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The New Wave of

SAKURA-con Seattles J-Pop Lovefest
Shonen Jump and more

Visit Japan
This Summers Destination

J Recipe
Dine Out

Cover image:
2009 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

March & April 2010 Vol. 04 Seattle / Bellevue / Portland

4 The New Wave of J-Pop
Japanese pop culture, from manga to fashion to
anmated films, has a firm grip on the imagination
of American youth.


12 Restaurant Directory
15 IBUKI Map
18 Recipes
Spinach Salad with Seasoned Mashed Tofu: Shiraae
Cutlet curry
20 The Sak Story
Regions play a vital role in sak brewing.

16 Store & School Directory
Japanese Confectionery
21 Visit Japan
Choose from an array of attractive packages for
summer travel.
24 i fart rainbow
25 Trend
The demands of modern marriage keep singles
busy day and night.
26 Movies: 20th Century Boys
Music: Dazzle Vision & High and Mighty Color
Gadget: Oxyfit
28 Local News and Events

IBUKI Magazine Vol.04 Maarch & April 2010

Publisher Contributing Writers & Artists Published by
Misa Murohashi Enfu (Ken Taya) Axia Media Group, Inc.
Chief Operating Officer Johnnie Stroud (Sak Nomi) Bellevue, WA 98005
English Cartier Julian Waters
Editor-in-Chief Masami Suzuki
Comments and general inquiries
Bruce Rutledge Special Thanks
Editor and Translator Chin Music Press
Yuko Enomoto Advertising Info
Assistant Designer advertise@ibukimagazine.com
Maria Brown

www.ibukimagazine.com 3
The New Wave of J-Pop

The New Wave of J-Pop

By Bruce Rutledge

hat started a quarter century ago such as Toyota Motor Co. and Japan Airlines Co. taken a layer of cultural interpreters in the
as a quirky Japanese subculture falter, 21st Century companies such as Studio American business community Viz Media
that featured otaku collectors, a Ghibli, producer of Miyazakis films, Nintendo LLC and FUNimation Productions Ltd. are
couple of classic animated films and some Co. and video-game maker Square Enix Co. are two of the most influential to figure out
well-drawn comic books has swelled into reaching their peak. When these companies how to turn the American J-pop obsession into
a global pop phenomenon that no longer release new movies or games, there is a frenzy a moneymaking venture. Viz Media launched
belongs to Japan alone. Americans have in the marketplace, chatter on the Internet and the English version of Shonen Jump (see page
embraced Japanese film and manga and long lines in front of stores and theaters. 9) and its affiliate company, Viz Pictures, was
created their own unique subcultures to On the first weekend of April, as many behind the opening of a J-Pop center called
indulge in them. American businesses as 18,000 people most of them in New People in the heart of San Franciscos
have stoked the trend by releasing manga costume will descend on downtown Japantown last year. FUNimation is responsible
in translation ands subtitled films. Asian Seattle to celebrate their love for Japanese for bringing anime hits such as the Dragon Ball
economies are getting in on the trend too, pop culture at Sakura-Con, a festival that series (page 8) and Full Metal Alchemist to
with more anime created in South Korea has been growing at a rapid rate since its US shores. These companies have become the
and Taiwan. inception in the late 1990s. Sakura-Con is bridges between American fans and Japanese
While J-pop spreads across borders and one of many J-pop festivals held in cities studios and publishers.
seeps into other cultures, it retains a certain across the US. Seattle is deeply connected to this J-pop
exotic otherness that appeals to North Fans of anime and manga outside of phenomenon because of its role as a hub of
Americans looking for something besides Japan tend to get very involved and video-game development and its growing
the typical Hollywood fare. Parents push serious about their hobbies, which inspire legions of J-pop fans, as seen by the ever-
Hayao Miyazaki DVDs on their kids like a lit and excite them, Galbraith says. That increasing turnstile totals at Sakura-Con.
professor pushes Shakespeare. Teenagers anime and manga originated in a different As the J-pop phenomenon continues to
look to Tokyo as a fashion mecca. Haruki cultural context reinforces intense feelings grow and mix with other cultures, expect
Murakami sells books to Americans at of subcultural belonging. The convention Seattle to be very involved.
an unprecedented pace for a Japanese is where fans can get together among
novelist. At a certain level, Japan fascinates like-minded individuals and indulge in
Americans. subcultural identity and interactions. They
Due to the conditions of their development in tend to be very creative and expressive
postwar Japan, anime and manga offer a unique because this is where they can openly show
entertainment experience, says Patrick W. their interests and expect affirmation from
Galbraith, 27, author of The Otaku Encyclopedia. others. There is a real sense of community,
Part of the appeal for fans outside of Japan is to which supports a participatory culture.
explore and enjoy these different entertainment These communities of J-pop fans in North
worlds. America are something the Japanese producers
While 20th Century Japanese powerhouses of anime and manga never envisioned. It has

4 ibuki March / april 2010

<< Lightning is the heroine of the
newest installment of the Final Fantasy
series, Final Fantasy XIII, which was
released on March 9 for PlayStation 3
and Xbox 360.

2009 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.


www.ibukimagazine.com 5
The New Wave of J-Pop

Sakura-Con Seattles J-Pop Lovefest

very year on one spring weekend, aliens take over more of these kids are finding that is true. These are your gamers;
E downtown Seattle. Or so it seems to the unwitting these are your lovers of anime; these are people who would be os-
shoppers and passers-by who wonder why crowds of tracized in any other situation, and they get to come here dressed
cosplay kids dressed as samurai, ninja, video game characters in fantastic costumes that they made on their own, be surrounded
and superheroes seem to be on every street corner and in every by people who are not going to say, Youre a freak, theyre going to
restaurant. Theyre here to celebrate Japanese pop culture, and say, That is amazing! How long did that take you? Its becoming
they come from as far as Alaska, Idaho and Montana to attend more popular because people are finding community in it.
Sakura-Con, the biggest celebration of anime and manga in the The community building around these conventions does
Pacific Northwest and one of the biggest anime conventions in not seem to be tapering off. On the contrary, it continues
the US if not the world. to grow.
The level of devotion these convention-goers show will stun the unini- The event continues to grow but not at the explosive rate
tiated. College kids spend hundreds of hours on elaborate costumes; of 75% we experienced in the past, says Mira Utz, director
high-schoolers make professional-quality video mashups of their favor- of publicity for Asia Northwest Cultural Education Associa-
ite anime characters and songs (copyright law be damned!), and young tion/Sakura-Con. From 2007 to 2009 the rate slowed to
adults who have never set foot in Japan will talk your ear off about Japa- about 30% per year, which is still pretty remarkable con-
nese doujinshi (independently published magazines, kind of like zines) sidering that the economy has taken a turn and the anime
or an esoteric subsection of romantic manga. Its like Revenge of the industry as a whole has had some trouble.
Nerds remade by Lady Gaga but with subtitles. Weve noticed more families with young children, presum-
The phenomenon of anime and manga conventions took off in ably from the twentysomethings that make up over half of
the last decade. The country is dotted with these get-togethers, the membership marrying and having families, Utz says.
from Baltimore to Portland, Anchorage to Miami, and most of But still, Sakura-Con is no Aerosmith concert. Most of the
them started as little gatherings of friends who shared a love of attendees are in their teens or 20s, and the convention has
Japanese animated films. Sakura-Con started as BakaCon (Idiots an energy and buzz about it that can only be supplied by a
Convention), a humble group of avid anime fans who decided mass of youthful fans.
to have an annual gathering back in 1998. This year, the 12th Sakura-Con and other conventions like it have also morphed
Sakura-Con expects to draw about 18,000 to the April 2-4 cel- over the past decade from groups of movie fans to some-
ebration at the Washington Convention Center. thing akin to a Trekkie convention to their current iteration,
So whats the attraction? Are Japans animated films and manga which goes well beyond anything the Trekkies could have
comic books that much better than anything we have to offer in imagined. Fashion trends like Lolita Gothic flourish here.
the US? Gamers compete. Toy aficionados pore over rare collect-
You see all these kids, says Meg Uhde of Portland, OR, during a busy ibles. Karaoke specialists belt their hearts out. Filmmakers
moment at a previous Sakura-Con. She motions towards swarms of peo- show their latest music videos. In the US in 2010, there is no
ple dressed as robots, French maids, women in miniskirts and mouse group gathering that matches an anime/manga conven-
ears, masked warriors, even a blonde ninja. This is where they come tion in sheer creative energy.
to be themselves and no one will judge them. And more and more and Confession time. I lived in Japan for 15 years. I consider
6 ibuki March / april 2010
myself pretty knowledgeable about Japanese culture and
business. Ive spent my career writing about it and re-
searching it. But nothing prepared me for my first anime
convention in the US, Sakura-Con 2007. Where did these
people come from, I thought. How come they know so
much about these Japanese movies? Why are they so dedi-
cated to this art form? I was ready to write it off as the 21st
Century version of a bunch of Trekkies at a Ramada Inn lin-
ing up for George Takeis autograph. But this was different.
This had the I dont care what you think of me of the punk
movement, the arts-and-crafts creativity of the zine move-
ment and the inspired costumes of Halloween and Mardi
Gras all rolled into one event.
Every major anime convention experienced growth last
year despite economic indications that they would stall,
Utz writes in an email. I think the reason is that anime con-
ventions like Sakura-Con encompass more than just fans
interested in one franchise or hobby. Sakura-Con features
anime, manga and gaming but within those categories is
programming focusing on Asian culture, costuming, paint-
ing, drama, voice, drawing, writing, martial arts, J-music,
film, software development, travel, literature and more.
Sakura-Con is for more than just a hardcore anime fan, but
of course there are also plenty of those.
Their presence will be felt on April 2-4 in Seattle. If youve
never seen a community of creative, positive and, yes, lets
say it unabashedly nerdy Americans celebrating an-
other countrys pop culture, then join the fun. Anime fans
dont bite. Theyll probably even give you a high-five on the
long escalator ride up to the ticket booth.

