Gaijin Tips: “Eat all your rice in Japan”

Check out this Gaijin Tip from video/blogger kanadajin3, who is actually named Mira and is “a girl who moved from Toronto, Canada to Tokyo, Japan.”

Eat all your rice in Japan. Leaving food behind is rude esp if it is rice bits. When you scrape food off your rice cooker, you need to take everything, leaving little bits is ruder than leaving a lot. If you just can’t finish your food that you got at a restaurant then you can leave some behind, but try to finish everything at home and at your friends house.

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Uniqlo teams up with Muslim fashion designer Hana Tajima for modest fashion line

Daily Mail (UK):

Japanese retail company Uniqlo has teamed up with Muslim fashion designer, Hana Tajima, to create a modest ‘lifewear’ collection for women.

The collection includes long, flowing skirts, tapered ankle-length pants and traditional wear like kebaya and hijabs, with the company saying the collection ‘fuses contemporary design and comfortable fabrics with traditional values.’

Designed by popular British fashion blogger Tajima, the range carefully blends modern prints and colours with modest cuts to cater to all women who embrace a modest style.

Uniqlo x Tajima: Uniqlo's new collection with Hana Tajima offers fashionable yet modest clothing 

Inspired: Fashion designer Hana Tajima converted to Islam at 17 and has always been passionate about finding ways to keep traditional and conservative clothing and accessories flattering on the body 

The popular fashion blogger, who converted to Islam at 17, announced the collaboration on her personal blog, saying it felt wonderful to let her mind run and ‘unearth’ her ideas.

Now you get to see it in its whole form and it’s all for you,’ Tajima wrote.

Mimi Thorisson, the Chinese-French food blogger causing a stir

Mimi at home in Médoc: 'We are finally laying our foundation here'

Mimi at home in Médoc: ‘We are finally laying our foundation here’

An article about a person Team-Yellow founder knew in Hong Kong!

South China Morning Post:

For Hong Kong-born, global fame began simply, and sweetly – with a vanilla-cream iced cake. One spring evening, the mother of five walked out of her centuries-old farmhouse in France’s Médoc region to find a surprise.

Shaking off a long winter, dozens of miniature white daisies were blooming in the garden. Inspired, she hurried into the kitchen and whipped up a meringue cake, artfully decorating it with flowers, leaves and berries.

I wanted this cake to be a celebration of spring, of the garden, a fairy tale,” she says in a delicate accent that is equal parts Chinese, French and British. When it was ready, she posted a photo of her “Garden Cake” online.

Her seasonal concoction was pinned, posted and tweeted all over the world. She started that night with 69 followers – “they were all my friends”, she says – but within a couple of weeks the numbers exploded, Martha Stewart Living and O magazines contacted her, as did a literary agent who suggested she write a book. That was when her blog, Manger, was born. “It was a gift from spring and I am forever grateful,” she says.

Thorisson has found much to be grateful for since she and her husband, Icelandic photographer Oddur, relocated their family to Médoc from Paris in 2010.

Manger, which features favourite classic recipes for coq au vin and slow-cooked lamb, and a few wildcards such as wonton soup, is followed by foodies worldwide. The photographs, snapped by Oddur, capture her friendship with farmers and villagers in Médoc, and life with their children.

Coq au vin

Thorisson has also been tapped to star in two cooking shows on French television.

It’s not hard to see the appeal. The 40-year-old lives the life many people fantasise about – one afternoon she is chopping vine tomatoes in her farmhouse kitchen and looking smashing in a floral sundress, on another she’s plucking peaches from the garden, chatting with a fishmonger about his secret bouillabaisse recipe, and so on.

No wonder many have described her as the most envied blogger in the world.

The year ended with even more success for the former Happy Valley resident. She published her first book, A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse, which soon topped the ranks of Amazon’s bestselling book in two categories: seasonal cooking and French cooking.

Today, life revolves around her family and her blog, which has become her family business.

Most days, she wakes early to walk the dogs – 14 and counting – and get her five young children off to school.

