The Mystery of the Ubiquitous and Radiant Train Station Ad Model

She's everywhere. Serene and regal, her image stalks me from ad posters plastered all over the walls of almost every commuter train station I pass through. She's always photographed against iconic Japanese backgrounds: a serene temple surrounded by deer and cherry blossom trees, a ryokan inn heated by the steam of a nearby hot spring.

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Hot Lunch

The quality of my work day lunch depends on where I'm teaching. On Thursdays, I work near a seemingly endless shopping arcade and the choices are rich. I favor a steaming bowl of ika tempura udon soup, spiked with lots of spicy red pepper and black sesame seeds. For my mid-evening snack, I stroll past

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