www.ibukimagazine.com 7
The New Wave of J-Pop

J-Pop Sampler
Dragon Ball Z
Manga artist Akira Toriyama wrote and illus-
trated the Dragon Ball series between 1984
and 1995 in the pages of Shonen Jump (see
the opposite page). Toei Animation turned
the story into three anime series, the second
of which was Dragon Ball Z. FUNimation Pro-
ductions aired the dubbed version of Drag-
on Ball Z in the US. It took awhile to catch on,
but today, the adventures of Goku and his
Z warriors have become a huge hit around
the world. The whole Dragon Ball series has
blossomed into 17 movies and 500 TV epi-
sodes. The show gets its best ratings in the
US, Japan, France, Spain, Hong Kong and Mexico.
The story started as a comedy, according to FUNimation, but later turned
into a battle of good and evil. The Dragon Ball series has been a success
on TV and the big screen as well as in the toy store.


Licensed by FUNimation Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and all logos, character names and distinctive likenesses thereof
are trademarks of SHUEISHA, INC.

The latest installment in this popular series (85 million
units shipped and counting!) hit the stands in the US on
March 9. It was released earlier in Japan, and the word
from gamers there is that the 13th version of this popular
game delivers groundbreaking graphics.
The Final Fantasy series has been around since 1987. Thats
when avid Seattle gamer Nate Eslava started playing.
Twenty-three years later, he has every version of the Final
Fantasy series even the ones that werent released in
the US and a collection of elixir bottles from Final Fan-
tasy XII that he bought in Japan. Eslava says that nostalgia
plays a big role in his attachment to the game, but the cut-
ting-edge graphics and the complex storylines keep him
excited about each new version. No game compares in his estimation.
I convinced my wife to let me buy one company stock, Eslava says. His choice? Square
Enix. I wanted to own a piece of this game.
The devotion of fans like Eslava is even more impressive when one considers that each
version of Final Fantasy is a self-contained world independent of the versions that came
2009 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

8 ibuki March / april 2010

The Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan is consid-
ered the king of manga for young Japanese
males. With circulation of more than 3 mil-
lion, it has launched Naruto, Dragon Ball and
other classics of the genre over the decades.
Since 2002, a monthly English version has
been available from Viz Media of San Fran-
cisco. English-speaking manga fans can find
translations of Naruto, One Piece, Yu-gi-Oh
and much more, including Japanese lessons
and illustrations sent in by American fans.
Each monthly magazine features more than
300 pages, drawing a readership of more
SHONEN JUMP Magazine, Jan 2010 and March 2010 than 2.7 million. The average reader is a boy
ONE PIECE 1997 by Eiichiro Oda/SHUEISHA Inc.
BLEACH 2001 by Tite Kubo/SHUEISHA Inc.
between the ages of 8 and 17.

<< One Piece, a manga << The hero in the

for boys, has been all popular Naruto manga
the rage among Ameri- is Naruto Uzumaki, a
can manga fans recent- young ninja striving to
ly. The series started be the best ninja in his
in the Weekly Shonen village.
Jump in 1997.

ONE PIECE Vol. 39 NARUTO Vol. 48:

ONE PIECE 1997 by Eiichiro Oda/SHUEISHA Inc. NARUTO 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.

This American publishing company is one
of the driving forces behind the popular-
ity of manga in the US. Key decisions early
on helped the company both cut costs and
provide a more authentic version of the
comics. For one, Tokyopop manga read
left to right, like Japanese manga. Also, the
company decided to retouch the drawings
less, keeping in the onomatopoeic sound
effects that are ever-present in the Japa-
nese versions. The company started with
Sailor Moon, but today its list of titles and
products reflects the rapid rise in popular-
ity of all things J-pop. Some of its hottest-
selling titles today include the Goth series
Vampire Kisses, the Warcraft manga and
Gakuen Alice. But Fruits Basket tops them Vampire Kisses Text copyright Ellen Schreiber; Art
all; its the best-selling shojo (girls) manga TOKYOPOP Inc. and HarperCollins Publishers
Warcraft: Death Knight 2009 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
of all time. Check out www.tokyopop.com All Rights Reserved.
Gakuen Alice Tachibana Higuchi
for more. Fruits Basket Natsuki Takaya
D.N. Angel Yukiru SUGISAKI

www.ibukimagazine.com 9
The New Wave of J-Pop
Fukuokas Game for Business
ukuoka may be a few hours by the industry, its neatly tucked next to South
bullet train from Osaka and To- Korea, an up-and-coming player in the sec-
kyo, but the southern Japanese tor, and a quick flight from Taiwan, another
city has decided that one of its strongest emerging force. Fukuoka City has been slow-
business allies may be more than 5,000 ly wooing more game companies, too, grow-
miles to the east. Fukuoka City officials ing from a modest cluster of three companies
are looking across the Pacific to Seattle in 2003 to 13 today anchored by the very suc-
Fukuoka is the biggest city on Kyushu,
to find the knowledge and business ties cessful LEVEL-5 Inc., creator of the Profes- the southernmost of Japans four main
necessary to build a global hub for the sor Layton series, which has sold 9.18 million islands. The city has a population of 1.5
rapidly expanding and internationaliz- copies worldwide. LEVEL-5 has also been million. The population swells with tour-
ing video-game industry. handpicked by Square Enix to make the new- ists each summer during the 750-year-old
Fukuoka is thinking about connecting est version of the 50-million-seller Dragon Yamakasa Festival. Bottom left: A favorite
with Seattle via the video-game busi- Quest franchise, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of Fukuoka treat is the pork-based tonkotsu
ness, Kohei Yamada of Fukuokas inter- the Starry Skies. ramen served from street vendors.
national economic development team Of course, compared to the greater Seattle
writes in an email. Fukuokas game in- area, which is home to 150 -200 game-related Piece titles.
dustry is much smaller than Seattles, companies including Bungie, PopCap, Nin- Fukuokas easy access to other Northeast
and it has a much smaller cluster than tendo of America and Microsoft, Fukuoka is Asian destinations, its high quality of life
Seattle, but by building ties with Seattle still a minor player. But by connecting with and its temperate climate are all draws
we can create new game businesses, Seattle and creating strong ties between the for businesses looking for a Japanese
send companies there and have Seattle cities, Yamada says, Fukuoka can establish it- home, as is the fact that a video-game
companies come here. self as an international hub in a country that company can run its business in Fukuo-
Global competition in the gaming industry has not always been quick to embrace global ka for a fraction of the cost of doing busi-
one of the few hot industries in an oth- ties. ness in Tokyo. To top it off, the city plans
erwise tepid global economy has grown By promoting ties (with Seattle), we to offer financial and legal support to
fierce. While Fukuoka is still a small player in can promote Fukuoka as a gateway con- foreign companies setting up business-
necting Japan to the rest of the world es in Fukuoka. The city is eager to make a
at a time when Japanese game compa- splash in the industry, so businesses that
nies have been slow to internationalize, choose Fukuoka early may find some
he writes. We would like to have game great deals.
companies from Asia and the West that The midsize Japanese city has set up
are interested in Japan gather in Fukuo- the Fukuoka Game Industry Promotion
ka. Agency to achieve its dream of growing
The first steps for Fukuoka are dispatch- into a strong international video-game
ing a consultant and researcher to Se- hub. Its relationship with Seattle plays
attle and Vancouver to review the game a key part in that dream, so expect to
industry and get a better feel for the ter- see more from Fukuoka in the months
rain. Based on the researchers feedback, ahead.
the city plans to send a business delega-
tion this year to strengthen ties with Se-
attle. Fukuoka will then become a more
noticeable presence at video-game ex-
hibits and business conferences in the
Pacific Northwest.
Fukuokas game sector is centered around
Fukuoka Game
what it calls the GFF, short for Game Fac-
Industry Promotion
tory Fukuoka, which began in 2004. The star Agency
of the group is LEVEL-5, but other innova-
tive companies creating game software and
digital content have also chosen to settle here, Through government-industry-academia
including D.A.G Inc., which created the com- collaboration, GFF, Kyushu University and
puter graphics for the movie Devil May Cry Fukuoka City have established an organi-
4; CyberConnect2, the creator of many Play- zation promoting the game industry to help
Station platform games for NARUTO;and the city become a hub for the industry.
Photos JNTO GANBARION, the creator of many One

