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eG Foodblog: Hiroyuki - Home-style Japanese cooking


Hiroyuki
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Hiroyuki, I hope your son recovers quickly.

The meals you make for your famly every night are fabulous and inspiring. You paid proper respect to those hard-won trout.

And on one of my favorite subjects, rice: How do you choose which local rice to buy? Have you patronized the same farmer for years or do you change? Do you buy a large amount at one time or replenish frequently?

In re curry roux, I recognized the S&B Tasty Curry even without the English labeling on the packages sold here! For a long time House Java medium was the favorite, but, a couple of years ago, we tried S&B Tasty medium when a nice lady was demostrating it at our local 99 Ranch (big pan-Asian supermarket) and now it is our habitual choice.

Those mushroom-shaped chocolates (Meiji product?) are a favorite of my husband and son, when they appear at the Japanese supermarket. No crisped rice in the ones we can buy, though, I don't think.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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I heartily second all the praise for your blog. And thank you for doing this while acting as a single parent. For about 15 years after the birth of my first daughter, I felt that parenthood--even with a spouse on hand--was an excuse for not inviting guests to our house, much less an entire egullet's worth of guests.

All the shops in your photos look so wonderful. When you get a chance to answer, can you talk a little bit about the sake chocolate cake and the sake chocolate?

And a question from way back in the blog: you said your children are not old enough for wasabi. About what age would a Japanese child start to eat wasabi? And is it just a matter of taste, or is it considered unhealthy for young children?

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Melamine resin sponge, available at any 100-yen shop:

gallery_16375_4570_19529.jpg

I love to use it to clean the counter top, the table, etc.

Hey, isn't that the chemical additive the Chinese were putting in the pet and animal food that caused the big panic here in the States?

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I have a question about your instant dashi - how much do you use per liter of water? Do you just add it to boiling water? Does it need to cook any more than that? I use something like instant tea bags when I make dashi. I don't know if I've ever seen instant here (though I might have passed over it as well). The tea bags are filled with bonito flakes and seasoning, and you just drop one in about 3/4 liter of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.

I made a similar soba dish last week to yours except I used the dipping sauce as a broth and added tofu, carrots and bok choy I'd simmered in the sauce, and fresh spinach. (I boiled the noodles in water). Tasty, but I realize now that I should have kept the noodles out separate! :wacko:

So fascinating to see the sake museum, too. I love the life-sized drunk mannequin! There is an all-sake store here in San Francisco, and I vowed when we returned from Tokyo last year to make more of an effort to learn about sake and enjoy more of it, but to date I've only been there once! :sad: Do you have a favorite style (sweet vs. dry, junmai gingo, etc.) that you prefer?

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Interesting ad that I found in yesterday's paper:

gallery_16375_4570_482645.jpg

Kyara ben (character bento) contest.

I continue to enjoy your blog. I hope this is not a silly question, but how do such elaborate bento contents survive a trip to school?

My own experience packing bentos is rather limited, but I have found that the contents must be packed rather snugly or they will be all jumbled up when it is time to eat lunch. The items in the picture above do not seem to be tightly packed. Wouldn't they get mixed up during the ride to school? Perhaps Japanese children carry their lunches more carefully than American school children!

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Hiroyuki: The reason you give for learning English is both touching and hilarious. Thank you for sharing the story along with everything else you've reported this week.

If time remains, and if you have answers, I would like to know WHY the ice cream cone rises triumphant over the prone form of the drunken businessman:

O, oh.

gallery_16375_4570_84522.jpg

Might this be a Japanese version of a Public Service announcement in which the pleasures of ice cream are promoted over those of sake? A sugar rush and a little bit of pudgy flesh around the bellies of the lactose-tolerant are not as alarming as the consequences of indulging in too much drink?

The fiddlehead ferns you found are beautiful! They are prized far north in the United States (Maine, for example), but very expensive and not of good quality in the gourmet food stores that carry them where I live.

Here is a link to Kikkoman's explanation of Shokuiku, offered in English. What a wonderful idea! Kristin's thread on the school lunch program in Japan is one of the best things here at eGullet, so I appreciate your introduction to more about this side of Japanese culture. I wonder how much corporate sponsorship affects what the public learns. It would be great to see similar efforts here in the United States, but companies would not be able to resist the temptation to market their products. McDonald's as a food educator? Blech!!! (Translation: :wacko::angry::hmmm: )

Finally...or almost, finally, are you able to recommend anything Japanese from recent years that would be classified as "food literature" and available in English translation? I am speaking broadly, so that Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto might be one example of such a book. However, is there is a best-selling example of shokuiku that promotes traditional regional dishes, or explores national trends in eating? You probably do not have the time or interest to explore many eG forums, but perhaps you've heard of Michael Pollan, Bill Buford, Ruhlman, Parsons or Fast Food Nation. Are there Japanese journalists or authors who write books about food that do not contain recipes?

