In the miso soup !

The author Ryu Murakami is another author from Japan and is no way related to Haruki Murakami who has had many well known books written to his name, and have also been adapted to movies.

Ryu Murakami has written quite a few books “Audition” and “Piercing” are two of his other popular books apart from “in the miso soup” written by Ryu Murakami. 

The other two books too like the”In the miso soup” are centred around the dark backdrop of Japan, disillusion, drug use and Murder 

The book  titled “In the Miso soup “ is a apt title  for  two reasons – One because the character compares his life with the miso soup and phara phrase  the quote “I’m in the miso soup myself- Just like those bits of vegetable. I’m floating around in this giant bowl of it, and that’s good enough for me. 

And the other  the book is titled “In the miso soup” because the character’s  purpose to visit Japan was to find out what the people who eat the miso soup on daily basis might be like.Again to Quote from the book. As he once ordered it in an  America  restaurant and was intrigued  about it. He decided  travel to Japan. 

The moment I read the title of the book and turned over to read the blurb mentioned below,I was interested in reading this book. . 

It’s just before New Year, Frank an overweight American tourist, has hired kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo’s nightlife.

But, Franks behaviour is so odd that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion : His client may in fact have murderous desires. 

Although, Kenji is far from innocent himself, he unwillingly descends with frank into an inferno of evil, from which only his sixteen year old girlfriend, Jun, can possibly save him.

Yeah, It’s a coincidence that this is my second book in a row from a Japanese author. But,The Japanese authors have such interesting storylines ,written in a captivating way that you become so engrossed in the storytelling, you only want more and more of it.

The book is written in three chapters. 

Chapter 1 – Describes and establishes what the story is about – The beginning of how the characters meet. 

Chapter 2 – The relationship between the two and why Kenji becomes suspicious  about his client. 

Chapter 3 – Is the reason behind why  one  should read the book. 

The Book highlights the American and Japanese culture,What makes each different and similarities amongst the two. The ideology between the two nations amongst the locals and the identities each of the nation has created for itself. 

Since the book was written long back ago, You might agree/disagree about some of the points discussed. 

In the miso soup” Is a crisp, well written physiological thriller set in the dark backdrop of Japan,that you will only put  the book down once you read it.

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Ikigai – The Japanese way of life !

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Japan has been a very fascinating place and after visiting the country last year, I  just couldn’t get over the simplicity of the people.
Even with the writers and teaching, Japanese writers have written some of the most thrilling books and some of the simplest concepts, becoming the way of life. Think about all the concepts Wabi-Sabi appreciating the beauty of imperfection as an opportunity to grow. or a simple word  “Kaizen” meaning continuous improvement, and becoming the concept of one of the leading automobile company from Japan.  Or a simple practice of tidying up that distress you.The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
Recently  I Just read the Ikigai and thoroughly enjoyed the book and the concept. “Ikigai” a single word that is a combination of two words “Iki” Meaning life and “Kai” the realization of hope. Making it in simple words ‘A sense of Purpose in life.” 
Japan is a country filled with Mysteries, surprises, and awe. That  when you get  to know about Ogimi village in Japan  in Okinawa district is  known as the village of longevity with  the highest number of Centurions in the world ((People who live a hundred years and above )Ogimi is not just a place in Japan, But,they also have a way of living that the had become the subject of the book “Ikigai” The Japanese Secret to a long and Happy life. Written by Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles. 
 
The Diet of Okinawa the locals follow to lead a healthy life and a long life. 
 
1. Locals eat a wide variety of foods.
2. They eat at least five serving of fruits & vegetables every day ( Rainbow)
30% calories from vegetables.
3. Grains are the foundation of their diet 
4. Rarely eat sugar (Cane sugar is the substitute)
7 gms of Salt a day, Compared to 12 gms.
 
15 Antioxidants part of Japanese diet,We must include in our diet. 
 
1.Tofu
2.Miso
3.Tuna
4.Carrots 
5.Goya(Bitter lemon )
6.Kombu(Sea Kelp)
7.Cabbage 
8.Nori(Seaweed)
9.Onion
10.Soy sprouts
11.Soybeans ( Boiled or raw ) 
12.Sweet Potatoes 
13.Pepper
14.Sanpin-Cha(Jasmine Tea)
15.Hechima (Cucumber like gourd)
16. Shikuwasa – Is a type of an orange also known as a Taiwan Tangerine mainly found in Taiwan & Okiwana in Japan. It is beneficial as it has a compound Synephrine that enhances lipid metabolism and increases the metabolic rate.
 
It’s also the way they think that makes them lead a  long life. 
Their secret to longevity is. 
 
  1. Don’t worry 
  2. Cultivate good habits 
  3. Nurture friendship everyday 
  4.  Live an unhurried life.
  5. Optimistic
 
 
 
Rules of Ikigai one must follow. 
 
1. Stay active don’t retire
2. Take it slow 
3. Don’t fill your stomach (80% rule )
4.Surround yourself with good friends 
5. Get in shape for your next Birthday.
6.Smile 
7.Reconnect with nature 
8. Give thanks
9. Live in the moment 
10. Follow your Ikigai 
 
 
These are some of the concepts and learning from the International bestseller Ikigai that I thought would be worth sharing.
 
Before I could conclude the blog.  
 