10 ibuki March / april 2010

Fukuoka GFF companies


Professor Layton and the Ocarina of Malevolent ONE PIECE Unlimited Cruise2 AWAKENING OF NARUTO Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3
Deity (Nintendo DS) A HERO (Nintendo Wii) (PlayStationPortable)
2009 LEVEL-5 Inc. ONE PIECE EIICHIRO ODA/SHUEISHA, TOEI ANIMATION NARUTO Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 software
Program 2008 2009 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. 2004-2010 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Rights Reserved. NARUTO artwork and elements
2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO / 2007 SHIPPUDEN All Rights Reserved.
SHONEN JUMP and NARUTO are trademarks of Shueisha, Inc.
in the U.S. and/or other countries. This product is manufactured,
distributed and sold in North, South and Central American
territories under license from VIZ Media, LLC.

www.ibukimagazine.com 11
Restaurant Directory
SEATTLE Bush Garden Restaurant
(206) 448-2488
614 Maynard Avenue S., Seattle 2319 2nd Ave, Seattle
Greater Seattle Cutting Board Maneki
(206) 767-8075 (206) 622-2631
Mashiko Japanese Restaurant 5503 Airport Way S, Seattle 304 6th Ave S, Seattle
(206) 935-4339 Fuji Sushi Marinepolis Sushi Land -Queen Anne Hill
4725 California Ave SW, (206) 624-1201 (206) 267-7621
Seattle 520 S Main St, Seattle 803 5th Ave N, Seattle
Check out sushiwhore.com Genki Sushi Nishino
Youll like it. (206) 453-3881 (206) 322-5800
500 Mercer St. Unit C-2, 2B, Seattle 3130 E Madison St # 106, Seattle
Shiros Sushi Restaurant Hana Restaurent Nijo
(206) 443-9844 (206) 328-1187 (206) 340-8880
2401 2nd Ave, Seattle 219 Broadway E, Seattle 89 Spring St, Seattle
www.shiros.com Hiroshis Restaurant Ototo Sushi
(206) 726-4966 (206) 691-3838
Boom Noodle, Capitol Hill 2501 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle 7 Boston St, Seattle
(206) 701-9130 Ichiban Restaurant Red Fin Sushi Restaurant
1121 E Pike St, Seattle 206-623-8868 (206) 441-4340
601 S Main St, Seattle 612 Stewart St, Seattle
I Love Sushi - Lake Union Samurai Noodle
Maekawa Bar 206-625-9604 (206) 624-9321
(206) 622-0634 1001 Fairview Ave N, Seattle 606 5th Ave St, Seattle
601 S King St #206,Seattle Imo Asian Bistro Shiki Japanese Restaurant
(206) 264-9570 (206) 281-1352
Fort St. George 704 1st Ave, Seattle 4W Roy St, Seattle
(206) 382-0662 Shun Japanese Cuisine
601 S King St # 202, Seattle (206) 522-2200
(206) 632-7010
Aoki Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar 1618 N 45th St, Seattle 5101 NE 25th Ave #11, Seattle
(206) 324-3633 J Sushi Tsukushinbo
621 Broadway E, Seattle (206) 287-9000 (206) 467-4004
Blue C Sushi - University Village 674 S Weller St, Seattle 515 S Main St, Seattle
(206) 525-4601 Kaname Izakaya Shochu Bar Toyoda Sushi
4601 26th Ave NE, Seattle (206) 682-1828 (206) 367-7972
Blue C Sushi - Fremont 610 S Jackson St, Seattle 12543 Lake City Way, Seattle
(206) 633-3411 Kisaku Vi Bacchus Sake Bar & Bistro
3411 Fremont Ave N, Seattle (206) 545-9050 (206) 328-5275
Blue C Sushi - 7th avenue 2101 N. 55th St. #100, Seattle 1401 Broadway, Seattle
(206) 467-4022 Kozue Japanese Restaurant Wabi-Sabi Sushi Bar & Restaurant
1510 7th Ave, Seattle (206) 547-2008 (206) 721-0212
1608 N 45th St, Seattle 4909 Rainier Ave S, Seattle

12 ibuki March / april 2010

Wasabi Bistro Taka Sushi Sushi Joa
(206) 441-6044 (425) 778-1689
(206) 230-4120
2311 2nd Ave, Seattle 18904 Hwy 99 Suite A, Lynnwood
2717 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island
Wann Japanese Izakaya Warabi Japanese Restaurant & Bar
www. sushijoa.com
(206) 441-5637 (206) 361-2620
2020 2nd Ave, Seattle 13754 Aurora Ave N, Seattle
Boom Noodle, Bellevue Square
(425) 453-6094
North End South End 504 Bellevue Square, Bellevue
Cafe Soleil Miyabi Restaurant www.boomnoodle.com
(425) 493-1847
(206) 575-6815 Flo Japanese Sushi Restaurant
9999 Harbour Place #
16820 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila (425) 453-4005
105, Mukilteo
1188 106th Ave NE, Bellevue
All natural Euro Japanese Blue C Sushi - Westfield Southcenter
Ginza Japanese Restaurant
cooking cafe-soleil.net (206) 277-8744
(425) 709-7072
468 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila
103 102nd Ave SE, Bellevue
Bluefin Sushi & Seafood Buffet Blossom Asian Bistro
(206) 367-0115 I Love Sushi -One Lake Bellevue
(425) 430-1610
401 NE Northgate Way # 463, Seattle (425) 455-9090
305 Burnett Avenue South, Renton
23 Lake Bellevue Dr, Bellevue
Blue C Sushi - the Village at Alderwood Mall Genki Sushi -Renton
(425) 329-3596 I Love Sushi -Bellevue Main
(425) 277-1050
3000 184th St SW, Lynnwood (425) 454-5706
365 S. Grady Way Ste. B & C, Renton
11818 NE 8th St, Bellevue
Cherry Blossom Sushi Bar & Grill Marinepolis Sushi Land -Southcenter Mall
(425) 315-8022 (206) 816-3280 Izakaya Sushi - at The Landing
10809 Mukilteo Speedway, Mukilteo 100 Andover Park West 160, Tukwila (425) 228-2800
829 N 10th St. Suite G, Renton
Edina Sushi New Zen Japanese Restaurant
(425) 776-8068 (425) 254-1599 Izumi Japanese Restaurant with Sushi-Bar
19720 44th Ave W, Lynnwood 10720 SE Carr Rd, Renton (425) 821-1959
12539 116th Ave N.E., Kirkland
Marinepolis Sushi Land -Lynnwood Bistro Satsuma
(425) 275-9022 (253) 858-5151 Kobe Wellbeing Tonkatsu & Tao Sushi Bar
18500 33rd Ave NW, Lynnwood 5315 Point Fosdick Dr NW #A, Gig Harbor (425) 451-3888
850 110th Ave NE, Bellevue
Matsu Sushi
(425) 771-3368 Eastside Kikuya Restaurant
(425) 881-8771
19505 44th Ave W #K, Lynnwood
Blue C Sushi, Bellevue Square 8105 161st Ave NE, Redmond
Sakuma Japanese Restaurant
(425) 347-3063 (425) 454-8288 Kiku Sushi
10924 Mukilteo Speedway # G, Mukilteo 503 Bellevue Square, Bellevue (425) 644-2358
Blue Ginger Korean Grill & Sushi 15555 NE 24th St, Bellevue
Setsuna Japanese Restaurant and Bar
(206) 417-3175 (425) 746-1222 Rikki Rikki Authentic Japanese Restaurant
11204 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle 14045 NE 20th St, Bellevue (425) 828-0707
442 Parkplace Center, Kirkland

