March 2019

Personify Things


“Wow! How cute this bento is!” When you see a bento box of a kindergarten kid, you may find the smiling face on the Onigiri. You can see that the hand-made bento makes the child smile by looking and tasting it. Onigiri with a smiling face also makes you smile. Kyara-ben, character-bento is an arranged bento featuring foods to look like people. Kyara-ben is just one example of personification. You can find out other personified things in Japan. For example, several TV commercials feature animals behaving like human beings. The dog behaves like a human being, makes you smile, and enjoys watching the TV commercial without being annoyed by the […]

Quietness: Words cannot explain

Japanese garden

Japanese gardens are typically quiet and free from noises. The gardens are silent, but the visuals and smells make your mind calm and peaceful. Traditional Japanese gardens generally have stones, trees, and a waterfall around ponds to create a miniature of the natural scenery. Expressions of Quietness Words have limitations in explaining how quiet the Japanese garden is. Meanwhile, you feel the quietness of the garden by your eyes and your nose. The lush greenery with fresh smells of trees and plants make you feel soaked in nature. Sounds also explain how quiet the garden is. Deer Scarer (鹿威し “Shihi-Odoshi”), a bamboo water foundation, emphasizes the garden’s quietness when the […]

Haptics: Making experience memorable

Oral Haptics of Doughnuts

When I watch TV programs in Japan, I am obsessed with many TV shows about foods. TV programs broadcast Japanese restaurants and food shops from early morning to late evening every day. The TV program cameras typically zoom the foods to show how the inside of the food looks like when we eat. The camera on the TV program also zooms the face of a TV personality or reporter to show when they eat the food. Eating delicious food is a special treat for a person in daily life. Oral Haptic Experience Food is more than nutrition. Food offers oral haptic perceptions when you process the food in your mouth, […]

Taste: Secret Enhancers


Japanese cuisine (“Washoku 和食” in Japanese) uses ingredients, including fish, vegetables, and rice, available in the natural environment. One of the unique characteristics of Japanese foods is using fresh ingredients and cooked and fermented ingredients. Typical Japanese foods include Miso soup, Sushi, Tempura, Tofu, and Udon Noodles. These foods remain popular among all range of generations in Japan as soul foods and delicious and healthy foods. Japanese foods also attract non-Japanese people who travel to Japan. What are Japanese foods attract us? How the Japanese foods tempt your taste buds? Japanese cuisine uses a variety of ingredients as if cooking is art. Therefore, we enjoy eating many dishes and tasting […]

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