, to garnish

Combine the shiso vodka and acidulated syrup over ice in a highball glass. Briefly stir, then top up with soda. Garnish with an edible flower.

*Shiso Vodka

300 ml/1 1⁄4 cups vodka

3 g fresh shiso leaves

Add the shiso leaves to the vodka and then leave to steep for 2 hours at room temperature. Bottle and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

** Acidulated Sugar Syrup

This syrup is used as a brightener in some drinks, as you would use a squeeze of lime in a highball. Simply stir in 6.4 g citric acid and 3.2 g malic acid to 150 g/5 1⁄2 oz. sugar syrup (with a 2:1 sugar to water ratio) off the heat until dissolved. Let the syrup cool before bottling. It will keep for up to 3 weeks refrigerated.

This is Tokyo Thursdays # 315

(* 'Shiso Martini' recipe reproduced with permission from 'Japanese Cocktails' Over 40 highballs, Spritzes and other refreshing low-alcohol drinks by Leigh Clarke with photography published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2019).


Italian Summer Favorite meets Tangy Melon Sorbet with Sparkling Sake Sgroppino from 'Japanese Cocktails'

Italian Summer meets Tangy Melon Ice with Sparkling Sake Sgroppino from 'Japanese Cocktails' (Over 40 highballs, Spritzes and other refreshing low-alcohol drinks) by Leigh Clarke (Ryland Peters & Small, 2019), photography by Alex Luck.

Sparkling Sake Sgroppino

A popular summer dink in Italy, this version of Sgroppino swaps the usual lemon sorbet for a tangy melon ice, which works in harmony with the delicate sparkling sake.

Sake Sgroppino

Ingredients:

2 scoops Melon Sorbet*

15 ml...half fl oz. vodka or gin (as preferred)

Sparkling Sake, to top up

Lime zest, to garnish

Directions:

Remove the sorbet from the freezer 10 minutes before you want to serve.

Place two scoops of melon sorbet into a mug or glass and pur your chosen spirit over.

Gently pour the sparking Sake down the side of the vessel to stop it over-foaming, until you reach about 2cm...3/4 inch from the top.

Garnish with a strip of lime zest.

*Melon sorbet: 1 honeydew melon, peeled, seeds removed and chopped, 100g...1/2 cup caster/granulated sugar, 100ml...1/3 cup lime juice.

Place the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a freezer proof container and freeze. Stir the sorbet mixture every 3 hours, using a fork to break up any ice crystals, until smooth and frozen.

This is Tokyo Thursdays # 314

Previous One (April 25, 2019):

Invisible Mending, Meet Director of Kimono Restoration Koshiro Tatematsu at Japan Society, NY, May 21

(* Sparkling Sake Sgroppino recipe reproduced with permission from 'Japanese Cocktails' Over 40 highballs, Spritzes and other refreshing low-alcohol drinks by Leigh Clarke with photography published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2019).


Invisible Mending, Meet Director of Kimono Restoration Koshiro Tatematsu at Japan Society, NY, May 21

Since beginning of my concierge tenure, shoe and bag repairs as well as many clothing alterations are part of the requests.

I have not been offered challenge to restore kimono to its original state. 

The Japan Society in New York invites us to explore Invisible Mending: The Magic of Kimono Restoration on May 21, 2019.

Invisible mending

In Japan Society's event notes:

"Some might see a tear or stain on a beautiful kimono and think the garment can never be restored to its former glory. But Japan's kimono restoration artisans aim to do just that. These master craftsmen can make small holes seem to disappear as though they never existed, and completely transform discolored garments. High-end apparel makers around the world have taken note, and are now applying these techniques to conserving Western fashions like suits and gowns. At this talk, Koshiro Tatematsu of kimono restoration service Chojiya unravels some of the mysteries behind these fascinating mending techniques, and reveals how they're being used in the fashion world today. Kimono restoration artisans Yoshiko Goto and Minako Mizuochi will show off some of these fascinating techniques first-hand in on-stage demonstrations. "

Tickets are $15 for non-members and $12 for members, seniors and students.

This Tokyo Thursdays # 313 marks the return of Tokyo Thursdays.

Previous One (August 18, 2016): 

Luminous Morning Stroll Minus Tea in Nitobe Memorial Garden, UBC Gardens, Vancouver, August 8

 


No Guillotine at 'Japan Cuts' 10th Annual Festival of New Japanese Film, Opening on Bastille Day, July 14

No Guillotine at Japan Cuts for 10th Annual edition of this Festival of New Japanese Film, Opening on Bastille Day, July 14

Festival counts among its special guests special guests Lily Franky, Atsuko Maeda and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Added to festival line-up is Microcinema, a free feature with 30 minute shorts from up-and-coming filmmakers in Japan. Shorts will begin playing at 11 AM on July 14 in the Murase Room, and will run throughout the festival. 

Festival opener is Mohican Comes Home about a struggling punk rocker who comes back home from Tokyo with girlfriend in tow to announce that to is family that she is pregnant. (Sold Out)

 

It concludes with 'The Actor' (below)

 

Festival runs until July 24, 2016 at Japan Society in New York.

Celluloid Heroes for Tokyo Thursdays #311

Previously: Tree House for Grown Up Escapes, Pilotis in a Forest from Jutaku, Japanese Houses