www.ibukimagazine.com 13
Restaurant Directory
Marinepolis Sushi Land -Bellevue Crescendo noodle house & bar I love Sushi
(425) 455-2793 (503) 226-7181 (503) 644-5252
138 107th Ave. NE, Bellevue 16055 SW Regatta Lane, Beaverton 3486 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton
Marinepolis Sushi Land -Redmond Hiroshi Restaurant Koji Osakaya -Hillsboro
(425) 284-2587 (503) 619-0559 (503) 629-1815
8910 161st Ave NE, Redmond 926 NW 10th Ave, Portland 2215 NW Allie Ave, Hillsboro
Sushi Maru Koji Osakaya -Downtown Portland Marinepolis Sushi Land -Beaverton
(425) 453-0100 (503) 294-1169 (503) 520-0257
205 105th Ave, Bellevue 606 SW Broadway, Portland 4021 SW 117th Ave, Beaverton
Sushi Me Koji Osakaya - Lloyd Place Syun Izakaya
(425) 644-9800 (503) 280-0992 (503) 640-3131
1299 156th Ave NE #145, Bellevue 1502 NE Weidler, Portland 209 NE Lincoln St, Hillsboro
Momoya Restaurant Marinepolis Sushi Land -Lloyd Sambi Japanese Restaurant
(425) 889-9020 (503) 280-0300 (503) 296-0045
12100 NE 85th St, Kirkland 1409 NE Weidler St, Portland 9230 SW Bvtn-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton
Tokyo Japanese Restaurent Marinepolis Sushi Land -Pearl Sushi & Maki
(425) 641-5691 (503) 546-9933 (503) 648-4366
3500 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue 138 NW 10th Ave, Portland 2401 NE Cornell Rd No. X, Hillsboro
Zen Asian Bistro, Japanese & Thai Mika Sushi Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
(425) 453-2999 (503) 222-0699 (503) 350-1801
989 112th Ave NE #105, Bellevue 1425 SW 2nd Avenue, Portland 4130 SW 117th Avenue #H, Beaverton
2AM Saburos Sushi House Restaurant Yuki Sushi & Sake Bar
(425) 643-1888 (503) 236-4237 (503) 430-5275
14603 NE 20th St #4, Bellevue 1667 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland 1335 NE Orenco Station Pkwy, Hillsboro
Yuki Sushi & Sake Bar
PORTLAND (503) 525-8807 Vancouver WA
930 NW 23rd Ave, Portland
Marinepolis Sushi Land -Vancouver
Portland Beaverton / Hillsboro (360) 883-3881
1401 SE 164th Ave, Vancouver
Bamboo Sushi
(503) 232-5255
(503) 641-4613
310 SE 28th Ave, Portland
10500 SW Bvtn-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton
Biwa Restaurant
Hanabis Izakaya Bistro & Bar
(503) 239-8830
(503) 646-1986
215 SE 9th Avenue, Portland
10053 SW Nimbus Ave, Beaverton
Blue Fin Sushi
(503) 274-7922
(503) 646-1267
1988 SW Broadway, Portland
14308 SW Allen Blvd, Beaverton
Bush Garden
Izakaya Kaiten Sushi
(503) 226-7181
(503) 643-2578
900 SW Morrison St, Portland
14605 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton

14 ibuki March / april 2010

R I Love Sushi

Seattles favorite Authentic

Kaiten Sushi sushi served by
chains. Quick, master chefs
Marinepolis R affordable and
Sushi Land
Roy St.

Mercer St R Genki Sushi

Republican St.
5th Ave
Harrison St Seattle
Where to pick up IBUKI
in Downtown, Belltown & International District
Thomas St t.
*See p.12-13 (restaurant) and p.18-10 (stores)

for address and phone numbers


John St.

Denny Way 5t 6t
hA hA
W 4t ve ve
es hA
El ter ve 8t

lio 3r
nA dA hA



Av ve ve


e hA Stylish restaurant




Modern Izakaya

located in Hotel


with many sake



& shochu selec-




Fresh local fish Sushi Restaurant tions


R Kushibar

in traditional Red Fin Sushi Restaurant



edomae style R Wasabi Bistro


R Vi Bacchus



R Pike St.

Sake Bar & Bistro


2n R

Wann Japanese

y dA Union St.

Izakaya 1s ve t Blue C Sushi
ive eS


street Yatai l ve Pin

R O R WA State
style Izakaya S Daiso Japan Convention
bar t. Center
100 yen Pik
Hip Kaiten sushi.

Izakaya with store chain

from Japan J-pop lovers will

class and

like it





atmosphere Place i o



Market St.


iv e Av

ka Un e



nW ca



ay Se St.



r i

Cafe in historic building that Sp t.


Nijo Sushi nS
houses the only remaining iso
Bar & Grill d
Japanese Bathhouse (Sento)
R Ma nS
in the US rio
Fuji Sushi M a St.
R b ia
Bar dining serving lum
5th Ave

Main St. Ichiban tasty Korean & Japa- Co t.

Panama Cafe yS
R R R nese fusion dishes h err
6th Ave

Maneki R Imo Asian C Bistro

sS Great hearty
Tsukushinbo R a me

Kobo at Higo J izakaya dishes


S S R Kaname Izakaya at very reason-


Momo Sake shop and Yesler Way able prices

Jackson St.
3rd Ave

4th Ave

tasting bar
S Sake Nomi
6th Ave

Washington St.
At Kobo, you will
find Japanese art,
furniture, crafts, International Main St.
Jackson St.
Japan Town
pottery and more
District Unicorn Crepes
Maekawa Izakaya &
S Fort St George
King St.
Find Japanese & Asian Mings Asian Gallery S R R J Sushi
Maynard Ave

books and goodies here Weller St.

Kinokuniya Book Store S
R Bush Gardem
5th Ave

Kagedo S Lane St.

Uwajimaya S
7th Ave

Azuma Gallery S
www.ibukimagazine.com 15
Business Directory
Art & Furniture Takumi Company Tokyo Lifestyle
(206) 622-2804 (206) 241-0219
Kobo JapaneseCarpentry.com
Kobo at Higo 633 Westfield, Southcen-
Carolyn Staley Fine Prints ter Mall, Tukwila
(206) 381-3000 (206) 621-1888
604 S Jackson St, Seattle Newly opened in West-
2003 Western Ave #107, Seattle field Southcenter
Kobo Capitol Hill Chidori Asian Antiques
(206) 726-0704 (206) 343-7736
814 E Roy, Seattle 108 So.Jackson St, Seattle
Shop & gallery featuring art, craft and design Glenn Richards - Asian Furnishings & Antiques Momo
from Japan and the Northwest (206) 287-1877 (206) 329-4736
koboseattle.com 964 Denny Way, Seattle 600 S Jackson St, Seattle
Kagedo Totokaelo
Mings Asian Gallery (206) 467-9077 (206) 623.3582
Seattle 520 1st Ave S, Seattle 913 Western Ave, Seattle
(206) 748-7889 The Cullom Gallery
519 6th Ave S, Seattle (206) 919-8278 General Store
Bellevue 313 Occidental Ave S, Seattle Anzen Hiroshis
(425) 462-4008 Shoguns Gallery (503) 233-5111
10217 Main St, Bellevue (503) 224-0328 736 NE MLK Blvd, Portland
Fine antique and contem- 1111 NW 23rd Ave, Portland Daiso Alderwood Mall
porary Asian furniture mingsgallery.com (425) 673-1825
Azuma Gallery
Bakery and Cafe 3000 184th St SW, # 398, Lynnwood
(206) 622-5599 Fuji Bakery Daiso West Lake Center
530 1st Ave S, Seattle (425) 641-4050 (206) 625-0076
1502 145the PL SE, Bellevue 400 Pine St. #1005, Seattle
Fumies Gold Daiso International District
(425) 223-5893 76 S Washington St, Seattle
10045 Northeast 1st Street, Bellevue
Hiroki Desserts Health and Beauty
(206) 547-4128 Hen Sen Herbs
2224 N 56th St, Seattle (206) 328-2828
Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee House 13256 NE 20th St. Suite 3A, Bellevue
(206) 515-4000 Acupuncture Associates -Eastgate
607 S Main St, Seattle (425) 289-0188
Setsuko Pastry 15100 SE 38th St #305B, Bellevue
(206) 816 0348 Acupuncture Associates -Redmond
1618 N 45th St, Seattle (425) 882-0112
Unicorn Crepes 16761 NE 79th, Redmond
(206) 652-0637 Central Chiropractic Clinic
421 6th Avenue South, Seattle (206) 362-3520
15027 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline
Books, Games & Anime WellnessOne of Eastgate
Anime Asylum (425) 289-0092
(503) 284-6626 15100 SE 38th St., Ste. 305B, Bellevue
1009 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR
Anime Raku Japanese Confectionery
(425) 454-0112 Blue Camellia
10627 NE 8th St, Bellevue (425) 889-2735
Kinokuniya Book Store Tokara Confectionery
Seattle (206) 784-0226
(206) 587-2477
525 S Weller St, Seattle
Beaverton Sake
(503) 641-6240 Sak Nomi
10500 SW Bvtn-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton (206) 467-7253
76 S Washington St, Seattle

