Happy New Year everyone! While you are enjoying 紅白 (Kouhaku), I hope you are also eating お雑煮 (ozouni)! In fact, I bet I can predict the shape of the mochi and the broth of the soup you are eating… if you are in Japan that is.
What in the Sam Hill am I talking about? Well, depending on what part of Japan you are in, there is a statistical probability as to how your mochi is cut and what soup broth you have in your お雑煮. Yessir, there is even a line where people have round mochi on the one side and cut square mochi on the other.
関ヶ原 (Sekigahara) is the location of the decisive battle between East and West Japan that lead to the 250+ year 江戸時代 (Edo Jidai). This lies on the line! Also, people in East Japan and West Japan stand on different sides of escalators. There’s a lot of differences between east and west Japan that seem to lie on this line. I’ll leave a more complete list for another entry.
If you want to make お雑煮 for yourself, you still have some time! Go check out Cookpad and get cooking!
Tags: お雑煮, お正月, cookpad, edo jidai, Edo Period, escalators, 関西, 関東, 雑煮, food, kansai, kanto, New Year's, ozoni, shogatsu, soup, zoni, 正月, 江戸時代
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Traditional Japanese Christmas Cake (and yeah, I’m using the word “traditional” is the lightest sense possible) is generally what they call a strawberry shortcake. American’s sometimes get confused that Japanese shortcake is nothing like the biscuit-like shortcake in America, it is more of a sponge cake in the usual English sense.
I went to Mousse Fantasy on Sawtelle yesterday to go get a slice of JP cake. I saw this cake in the case for $40! But, it is totally what I imagine a Japanese Christmas Cake to be like.
Tags: ケーキ, baking, cake, dessert, 苺, food, Los Angeles, Mousse Fantasy, Nichibei, shortcake, strawberry, yelp link, 日米
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This video has been very popular on my facebook, so I may as well post it to the ol’ blog. I saw it on a random blog a million years ago, so I’m very sorry I can’t credit it. ><;
I think my favorite is ツッパリ先生 (Tsuppari-sensei) because he puts 「吐露非狩古鬱」 (toropikarufurutsuu, “Tropical Fruits”) on the board. I’m a big fan of crazy 当て字 (ateji) like that.
BTW, the poor kids! And watch for the “orz” in the Chinese subs. XD
Tags: Ateji, ツッパリ, ツッパリ先生, commercials, fanta, food, japanese commercials, lol, school, soda, teacher, teachers, Tropical Fruits, tsuppari, video, 吐露非狩古鬱, 当て字
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ブタがいた教室 (Buta ga ita Kyoushitsu, I think the official English title is “School Days with a Pig”) is a movie about a class of elementary school kids who raise a pig. The teacher brings it in as a lesson where the kids will eventually eat the pig. BUT, as you can imagine, this pink piggy is so cute that the whole question of whether they should eat it or not comes up. And how does one decide?
This is one thing I think the whole world needs to think about more. I remember the supermarket we had in the rural part of Japan where I used to live had a little progression of picture above most of the meat. There literally was a picture of cute piglets, then of pigs, and then of pork. I remember thinking, “This would never fly in America.” In fact, if I put pictures of cute pigs above the pork in an American supermarket, I’d probably be arrested for being a PETA terrorist or something.
In any case, this looks like a great movie. Probably will make me cry if for nothing else than memories of teaching in Japan. Comes out on November 1st.
Tags: animals, elementary school, food, meat, movies, peta, pigs, pork, social issues, supermarket, teachers, teaching
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The 餃子像 (gyozazou) as is like the ハチ公 (Hachikou) of 宇都宮 (Utsunomiya) station. 宇都宮 is the big town in 栃木県 (Tochigi-ken), the next door neighbors to my ふるさと (furusato), 群馬県 (Gunma-ken). The gyoza there is excellent, and as an honor to the excellent gyoza there, this statue was erected sometime in the mid-nineties.
And now it is gone. I doubt they will repair it since it isn’t even noteworthy enough to have its own Wikipedia entry. Oh well, at least there still will be good 餃子 there.
The image here is of my pilgrimage to the statue. Maybe we can all do the Care Bear stare and repair it with love.
If you can stand the sight of the broken statue, go read the Yomiuri Online article. I can hardly bear to watch…
Tags: art, care bear, Chinese food, 田舎, destroyed, 餃子, food, gyoza, inaka, sad, statue
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Yep, you heard me right. Maid cafes are so last year. Wanna be a hip otaku? Then get yer keister down to Ferias, Akihabara’s first Tex-Mex themed bar.
Tex-Mex isn’t unknown in Japan. While I lived there, I craved Mexican food really bad as a native Angeleno. I found a few places here and there that claimed they served tacos. And there are some El Toritos in various parts of Japan (three in Tokyo, one in Yokohama, one in Osaka, and the odd one in Ibaraki… not that I would know from personal experience or anything… no…). Really, the best thing is to just fork out the money for the ingredients in a semi-ethnic area of Japan (they do exist) and make it yourself.
But, this place is 一石二鳥 (isseki nichou). Not only do you get Mexican food and tequila (oh boy!), but also scantily clad Japanese girls dressed in some sort of fantasy Native American/Cowgirl/bikini outfits! (By the way, you have to visit their site and see the anime versions of their models…)
I really want to visit this place just because I really, really cannot imagine what it must be like. It must be oh so post-modern and bizarre! I mean, generally, at a maid cafe they say things like 「おかえりなさいませ、ご主人様。」 (“okaerinasaimase, go-shujin-sama.”, Welcome Home Master) What are they going to say here?! 「はやくもどってきてね、パートナー！」 (“hayaku modotte kite ne, paatonaa!”, Ya’ll come back now, partner!)
Tags: Akiba, Akihabara, アキバ, bar, cowgirl, 秋葉原, food, girls, hostess bar, Japanese girls, maid cafe, mexican food, tequila, tex-mex
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I love Japan (not that you doubted that). Like any love, sometimes they do things that you wouldn’t normally like (packaging, bad for the environment) but they do it so cutely that you can’t help but love them.
Japanese packaging is awesome sometimes. PingMag did a review of their favorites. There are special packages for easy refills, squeezable condiments (they show maple syrup, but my favorite was the combo ketchup/mustard ones), and single coffee serving, complete with filter! I remember a lot of these from living in Japan and I never realized how much I loved them until they were gone.
My favorite? The yakisoba and spaghetti that have a draining mechanism built in (pictured). It’s simple and brilliant.
Read the full article over here: Cleverly Convenient Packaging Design
Tags: clever, coffee, condiments, cool, design, food, japan, packaging, spaghetti, yakisoba
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OMG, everything has come full circle. George Lucas was inspired by the 侍 (samurai) and 刀 (katana) for jedi and light sabres, and now there is a light saber looking thing that shoots not but a glowing blade of Justice or Rancor, but a glowing column of 巻き寿司 (makizushi)!
I wonder what the light and dark sides of sushi are… 巻き vs. にぎり?
(via Random Good Stuff)
Tags: food, gadgets, lol, sci-fi, sushi
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