Then she makes her rounds of the markets, picking up the catch of the day from a fishmonger, or pears from a farmer.

I don’t plan,” she says. “I get my inspiration from what I find.”

Returning home, she writes her blog and catches up with fans and editors. Then she heads to her kitchen and, she says, laughing, “I simply cook all day. With so many children and dogs and cooking, you can imagine it’s quite busy. I don’t have time for a manicure.”

Some might see the endless chopping, measuring, mixing and frying as drudgery, but cooking is a joy for Thorisson.

Spending the whole day doing this never feels like work,” she says. “I want to do it. I wake up in the morning and tell Oddur, ‘I want artichokes today’. It is not a job. It is who we are. It is me expressing my soul.”

Food has always been a big part of Thorisson’s life. Growing up an only child, she and her Qingdao-born father would scour Hong Kong for the best noodles and dim sum.

My favourite dumpling restaurant was around the corner from our flat,” she says. “If my parents couldn’t find me around the house, they knew to look for me there.”

Her French mother didn’t cook much but during summer holidays in France her grandmother and aunt would make classic meals for her.

Mimi Thorisson and her five children.

Mimi Thorisson and her five children.

My parents taught me to enjoy life and food, but it was my grandmother and aunt who taught me about cooking,” she says. “My aunt can whip up anything from scratch. Give her tomatoes and leftover sausages and she will take the butter, garlic and wine she always has in her cupboards and make stuffed tomatoes. She is the kind of cook I want to be.”

Thorisson always looks forward to the New Year because it conjures up deep memories of the wonderful meals she has had in Hong Kong and France.

She and her husband typically start New Year’s Day with a glass of bubbly, before she prepares a huge seafood platter, with the freshest oysters, langoustine and crab. Or in a nod to her Hong Kong roots, she might make e-fu noodles with lobster, her favorite food. “I mix everything because of my heritage,” she says.

Everyone then changes into new clothes and the family then takes a long walk in the nearby forest. “In France, the first day of the year has to be impeccable,” she explains. “You must look your best and eat your favourite foods. The way you start the year inspires the rest of the year.”

She wistfully recalls Lunar New Years of her childhood, when her father would take her to visit her cousins in Qingdao. “We would make those amazing dumplings. My father always insisted that we stay in our cousins’ houses, and not in a hotel, so that I would be closer to them. It was so important to him that I was exposed to Chinese culture,” she says.

It was 1979 in Shandong, and it would feel like we had returned to a different century. Now, I have fond memories. It was a special time.

As it is with so many chefs and food writers, Thorisson connects to the beloved people and places in her life through food and cooking.

It has since also given her a chateau of her own. Earlier in 2014, she and Oddur were visiting friends in a village nearby, when one of them suggested they view a grand old house that was for sale.

As it turned out, the house had belonged to a famed female chef in Médoc. “She had been the mistress of the village mayor, and before he died he gave this house to her as a gift.”

The chef turned it into a restaurant and hotel for wine merchants visiting Bordeaux. Now Thorisson finds madame’s notebooks and recipes in the “weirdest” places.

As soon as I walked in, I felt the recipes I want to cook coming through to me. I already have the draft of my second book [scheduled for 2017]. I believe in destiny, and this house is magic. Médoc has truly become my home,” she says.

MIMI THORISSON’S FABULOUS FRENCH RECIPES

Watercress velouté recipe

Duck-confit Parmentier recipe

Mimi Thorisson’s garden cake recipe

Sweet fritters with orange and dark rum recipe

“A Kitchen in France” (Hardie Grant, £25), by Mimi Thorisson, is available from Telegraph Books

Think your week was hard? Tokyo salary man’s insane work diary goes viral

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QUARTZ/Global Voices (by Nevin Thompson): 

A recent video uploaded by prolific YouTube vlogger Stu in Tokyo has gone viral, so far reaching more than half a million views.

 The topic of video? A week in the life of a Tokyosalary man,” the common name in Japan for a salaried office worker.