16 ibuki March / april 2010

Schools Japanese Floral Design Seattle Kendo Kai
(206) 721-1416
Ikebana by Megumi
Music 1610 S King St, Seattle
(425) 744-9751
School of Taiko www.ikebanabymegumi.com Seattle Judo Dojo
(425) 785-8316 (206) 324-7080
Ikenobo Lake Washington Chapter
www.Japantaiko.com (425) 803-3268 1510 S Washington St, Seattle
Cooking 11832 NE 73rd St, Kirkland Seattle School of Aikido
Blue Camellia - a Japanese Confectionery The Little Flower Station (206) 525-1955
(425) 889-2735 (425) 770-5888 3422 NE 55th St, Seattle
11229 NE 106th Pl, Kirkland, WA www.thelittleflowerstation.com Koei-Kan Karate-Do Bellevue
Hiroko Sugiyama Culinary Atelier Yushoryu Ikenobo (425) 747-9411
(425) 836-4635 (206) 723-4994 1910 132nd Ave NE, #11, Bellevue
22207 NE 31st St, Sammamish 5548 Beason Ave. S.,Seattle Obukan Kendo Club
NuCulinary Language (503) 443-2281
(206) 932-3855 4130 SW 117th Ave. Suite 246, Beaverton
Seattle Japanese Language School
6523 California Ave SW, Seattle (206) 323-0250 Portland Aikikai
Satsuma Cooking School 1414 S Weller St, Seattle (503) 274-2606
(206) 244-5151 1623 NW Marshall, Portland
Washington Academy of Languages
17105 Ambaum Blvd S, Seattle (206) 682-4463 Tea Ceremony
Japanese Calligraphy 2 Nickerson St, # 201, Seattle Urasenke Foundation Seattle Branch
Akashi USA Co - Redmond Martial Arts (206) 324-1483
(425) 869-0994 Aikido Eastside 2360 43rd Ave East, #113, Seattle
6611 147th Ct NE, Redmond (425) 802-3125 Other
13410 SE 32nd St, Bellevue Japanese Abacus Math School
(503) 520-1063
15188 NW Central Drive #219, Portland

Japanese Confectionery

J apanese cuisine has become quite common in America. But how many people know much
about Japanese sweets? Japanese sweets, wagashi, are as different from Western sweets as Japa-
nese cuisine is from American cuisine. Wagashi usually do not contain any butter or flour. In-
stead, they are made with rice and/or a sweetened bean paste called anko. Each piece is tiny and
exquisitely designed. Gwen Stamm, who teaches Japanese tea sweets in Kirkland, says, Japanese
sweets for tea depict some aspect of seasons. For example, the month of April emphasizes the
cherry blossom season. Therefore, most sweets will in some way evoke the feeling of springy
cherry blossoms. If you are interested, Gwens three-hour-long classes take place every month.
For $30, you can learn to make wagashi while sampling your creations along with a bowl of mat-
cha green tea. Youll also take some sweets home (contact: Gwen Stamms Blue Camellia at 425
889-2735). You can also order her confectioneries without taking her classes. Tokara Confec-
tionery located near Green Lake (www.tokaragashi.com / Tel. 206-784-0226) is another choice
for professionally crafted wagashi. Both Gwen and Tokara learned confectionery in Kyoto. An-
other simple quick route to tasting wagashi is to choose from
the wide variety offered at Uwajimaya supermarket. Mochi
Ice Cream from Maeda-en, a Japanese green tea producer, is a
good choice especially if you are still not sure about sweetened
bean paste. Its a fusion of a layer of mochi (rice cake) and pre-
mium ice cream. At your next tea party, why not impress your
friends by serving artistically shaped Japanese confectioner-
<< Wagashi, Japanese con-
ies and green tea?
fectionery, crafted by Gwen
<< Maeda-ens Mochi Ice Cream with green tea Stamm.
flavor is a must-try.

www.ibukimagazine.com 17
Low-fat, high-in-protein vegetarian recipe
Spinach Salad with Seasoned Mashed Tofu: Shiraae
Shiraae is a traditional tofu dish in Japan. Various vegetables and seaweeds can be used for shiraae, but lets try some simple ingre-
dients that Americans are familiar with: spinach and carrots. Because we dress the dish with tofu instead of mayo or cheese, this
shiraae style salad is a great dish for someone on a diet.

Ingredients (4 servings)
Tofu (firm) ................................................................ 10 oz
Spinach.................................................................. 1 bunch
Dried shiitake mushrooms.................................................3
Sak............................................................................ 3 tbs
Sugar........................................................................... 3 tbs
Soy sauce..................................................................... 3 tbs
Ground white sesame seeds......................................... 3 tbs
Water......................................................................1/3 cup

1. Wrap the tofu with paper towels and place a small cutting
board on top of it (used for weight). Leave it for about 15
minutes to remove the water.
2. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in 1/3 cup water. Let sit for
10 min. When mushrooms are softened, remove stem and
slice thinly. Keep the drained water; it will be used as dashi,
or soup stock. Peel carrot and slice into thin strips.
Dashi SOy? 3. Put sak, sugar, 1tbs soy sauce, and dashi water (water drained from shiitake
To make an even better dish, use mushrooms) in a small pan and bring to a boil. Add carrot and shiitake mushrooms
dashi soy sauce instead of ordi- and simmer on medium heat until carrots are softened. Set aside until cool.
nary soy sauce. Kamadas Dashi 4. In a large pot, cook spinach in boiling water for one minute (do not overcook). Drain
soy contains natural broth made spinach and then soak in cold water until cool. Drain and squeeze the spinach to
from fish extracts and kombu sea- remove the excess liquid. Cut spinach into about 1 inch lengths.
weed. It will add a rich, deeper 5. Smash tofu with a fork in a large bowl. Add liquid from cooked carrot and shiitake
flavor. mushrooms, 2 tbs soy sauce and sesame seeds.
6. Mix carrot and shitake into the seasoned smashed Tofu. Add spinach and mix again.

18 ibuki March / april 2010


Cutlet Curry
The cutlet is a common Euro-Japanese dish, as is curry rice. This richly delicious combination of Japanese curry and cutlet is very
popular among hungry young men in Japan. Try cooking J-style cutlet curry with Kikkomans ready-to-eat Ginza Curry Sauce.

