Making Japanese food’s like making love. Doesn’t have to take a long time if you know what you’re doing. The best way to acquire the necessary skill is probably working alongside a Japanese lady in the kitchen, although I hesitate to recommend anything that combines women, fire, and sharp objects in a confined space. Well, life’s all about managing risk, so it’s either that, a lifetime of TV dinners, or learn how to cook Japanese food yourself. Yeah, let’s look at that latter option.
But What is Japanese Food?
Right from the start, even defining Japanese food presents a challenge. As with everything in this damn nation, what’s blindingly obvious to Japanese folks is utterly baffling to outsiders.
Continue reading “How to Make Japanese Food”
Living in Japan, you’re basically trapped in a tiny spaceship, peering down through clouds and picking up intermittent snippets of news floating skyward from earth. I first heard “Poker Face” in a smoky Shinjuku karaoke bar, when some girl belted out Mum mum mum mah. Some complicated lyrics, those. And I learned the results of the U.S. election in a similar joint in Oita prefecture. Okay, so I do a lot of karaoke. Beer helps. Anyway, what I mean is that it’s not easy keeping touch with Western culture, and even harder understanding why singers are now called Gaga and Presidents Trump. It’s like the world’s gone crazy, and English with it. For example: Continue reading “Strange English I can’t Understand”
Has it already been two weeks? Jeez, where does the time go? So yeah, a couple of weekends ago I went to a Japanese fireworks festival. Seems like only yesterday. Anyway, suffice to say that watching fireworks in Japan is just like watching fireworks in the U.S., except better in, uh, every single way. Except one. Continue reading “Japanese Fireworks, Better in Every way but One”
Summer is a wonderful season in Japan. It’s finally warm enough to peel off down parkas and ski gloves, it’s nice to relax in the park drinking beer, and the girls all wear short skirts. Actually, they wear those in winter too. What a country, seriously. Probably sucks to be a girl here though, having to walk by the park all winter long being ogled by some white guy in a parka drinking beer with ski gloves. If anybody asked, I figured I’d just say I was a member of the ski patrol, although sadly no one ever did. Continue reading “The 4 Big Japanese Beach Essentials”
At first, you might think the Japanese place great importance on addressing others properly. After all, it’s a nation where even elephants get called Zou-san. That’s Mr. Elephant to you.
The reality is that this naming convention works flawlessly until someone who looks “foreign” enters the scene, at which point thousands of years of custom go straight out the window. Continue reading “The Great Japanese Name Switcheroo”