According to Wikipedia, Miyabi is a traditional Japanese aesthetic ideal that "demanded the decline of anything that was absurd or vulgar and the 'polishing of manners, diction, and feelings to eliminate all roughness and crudity so as to achieve the highest grace."
This matcha should be used for koicha (thick tea).
Aroma: (5/10 - and that's being a little generous) The fragrance was typical but subdued.
Sweetness: (6.5/10) It has decently sweet characteristics, you just have to be sure to use enough.
Astringency: (1/10) It's as smooth as can be, not the slightest bit of astringency or bitterness.
Flavor: (5/10) Like the Kaze this tea was very mild, and I simply prefer my matcha to have some umph to it. Even when using more, 5-6 scoops vs the traditional 3-4, it only serves to add a smokey throatiness, but fails to increase the over all flavor.
Again, like the Kaze, this matcha comes from Shizuoka instead of Uji. I will keep an eye out for another Shizzy matcha from a different vendor to see if the Kaze and Miyabi are typical examples of that region, but in the meantime, if you like lots of flavor in your matcha, I recommend giving Den's a pass.
Whisking, if you care about this kind of thing.
I have been told when whisking matcha, part of the idea is to avoid large bubbles. Of course this is more of an aesthetic concern, because as long as you whisk the matcha thoroughly, it won't effect the taste one way or the other.
I have found the best way to avoid large bubbles in the froth is to use deliberate strokes, fast at first, then slow. You're not beating eggs.
How Japanese Women are Changing Their Nation
The title alone sold me on this book.
I have become deeply interested in gender roles, so I enjoyed this book a great deal. While the author, Veronica Chambers, focuses on the diverse and changing lives of women in Japan, since it is impossible to define gender roles without exploring both sides, you learn about the part Japanese men must play as well. Chambers does a wonderful job of providing a fair illustration of the complex relationship between men and women, both in the corporate world and in their personal lives.
I learned a variety of things along the way, parasite singles (people who live with their parents, who support them, well into their late 20's or 30's ), Narita Rekon (newlyweds getting divorced as soon as they return from the honeymoon, because the wife realises just what her husband is like, thus ditches him at the airport upon their return), and Japans ostentatious costume culture, from hip hop to "Lolitas." Chambers also explores how unique aspects of Japanese culture make certain things that we take for granted, like dating, problematic.
It was a very good book, very enjoyable. Learning more about someone's culture, helps us to better understand our own.