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Be My Valentine in Japan

Valentine’s Day is popular the world over – especially with florists and card manufacturers. The same is true in Japan, but they celebrate in a unique way, as we discovered. Valentine’s Day, as we would recognise it, only dates back to the 1950s in Japan. In those days, it was unheard of for women to…

Setsubun Is Fun

When it comes to Asian celebrations in February, most people think about Chinese New Year, which takes place on the 16th of the month this year. However, Japan has a great festival that also happens in early February and falls on Saturday 3rd this year. It’s called Setsubun, which translates as ‘change of seasons’ and…

Bring on Ching

Yutaka introduced its wonderful range of edamame & soybean noodles last year inspired by TV chef Ching-he Huang. We thought you might like to know a little more about the lady behind the name. Ching is an International Emmy nominated TV chef & cookery author who has become an ambassador of Chinese cooking around the…

Why Japanese Live Longer

Here at Yutaka, we recently looked at food trends for 2018 that draw on Asian culture (see Asian Trend 2018). It was noticeable that many of these were also healthy. In fact, a report by the British Medical Journal published in 2016, cited diet as the major factor in the longevity of the Japanese population.…

Finding your Ikigai

Ikigai is the Japanese idea of finding your purpose in life and is not dissimilar to the French phrase ‘raison d’etre’, which literally translates as ‘reason to be’. By discovering your ikigai, you will find balance and contentment in life. So, what does it mean and how can you find your ikigai? The word ikigai is made…