Again, thank you. I hope your son's recovery is swift and that you and your daughter remain healthy during Golden Week.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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(really!).

I put two packs of natto in a dish, and sprinkled sesame seeds, shirasu, katsuobushi, and pickled daikon (usually, nozawana zuke is used).  This is a speciality of my area called "kirizai".  I learned this from my children's school lunch.

gallery_16375_4570_136696.jpg

Mix them well...:

gallery_16375_4570_67896.jpg

Oh, this looks so good. I've been thinking of this dish for the last two days since seeing the photo. :wub: Only thing that would make it better for me is addition of little shoyu drizzled on top. :laugh: I even eat umeboshi with shoyu.

Regarding akebi called kinome in your region, does it come with flowers too? I don't recall ever eating akebi (akebia) and what I see after googling is a climbing vine with flowers.

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Fish catching!

Brother and sister cooperating

gallery_16375_4570_33657.jpg

My son caught 5, and my daughter 2.  Photos of the fish later.

Oh, wonderful!

<editted to add:>

And now that I've read thru to the end: fresh rainbow trout tastes soooooo good!

Thank you so very much for blogging.

It was wonderful to see the food slice-of-life view. Not a single thing you served (except rice and noodles) looked like anything I put on our table, but the use and updating of leftovers, etc were very familiar. I wish your son a quick and easy recovery, and that your daughter is immune. I wish for you that your son is good natured in his illness, and for all of you that your wife recovers and rejoins you in good health and spirits.

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Tampopo DVD:

gallery_16375_4570_35758.jpg

which I bought quite recently.  I have watched it many times since them.  My children like it, too.

I have to ask this: is this version of Tampopo uncut? The version they are selling here in the States is missing several minutes, some of which are necessary to getting all of the jokes! The most important scene missing from my DVD is the one when all of the businessmen walk OUT of the French restaurant!

If the Japanese version is complete - does it have English subtitles?

I am truly enjoying this blog - best wishes to your family for good health!

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Hey, isn't that the chemical additive the Chinese were putting in the pet and animal food that caused the big panic here in the States?

It is. Mr. Clean's 'Magic Eraser' cleaning product sold stateside is pretty much the same thing - a melamine foam.

David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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What do you do with the mirin/katsuobushi/kombu/umeboshi paste?  Rice ball filling?  I would love proportions for this mixture.

Yes, rice ball filling. It can also be used as a dressing for daikon salad, for example.

According to my memo

2 umeboshi

5g katsuobushi

1 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp dashi

1 tbsp soy sauce

(No kombu in this recipe!)

What is the purin like? It looks similar to a packaged flan. Is it egg-based? A little sweet, or a lot? Other flavors?

Real Japanese purin is made by steaming, but is not very popular because it's kind of hard to make it. We prefer another type of purin, which is set by adding gelatin and cooling. Premade purin mixes like theseare available at any supermarket.

Purin contains eggs, and is sweet. There are other flavors like kabocha (squash) purin.

The one I ate is a premade purin (not mix).

When my children were smaller, I often made purin by heating the following ingredients in the mirowave, very carefully, making sure that it wouldn't boil:

3 eggs

80 g sugar

2 bottles of milk (= 200 x 2 = 400 ml)

Some vanilla

Looks tasty. I've seen fish sausage in the market dozens of times, but never bought it. Is this the refrigerated kind? Do you just slice it up into the ramen? Does it need to be cooked? How long does it keep?

You can keep it at room temperature. I googled and found that it's good for 90 days after manufacture, but actually, it can keep for months.

I just nibbled it by holding in one hand, just like many Japanese males. It requires no cooking, but you can cut it, heat it in a fry pan, with no oil (my preferred sytle), and add some pepper and salt.

Oishii! Domo arigato for the recipes and information. I'll be duplicating at home as soon as I get another chance to trek to the market which stocks such things.

David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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I've not had a lot of time to spend at egullet lately because of work commitments, but when I saw this blog, I had to make some time.

Hiroyuki, I commend you for being able to look after your home and family and do so much cooking. You are a real cook, do not think otherwise.