 
Sun Simiao essayist of the sixth century believed in the six healing sounds for remaining calm
 
 
Xu, pronounced like “shh” with a deep sigh which is associated with liver 
He pronounced like “her” with a yawn, which is associated with heart
Si pronounced like “sir” with a slow exhale, which is associated with lungs. 
Chui, pronounced like “chwee” with a forceful exhale, which is associated with the kidneys
Hoo pronounced like” who”, which is associated with the spleen 
Xi pronounced like “she,” which connects the whole body.
 
And now the Poem. 
 
In Spring breathe xu for clear eyes and 
so wood can aid your liver.
In summer, reach for he, so that heart and fire can be at peace.
In Fall, breathe si to stabilize and gather metal, keeping the lungs moist.
For the kidneys, next, breathe chai and see your inner water calm.
The Triple heaters need your xi to expel all heat and troubles.
In all four seasons, take deep breaths so your spleen can process food.
And, of course, avoid exhaling noisily; don’t even let your own ears hear you.

2018 Dairies !!

2018 has been a Journey filled with lots of travel Stories. Right From Jaipur to Jodhpur in India to Monoco and Morocco for Work. And not to forget the highlight –  Japan for Family Holiday. 
Culture
Experiencing the Rajasthan culture in India to experiencing the Japanese culture and living the  Moroccan life. 
All these places either had Food, lifestyle or architecture. And these  Culture  became another Journey in itself.
Books worth the Read In 2018. 
Journeys through the books. 
Starting from Exiting West to Landing at the port of Mokha and Many reads in between from open by Andre Agassi to “Killing Commendatore by Murakami  below are the top 5 reads of 2018.
1.Exit West – by Mohsin Hamid  stories of immigrants. 
2.Homo Deus – by Yuval Harari  How the Technology  is collecting data and using it. 
3.Born a Crime – by Trevor Noah A true story of a comedian born in South Africa with a mother being a black and father a white. 
4.Monk of Mokha –  by Dave  Eggers – Story of how The port of Mocha coffee travelled across the international waters.
5.Killing Commendatore – by Murakami
Noteworthy Movies of 2018 
1.Puzzle -How a simple gift of a puzzle changes the perspective of one individual 
2.Crazy Rich Asians – The Big fat Indian wedding going global 
3.Searching – How technology helps track down a father daughter and her murderer. 
4.Ben is Back – A  young drug addict and his mother’s story to come in terms with reality. 
And the Hindi film industry had many movies to choose to watch this year! 
But there a few out there you couldn’t miss at all . 
1.Pad Man by R.Balki was one of the great stories the year began with and continued till Raid, The income tax issue can sometime come as a surprise-Ajay Devgn needs to experiment.
2.Hichki -Though a inspiration from the west.Brought Rani Mukherji Back as a actor and the production house for their content. 
3.Missing the only missing from this psychology thriller was the audience who missed one of the best thrillers of the year.
4.October – Simple stories are the most difficult to tell.And October by Shoojit Sircar was one such story.
5.Beyond the cloud by Majid Majidi -Had the world  take notice of Ishan Khattar as an actor & performer 
Raazi,Soorma,Parmanu,Andhadhun,Badhaai Ho ! And Manmarziyaan were a few movies to watch out. 

Reading reality!

Reading as a hobby could be such a pleasure,You can  always learn about places,Culture,People,psychology of people and while you are idle, your  mind is imagining all that’s written. And what if you end up in the country,You have read so much about?Have you ever wondered about the same ? Would you have a sense of familiarity or moments of Déjà vu? 
For me as a reader,I have enjoyed reading Murakami books a lot right from the first book I read of his “colourless tazaki “to the most recent read “Norwegian wood.”May be because his stories are slightly eccentric or because he is a writer based in Japan,And there has always been a fascination for me as there is so little we know about the Japanese. And since Japan is the backdrop for all his stories the curiosity remains. 
I read Norwegian wood last month.A book who’s inspiration is from the Beatles song Norwegian wood (This bird has flown )this was  Post my visit to Japan about six months ago. And when I started reading the Norwegian wood 
And as I kept turning the pages of the book,While reading. I sensed being in Japan and it wasn’t my imagination that was going wild,But a sense of reality that I was living in. I enjoyed reading the book even more because may be the perspective had changed as I had already travelled to Japan and could now relate to the place,People and culture even more than ever.

The Conveyer Belt Sushi Experience!

Sushi has been one of the most popular and widely known food from Japan.

And the Conveyer belt Experience was a thrilling experience.

First get seated on the table and then you have a option of choosing what you would like to order from the tablet kept on the table or just picking up what you like.

The food all Different types of Sushi & Japanese food are doing the rounds on a Conveyer belt,like the ones that take our bags around in the airport.

If you like a particular sushi tuna,Squid,Eel or Tempura prawns just lift them from the belt and keep them on the table,Nobody will screams it’s mine like they do in airport if you have identical bags.

Here the pricing of plates are done by designs. The checkered ones are the most expensive to the Red and blues being affordable. Once you are done with all your bingeing you ask for the Cheque by clicking on the tablet. And then the total is done by multiplying the Type of plates x quantity.

The whole experience,Could be technical as you wouldn’t be used to the idea or might be new! But going with a local or asking a local would be the best thing.