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Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan Paperback – April 2, 2008
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There is more to Urawaza, however, than these tricks exposed. The Tokyo-born and bred Katayama delves into the history of the craft and contributes anecdotes from her own experiences, meaning readers come out knowing that much more about life in the megalopolis. Her witty, down-to-earth style makes for a fun read while illustrator Joel Holland adds a comic book touch, and just a hint of irreverence.
"Armed with urawaza like these, you'll never need a store-bought fix again." ReadyMade magazine
About the Author
Lisa Katayama has written for Wired, Giant Robot, and Glamour, and is an editor at Planet magazine. She lives in San Francisco.
Joel Holland's illustrations have appeared in Holiday Hero as well as in Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and the New York Times. He lives in New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is full of urawaza's, little "cheat codes" for common household objects like potatoes and old sales receipts, things that would normally never be used for more than their intended purposes. For example, magically clearing up a stuffy nose by shoving the white root section of a scallion in your nostrils, or rubbing a little egg white on your glasses to prevent them from fogging. Each tip is accompanied by a short explanation of why the process works, showing the molecules and process involved that accompany the magic.
The strange thing is, the tips actually work. I haven't tried all of them, but the ones I have given a shot work just as advertised. You might feel a bit strange at first rubbing a cut potato across your bathroom mirrors to make them fog-free, but you can't argue with the results. Want to know how to keep your bathwater from going cold using only orange peels, or how to make your dull hair glossy? "Urawaza" has what you need.
The only disappointment with this book is the lack of any real Japanese connection, aside from the title. There are a few little asides at the start of each chapter talking about the author's personal history or a few cultural notes, but that is about it. There was a good opportunity to include some Japanese vocabulary for each entry, just a few words here and there relating to the subject, and make this a language-learner along with its helpful and fun tips. Unfortunately they didn't go that route, but if you aren't studying Japanese and just want a cool and useful little book, then that isn't really an issue.
I have tried several of the tips. My faves are using a piece of bread to pick up glass (pg. 70)--works like a charm! This weekend I made potato salad and used the super-cool egg-peeling technique (p. 96) and impressed my BBQ guests!
Urawaza is a fun guide that appeals to that part within us all that likes to simultaneously be clever & practical. The book also couples simple scientific explanations that help us understand more about our environment through. It will be a hit with Japanese culture fans, DIY enthusiasts, those who appreciate Everyman wisdom and especially young folks who enjoy exploring our world in new ways.