Yuriko Mikami|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

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A cellist based in Milan. Performs solo and ensemble concerts, as well as produces multi-style stage performances that combine theatrical shows, images, dances and live music.

  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.07.12
  • The many faces of the moon
  • Milan’s hot summer is here. Surrounded by mountains, the city receives few breezes in the summer, resulting in high, heat-island temperatures that make even those of us used to Japan’s hot summers feel like we’ve been scorched. Not a day goes by where we don’t want to jump into a pool in order to cool ourselves down from head to toe.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.07.02
  • Copy
  • They say Japanese people are good with their hands. Surely you must also be good at making things, too. So what kinds of things do you make? Everyone has a different path, such as starting out as a hobby and learning on your own as you create works, or by taking lessons and having your works appreciated by others.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.06.18
  • The Connections Born at MAMU
  • Did you ever visit Abashiri Prison? It’s not an uncommon destination on high school field trips in Japan. It’s been a long time since I went there, but the fact that it was nice weather instead of winter and that they’ve turned it into a museum meant that it didn’t leave the terrifying impression you’d expect from a prison.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.06.05
  • The Connections Born at MAMU
  • No doubt there are plenty of people who like to visit the many cafés of Paris and indulge in the nostalgic air of places once frequented by poets and painters while sipping their coffee.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.05.17
  • Aging in an unexpected place
  • When I was little, TV-watching time at home was very limited due to the idea that watching too much television was bad for you. In reaction to that, I woud watch TV in secret when I was home alone while my parents were out, for as long as I could no matter how long they were gone.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.03.26
  • The most beautiful way to travel
  • Being a peninsula, Italy is surrounded by as many oceans as the island nation of Japan. There is the Adriatic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ligurian Sea, the Ionian Sea… all of them collectively known as the Mediterranean Sea.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.03.11
  • Ever-popular Japan
  • A major expo event was held in Milan for the first time in 2015. It’s hard to believe it’s already been more than three years since then. The Japanese Pavilion was one of the most popular parts of the expo—so popular that I had to wait three and a half hours to get in.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.02.25
  • Lost love
  • Looking back on youth, there is the piercing pain of that moment you find out that the feelings you have for someone you’ve never even spoken to will go unrequited. Or the time when, as an adult, you experienced months or years of joy with a person only to have the relationship crushed out of nowhere…
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.02.05
  • The December nightmare and the January witch
  • Shiwasu is the month that corresponds to December in the traditional Japanese calendar. The year is coming to a close, and I suspect that it’s a month when not a single Japanese person can shake the uneasy feeling that they’re being pressured by something.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2019.01.30
  • Water
  • Human beings have an intimate relationship with water. We drink it, and it’s deeply involved with every part of our lives. I didn’t know about the differences between water in Japan and other countries when I lived in Japan.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.12.18
  • Winter in northern Italy
  • Autumn was warm this year in Milan, and even though we’re now into December, the mild winter temperatures continue compared to the average year.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.12.10
  • What I don’t like
  • Italians are always asking me what I like and what I can’t stand about Italy. If I have some time when I’m in the middle of those conversations, I try to go beyond just listing my likes and dislikes and get sidetracked more into the stories behind the two.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.11.28
  • Showdown! Me Versus the Italians
  • I’ve lived in Milan for over twenty years now, but I can’t seem to get any better at the language—so my Italian still isn’t very good. Apparently I continue to make basic grammatical mistakes all the time.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.11.06
  • Mushrooms
  • The appetites of fall have arrived. But this year the temperatures have not dropped in Milan, even though we have passed the middle of October. The fall doesn’t feel like fall.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.10.25
  • What’s the Real Story?
  • Soon after I arrived in Italy I tasted prickly pear for the first time, in Sicily. That first time prickly pear ever passed my lips, I was surrounded by Sicilians with their eyes fixed on me, as though they were conducting an experiment to see what would happen, rather than actually giving some food to me, this Japanese person who had never eaten prickly pear before.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.10.11
  • Coffee
  • Coffee is an essential part of everyday life in Italy. No matter how easygoing, Italians demonstrate extraordinary fastidiousness when they make coffee in their espresso pots with ground coffee.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.09.27
  • Speechless over more than just the view
  • Lake Como is located about an hour train ride from Milan. When I first moved to Italy, the guidebooks were all full of information about it, so I figured it was a huge tourist spot and remember heading out to visit it right away.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.09.18
  • “Monza”?