I send healing wishes for your wife and hope she is soon able to return home, and I also hope that your son gets better quickly.

Your children are adorable and you are a handsome man yourself. The picture of your children cooperating to catch a fish is great.

Your food looks so healthy and tasty, and your children certainly eat a wide variety of things. Japan has always fascinated me, and since I know I'll never make a trip there, your pictures have opened a window into your world.

I almost forgot to mention that your little vegetable garden is very cute and the mushroom logs are interesting. I'm sure your children have fun with it.

You are doing a wonderful job, Hiroyuki!

I don't mind the rat race, but I'd like more cheese.

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Good morning! So many comments and questions, so little time. Let me describe today's breakfast. I'll answer all the questions later.

I made my special furikake (something that you sprinkle on your rice) that I call "magic furikake".

Ingredients:

gallery_16375_4570_115877.jpg

Pretty simple. Canned mackerel, white sesame seeds, black pepper, and 1:1 mixture of soy sauce and mirin (45 ml each for 2 cans).

Put the mackerel, add pepper and sesame seeds. Turn on gas, mash mackerel with something (bamboo spatula in my case). When the mackerel dries up in 3-5 min., add the soy sauce and mirin mixture. Keep heating until it's dries again. (Note that my version is still moist.)

Result:

gallery_16375_4570_85563.jpg

The furikake is good on anything, even on Japanese pizza. :biggrin:

I also made atsuyaki tamago (thick omelet) for my sick son. He especially likes both ends of it. You never know what children like!

gallery_16375_4570_86592.jpg

I also made clear soup with the fresh shiitake that my son gathered yesterday.

This time, the soup is a lighter one, without harusame (a type of bean noodles) and with only one egg (not two in my previous one).

gallery_16375_4570_110604.jpg

I had two packs of natto, as usual :biggrin: , the furikake I just made, and few pieces of atsuyaki tamago.

My children had the leftover tarako (cod roe) and atsuyaki tamago.

I still keep this. It's now dried.

gallery_16375_4570_21006.jpg

The space enclosed with wood is my daughter's flower bed.

gallery_16375_4570_145431.jpg

My son and daughter planted the two flower plants and the blueberry seedling in her flower bed on the day they got them (two days ago).

gallery_16375_4570_88587.jpg

This year, I'll be a bystander or consulatant only.

Edited to add two additional photos.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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First of all, sorry for my poor format, but I am busy, so I made some short-cuts.

>And on one of my favorite subjects, rice: How do you choose which local rice to buy? Have you patronized the same farmer for years or do you change? Do you buy a large amount at one time or replenish frequently?

Answer:

Since the distribution of rice was liberalized in 1995 (which means, anyone can sell rice if he/she applies for registration), rice has become just another foodstuff easily available at any supermarket. A couple of years ago, I often bought a 10-kg bag of Shiozawa Koshihikari rice from a reliable single farmer for 7,000 yen. Now, I buy rice at random, sometimes Koshiibuki (a newer type available mainly in Niigata) for about 3,500 to 4,000 yen per 10 kg and sometimes one of the cheapest for about 2,000 yen per 10 kg.

I usually buy a 10-kg bag, which my family of four use up in about half a month.

>When you get a chance to answer, can you talk a little bit about the sake chocolate cake and the sake chocolate?

Answer:

Sorry, I haven't had either of them yet.

>And a question from way back in the blog: you said your children are not old enough for wasabi. About what age would a Japanese child start to eat wasabi? And is it just a matter of taste, or is it considered unhealthy for young children?

Answer:

It's just my children don't like wasabi now. I'm sure they will like it when they get older. At what age? I'm not sure, but probably 12 or older. Wasabi is not considered unhealthy. It kills germs.

>Hey, isn't that the chemical additive the Chinese were putting in the pet and animal food that caused the big panic here in the States?

Answer:

There seems to an interesing story in your country!

>I have a question about your instant dashi - how much do you use per liter of water? Do you just add it to boiling water? Does it need to cook any more than that?

Answer:

5 ml (1 teaspoon) of instant dashi per 600 ml water. You just add it to boiling or hot water. Isn't that great? It's so easy and tasty! But it contains SMG!

>I made a similar soba dish last week to yours except I used the dipping sauce as a broth and added tofu, carrots and bok choy I'd simmered in the sauce, and fresh spinach. (I boiled the noodles in water). Tasty, but I realize now that I should have kept the noodles out separate!

Answer:

In Japan, cold soba is usually served on a colander, while hot soba is usually served in a donburi with other ingredients on top.

