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Easters Away

// by Jessie Fast // The first Easter I spent away from my family was during college, while on exchange in England. It was the first major holiday (of many to come) that I spent apart from my parents, brother, aunts, uncles and cousins, and although we tried to Skype on the day to make … Continue reading

Real Japan: Cat Guides and Kamakura Spirits

// by Laura Bast (guest author) // My first day in Japan was spent in Yokote city, Akita. My ALT, she who was to be my guide for the rest of the trip, had gone to work for the day. A cat appeared in her stead. This came as no surprise to me, as I … Continue reading

Dance of the Fire-Swingers

// by Jessie Fast // When the term “fire-swinging festival” is being thrown around (no pun intended), it’s only natural to feel intrigue, followed quickly by an overwhelming desire to participate. Hiburi Kamakura Matsuri, perhaps better translated as the “fire dance festival,” is held every February in downtown Kakunodate in celebration of the lunar new … Continue reading