Tokyo Notebook

-・- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -・- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.

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27 2013

Why do You Still Take the Paper?

waste newspaper

From my childhood, my family had taken several newspapers: multiple general papers, a sport paper, and the mouthpiece of the party (JCP) for social reasons. I therefore had a lot of chances to understand what the newspaper was all about through reading that they interpreted one thing in many ways.
幼少の頃から、我が家では複数の新聞を取っていました。全国紙を複数、スポーツ新聞、そしてお付き合い上取っていた○旗新聞(日曜版のみ)。だから、同じ事柄を様々に解釈して伝える新聞とはどういうものかを理解する機会には恵まれていました。

From past to present, the publishers write what they want for propaganda according to their thought and creed. It’s not surprising, but unlike papers published by JCP and the religious group in which one can clearly see their agendas, some common papers are extremely worse.
過去から現在まで、新聞の発行人は自分たちの思想信条に沿ったプロパガンダのために、書きたいことを書いてきたわけです。それは驚くことではないのですが、主張が鮮明で誰にでもわかる○旗や○教新聞とは違い、全国紙というのは極めてたちが悪い。

From my viewpoint, the all papers are basically the same, and taking a particular paper means that one associates oneself with the paper’s thought and creed and provides favors to the group that has such ideas. So, if you take a pater on that score, it’s fine. I regard a reader of a particular paper as a follower of it (it’s a handy polygraph).
私に言わせれば、新聞なんて全部同じ。特定の新聞を取るということは、その新聞の思想信条に共感し、そのような主張を持つ団体に利益供与するということです。だから、そういう理由で新聞を取っているのなら、全く問題はないのです。ああ、この新聞を取っているからこの人はそういう思想なのだな、とわかって便利です。

However, that's not going to happen always. My father’s political ideas didn’t concur with the common papers on many points. I think he took them just by habit. Well, a subscription to newspapers without thought was common in Japan, and it still persists in the public mind. There is no way I would ever pay for a particular common paper and support the great newspaper editors and reporters who ride around in a limousine hires in the field.
でもそうはいきません。私の父の政治思想と定期購読していた全国紙の思想とは多くの点で一致しません。恐らく、父は習慣として新聞を取っていたと思うのです。そうなのです、新聞の定期購読はかつての日本ではごくごく普通のことでしたから。そして漫然と新聞を取るという習慣が、現代でも根強く残っているのです。全国紙を取って、お偉い編集者の方々や、現場に行くのにハイヤーを乗り回す「お記者様」達の生活を支えるために、特定の新聞にお金を払うなんて、私には全くもって考えられないことです(業界紙はもちろん除きます)。

Naturally, after my father's death, we stopped taking the paper out of the powerful motive. Now we can get the information on the web far sooner than a newspaper. I also can read several common papers at my office, and when I really want to read one (once in a year or so), I can buy it at a newsstand or convenience store any time. Honestly, I have no occasion to buy a propaganda paper bomb (now, I have no idea how people handle huge paper they derive daily).
当然のこととして、父が亡くなってから強い動機を持って新聞を取るのを止めました。現在では、新聞よりはるかにはるかに早く、ネットで情報を得られます。複数の全国紙を職場で読めますし(読み比べを「偵察」と呼んでいます)、どうしても読みたい新聞があればキオスクやコンビニでいつでも買えます(そういう機会は年に一度位)。正直言って、プロパガンダいっぱいの紙爆弾にお金を払うなんて全く考えられないのです(今となっては、皆さん大量の紙をどう処理しているのか不思議)。

I have no problem since I unsubscribe, but there is one exception. The thing is that sometimes I need west newspaper in everyday life, for example, when I tidy up our garbage. The opening photo shows the west paper I got from my neighbor. That should last for a while.
定期購読を止めてから、特に問題はありません。でも、一つだけ例外があります。それは、日常生活では古新聞が必要になることがある、ということです。例えば、生ごみを捨てる時とかですね。冒頭の写真は、近所の方から頂いた古新聞です。これだけあれば、しばらくは持ちます。

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Posted by Kinakinw | 20:59 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

