Archive for the ‘japan’ Category
Page from a most unusual advertising booklet for Quaker Oats, 1898.
Yes, folks, it’s all happening, down at the Ole’ Internet Archive! Cast off your inhibitions, and get on down there.
Or else, I suppose the more enervated among you could always just go and look at the wisteria:
Ramage was going to write a little piece here about Lafcadio Hearn’s wonderful little essay on insect-musicians, but, partly out of fear he might be thought some kind of insect-geek, after the previous post (though the bird part of him is admittedly rather fond of insects), and partly because he found this, equally marvellous, essay quoted in full here, he won’t, not for now at least.
Section IX of “In A Japanese Garden” is particularly treasureable, with its “multitudes of little water-beetles, called maimaimushi, which pass their whole time in gyrating upon the surface of the water so rapidly that it is almost impossible to distinguish their shape clearly. A man who runs about aimlessly to and fro, under the influence of excitement, is compared to a maimai-mushi”; and the tortoise in the straw raincoat. Oh, and he does mention insects too, of course, like “the tsuku-tsuku-bôshi“, whose music is “exactly like the song of a bird”. But the whole thing, as with everything Hearn wrote, is full of things that delight.
Here’s a picture of him, with his wife Matsue, and their child, also from this excellent site devoted to him, and maintained by Steve Trussel:
Photo: Toki Koizumi
As a PS, I seem to remember once staying in a bed-and-breakfast in the house in which Hearn grew up, in the Dublin suburb of Rathmines…
Not that that first post was so hard, but Ramage felt like some sustenance, so he popped (virtually) down to his local department-store food-hall and availed himself (virtually) of some giant hornet honey.
This is basically honey with a bug in it. A Giant Japanese Hornet, in fact, the largest species of wasp in the world, suspended in its honey! According to Cybercandy: “The Hornet is highly regarded for the enzymes its stomach produces, which give stamina and energy to those who ingest it. In fact in the past the Japanese Olympic athletes used to drink Hornet Honey prior to competing and clinical tests have shown that the enzyme the Hornets produce is proven to work on humans, even, it is claimed, resulting in a gold medal for a female Japanese marathon runner who is said to have used it during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The Hornet comes suspended on a large needle from the lid, the needle releases the enzyme from the Hornet into the honey, but the Hornet is not supposed to be eaten, just the honey which can be spread on toast, stirred into tea or drunk on its own prior to exercising or when you need an energy boost.”
(Really) Ramage thinks he’ll pass. Just the thought of having a wasp the size of his thumb lying next to his toastrack of a morning gives him the shakes.