Stu works for a British financial services company in Tokyo, he explains in the video. Typically the months of January, February and March are “crunch time,” requiring long hours. 

So, Stu decided to keep a video diary of just how much he works each day, and what he actually has time to do after he gets off work. It doesn’t turn out to be much of anything at all.

But that’s okay, says Stu. “There are definitely people in Tokyo who do this all year round in order to support their families. I couldn’t imagine having to do this if I had those kinds of responsibilities as well.”

There are signs this cornerstone of Japanese working corner is in the process of changing. Although current Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has floated the idea of eliminating regulations that limit daily working hours entirely, the government has in fact introduced plans to require Japanese salaried workers to take five days of paid vacation every year.

Until now, while many Japanese salaried employees receive paid vacation time as part of their compensation package, very few workers actually make use of it. Due to workplace culture, Japanese workers are reluctant to book vacation time on their own, leaving coworkers behind to pick up the slack. Instead, if Japanese workers do take a day off, they typically take one during one of Japan’s national holidays.

Japan currently has 16 nationally legislated holidays, the most of any G20 country (the UK has only 8 national holiday, and the US 10). The abundance of national holidays in Japan may compensate for long working hours and peer pressure that frowns on taking a day off for personal reasons.

However, when everyone in a nation of 126 million people goes on vacation at the same time on a national holiday, the result can be clogged rail lines, monster traffic jams, and long lines at airports. 

The new vacation labor regulations are an attempt at addressing this problem. There is also the hope that mandatory paid leave, combined with the large number of national holidays will spur tourism and in turn encourage consumer demand, stimulating Japan’s sluggish economy.

Adrianne Ho’s Instagram pictures gets warped by artist Ryder Ripps

New York-based painter Ryder Ripps takes a jab at the curation of self- and public perception with his latest exhibition, Ho, on display at Postmasters Gallery in TriBeCa. As the name might infer, Ripps’ most recent works consider internet model and creative Adrianne Ho‘s Instagram profile, which the artist asserts is a particular case of created or ‘warped’ identity.

Accordingly, Ripps deconstructs and morphs images of the publicly doted model, who is notably supported by brands like Nike and Supreme for her subtle form of ‘lifestyle’ advertising. VICE caught up with Ripps in a new interview, which can be read in its entirety here.

Enjoy a key excerpt below and head to Postmasters if in the New York City area.

Adrianne Ho's Instagram Pictures Gets Warped by Artist Ryder Ripps

So Adrianne Ho, she triggered this idea for you?
Yes, she’s like the quintessence of corny-core. There are lots of other examples of people who represent this idea, but nothing as consistent as Adrianne Ho. She’s a very succinct and focused example of this one particular mode of creation of self-representation online.

Also, I like her connections to streetwear, and I like the idea that she’s mediating herself and her identity, who she really is—Adrianne Ho, that’s her name, it’s not fake—and is willing to bend herself around brands. What’s interesting to me about that is the aspect of how we can alter or create realism for other people—curate personas.

If you asked me to sponsor your brand and be real, it would be really interesting to see how I’d do that. My own idea of who I am and how to achieve realness as a paid gig is the most honest thing, because the actual branded thing would ultimately be a lie, an imagination. It’s a constructed farce of reality. And it’s also a projected farce because it’s how you perceive a client would want you to be. It’s your imagined self for another person. It’s when you put your own head in someone else’s head and then think about yourself.

Link

Street Style: Eriko Nakao in Carhartt, Blackmeans and Chrome Hearts

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Check out the punk aesthetic of Japanese model and blogger Eriko Nakao. Known for her wild fashion sensibilities, here she is seen in Blackmeans leather pants, Wesco leather boots and a Norwegian black metal band Enslaved T-shirt over a plaid flannel shirt. A Carhartt beanie and Chrome Hearts sunglasses finish off the look alongside Eriko’s statement neon yellow hair.

Check out this link:

Street Style: Eriko Nakao in Carhartt, Blackmeans and Chrome Hearts

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