11 2012

Yosegi Zaiku, Hakone’s Traditional Wooden Craft

yosegi_1

Right after returning from Europe, the six of us (my cousins, my sister and I) went on an overnight trip to a nearby hot spring. We met at Atami Station, had lunch at an ocean-side restaurant, stayed in Yugawara (a famous hot spring resort near Atami), and on the next day, visited Hakone. Because it was the first visit to these areas for two of the cousins, I took them to some tourist spots in Hakone.
ヨーロッパから帰って来てすぐ、いとこや妹総勢6人で近場の温泉に行って来ました。熱海で待ち合わせて海を臨むレストランで昼食をとり、湯河原に泊まって、翌日は箱根。いとこのうち何人かは箱根を初めて訪れるということで、観光地にも行きました。

One of the spots was Hatajuku that is famous as the village of Yosegi Zaiku where I rediscovered the fascination of this wooden craft.
その時行ったのが、寄木の郷畑宿でした。ここで寄木細工の魅力を再発見しました。

In the small village of Hatajuku, we first visit Wooden Craft Hall (Hatajuku Yosegi Kaikan) and acquired basic knowledge about Yosegi.
箱根湯本に程近い小さな畑宿でまず訪れたのは寄木会館。ここで寄木の基礎知識を仕入れました。

yosegi_2

Yosegi zaiku is wood craft techniques, begun in Hakone-Hatajyuku in 19th century, to produce designs and patterns by sticking wood pieces with different colors (all natural ones) and grain. There are two kinds of techniques now: pasting and carving. In the traditional technique, abraded sheets of sticking wood pieces are pasted on wood materials. In contrast, in the new one, the piece can be directly curved after strong adhesion bond was developed.
寄木は江戸時代に畑宿で生まれた木工技術です。様々な色、木目の木を組み合わせ(一切着色していない自然な色です)デザインやパターンを作ります。現在では2種類の細工があります。一つは組み合わせた木の表面を削ったものを木工品に張る、伝統技術です。対してもう一つが無垢と呼ばれる、組み合わせた木を直接削って作られるものです。強力な接着剤ができた戦後から作られるようになったそうです。

yosegi_3

I often go to Hakone from my childhood and know the area like a book. Naturally, I know the craft and see the items at souvenir shops and hotels in the areas, especially the traditional items. We had one in our house. However, I had never taken good look at the curved items.
子供の頃から箱根にはしょっちゅう出かけていて、良く知っています。もちろん張りの方の箱根細工はお土産店や、この地の旅館やホテルでも使われていてよく見かけます。かつては家にもありました。でも、無垢の寄木細工は実はじっくり見たことはありませんでした。

yosegi_4
There was a Yosegi dust bin in the Japanese inn we stayed in Yugawara.
湯河原で泊まった老舗旅館にも、寄木細工のごみ箱がありました。


yosegi_5 yosegi_6

After leaving the hall, we went to a studio shop named Kanasashi Wood Craft owned by a Yosegi artist, Katsuhiro Kanasashi. I did like his curving Yosegi! Though the items reminded me of the modern style in 70s, the natural wood craft had unique warmth.
会館を出て訪れたのが無垢の寄木細工で有名な金指クラフトでした。金指勝悦さんという無垢寄木の匠がやっている工房兼店舗です。大変気に入りました!70年代モダンを感じさせるデザインながら、木ならではの温かみがあります。

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yosegi_8

yosegi_9

Curving Yosegi was pricier than the traditional one, so I couldn’t buy on impulse something to my liking. In accordance with the shop clerk who advised me to get a small and inexpensive item first, I got this a toothpick stand (I don’t use it for that purpose, though).
無垢の寄木は張りに比べると高価で、気に入ったものを衝動買いできませんでした。まずは小さくて値の張らないものから買うと良い、というお店の方のアドバイスに従って、この小さな楊枝立てを買ってきました(まぁ、楊枝立てとしては使っていませんが)。

yosegi_10

Don’t you think it’s nice?
なかなか良いと思いませんか?

Posted by Kinakinw | 14:10 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

14 2012

Chocolate Makes a Round of the World

Valentine's Day

In Japan, Saint Valentine's Day one of major annual events, though that may surprise you. However, different from many other countries, it’s a day on which women give chocolate to men as a token of affection. Some people express one's love on that occasion. (Originally, a confection manufacturer created this custom to increase sales.)
バレンタインデーですね。チョコレートをもらいましたか?あげましたか?