>Do you have a favorite style (sweet vs. dry, junmai gingo, etc.) that you prefer?

Answer:

I like the local sake, Kakurei, made by Aoki Shuzo. It's tanrei umakuchi (light and tasty), not tanrei karakuchi (light and dry).

Here is a thread on Aoki Shuzo.

A trip to Aoki Shuzo

>I continue to enjoy your blog. I hope this is not a silly question, but how do such elaborate bento contents survive a trip to school?

Answer:

Good question, I have never thought of that, but I really can't answer. Anyone?

>If time remains, and if you have answers, I would like to know WHY the ice cream cone rises triumphant over the prone form of the drunken businessman:

Answer:

I don't know. I think the ice creme cone is a recent addition, and probably they were unable to find any other good location to put it.

>The fiddlehead ferns you found are beautiful! They are prized far north in the United States (Maine, for example), but very expensive and not of good quality in the gourmet food stores that carry them where I live.

Answer:

It is here on eGullet that I learned that you have kogome too! One of the reason eGullet keeps fascinating me.

Kogome is one of my favorite sansai!

>Finally...or almost, finally, are you able to recommend anything Japanese from recent years that would be classified as "food literature" and available in English translation? I am speaking broadly, so that Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto might be one example of such a book. However, is there is a best-selling example of shokuiku that promotes traditional regional dishes, or explores national trends in eating? You probably do not have the time or interest to explore many eG forums, but perhaps you've heard of Michael Pollan, Bill Buford, Ruhlman, Parsons or Fast Food Nation. Are there Japanese journalists or authors who write books about food that do not contain recipes?

Answer:

Hmm........ Anyone? Kristin, or any other knowledgeable people in that area?

>Regarding akebi called kinome in your region, does it come with flowers too? I don't recall ever eating akebi (akebia) and what I see after googling is a climbing vine with flowers.

Answer:

Let me just provide some links since you say you can read Japanese:

http://www.moritomizu.com/data/sansai/akebi/akebi.htm

http://www.alles.or.jp/~ohshin1/mitubaakebi/mitubaakebi.html

Akebi's fruit is a favorite of my son's. He is really a strange (well, exceptional) boy. He likes anything related to nature, plants, mushorooms, universe, etc., etc.

>Thank you so very much for blogging.

It was wonderful to see the food slice-of-life view. Not a single thing you served (except rice and noodles) looked like anything I put on our table, but the use and updating of leftovers, etc were very familiar.

Answer:

Thank you. How can I throw away leftovers when I am one of the stingiest persons in the world and the foodstuffs are so expensive in Japan!

>I have to ask this: is this version of Tampopo uncut? The version they are selling here in the States is missing several minutes, some of which are necessary to getting all of the jokes! The most important scene missing from my DVD is the one when all of the businessmen walk OUT of the French restaurant!

Answer:

Oh, no! I haven't seen that scene! So, it's not a uncut version?

>- does it have English subtitles?

Answer:

Yes, it does.

>Hiroyuki, I commend you for being able to look after your home and family and do so much cooking. You are a real cook, do not think otherwise.

Answer:

Thank you for saying so, but I really cannot call me a serious cook, because I know all other real series cooks. I know they would laugh at me for showing such mediocre dishes to you eGulleteers. Anyway, I can speak for anyone but myself, I can't and don't want to speak for millions of other Japanese.

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A new question for you. Having blogged for a week would you consider doing it again?

It has been such a pleasure reading this blog and there are a number of dishes on your blog I will try to make where on other blog I could not dream of trying to make.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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I have a question about your instant dashi - how much do you use per liter of water? Do you just add it to boiling water? Does it need to cook any more than that? I use something like instant tea bags when I make dashi. I don't know if I've ever seen instant here (though I might have passed over it as well). The tea bags are filled with bonito flakes and seasoning, and you just drop one in about 3/4 liter of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.

You may also be able to buy instant dashi in a box containing 5 sachets. The box is about 3x4" and looks like this:gallery_40681_2239_799797.jpg

The sachets provide a bit more flexibility in cooking than teabags, eg if you only want to make a small amount.

Edited by Cadbury (log)
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A new question for you. Having blogged for a week would you consider doing it again?

It has been such a pleasure reading this blog and there are a number of dishes on your blog I will try to make where on other blog I could not dream of trying to make.