  • Most Japanese people think of Italy favorably, so when I introduce myself and say I live in Italy, they generally reply with a gleam in their eyes “Wow, great!” and then ask me “Where in Italy do you live?” I live in Milan, which fortunately absolutely everyone knows.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.08.29
  • A cover-up?
  • Summer vacation is finally here again in Italy. Kids here get a long three-month summer break starting in early June. When I tell Italian children that Japanese kids get barely over a month of summer vacation, they all give me a look that says, “thank goodness I was born in Italy!”.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.08.20
  • Pinocchio
  • Pinocchio is a character that has been loved for generations… to the point that there’s hardly anyone alive who doesn’t know the Adventures of Pinocchio story. It’s truly a classic.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.07.18
  • Igloos in Milan
  • A Japanese couple I’m friends with traveled to several European cities, eventually ending up in Milan for their final stop. I told them I would meet them at Central Station, but they assured me that it was unnecessary; they would be arriving in Milan on an express train from Switzerland. We ended up meeting around dinnertime
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.06.28
  • Uncooked Ham (Prosciutto)
  • May and June have been unusually wet this year. We’ve had so much rain that I am reminded of the Japanese tsuyu rainy season. But it gets hotter every day, and it feels like the season for fruit. The fragrance of ripe peaches and melons gets me excited for shopping.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.06.19
  • Speed
  • I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but Italy is a Christian country. This means that Sunday is the Sabbath. Schools and companies are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. You probably think that having 2 days off in a row means leading a truly relaxing life, but I’ve realized that in reality it’s surprisingly quite a busy 7 days.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.05.17
  • The Design Fair
  • Italy is a Christian country, and the religion dictates that Sunday should be a day of rest. Living here, you can feel a special kind of tranquility on the weekend—even in the city. It’s completely different than the weekdays.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.05.01
  • Behind the scenes at the open-air markets
  • To me, the fun of overseas travel is as much about shopping and eating in great restaurants as it is about visiting famous historical sites. Certainly some of the more interesting places to shop in Italy—and places that are frequented by tourists as well—are the open-air mercato.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.04.17
  • Bonding through farming
  • Have you ever been walking through the city in the blazing heat of summer and been flooded with gratitude for being able to rest beneath the shade of a single tree? The summers in Milan are just as hot as the ones in Tokyo, and when I’m walking through the city with sun beating down me and the heat radiating up from the asphalt and I find the shade of a single tree where I can find mental and physical relief, Handel’s” Ombra mai fu” starts playing in my head.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.04.04
  • Reality vs. illusion
  • Do you ever find yourself thinking back on the times when you were younger, lost in the world of make-believe? For boys, it’s often dreams of being a racecar driver or pilot as they played with toy cars or planes—or fighting evil for the sake of justice in a Gundam robot suit. Little girls might play house with dolls, try on a Cinderella dress, or dream of living in a beautiful house cooking delicious food…
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.03.22
  • Names
  • When I first moved to Italy, I made it a point to memorize the names of everyone I met. Twenty years later, if I run into one of them I’ll remember it and remind them that we’ve met before. They’re shocked. Apparently, the things I saw and the people I met when I first got here left a deep impression on me.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.03.07
  • Tradition
  • Most Westerners tend to be friendly, but the Italians are particularly so. When I first got here, everyone did their best to immerse me—a Japanese who spoke almost no Italian—in their local culture. They invited me out for drinks, to the movies, to evening gatherings with friends, and made several other truly friendly gestures that I appreciated.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.02.21
  • Canals
  • There’s a city without a single subway or bus traveling within it. There aren’t even any cars there—and in the 21st century, no less! Yet, this uncommon place is far from being an anachronism or behind the times. What city is it?