Not just women bring their boyfriend or husband chocolate, but giving lots of chocolates for presents in the office at this time of year. Many women give it to give it to their co-workers and superiors, and we call that “giri-choco (obligation chocolate)”. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that we are unwilling to do this. Japanese like to present something to show gratitude for their favors. Anyway, many men get boxes of giri-choco.
ところで、職場の上司や同僚への義理チョコですが、女性達は必ずしも嫌々渡しているというわけではないと思います。日本人ですから、日頃お世話になっている方々に感謝の気持ちを表すのは好きです。ただ、周囲の男性は義理チョコを喜んでくれそうもないので、私は自粛しています(笑)。

I also get giri-choco every year because someone who receives would pass it to me. It’s my secret amusement.
実は私もチョコレートを毎年貰います。誰かが貰った義理チョコが回ってくるのです。

Usually, giri-choco isn’t fancy, but for once, I can pick up brand-name chocolate. I suspect it’s an expression of someone’s true feeling, but I accept it gratefully without worrying about if the one was successful confessed one’s love or not.
普通、義理チョコは高級品ではありませんが、たまに有名ブランドのチョコレートをせしめることがあります。もしや本命チョコなのでは…とは思いますが、告白が成功したのかどうかは気にせず、おいしく頂いています。

I’m looking forward to what kind of chocolate I will get this year!
今年はどんなチョコレートが回ってくるか楽しみです!

Posted by Kinakinw | 21:56 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

12 2012

Year-end Housecleaning Still Going On

Year-end Housecleaning

Japanese people have a custom of cleaning house at the end of each year. In December, many TV programs feature cleaning methods, and a lot of television commercials for cleaning things are aired. As the year comes down to a close, people ask each other if one finish it or not by way of greeting.
日本人にはお馴染みの大掃除。12月になると多くのテレビ番組がお掃除特集を組み、掃除用品の大量のコマーシャルが流れます。年の瀬が近づくと、「大掃除すんだ?」なんて聞き合ったりしますよね。

The year-end housecleaning originates from a religious tradition called Susuharai in which people cleaned their home altar and rooms to welcome the god of the New Year. In present-day Japan, many families, including mine, and companies still do it to greet the New Year.
大掃除の起源は神社の煤払いにあり、神棚や部屋を掃除してお正月の神様をお迎えする習慣として商店や家庭にも広まったとされています。

My sister and I planned to do it thoroughly in two batches in late last December and did it, but some parts of our house are not cleaned because we spent a long time cleaning outside of our house beyond expectation and ran out of energy halfway.
昨年末、妹と私は2日に分けて徹底的に掃除しようと計画し、実行したのですが、実は手付かずの場所がまだ残っています。家の外回りの掃除に思ったより時間とエネルギーを取られ、計画半ばで力尽きてしまいました。

So, we interpret the New Year as one in the lunar calendar (January 23), and the thorough cleaning is still going on. We made tile floor of our living room sparkling clean yesterday. We’ll go on to the inside of the refrigerator and kitchen shelf next week.
そこで、今年は掃除に関してだけ旧正月(1月23日)を採用し、現在も少しずつ大掃除を続行中。昨日はリビングのタイルを磨き上げました。来週は冷蔵庫の中と台所の棚を片付ける予定です。

I heard about similar customs in other countries: the Scottish "New Year's cleaning" on Hogmanay (December 31) and "khooneh tekouni" which literally means "shaking the house" just before the new year in Iranian calendars. As for the latter, since the Iranian New Year falls on the first day of spring, khooneh tekouni is considered to be the origin of spring cleaning in Western countries.
他の国にも、例えばスコットランドでは煤払いと同様に大晦日(12/31)に行われた"New Year's cleaning"、ペルシャではイラン暦(ペルシャ暦)の大晦日に掃除する"khooneh tekouni"と、同じような習慣があったようです。このうちイラン暦の正月は春に当たることから、こちらを欧米における春の大掃除の起源とする説もあるようです。

In Japan, some do one's spring-cleaning, but I think most people declutter one's entire home and office rather than clean them. This is because the fiscal year (business and school) generally ends at the end of March, and in many cases, the personnel reshuffle, graduation and entrance take place during late March and beginning of April. The spring is the move season.
日本でも春に大掃除をする人もいますが、家や会社を隅々まで綺麗にするというより、荷物などを片付けるという意味合いが強いのではないかと思います。3月末から4月初めにかけては年度や学年の切り替わりですから。春は引越しシーズンでもありますし。

Some people say warm spring day is better for cleaning than end of December. However, besides the year’s end in which the whole country becomes enveloped in a cleaning mood, a person who’s not a tidy person, like me, never make up one's mind to clean the whole house.
寒い年末より暖かい春に掃除をした方が良いという人もいますが、私のような大して掃除好きでない人間は、国全体が掃除ムードに包まれる年末を逃すと、もうする気になりません。今回は旧正月目指して残りをがんばります。

Posted by Kinakinw | 23:30 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

01 2012

Happy New Year!