Ingredients (2 servings)
Kikkoman Ginza Classic Curry Sauce........ 1 can
Kikkoman Bread Crumbs (Panko) ........... cup
Boneless pork or chicken breast................2 slices
Egg ................................................................. 1
All-purpose flour.........................................1 tbs
Steamed rice............................................. 4 cups
Oil for frying
Pickled vegetable (optional)

1. Pour oil at least 1 inch deep into frying pan;
heat to 350F.
2. Slice meat to 1/4 inch thick. Beat egg until
blended. Coat both sides of pork with
flour, then dip into egg and finally coat
thoroughly with bread crumbs.
3. Fry meat in oil until golden brown, about 3
minutes on each side.
Toppings on Japanese Curry
4. Serve with steamed rice and warmed Kikkoman
While cutlets make for a typical topping on Japanese curry, Ginza Classic Curry Sauce.
pickled vegetables are also a common and tasty topping. 5. Top with pickled vegetables as you like.
Although Japanese pickles such as rakkyo and fukujinzuke
are typically used in Japan, American pickles go well with
Check out more recipes online
curry too. Some people like topping with melted cheese
and sliced boiled eggs to make spicy curry milder. www.ibukimagazine.com

www.ibukimagazine.com 19

Sak Regions
By Johnnie Stroud, owner of Sak Nomi

A t Sak Nomi, weve organized and also played a major role in determining the has made the Japanese sak drinking and
grouped our sak by the regions prevalent flavor profiles of the areas sak. brewing world smaller, resulting in more
in which they were brewed. It is Its a bit of a generalization, but the style homogeneous sak styles, we believe there
our hope that this will encourage our cus- of sak drunk in seaside towns where fresh are still many interesting regional charac-
tomers to explore the wide variety of styles seafood is a staple of the local diet tended teristics to be found, and we respect the lo-
brewed in regions throughout Japan whose to be light and dry, whereas sak in more cal pride that these brewers express through
names might not be immediately recogniz- remote or mountainous regions tended to their craft.
able. be more robust and full-bodied to comple-
While the brewing capitals of Kobe and ment the saltier preserved foods found in
Kyoto feature delicious sak from the those areas. Johnnie Stroud, is the owner of
worlds biggest and best-selling brewing A few areas famous for regional distinction Sak Nomi, the sak shop and tasting
companies, we particularly enjoy the dis- include Niigata (light, clean, dry and re- bar in Pioneer Square.
covery of smaller, family owned and oper- fined), the Nada district in Kobe (dry, set- Sak Nomi
ated breweries often located in more rural tled, not overly fragrant and masculine), 76 South Washington Street, Seattle
areas. Sak produced by these smaller op- and the Fushimi district in Kyoto (soft, Tel 206-467-SAKE
erations is referred to as jizake, or local/ slightly sweet, melting and feminine).
country sak, and we think of them as be- As the sak market continues to change and
ing roughly equivalent to a microbrewery develop, many brewers are taking advan-
or boutique winery. tage of technological advances to produce
Many sak brewing styles and flavors have unique sak that does not fit the traditional
developed as a direct result of regional in- regional mold.
fluences such as naturally occurring water The skills of each individual toji (brewmas-
sources and locally cultivated rice. ter) allow them to exert enough leverage on
In general, regionality in sak is not as a saks flavor profile that it is not much
pronounced as it is in the wine world, and of a stretch to say that if you provide two
unlike grapes used in wine making, saka- neighboring brewers with the exact same
mai (sak rice) is routinely shipped from raw materials, they would each produce a
region to region for use in brewing. distinctly unique product.
Before the development of sophisticated While an argument can be made that
distribution methods, the local cuisine technology and improved transportation

Brewery: Honke Matsuura (established 1804)
Region: Tokushima
Type: Ginjo (Nama Genshu)/58%
Unpasteurized (nama) and undiluted or cask
strength (genshu). Yeasty, sweet grain aro-
mas. Soft, full, gentle mouthfeel, with rip-
ened fruit sweetness, a hint of chocolate and
slight minerality. Lingering finish shows a
touch of mint. The oil can would be ideal
at a barbecue, or with fatty sashimi.

20 ibuki March / april 2010

Tokyo + Your Own Trip with Experience Historic Festivals
Onsen Hot Spring Japan Rail Pass in Tohoku, Northern Japan

Visit Japan Fly east for 10 hours and youll arrive in a place far removed from Western
culture. This summer, why not explore Japan, a country rich in both an-
cient traditions and up-to-the-minute excitement? Shop along the Ginza,
home to an impressive collection of world-renowned boutiques; drop by
This Summers Destination the otaku paradise of Akihabara and sip tea at a maid caf; take a trip to a
local hot-springs inn and dine on the local sashimi and sak; and celebrate
TRAVEL : Special Edition Japans hot summer with a traditional Japanese festival. On the following
pages, well introduce you to companies waiting to make this dream trip
become a reality for you.

Plan Your Own Trip with Japan Rail Pass

Kyushu Hokkaido

Furano/ JNTO

The Japan Rail Pass lets travelers ride JR trains, of Hokkaido. Its an economical way to see
buses and ferries with one simple ticket, explains the country. You can enjoy a dip in the ocean
Max Hattori, the man in charge of Sankei Travels along the way or a hike in the Japanese Alps
Seattle office. Japans public transportation system near Nagano, which hosted the 1998 Winter
is safe and punctual, making it a relaxing way for Olympics. Take in the many charms of Japans
travelers to see the country. The popular ekiben cities and countryside with this pass.
(boxed lunches) feature local delicacies that add
to the fun of the trip. For long-term travelers and Sankei Travel Seattle Office
students, the 21-day pass allows for travel from the 1-800-801-4069
Kagoshima Prefectural Tourist Federation/JNTO
southern tip of Kyushu to the northernmost point www.sankeitravel.com

www.ibukimagazine.com 21
Tokyo + Onsen
Onsen Hot Spring
JTB offers a wide range of services, from pack-
age tours to hotel reservations, but the one that
has been getting the most attention lately has
been its Flex service, which allows travelers
to select their own destinations and accom-
modations. The most popular service is one
that combines a stay in Tokyo, a trip to a hot-
springs inn, the train ticket to get there and JNTO
the airline tickets to and from Japan, says Dan
Winters of the JTB Seattle office. Ibuki has together, allowing you to sample different
featured hot-springs resorts in earlier issues. Tokyo
public baths as you stroll around the town.
Theyre wonderful for experiencing Japans fa- This website offers an overview of some of
mous cuisine, architecture and exemplary ser- these hot-springs destinations: http://www.
vice. Because Japan has plenty of volcanoes, it japanican.com/special/onsen/. You can start
also is dotted with hot springs. Hakone and planning the trip of a lifetime today.
Inatori on the Izu Peninsula are close to Tokyo
but seem worlds away when youre soaking in a JTB USA Seattle Office
hot-springs bath and looking out at the ocean
or up at Mount Fuji. Or visit Kusatsu, where
many Japanese ryokan, or inns, are clustered www.jtbusa.com JNTO

Travel agencies offer many different packages, so please consult a professional travel agent to find the tour that
is right for you. The Japanese government has been aggressively promoting the country as a tourist destination
and improving the English signage for travelers, making Japan a comfortable destination for overseas visitors.
Deflationary trends in Japan have also made dining and shopping much more affordable. If you think Japan is
expensive, youre in for a surprise. This summer is a wonderful time to experience Japan.

Odakyu Electric Railway/JNTO

22 ibuki March / april 2010

Experience Historic Festivals Nebuta
in Tohoku, Northern Japan
Ching Tan, sales manager at Travel Oriented,
says theres one tour that he recommends
above all others during the summer months: A Akita
trip that includes visits to the Big Three festi-
vals of Japans northern region, Tohoku. Our Sendai
tour is put together by people very knowledge-
able about travel in Japan. The restaurants, Nikko
hotels and sightseeing spots they select offer a Tokyo
vast view of Japan in a short time. The package
tour and the relatively close destinations offer a dynamic parade. Yasufumi Nishi/ JNTO

the best option both economically and expe- The Kanto Festival in Akita started as a way
rientially. for farmers to gather and pray for an abun-
On the Tokyo & Summer Festival 8-Day tour, dant harvest. Today it includes unique perfor-
travelers gather in Tokyo, then fly to Hakodate mances by people balancing 110-lb. lanterns
on Hokkaido. They take the bullet train to on their heads, shoulders and chests. The Tan-
Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Sendai, Nikko and then abata Festival features colorful streamers made
back to Tokyo. The main destinations along of traditional washi paper a beautiful way to
the way are the three great festivals: Nebuta celebrate summer in northern Japan.
Festival in Aomori, the Kanto Festival in Akita A trip to Tohoku this summer offers a wonder-
and the Tanabata Festival in Sendai. ful way to experience Japans rich culture.
The Nebuta Festival dates back to the 9th Cen-
tury and draws three million sightseers annu- Travel Oriented Inc.
ally. The festival features massive lanterns made
of traditional washi paper, and dancers and
drummers in traditional Nebuta costumes. Its www.japandeluxetour. com Yasufumi Nishi/ JNTO


www.ibukimagazine.com 23
Bilingual Comic Series

24 ibuki March / april 2010

Winter 2009
TRENDS parks early on weekends to pick up litter.
Some spots have been created specifically for the konkatsu boom.

