Author Archives: Lynda Philippsen

My Love Affair with the Christmas Tree

I must have inherited my love of Christmas trees from my paternal grandmother who kept hers up until Orthodox Christmas in January. After everyone else had taken theirs down and boxed all the baubles and tinsel, the magic continued at … Continue reading

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The Culture Map: A Book Review

Awareness of the numerous disparate nuances allows individuals to navigate the shoals of manners and cultural norms with greater ease and less distress. Continue reading

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4.20 You in Ikebana: Experiments in Personal Expression

In November 2018, I completed Level 4 of the Sogetsu School’s course in ikebana studies in Tokyo. That achieved, I was asked to choose a flower name and granted certification. Afterwards I returned to Canada, bought and moved into my … Continue reading

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Tokyo Is Safe–And It Isn’t

Depending on which source you consult, Tokyo, a city of 14 million, boasts distinction as the safest city in the world. Provided that I use common sense and remain aware as I would do anywhere, I am free to enjoy … Continue reading

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Cultural Habits From Japan: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

After traveling extensively through Japan and living in Tokyo for several months at a time, I’ve integrated a number of habits acquired there with my life in Canada. However, some things done in Japan simply do not fly with me. … Continue reading

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Baisoin: Aoyama Neighbourhood Buddhist Temple

I walked the bamboo lined approach to Baisoin Temple on my way home between Gaiemmae Station and my apartment in Nikko House too many times to count the first three months I studied in Tokyo. However, in spite of my … Continue reading

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Lessons in Waste Disposal Japanese Style

Recent news stories have covered nations refusing and returning contaminated materials intended for recycling to their countries of origin. In addition, multiple municipalities have begun to ban single-use plastic bags. Until recently, in my area of Canada clean plastics and … Continue reading

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Tadaima! I’m Home.

A long hallway with blond wood floors and white walls leads from the entrance to a doorway which opens to the studio section of my furnished Tokyo home. From this hallway doors open to the shoe closet, the laundry area, … Continue reading

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The Way Home

A few days ago a note from a friend (who has also moved recently and like me is settling into her new locale) spoke of feeling a little unsettled now that the feverish busyness has passed. She put her finger … Continue reading

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Choosing Chinese Characters for My Flower Name

In addition to choosing Rindou (Gentian) as a personal flower name after completing my Sogetsu Ikebana Level 4 Certificate, I was informed that I would need to select Chinese characters with which to write the name—one for each syllable rin … Continue reading

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