NewYear
An illustrations I use for New Year's cards
年賀状に使ったイラスト


2012 is the year of the dragon.
今年は辰年。

Dragon is the only animal that is legendary among animals that appear in the zodiac.
Unlike in the Western countries, people consider the animal to be symbols of good luck in East Asia. We think the dragon prevents evil and brings good fortune.
龍は十二支の中で唯一の想像上の動物。
西洋諸国とは異なり、東アジアでは龍は縁起の良い動物です。

According to Japanese tradition, each year reflects the character of a different sign of the Chinese zodiac. I do hope this year becomes a good and lively year like Rising Dragon for us.
日本では、その年の干支が世相に反映されるとされてきました。今年が昇竜のように活気がある良い年になることを心から願います。

Kinakinw

Posted by Kinakinw | 02:18 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

02 2011

Tairyou-bata

tairyobata1

The flag with gorgeous, multicolored illustrations called Tairyo-bata (the fishing boat flag) was originally used to indicate a large catch and ran up when a boat came into harbor. In present day Japan, it’s mainly used on celebratory occasions such as a launching ceremony and a festival. For good luck, suspicious designs are featured on the flags: the ship of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune (these gods are believed to arrive on a ship full of treasures and bring people good fortune), cranes and turtles represent longevity, Mt. Fuji, fishes, and so on.
大漁旗。かつては大漁の合図として使われていましたが、現代では主に進水式やお祭りなどの際に掲げられているそうです。縁起をかついた宝船や鶴亀、富士山、魚、日の丸などの図柄がよく使われています。

tairyobata46
Photo by Wiki4423

As reported by an international research about predilection for color conducted in the 1990s, Japanese tend to prefer a combination of primary colors like Tairyo-bata. Of course, people have different tastes in color, but if I turn my eyes to the festivals and items related to them around the country, I can see the various brilliant combinations.
90年代に行われた色彩の好みに関するある国際調査によると、日本人は大漁旗のような派手な原色の組み合わせを好む傾向があるそうです。もちろん好みはそれぞれ。でも、日本各地で行われているお祭りや、その関連アイテムに目を転じれば、そういう華やかな色の組み合わせが溢れていることに気がつきます。

nebuta kite
From left, a huge paper lantern used at the Nebuta festival and a traditional Japanese kite  Photos by Ashinari
左から、ねぶた、凧 撮影:足成


It’s interesting that modern Japanese still have that tastes.
そのような好みが、現代の日本人にもみられるのは興味深いことです。

Back to concerts, I saw a lot of tairyo-batas including one in the opening picture at an event I encountered last month (see the previous post). These are from tsunami-devastated areas in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures. The opening one was formerly displayed on the fishing boat named Kinryo-maru that was based at Kamaishi, Iwate. I couldn’t get information about that boat, but I found the company named Ito Syouten, which sent the flag to the boat owner, on the Web. It’s a Kamaishi based seafood products manufacturer.
話を戻すと、先月偶然訪れた「ふるさと回帰2011」の会場には、三陸海岸の各地から集められた大漁旗がたくさん展示されていました。冒頭の写真の旗は、伊藤商店さんから釜石港の金良丸という船に贈られたもののようです。金良丸について詳細はわからなかったのですが、伊藤商店さんというのは釜石に本社を置く水産加工会社です。

As you know, in Tohoku, many fishing boats were lost in the tragedy of the tsunami.
Now, new boats are making an appearance, and the colorful flags fly at a launching ceremony.
ご存知の通り、三陸海岸では津波により多くの船が失われました。
今では、新しい船が登場し、進水式で色とりどりの大漁旗がはためいています。

Tairyo-bata shows the spirit of fisherman.
I hope more and more tairyo-batas would fly on a sea of Tohoku.
大漁旗は漁師の魂。
多くの旗がこれから三陸の海に舞うことを願っています。

