It's No Secret -- Blogging Has Its Privileges

It had been awhile since I'd got together with this young lady. The last time was towards the end of summer. Still too hot for me but not nearly hot enough for her.

This time the mercury had dropped significantly although we in Tokyo have yet to arrive at the really cold time of year. And unlike many places around the globe, no snow has fallen although we usually get at least a few flakes.

Judging from what I've been reading about Europe, I wonder if we will be in for some colder weather this winter and a heavier snowfall? I think it was two years ago that we went almost the entire winter with no snow. Then one or two flakes came down in Ginza and the meteorologists were thwarted.

She suggested we have monja or monjayaki. This was the first time I had heard of it but was happy to try something new.

It turns out that monjayaki is somewhat similar to okonomiyaki but, unlike okonomiyaki, is indigenous to the Kanto region of Japan. You will probably find okonomiyaki all over the place -- not so monjayaki.

The main difference I noticed between the two is that monjayaki doesn't appear to be completely cooked once you're ready to dig in. You don't flip it over. Also, you cut it up and eat it with tiny spatulas.

I was going to post a pic of some monjayaki in the ready-to-eat stage but changed my mind. It reminded me of one of those novelty store items, if you know what I mean. I wouldn't want to turn anyone off trying monjayaki because it's friggin' delicious.

There are all sorts of things you can put into your monjayaki. Cheese is a popular item. A couple I remember were curry and Mexican style monjayaki. It seems the sky's the limit. We got one of those all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink specials and I simply lost track of how many different kinds of monjayaki I had -- as well as the number of beers I imbibed.

You can't sit there all night and eat monjayaki, though. There was a two-hour time limit. Amazingly, we were there four hours and no one kicked us out. I attribute this to the charm and Jedi mind powers of the amazing Kogure.

This girl is phenomenal. We had a little problem here at the blog awhile ago with the "clap" function not working. A long time ago I had sent the proprietors of this blog platform an email to which I didn't hear a peep. Kogure fired off an email and had the clap problem solved in less than two hours. Good thing, too, since her writings get a lot of "claps". In fact, I have dubbed her Queen of the Claps (whew, had to be careful with that one).

By the way, we appreciate the claps.

One nice thing about being a blogger, besides the outstanding pay and benefits package, is that sometimes you come into free stuff. And so it was that I was presented with Arisue Go's latest book and DVD set: Arisue Go's Kinbaku: Mind and Techniques 2 (Floor Works 1).

I guess you can buy the two separately but you would be much better off getting them as a set. The DVD references the book. They really work together as a team.

This isn't a review. In the first place, I am hardly unbiased. And in the second, I haven't gotten completely through the book yet and I haven't yet watched the first DVD. I skipped to the second DVD (yes, it's a two-disc set) because I wanted to see the interview with Arisue Go. Also on the second DVD is a photo gallery. I like photos.

I can say that both the book and the DVD have been done in a very professional manner. I can't really comment on the kinbaku instruction (and probably won't) because I simply am more interested in the technical side, being a photography and video geek myself. In this aspect, the presentation here is top-notch.

To be perfectly honest, I've never read a single how-to book on kinbaku. Sacrilege, I know, but it just holds no interest for me. I think I'm a bit like that fellow, Urato Hiroshi, whom Master "K" interviewed awhile back. He's the fellow who did the rope work for many of the early Nikkatsu SM movies.

When asked what he thought of modern day rope artists, he replied that he wasn't impressed. Why? They use too much rope! Well, I'm with him. It has been my observation that the intricate and pretty knots have taken center stage. I'm interested in the woman -- and getting down to business. All this horseplay takes me out of the moment.

Give me those old, "unsophisticated" photos any day.

But that's just me, an old fart reminiscing about the good ol' days. For you youngsters I will report here that Arisue-san and Kogure-san will be returning to Europe for kinbaku instruction in March of this year. This will be their second trip to Europe in less than a year. This time they are going to Berlin. Their services are very much in demand.

Also, for those traveling to Japan, it appears that Arisue is available for rope instruction. At least the possibility appears to exist. I guess it depends on his schedule. Send an email and see what happens.

And finally, Kogure told me there is a write-up on her in the latest issue of Secret magazine. Secret is published in Belgium and I'm not sure how easy it is to pick up a copy but, if you're able, now you know.


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