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.02.07
  • Sharing
  • Milan has canals, but it is also a flat city with no mountains or hills. Kind of disappointing for someone like me, who prefers a rugged landscape. One thing a flat city does promote, however, is the use of bicycles. City bikes have been absolutely indispensable to Milanese life for generations.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.01.24
  • Unique in all the world
  • There are said to be 116 individuals certified as Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties in Japan—also known as National Living Treasures who have mastered an exceptional skill. I think Japan is extremely good at developing people who excel in one particular area.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2018.01.11
  • Mysterious after-five friends
  • Where do you go once you leave the office after a hard day’s work? A lot of you probably say you go out drinking with co-workers. Partially to blend in with the Milanese culture and partially to avoid the rush-hour traffic of so many people hurrying home at once, I also frequently go out to enjoy an aperitif before heading home.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.11.30
  • Enjoying farms
  • The other day, my coworker gave me some persimmons. Apparently, they went to take care of a garden for a relative who is in recovery from illness and there were tons of ripe fruit on the persimmon trees. It would have been a waste to leave them there, so she picked them.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.11.16
  • What comes out as the mist fills the air?
  • Autumn in Milan is warmer this year than usual and the days are actually quite comfortable. That said, as winter approaches, there will be more days when Milan is covered in mist. Because of the heat island effect, the misty area has been mostly limited to the suburbs in recent years, but on days when it is very thick, even the city center becomes covered in it.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.11.01
  • A Charming Race
  • In Tuscany, Italy there is a town called Siena. It goes without saying that Siena is a beautiful place, but what it’s really famous for is the magnificent midsummer festival it holds when the Palio horse race takes place. What overwhelmed me about the Palio di Siena wasn’t the race itself, however. It was the midnight parades meant to build up excitement in the days before the event.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.10.25
  • The 3 “Ts”
  • Cremona is a town an hour’s drive from Milan. For me, a musician, it’s a town with an extremely strong connection. Although it’s a small town of 60,000 people, it is also a place that garners the interest of performers and violin makers throughout the world. I think that even among people who aren’t musicians, many know the name of Stradivari.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.10.04
  • Bento boxes in Italy
  • In Japanese families, it’s customary for every person at the dinner table to have their personal set of chopsticks, personal rice bowl, and so on. Maybe because of those traditions, similar practices spread to workplaces—where for some time now, everyone has had a habit of bringing their own cups or bottles with them.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.09.20
  • Milan’s Evolving Train Stations
  • When I first came to Milan, I set out on a sightseeing trip to another town—though I didn’t speak any Italian. I couldn’t tell from my guidebook whether it was a town worth seeing, but I figured I’d just go and check it out.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.09.07
  • Work vs. personal interests
  • Those of you who work—how did you end up choosing your job?I was born into a music-loving family, so grew up around musical instruments from a young age. It wasn’t that I had any special talent for music, but I always had the sense that musicians were artists and somehow wonderful—so I just kind of ended up on that path. Maybe that’s why I’ve lived a life where there’s not much distinction between my personal interests and my work.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.08.18
  • If You Follow the Road Signs…
  • I am convinced that Milan really is a small town. If you go by car from the center, say from Duomo, toward the outskirts, within 30 minutes you are surrounded by cornfields.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.07.12
  • Various Schemes
  • When visiting a foreign country on a tourist trip, it is normal for people to visit the tourist spots and enjoy their history and beauty, right?
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.06.28
  • Hurry! It’s soccer!
  • The other day, the Union of European Football Associations Champions League held its final tournament.It was the match between Juventus from Italy and Real Madrid from Spain.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.06.07
  • Chilling Places
  • For Japanese, the popular tourist spots in Italy are probably the cities of Rome, Venice, Florence, Sicily and Milan.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.05.26
  • Horror
  • When you were a child, after impatiently pestering adults for a ghost story, did you end up screeching or exclaiming something like, “How scary!” or “I’ve got goose bumps?”
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.04.21
  • Tiramisu
  • Have you ever been told that you should be careful of men when you go to Italy?!Italian men are infamous for being smooth talkers.I wonder if that’s really true?
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.03.30
  • Putting Your Life on the Line
  • When I was a child, I lived in America and getting in the car was nerve wracking. The reason, though unbelievable now, was because at the time American drivers were really vicious. The car
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2017.03.17
  • Are these ceremonies for real?!
  • When I came to Italy 20 years ago, I was often approached by Italians with talk of business (if anything, it was more like favors). They came to me about developing a business
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • 2016.10.11
  • Milan’s Changing Dinner Table
  • We can now readily eat king crab from Hokkaido while in Tokyo, and enjoy our fill of local specialties from various communities while at home because of the development of the distribution system, and the variations and improvements in food preservation methods.
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  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami
  • Italy Milan
  • Yuriko Mikami

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