Monthly Archives: July 2009

Two meals: Japanese and “Western-style”

Sama fish at Hinaya

Youshoku hamburger in Ginza

I don’t often post photos of food, but I liked the presentation of both these meals. And they are oddly different and alike. Above is sanma (さんま), a fish dish at Hinaya, our favorite izakaya in Nakano. Served whole, the fish was delicious with a simple lime and radish garnish. The fish is translated into English as “saury.”

At the bottom is a hamburger lunch at a Ginza restaurant that specializes in “Western-style” food, or youshoku (洋食). Youshoku are dishes that any post-war Japanese instantly associates with foreigners, yet they are so thoroughly Japan-icized so that they become simultaneously familiar and exotic to us foreigners.

Note that the hamburger is served without a bun, one perfect watercress garnishes the baked potato, the mustard has its own ceramic holder, and the whole meal is served on a cast iron pan. But the best part is the soy sauce in the white dish, which is meant to be combined with the grated radish and green onion as a dipping sauce.

I was also reminded of the difference between regular “rice”– called gohan (ご飯)– and “ra-i-su” (ライス).  The same substance but the former is in a bowl, while the latter is flattened out on a plate, and considered more Western-style.

Provocation and Dignity

Dignity and Provocation in Shinjuku

Ah, commercial English in Tokyo. This Shinjuku “dining and bar lounge” named “in aqua” offers provocation and dignity. Does this mean that it is dirty and still high class? Or maybe the nouns were chosen at random.

William Shatner reads Sarah Palin’s farewell address

Orange summer outfit on Tokyo train

Orange summer outfit on Private line

Mid-summer in Tokyo is a wall of heat and humidity. A long day of work was suddenly perked up by the site of this hyper-coordinated youth. Showing that style does not have to be expensive or formal, this fashion super-hero matches his cap, t-shirt, shorts and Crocs in shades of orange and yellow. I <3 Tokyo! おしゃれ!

Folded and Hung

Folded and hung

Courtesy of my online friend Adrik, here is an image from “Folded and Hung,” the Phillipine’s “most dynamic and promising fashion forward Filipino apparel retail corporations.

A Man and His Pig

Maezono masakiyo and his pig

To make up for the “body pillow love” story and disturbing graphics, I am continuing my hot Japanese men series. What can be hotter than a man and his pet pig? Maezono masakiyo (前園真聖) is a famous (former) soccer player.

Ikemen Alert: Teikyo University Rugby Players

Ikemen Alert: Teikyo University Rugby Players

It’s summer, hot, humid and sultry, but I am already dreaming of going back to university. Based on this brilliant Tokyo Metro ad campaign, I choose Teikyo University.

With all the summer male eye candy, I apologize for the previous post and my recent failure to show more alluring Tokyo men’s images. I’ll try to make it up to you dear readers in the next days.

The husband accused me of being more sympathetic to “air-heads” than otakus. And he also tried to tell me that Teikyo Uni is more famous for sports than academics. Unhh, so what? These guys are ikemen, and I am *not* imagining their brains.

Am I too old to try out for cheer leader squad? And which one should be team captain, and why?





2D Love

“When I die, I want to be buried with her in my arms.” So says Nisan about his love Nemutan: a photo print of a X-rated video game character decorating a large pillow. They go on normal dates, including car-camping, karaoke, restaurant dinners, and photo booths.

It’s a little creepy that Nemutan is about 10 or 12, and that her otaku human lover is 37 and has adopted the name “nisan,” which Nemutan calls her older brother.

The New York Times Sunday Magazine author Lisa Katayama, blogger at Tokyo Mango, cites three potential explanations for this extreme  moe behavior: the high number of Japanese virgins (25% of men and women between the ages of 30 and 34; a movement led by Honda Toru against “romantic capitalism” whereby love is seen to have been commercialized that looks and money have replaced pure feeling; and one Japanese behavioral economist who compares 2D love to “becoming a Buddha.”

2D Love

The article fails to explore what ladies who have given up on 3D love are doing for their fantasy and fulfillment. Maybe they are busy reading Boys Love, and fantasizing about female-created man-on-man love. Ahhh, Japan. Ever so frustrated, imaginative and perverse ;-)

Up your alley: Dore Alley fair this weekend

Dore Alley fare

My favorite religious holiday, Dore Alley, is this Sunday in San Francisco. If you are able to participate this year, please let me know how the festivities are. There’s also a nice poster for the Bay of Pigs party the night before.

Bay of Pigs

Japanese cute or unnerving?

Doggie anti-mosquito incense holders

Nothing says summer quite like blushing doggie anti-mosquito incense holders. Japanese have a knack for finding the line between cute and unnerving.