The Demands of
Theyre called konkatsu bars. While these bars have some sim-
ilarities with American singles bars, one big difference is that
they are for members only. Memberships are usually free and

Modern Marriage there are no qualifications that need to be met, but the fact that
everyone has to show identification and have their identity re-
corded means the bar isnt a place for an anonymous encounter.
By Masami Suzuki, This makes some visitors feel safer. The bar staff also help to
translated by Yuko Enomoto encourage encounters. For example, if you are drinking alone or
with a friend at one of these bars, one of the bar employees may
In the old days, the Japanese used to find their marriage partner come up and say, The person over there has expressed interest
through arranged meetings. Today, people mainly marry for love. in meeting you. Would you like to get together? If you agree to
But in this busy age, you cant just sit around and wait to find your the meeting, in the blink of an eye, the staff will have arranged
perfect match. These days, youve got to make an effort. your tables and chairs together. (Of course, if you prefer, you

L ately, the media has created a new word: konkatsu, which is

short for kekkon katsudo, or marriage activity. The word
denotes the various activities one might undertake with the goal
can certainly walk over to the table on your own.) There are even
people who admit to dropping by a konkatsu bar every Friday
after work.

of finding a spouse. When someone looks for work in Japan, ecent trends have conspired to create this konkatsu boom.
he or she engages in various job-search activities, called shukatsu First is the quickly declining birthrate: Japanese women
(short for shushoku katsudo). This is where konkatsu came from. have an average of 1.37 children. Next, more people are waiting
Its original use was from a book entitled Konkatsu Jidai (The Age to marry: The average marrying age for men is 30.2; for women
of Marriage Activity) by a journalist specializing in family issues its 28.5. Third, more people are just not getting married: Nearly
and Japans falling birthrate. 40% of men and 30% of women in the 30-34 age range are sin-
Konkatsu stands alongside herbivorous boys (introduced in the gle. And we shouldnt forget the economic stagnation and lack of
inaugural issue of Ibuki) as a nominee for the trendy word of jobs. Some women believe that in these difficult economic times,
the year in 2009. Its been a theme of a TV drama and its even its better to find a spouse and settle down than to look for work,
leading to new business opportunities as local governments talk while some men also long for the stability of a marriage. Region-
it up. Konkatsu has become a bit of a social phenomenon. What al governments have been talking up the konkatsu boom as a way
sort of activities are implied by the popular term? The book that to counter the trend toward rapid aging in the countryside and
started the boom, Konkatsu Jidai, detailed how computer match- the falling birthrate. Events feature teams of men and women
making services were in high demand, but it also showed many making local delicacies, konkatsu trolley tours to promote friend-
other methods people have come up with to find their spouse. ship and many other locally inspired activities to bring men and

F irst are singles parties. These have been going on for some women together. The provinces have been making a big push on
time, but they were typically held at night in a downtown this front.
restaurant or bar. Singles parties in the konkatsu style could take Companies that were once known for catering to singles have
place on a bright green golf course in the early morning, at a caf jumped on the bandwagon by calling themselves konkatsu pro-
over dessert, during lunch or while walking your dog at a park ducers and hosting and planning all sorts of events. There are
on a Sunday afternoon. Instead of just gathering at a restaurant, also konkatsu calendars for sale and konkatsu fraud to beware of
these new spouse hunters prefer to find their partner through who knows where it will end!

their interests and hobbies. ust as a job search is required to find a job, now marriage
Next are the workout or study groups. People gather at the gym searches are part of getting married. And because of this, more
or take English lessons, golf classes or wine seminars, where they people are turning to konkatsu activities in an attempt to find
get a chance to become familiar with the other students. The that special someone. At the same time, many people long for
early birds can engage in asakatsu, short for morning marriage that dramatic encounter, that fateful moment, that sense of true
activities before work. From 7am in central Tokyos Marunou- love. When you meet that special someone through a konkatsu
chi business district, people gather at a culture center to hear activity, the two of you may want to add a little dramatic flair
lectures on the classics or take classes that lead to certification in to your story when youre inevitably asked, How did you two
a skill or trade. Some singles with the volunteer spirit gather at meet? at your wedding reception..

www.ibukimagazine.com 25

By Julian Waters

MOVIES 20th Century Boys 2 The Last Hope

Based on the one of the most succesful manga comics by Naoki branded as terrorists. Ten years after the momentous violent
Urasawa, the blockbuster 20th Century Boys trilogy continues events, Kenji is missing while a mysterious Friend oversees a
with The Last Hope. Directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, the series New World Empire. With Kenjis fate unknown, the film turns
was a huge undertaking with a cast of 300. The production its focus to his niece Kanna (Taira Airi, Arch Angels). Kanna
scale has been compared with Lord of the Rings. If you havent goes deep undercover, submersing herself into the frightening
read the series I suggest you start with the first film 20th Cen- Friendland world, in an effort to clear Kenjis name and re-
tury Boys: Beginning of the End. veal the truth about Friend. After a new Book of Prophecy sur-
The series revolves around a group of childhood friends led by faces predicting a saviour will arise at a church in Shinjuku but
Kenji (Toshiaki Karasawa). While children, they wrote The Book will be assassinated, the fugitives rally together in an effort to
of Prophecy, accurately depicting the rise of a cult organization find out the truth about Friend and the devilish plot.
that attempts to rule and subsequently destroy the world. As This deeply intense manga series brought to life on the big
the first chapter unfolds, Kenji and his friends try to stop a vil- screen yields a frightening modern masterpiece.
lain who unleashes a deadly virus. 20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope
Chapter 2 of the trilogy takes place in 2015 in the future. Many 1999, 2006, Naoki Urasawa, Studio Nuts/Shogakukan
of the main characters are now dead, in prison or on the run, 2009 20th Century Boys Film Partners

CAR New Sporty Mazda Hatchback to launch in 2010

Mazda is preparing to launch a stylish, eco-friendly, fun-to- over 370,000 units
drive five-door hatchback, the 2011 Mazda2. Small zippy and in the three years
efficient, loaded with style and substance, the 2011 Mazda2 will since its introduction
make its premier in the US market late in the summer of 2010. in other parts of the
Originally launched in 2007, the new MAZDA2 was first in- world. The afford-
troduced in Europe, Japan and Australia. While developing able, new Mazda2
the new Mazda2, Mazda took a thorough look at global trends is sure to provide an
and carefully worked to identify the truly beneficial values that invigorating spark of
could be infused into a global subcompact car. These benefits performance, energy and subtlety, giving drivers instant satisfac-
have not gone unnoticed by the public, who have snatched up tion.

26 ibuki March / april 2010

Gadget Space age oxygen for the every day athlete
Imagine you are training for your favorite NW marathon and
after 30 minutes of running along the Portland waterfront or
around Marymoor Park, you say to yourself, Man, I am really
out of breath. Well until now your options for curing that
oxygen deficit was very limited (slow down or walk). But now
the creative inventors from Japan have given you a third option.
The creators of Oxyfit claim that the worlds first compact per-
sonal oxygen supply provides up to 30% more oxygen. The
advanced electronic oxygen generation pack with a lithium-ion or your spouse may give you
battery provides 1.5 hours of run-time and can be worn biking, a strange look when you walk
hiking, running, even love making--any activity that leaves you into the bedroom wearing
gasping for air! Just position the supply tube which looks nothing but your new gadget,
like something a telephone operator would wear in front the extra edge is worth it, isnt
of your face and it pumps pure oxygen-rich air directly into it? Before you answer, I had
your breathing space! You are passing up Microsoft or Nike better mention that it will set
coworkers as they struggle to keep pace with you. While you you back about $2,700. Hap-
may feel like a fool running down the street with this getup on, py trails :-) AK inc.

