Hamish Downie’s News Sushi # 132: Morsels of News From Japan and Beyond

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Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

With the Autumn Equinox (or Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere) just passing, I’m finding a lot of my friends having heightened anxiety. I only have anecdotal evidence, but it happens every year with the changing of the seasons. I myself have started taking Saint John’s Wort tea once a day, so I’m not immune to it either. So, if this is you too, this column is for you. My recommendations for relaxation.

First up, some music from Air. Those French people really understand how to make relaxing music.

Now, my ways of relaxation may not be the same as yours. After all, I do find ironing very meditative. Here’s a video of Mountain Rug Cleaning. It’s quite hypnotic, and just like with ironing:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen them clean a rug that I’ve said, “wow, that was really worth saving!” But, don’t we all sometimes feel like a rug that’s been soiled, then left outside in an unfeeling world for trash? I know that’s how meetings with Australian TV Network Executives make me feel. However, seeing this man care for these rugs, that would otherwise be left to rot in landfill, makes me feel that even if you are a boring rug, there are people out there who are going to care for you, and you still have the ability to bring others joy.



I also love listening to Alex Kerr, who just has the most soothing voice, and imparts so much knowledge. Here he is looking at grasses, water plants, and fallen leaves around Tenmangu.

Remember the Pink Panther? I find this first episode so infuriating, as this poor working guy is just trying to do his job, but at the same time, it’s very hypnotic and meditative:

Very similar to the Rug video, this is a woman who picks up old furniture from the trash, and restores them. She’s wonderful to listen to, and it’s extremely satisfying to see these old items get a new lease on life.


Finally, and lucky for us, the weather is changing into hot pot and bath weather… so please enjoy some tasty food, and a long luxurious bath. Hopefully with someone you love.


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