These are the flags displayed at the event.
以下は「ふるさと回帰2011」の会場に展示されていた大漁旗。

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tairyobata6 tairyobata7 tairyobata8 tairyobata9
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tairyobata22 tairyobata23 tairyobata24 tairyobata25
tairyobata26 tairyobata27 tairyobata28 tairyobata29
tairyobata30 tairyobata31 tairyobata32 tairyobata33
tairyobata34 tairyobata35 tairyobata36 tairyobata37
tairyobata38 tairyobata39 tairyobata40 tairyobata41
tairyobata42 tairyobata43 tairyobata44 tairyobata45

Posted by Kinakinw | 17:03 | Comment [2] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

03 2011

Higasa Boy

Higasa boy

I encountered a Higasa (日傘, a parasol) boy yesterday!
昨日、日傘男子を見つけました!

While many Japanese women, including me, use a parasol during the summer, there aren't many men like him. I had never seen any gentleman opening a parasol on the street, although a men’s parasol and its users has been the talk of mass media on and off for the last few years in Japan.
多くの日本人女性が(私を含めて)夏の間日傘を使いますが、彼みたいな男性はそう多くはありません。ここ数年、男性用日傘や日傘を使う男性のことがマスコミでよく話題になってはいますが、実際に街中で日傘を広げている男性を見たのは初めてでした。

It’s somewhat cooler under a parasol. This summer, businessmen need to keep cool when outdoors. When they get back to one's office, it’s hot, too because many companies set the temperature of air conditioners higher due to energy saving. Also a parasol is useful for not only men who are careful of one's skin but also those who are allergic to UV rays, so it isn’t surprising that men want to put it up.
日傘の下は多少涼しいのです。この夏、ビジネスマンは屋外でなるべく涼しく過ごさないといけません。会社に帰っても、節電のためにエアコンの設定温度が高く、やはり暑いのですから。また日傘は、お肌に気を使う男性だけでなく、紫外線アレルギーのある男性にとっても有用です。

I hope many gentlemen can proudly open it without hesitation for defending oneself from the murderous sunlight.
もっと多くの男性が、この殺人的な日差しから身を守るために堂々と、臆することなく日傘を広げてられるようになって欲しいですね。

I see Western women opening a parasol in Azabu now.
I want them to keep that custom after returning back to their countries, so that a parasol on the street becomes widespread. Then, if I use it in their countries, Westerners who are intolerant in it wouldn’t look at me weirdly and make me edgy any more.
今では、日傘をさす欧米人女性を麻布で見かけます。
街中で日傘をつかうことが浸透するように、彼女達には、帰国した後もその習慣を続けて頂きたいものです。そうすれば、彼女達の国で私が日傘をさしても、もう日傘に不寛容な欧米人からジロジロ見られて不愉快な思いをさせられなくてすみます。

Posted by Kinakinw | 11:26 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

03 2011

Hina-matsuri

March 3rd is Hina-matsuri (ひな祭, Doll Festival Day or Girls' Day), the traditional Japanese festival expressing the hope that girls will grow up healthy.

hinamatsuri1
Full set of ornaments including dolls representing the emperor, empress and their servants, and miniature furniture

In the Heian Period (794 - 1192), people used to float dolls down the river to wash away bad luck. Then, in the Muromachi Period (1338 - 1573), wealthy families started to displayed the dolls. Later, in the Edo Period (1603 - 1868), the celebration spread among ordinary people.

Although fewer people display the full set of ornaments in recent days, most families with girls celebrate the day.

My sister and I had festival meals.

hinamatsuri2
Chirashi sushi (ちらし寿司), vinegared rice with thin strips of egg, pieces of raw fish, vegetables arranged on top

人気ブログランキングへ

Posted by Kinakinw | 23:20 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

13 2011

Influential Book in My Adolescence

Dazai1

Meiji Ryokan (旅館明治, a Japanese-style hot spring inn) in which my friend and I stayed in Kofu (甲府, the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture) is Inn of Osamu Dazai (太宰 治, 1909 – 1948), one of fiction writers representing 20th-century Japan. He is known for his ironic and gloomy wit and his obsession with suicide. Actually, he committed unsuccessful love-suicides and finally accomplished it when he was 38 years old.