MUSIC Sakura-con performing artists

Human Noise Records Spice Records

Dazzle Vision High and Mighty Color

Beautiful petite singer with Shockingly loud voice... So begins Launched from Okinawa, Japanese rock band High and
the band Dazzle Vision from Japan. Dazzle Vision is a four- Mighty Color has recently released its 5th album, entitled
member hard rock and heavy metal band formed in June 2003. SWAMP MAN. Very popular on the Japanese rock scene, the
Lead singer Maiko has an adorable idol-like appearance with band has contributed several theme songs to anime series in-
a smooth melodic voice ... until she gets wound up. Then all cluding Darker than BLACK and Mobile Suit Gundam
hell breaks loose. Maiko sings in perfect harmony alongside the Seed Destiny: Special Edition. High and Mighty Color seems
guitar and bass played by Yu and Takuro. Dazzle Visions CD to have tweaked its sound after adding new lead singer Halca.
Crystal Children displays a variety of different rock tunes that Track number 4, Eyes, has an amazing feel-good vibe with
cross genres from J-pop to heavy metal. The #7 track Crystal well played guitar riffs that make this song a hit. Another
contains enough emotional delicacy to compliment the energy good listen is track 5: Fly Me to the Other Moon. The song
of the rest of the album. Dazzle Vision is an exciting band that kicks off with a really upbeat soulful groove and just builds
has found a definite niche. and builds, producing a very rhythmic song while retaining the
Info: www,japanfiles.com/dazzlevision bands trademark rock sound.
Info: www.japanfiles.com/highandmightycolor

www.ibukimagazine.com 27
Local News and Events

Trash Fashion Show at Miyabi Sushi 35th Annual Seattle Cherry Blossom &
on Earth Day Japanese Cultural Festival
Sushi + Trash Fashion = Eco Explore Seattles deep connections with Japan
When: April 22 When: April 16-18, 10 am - 6 pm
Where: Miyabi Sushi, 16820 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila Where: Seattle Center: Fisher Pavilion and Center House
Admission: $27 for Dinner & Trash Fashion Show Admission: Free
Call 206-575-6815 (Miyabi Sushi) to reserve your seats. The festival was started in 1976
To celebrate earth day, join when Japan gave Seattle 1,000
Miyabis trash fashion show. cherry trees to celebrate the
Co-owner of Miyabi, Hisako, 200th anniversary of the Unit-
is a member of Haute Trash ed States. Now one of the larg-
(http://www.hautetrash.org) est Japanese cultural events, it
and has been organizing many features over 100 displays and
different delightful runway demonstrations. From the
shows of haute couture created booms of taiko drums to the
entirely from societys rubbish. silence of ikebana flowers, the event is a feast for the senses. Delicious
Twice a year, she hosts the show Japanese food, tea ceremony demonstrations and artwork present
at her own restaurant. Unwant- both a modern and ancient view of this complex culture. This years
ed and cast off items that would special focus is Youth Skateboarding Hapa Experience. Japanese
otherwise make their way to the and Seattle local skateboarders will perform ninja-like acrobatics at
landfill are expertly worked into the new Seattle Center skate park on Saturday.
garments that rival the hottest
Paris fashions. Enjoy this unique
fashion show with premium
sak and haute sushi dinner pre-
pared by executive chef, Masa.

<< Hisakos trash fashion

was picked by Ripleys Be-
lieve it or not 2010. This
kimono dress is made from Sakura-Con 2010
unagi packages and food
boxes from Miyabi Sushi Seattles largest anime convention
restaurant. When: April 2nd - 4th
Where: Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Seattle
Admission: $30-40/day, $60/full day. Pre-register by March 8th to
Ikebana on Mothers Day recieve discount. Children age 6-12 receive 50% discount with
their family.
Create a beautiful flower arrangement for your mother
Presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association,
When: May 8th & 9th
Sakura-Con is the oldest and most well attended anime convention
Where: Swansons Nursery, 9701 15th Ave. N.W., Seattle
in the Pacific Northwest. Member attendance for Sakura-Con 2009
Admission: $25, including plant materials
was over 16,000. The huge event has anime theaters, gaming, cosplay,
Master ikebana artist, Megumi Schacher, teaches Ikebana Japanese cultural panels, dances, concerts, art contests, over 100,000 square
flower arrangement on Mothers Day weekend. She uses local materi- feet of exhibits hall, guests of honor and more!
als in an accessible style that is appropriate in any setting. Surprise *If you are under 18, please remember to bring your signed parent
your mother with an exotic and beautiful flower arrangement. permission form with you to registration.
Info: http://www.ikebanabymegumi.com Info: http://www.sakuracon.org
28 ibuki March / april 2010

Genki Sushi - Renton

A new Genki Sushi store recently opened in February, conveniently
located next to Uwajimaya store in Renton. Stop by this quick and
affordable sushi restaurant while on your way to Uwajimaya. Located
at 365 S. Grady Way Ste. B & C, Renton Tel: (425) 277-1050

Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle - Westfield Southcenter

Fumies Gold Bellevue Downtown The Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle
Japanese female ptissier Fumie opened this Euro-Japanese-style to- chain has arrived! The first in the
go-only cake & coffee store a few steps from a Bellevue downtown Seattle area, the brand new store
park. It has been a Japanese moms favorite place to stop by after play- in Westfield Southcenter mall is
ing with their kids across the street in the park. Located at 10045 NE the 19th store of California-based
1st St Ste CU2, Bellevue. Tel: (425) 223-5893 Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle. They
have a variety of Japan-related
products from anime DVDs to
Unicorn Crepes Southcenter kimonos. The store has already
Stuffed toys are some of the most
French crepes delivered in hip attracted many teenagers and
popular items at Tokyo Japanese
Harajuku style. The very popu- families with young children since
lar Unicorn Japanese-style crepes they opened their doors. Kawaii
store in the International District (cute) Hello Kitty items and ki-
opened a second store inside West- mono-patterned wallets are pop-
field Southcenter mall. Stop in ular among girls, while boys are
and try one of the many flavors of picking up Gundam robots and
crepes. Located at 738 Westfield Naruto figures. Moms are able to
Southcenter Mall, Tukwila, WA find handy small kitchen tools.
98188. Tel: (206) 243-6236 Store manager Kohyo explains,
Our store staff are all Japanese. A vast selection of action fig-
Please feel free to ask them ques- ures and anime collectibles.
tions if you find some products
unfamiliar and you have no idea how to use them. They are planning
to open stores in Olympia and Tacoma this spring.

IBUKI is looking for sales reps in

Portland. If interested in, please con-
tact us at:

These are funny shaped erasers. Affordable T-shirts and caps in

Is there a Japanese related news story You will find unique stationery their apparel section. Kimono,
selections not seen outside of Yukata and Geta (Japanese
or event you would like to share? Japan. sandals) can be also found.
Drop us a line:
info@ibukimagazine.com 633 Westfield Southcenter Mall, Tukwila, WA 98188
Tel: (206) 241-0219

www.ibukimagazine.com 29
Answer a short 10 question survey and be entered
to win collectors items!
Visit: http://www.ibukimagazine.com/surveys

A. DVD and Poster gift set of:

20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End &
20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope

<< THREE persons can win

DVD and Poster gift sets for 20th
Century Boys 1 & 2. This trilogy is
based on very populer manga com-
ics by Urasawa Naoki, the block-
buster 20th Century Boys. Col-
lect the first two before the third
one is released in this summer.
(see a review article on p.26.)

1999, 2006, Naoki Urasawa, Studio Nuts / Shogakukan

2008/2009 20th Century Boys Film Partners

B. Dragon Ball Z DVD BOX Vol.1

<< ONE person can win Dragon Ball Z DVD BOX Vol.1.
The Dragon Box features over 40 uncut episodes, remastered
and restored frame by frame, rendering the legendary action
in pristine clarity. Each episode is presented in Japanese or
English with the complete opening and closing credits and
includes the original episode previews. Vol. 1 contains epi-
sodes 001-042.


TION CO., LTD. Licensed by FUNimation Productions, Ltd. All Rights
Reserved. Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and all logos, character names and
distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of SHUEISHA, INC.

*One entry per household/name/email. To be qualified to enter you must include your name, address and telephone number for winner noti-
fication purposes. A name will be drawn at random and will be notified via email. The prizes will be shipped to the winner in May. Please visit
our website for detailed information: http://www.ibukimagazine.com/surveys

30 ibuki March / april 2010



Look for our May /Jun issue distributed

at most fine Japanese restaurants,
stores and schools.


www.ibukimagazine.com 31
32 ibuki March / april 2010