Ema boards.

Ema boards, or wishing plaques, are a mainstay of Shintoism, but it can also be seen in use in some Buddhist temples. They have a rather interesting origin, allow me to impart. History. The word ema is comprised of two kanji: 絵馬. The first 絵 for picture, and 馬 for horse. Horses are revered as [...]

Korean wedding ducks.

One thing I really love about travelling is the little cultural titbits you can learn along the way. On a recent visit to Seoul I saw and bought an adorable pair of wooden ducks. They aren't just for decor though, as you're about to discover. A bird in the hand. Apparently, the price of love [...]

Ni Ni Ni!

Before you think I've lost my marbles, this is actually significant. Know why? Well today is February 22nd in Japan, and that can only mean one thing: It's cat day! My own kitty, Nibbles. Why ni ni ni? Good question. February 22nd reads as 02/22, and the Japanese word for two is "ni" (pronounced nee). [...]

Hanami festivals on Okinawa 2017.

Hanami. A tradition of flower viewing held long and dear by the Japanese people. In this case, for cherry blossom trees. Cherry blossoms (or sakura, to use their Japanese name), are a beautiful pink flower that bloom in Spring for several weeks, before departing for an entire year, leaving lush foliage in their place. A [...]