According to Meiji Ryokan’s HP, Dazai visited the inn located in Yumura hot spring resort (湯村温泉) twice in 1942 and 1943, and during his stay, he wrote Right and Smile (正義と微笑) and Minister of the Right Sanetomo(右大臣実朝) respectively. There is Dazai Museum in the corner of the lobby.

Dazai2

Dazai3 Dazai4
The author was connected to Kofu. When he stopped writing in 1938 because of fighting the Pabinal (a morphine-based painkiller) addiction and his third suicide attempt, Masuji Ibuse (井伏鱒二, 1898 – 1993, a Japanese author) invited him to stay in a cottage in Yamanashi (天下茶屋). After staying in it, he married a woman from Kofu through the good offices of Ibuse. The couple peacefully lived in Kofu for a while, and he restarted writing.

I found the first published edition of "No Longer Human (人間失格)" among the items on display.
That is Dazai's masterpiece and one of influential books in my adolescence.

Dazai5
He literally broke his back for the novel.

The novel draws the portrait of the life of a central character, which is modeled on him, who cannot show him and instead pretends someone else to live with others. Many Dazai’s works are written from “first person” viewpoint, a style of "I Novels (私小説)", and this one (its plot is just like tracing Dazai’s life) is believed to have been his will because it was published after his death.

Opening
恥の多い生涯を送って来ました。
自分には、人間の生活というものが、見当つかないのです。自分は東北の田舎に生れましたので、汽車をはじめて見たのは、よほど大きくなってからでした。

Mine has been a life of much shame.
I can’t even guess myself what it must be to live the life of human being. I was born in a village in the Northeast, and it wasn’t until I was quite big that I saw my first train.

1958 Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
Translated by Donald Keene
New Directions Publishing Corporation: New York


The masterpiece gave Kinakinw, as a high school girl, a soul-shaking experience. “I” in the novel reminded me of me, and I thought as if “I” were my own. I reread it in my early 20’s and had the same experience. I think my youth was quite sound.

Meiji Ryokan has a genuine gensen kakenagashi (源泉掛け流し) bathtub into which pure hot spring water is poured directly.
In that bathtub, I was deeply impressed by the thought of that Dazai enjoyed the same water.

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Posted by Kinakinw | 20:49 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

09 2011

Corporate Efforts to Develop Products

The other day in a TV show, this frozen “miso-nikomi-udon (味噌煮込みうどん)” received high praise from people who consider themselves gourmets. It’s one of products of a food company, Kinrei Corporation (株式会社キンレイ) that makes noodle for business and domestic use, and also runs restaurant chains. The company has released 28 kinds of frosted noodle for domestic use, and we can easily find them in the frozen food section of convenience stores and supermarkets.

Misonikomi-udon1
Miso-nikomi-udon is udon noodles (a type of thick wheat-flour noodle) simmered in miso-based soup and is usually served in an earthware pot. It's a local speciality in Nagoya area in Japan.

I've had some of the company’s products before (they were OK), but hadn’t miso-nikomi-udon yet.
You know, never believe what you hear from TV naively. Especially in gourmet reports, there are some complications: forced comments along with scenarios, thoughtfulness for restaurants and a reporter’s sense of taste.

So, I tried it.

It’s prepared frozen food, and we defrost it using the stove or electric cooker, not microwave.

Misonikomi-udon2
First, heat it over low heat for 2 – 3 minutes, and then turn the heat to medium.

Misonikomi-udon3
Simmer it until it’s boiling. Done! (Be careful not to scorch.)

How was the taste?
It tasted quite good.
I particularly liked its miso-based soup. It was tasty hacho-miso (八丁味, red soy bean paste made in Okazaki, Nagoya) soup. Udon and topping were OK.

Obviously, it have no chance against an established restaurant in Nagoya or a prestige restaurant in Tokyo, but even if I’m served it at a noodle shop at the corner of a street, I would feel its soup delicious.

If a skilled cook prepares a meal for a customer in his or her kitchen using good cooking ingredients, it’s not surprising the meal is delicious.

Considering it’s a mass-produced frozen meal and costs less than 400yen ($ 4 .5), I’d say Kinrei’s miso-nikomi-udon is worthy of praise. I think it needed corporate efforts to develop the product under constraints.

It’s a just a frozen meal in a refrigeration case, but it tells an important thing for us. This kind of efforts have (had?) been associated with Japan's international competitiveness.

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Posted by Kinakinw | 00:29 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Cultural Issue (Japan)

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