Years ago, I saw an ad in a Japanese magazine that depicted a couple enjoying a refreshing, sumptuous lunch on a wooden platform built over a resplendent yet gentle waterfall in the midst of spring. I think it was a sake ad. I salivated over the memory of this magical image, and asked a Japanese friend where I could find something like it.
“That was just an advertisement,” she said, smiling. “There is no place like that.”
Recently, while watching an NHK nature/food/culture documentary (the kind with a tranquil English speaker’s voice and Ryuichi Sakamoto playing contemplative, tender piano), I caught a two-second glimpse of something resembling the ad, and the words “Kibune kawa-something.”
“It EXISTS!!!” I ran to my desk for a pen and paper.
The sake advertisement had depicted a gloriously Photoshopped version of kawadoko, a summertime dining treat made famous in the Kyoto area (and particularly in the mountain village of Kibune). Folks seeking escape from the heat and humidity enjoy kaiseki-ryōri and cold nagashi-sōmen on a deck over a rushing mountain stream.
For Christmas, I gave Mom several presents, including a set of artisan felted wool coasters. The set consisted of two mustard yellow coasters and two royal blue coasters, with an artsy silkscreened design on the top of each coaster.
After a few months, I noticed that Mom consistently used the blue coasters on the correct side and the yellow coasters turned over to wrong side.
"You don’t like the yellow coasters?" I asked her one day.
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I'm going to start posting random photos from my collection of Japanese home decor magazines, since I love the combination of Japanese kanji/hirigana/katakana with impeccable styling/photography/layout.
This one is from a magazine called Kawaii [Something], Volume 2. I have no idea what the second word is.
At the top of the cover, there are some characters that read "putesuito na interia to [something] hon." Something interior and something book. aahhh I don't know.