I simply don't know what to answer. I can't even think of that right now. :blink::biggrin:

Most Japanese dishes are ridiculously simple (if you use instant dashi :biggrin: ), and so I'm sure you can make them yourself. :smile:

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I have a question about your instant dashi - how much do you use per liter of water? Do you just add it to boiling water? Does it need to cook any more than that? I use something like instant tea bags when I make dashi. I don't know if I've ever seen instant here (though I might have passed over it as well). The tea bags are filled with bonito flakes and seasoning, and you just drop one in about 3/4 liter of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.

You may also be able to buy instant dashi in a box containing 5 sachets. The box is about 3x4" and looks like this:gallery_40681_2239_799797.jpg

The sachets provide a bit more flexibility in cooking that teabags, eg if you only want to make a small amount.

Thanks for the photo. Shimaya released instant dashi for the first time in Japan in 1964. My mother used to use niboshi to make miso soup, and once she started to use this product, there was no turning back. She kept using instant dashi. I myself cannot go back to niboshi dashi.

Shimaya's instant dashi (Watch out! Japanese only)

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Re: Melamine sponges - Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser" sponges are that new type of melamine sponge. Their packages don't say whether or not they're for food use.

Hiroyuki, you keep apologizing for how "messy" your place is. I don't see any mess at all! :biggrin:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Yes, as for the mess, I'm very suspicious. :hmmm: . Hiroyuki claims to be a translator, but every translator I know wades through their living room thigh-high in books. So where are they??! :blink:

Thank you for the re-run of the saba furikake - now that bento season is "on" again, I was planning to find your recipe and make it. I already bought 2 cans of saba (discounted, of course) ready.

I think there's a place for instant dashi - and lots of people use noodle soup concentrate for practically every soy-sauce based dish too. However, they are quite intense in taste - you can also get non-MSG instant dashi powder, and you can find many versions of home-made soy sauce seasoning mixes on the net in Japanese by googling 万能調味料 or 合わせ調味料

how do such elaborate bento contents survive a trip to school?

Japanese bento boxes are shallow, so the lid is probably only half a centimeter away from the contents in most cases.

They are packed fairly firmly though, and people pack things diagonally into corners, which is where they'd move anyway, with larger items in the middle.

Finally (bit hard to explain) there is a knack to packing them - while it looks like a sand-picture from on top, in fact the layers often overlap slantwise just a little (one reason why leaves etc are often used as separators, I guess), which means that you end up with a shallow V-shaped gap at one end of the box. The idea is to jam something bulky in there which practically locks everything into place like a keystone. Makes you wonder what the Japanese bento looked like before cherry tomatoes were invented :biggrin: .

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Yes, as for the mess, I'm very suspicious.  :hmmm: . Hiroyuki claims to be a translator, but every translator I know wades through their living room thigh-high in books. So where are they??! :blink:

That's quite off-topic, but I have to respond. :biggrin:

Even my workroom upstairs is free from all those dictionaries and reference books, and I keep throwing away related documents and such and deleting data files regularly due to the "secrecy agreement".

I use this online dictionary:

Eijiro on the web.

I'd like to work "light". :wink:

I can't stop mentioning my furikake! It's my gohan no tomo (rice's companion)!

For those of you who don't know this, many Japanese have their own gohan no tomo and say, "If I have white (piping hot, just-cooked) rice and this gohan no tomo, then I wouldn't want anything else!".

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Before noon, I took my son to the doctor, and fortunately, the doctor said he simply had a cold. (The doctor's office is just a one-minute ride from my house.)

My son said he wanted to have the cod roe rice that he had left this morning and leftover clear soup.

My lunch:

gallery_16375_4570_1688.jpg

Cheese toast with onion slices on top. I had instant coffee, too.

Looks tasty, right?

gallery_16375_4570_91222.jpg

I like toaster ovens!! :biggrin:

According to this month's menu,

gallery_16375_4570_19672.jpg

my daughter is having

gohan (cooked rice)

hokke (a type of fish) grilled with salt

sansai (edible wild plant) dressed with goma/miso sauce

miso soup with abura age (fried bean curd), and

cherry tomatoes

Current status of our shiitake logs:

gallery_16375_4570_14639.jpg

We can get another four or five of them in a few days.

Edited to add: Notice that 19th day of every month is Shokuiku no Hi (Food Education Day) at my children's school, according to the menu above.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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Thank you, Hiroyuki, for a wonderful and highly educational blog.

(I think my favorite photo is that of your children catching the trout. :smile: )

Thanks. Last year, my son managed to catch three, and my daughter got none. :sad: So, we got everything planned this year, like cotton gloves (gunte), sandals, and plastic bags.

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