Tag Archives: Japan

Easy and Budget Friendly Origami

My first experience with origami was actually in Japan 4 years ago while leading a study abroad program. We took our group to a university in Osaka and the local students taught us how to make cranes. So when I went to the local craft store yesterday and saw 6″x6″ paper in the  $1 bins, I decided origami would be a great Global from Home project. These three animals are easy and would be a great project for older kids too.

12 pieces of 6″x6″ for $1

These are the real origami packs that were just a few aisles away…and $6 a pack.

Owl Origami

All that is needed for this cute owl is 1 piece of 6″x6″ paper and a pair of scissors

Wombat Origami

Wombie the Wombat only requires one piece of paper and a black pen

Puppy Origami

The puppy needs two pieces of 6″x6″ paper, a black pen, and tape.

Origami Menagerie



Asian Inspired Reading List

I found a great new website this weekend through Stumble Upon called Which Book.  You put in the type of book you want to read and the site spits out recommendations. It inspired me to start my future reading list and I’ve made up my mind to do it by region of the world. I’m starting with Asia; the books have to be set in Asia and preferably written by a person of Asian heritage. I hope to mix it up a bit with fiction and non-fiction. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Sawako Ariyoshi, The Doctor’s Wife, (1978) the story of the wife of the first doctor to use anesthesia in Japan and her relationship with her mother-in-law (as a doctor’s wife, I thought I could relate to this one)
  • Pearl S. Buck, The Three Daughters of Liang (1969), the story of a woman in early Communist China and how she copes after her husband takes a concubine (I read Good Earth a few years ago and really enjoyed it so I thought I’d give Pearl Buck another try)
  • Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness (2009), the spiritual leader of Buddhism gives shares his wisdom on happiness (I just saw the Dalia Lama speak at SDSU a few weeks ago…amazing!)
  • Kien Nguyen, The Tapestries (2003), about a boy with royal Vietnamese blood sold into slavery at the turn of the twentieth century (this just looked good)
  • Mishima, Yukio, The Sounds of Waves (1994), a young fisherman is entranced at the sight of the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village (I needed a good love story in the mix)
  • Fan Wu, February Flowers  (2007), a girl goes off to college and becomes a woman in 1990s China (as a Study Abroad Advisor, I thought this sounded pretty interesting)
In addition to these, I have a few books of Asian influence that I’ve already read and would definitely recommend:


Store-Bought Japanese

As you may have already guessed, the student lunch this week was of the Japanese persuasion.  It also required very little cooking as I pretty much bought everything (100% fine by me!). We had spicy shrimp tempura rolls, california rolls, edamame, rice, and red bean angel rolls from the Asian market. While most of the food (especially the sushi) was devoured, everyone was a little hesitant about the red bean angel rolls.  They were made from a red bean paste spread over a light angel food cake roll and had a very mild sweet flavor. My dad always says that no cake is worth eating if it doesn’t go “thud” when it hits the plate.  These definitely didn’t thud, but they seemed fairly authentic from what I remember eating when I was in Japan.  Fortunately I didn’t think they were so bad so I brought two packages home with me…dessert for tonight!

On a side note, I have to give Ralph’s (our local grocery store) huge props.  The two women who work their sushi counter were awesome! They took my order and made my sushi on the spot.  Plus, they were delicious!

Our Japanese spread

Perfectly plated!

This picture is not quite accurate. I actually ate my sushi with my fingers. Embarrassing, I know, but chopsticks and I just don’t get along.

These are the bean paste angel rolls from the bakery at the Asian market.