North Korea: a vexing situation for the USA and China

North Korea’s Pukguksong-2 test increases the tension

North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), has again provoked international condemnation whilst developing its current ballistic missile and nuclear programme.

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North Korea: Pukguksong-2 missile test

On 12th February 2017, North Korea launched a Pukguksong-2 missile (North Star 2, 북극성 2), from a tracked mobile launch vehicle. The solid-fuel missile is believed to have reached an altitude of 340 miles (550km) and travelled downrange 310 miles (510km) into the East Sea. The missile fell into North Korean territorial waters of the East Sea (disputed by Japan, which it considers it to be the Sea of Japan), and did not pose any risk to Japan. This missile test was primarily of chief concern for the participating nations of the Six-Party talks.
Continue reading “North Korea: a vexing situation for the USA and China”

Soy Sauce Casks and a History of Shenyang, Northeast China (Dongbei)

Soy Sauce Casks and History of Shenyang, Northeast China (Dongbei)

On a recent visit to Shenyang, Liaoning province, Northeast China (Dongbei), I discovered an interesting earthenware container or cask. The blue-white cask had, I was told, been excavated at some time during the 1980s at Taiyuan Jie, near Shenyang Railway Station.

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Soy Sauce cask discovered at Taiyuan Jie, Shenyang, Liaoning province, China

At first sight, the rope-banded style cask seemed to be of Chinese origin. After further inspection, I considered that it might be a sake container or cask from the Japanese Meiji period (23 October 1868 – 30July 1912 ). Meiji period earthenware is generally characterised by blue and white decoration. Continue reading “Soy Sauce Casks and a History of Shenyang, Northeast China (Dongbei)”

36th London Wine Fair – 2016

36th London Wine Fair – 2016

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36th London Wine Fair, London

The 36th London Wine Fair turned out again to be one of the world’s leading wine and trade events. With an anticipated 700 exhibitors from across the globe, showing some 13,000 wines, there was much to see and expect.

This year’s wine fair was held two weeks earlier than usual, so as to ensure a better fit with UK and International buying schedules – a good move.

It was interesting to see a selection of Japanese sake at the Fair, so it was an easy decision to start with sake tastings! Continue reading “36th London Wine Fair – 2016”

2015 – A Year of Sake and Fujii Honke 藤居本家

Sake and Fujii Honke  藤居本家

This year has seen an increase in the popularity of Japanese food in London, and there are now nearly 500 Japanese restaurants in the Greater London area. However, and more importantly, there has been a surge of interest in Japanese sake ( Nihonshu日本酒 ).

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Sake tasting – Restaurant Show 2015

During 2015, there have been many interesting events and tastings to promote this marvellous drink. The IWC 2015 Award Winning Sake Tasting, held at the Embassy of Japan, and events by World Sake Imports: including a talk given by Philip Harper, the first non-Japanese sake master brewer( Toji 杜氏 ) in Japan, from the Kinoshita-Shuzou brewery, Kyoto. Continue reading “2015 – A Year of Sake and Fujii Honke 藤居本家”