Category Archives: Asian History

Gin and Tonic: A Short History of a Stiff Drink

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By Jay Young The Gin and Tonic – what better a drink during the dog days of summer?  Put some ice in a glass, pour one part gin, add another part tonic water, finish with a slice of lime, and you have a refreshing drink to counter the heat.  But it is also steeped in the history of medicine, global… Read more »

Revisiting Past Places: Google’s ‘Memories for the Future’ Project in Japan

Next month will mark one year since the people of Japan experienced a devastating series of natural disasters. The earthquake and tsunami that hit parts of Japan on March 11, 2011, resulted in tremendous loss for the Japanese people. Many Japanese lost their lives while survivors lost homes, a sense of stability, and sense of place. Personal items and familiar… Read more »

Let’s talk about race, Canada

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Talking about race in Canada is a lot like talking about sex in the old days. There is so much imposed silence on the subject. We skip around it, pretend that it is not there, and pray that it will go away.

The Reenactment of Wartime Pasts in Yasukuni

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In Japan, August is the month of the dead.  It is the time of the year when spirits of the dead are believed to return home and when millions of people return “home” to greet them.   This past week, my family in Japan and I busied ourselves by cleaning the family tomb, sprucing up the household altar, and suffering… Read more »

Re-membering a Lakeside Landscape in Japan

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Sagami Lake is an artificial lake located about 50 kilometers west of central Tokyo, and is an important part of the Sagami River system.  There are a number of landscapes within this river system that blur the distinctions between the rural and industrial, natural and artificial Japan.  Maybe landscape is not the word because the concrete, steel, and greenery come… Read more »