Keeping cool in hilarious Japanese ways, an island that takes us back in time, and the best soy-lemon salad dressing EVER

Hi friend. It’s me, Jonelle

So, I’ve been wondering—are you experiencing micro-nostalgia too? At least once a day I find myself longing for the good old days…you know, like, four months ago. I don’t know about you, but the world has changed with such dizzying speed, some days I just want to walk away from it all. That’s why this month I’m bringing you some lovely Japanese things that haven’t changed, and never will.

Links to June 2020 Japanagram newsletter features:

Let’s go Okunoshima, a step back in time, to an uninhabited island whose only residents are lots and lots of bunnies

Small child in red raincoat feeding rabbits at Japan's bunny island Okunoshima

The flocks of bunnies are extra cute and friendly, but I picked this destination for a different reason. Read why this place struck me as exactly the kind of place we all need to visit right nowread more

How to stay cool in the summer, the Japanese way

Photo of goldfish in bags of water at the Edogawa Goldfish Festival in Japan

Let’s be honest, Japanese summers are miserable. Hot, humid, don’t get me started. How did they survive, in the days before A/C? Here are five traditional summertime hacks that will amuse and amazeread more

Book Review & Giveaway: The Essential Haiku edited by Robert Hass

Cover of The Essential Haiku edited by Robert Hass, with koi fish swimming

The Essential Haiku is the perfect read for these chaotic times, reminding us that despite the disaster we’ve all been living through, the seasons still turn, the moon still waxes and wanes, and small moments of joy and insight and beauty still touch each of us in small ways, as well as great onesread more

Japanese Home Cooking recipe: Japanese Chicken Salad with Tangy Soy-Lemon Dressing

Photo of Japanese Chicken Salad with Soy-Lemon Dressing

As the warm June rains arrive with the monsoon, this chicken salad is the perfect fresh and summery meal. It’s satisfying all by itself, or paired with rice and grilled meat for a heartier supperread more

Beyond the Only In Japan blog post:

How did Japan beat the virus without lockdowns or mass testing?

Here’s some background and insider scoop on the 43 reasons that the Japanese believe they escaped the pandemic, to help you separate the facts from the merely hilariousread more

And in JULY

🎋We’re reveling in a different kind of summer delight this month: stuff we’re NOT missing! From divine flowers that everyone thought were extinct, to seasonal souvenirs you can be happy you didn’t buy, the July Japanagram dishes up things that aren’t cancelled or postponed. If you’re not a subscriber, you can’t read them until the end of the month, but it’s easy to join and get full access now! Click on the link at the end of each description or scroll down to the Get Japanagram button.

Here’s a taste of what’s in the July issue:

Let’s journey to a vast and serene lotus garden grown from 3,000-year-old seeds

Blooming lotus at Gyoda Ancient Lotus Park Gyoda Hasu-en

Since time immemorial, these ancient symbols of “pure beauty that flowers from the muckiest mud” have uplifted the human spirit, and even in these grim times, isn’t it great that we can still wander beneath their green parasols and marvel as their pink perfection unfurls? (To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Souvenirs NOT to buy in July

Lamp sold for o-bon

The ultimate souvenir forever reminds you of the joys of being in Japan, in the season you were there to enjoy. Which is why you might be tempted to bring home one of these lovely handpainted flower lamps that are only sold during July and August (To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Book Review & Giveaway: Shinjū  by Laura Joh Rowland

Cover of Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland

As the shōgun’s personal investigator, Sano Ichirō is assigned to look into crimes too delicate to entrust to the regular police. He not only has to use his wits to figure out whodunnit, he has to do it while navigating the devilishly tricky layers of privilege and obligation that exist to protect the powerful…read more and enter to win

Japanese Home Cooking recipe: Eggplant with Sweet & Salty Miso Sauce

Eggplant with sweet and salty miso sauce nasu dengaku recipe

Dengaku sauce is one of those tasty toppings that makes even people who “don’t like Japanese food” beg for seconds. Everything from eggplant to slices of pork tenderloin to skewers of grilled chicken will disappear in record time when topped with this addictive delight (To get the recipe, click here to get Japanagram)

Why, Japan, Why?: Why did NHK try to Japansplain the global anti-racism protests with this excruciatingly embarrassing video?

racist NHK video

You don’t have to understand Japanese to instantly grasp that this video produced and aired by NHK (the Japanese equivalent of the BBC) is exactly how NOT to explain why anti-racism protests have exploded across America and the world (To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Get delightful features like these every month and be entered to win the July book giveaway when you sign up for

(And, of course, it’s free.)

You can easily unsubscribe at any time, of course, using the link at the foot of every newsletter. And, just so you know, I hate spam too, so I’ll never share or sell your info.

Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, the monthly Japanagram newsletter, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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