I laughed many times seeing curries sold in Japan as “European curry.” What a ridiculous idea, like a Swedish taco. I later learned that this term refers to the original curry in Japan, imported by way of Britain during the Meiji period. You can find it in many nostalgic 1970s style “western” restaurants that are distinctly Japanese, and it’s also evolved into many supermarket take-home mixes and fast food joints. The Muji label makes this comfort food seem somehow modern and new. This one scores just 3 out of 5 chiles, and is beef based.
Today is Tanabata, a Chinese-derived holiday about celestial lovers. It’s also the opportunity to write your wishes on special trees. The tree where I left my wish is our local supermarket. Mine says, “I hope I pass the Japanese language test” (日本語のしけんにごうかくしますように).
Repulsed by monotheism, I’ve recently discovered how much I enjoy Shintoism and any type of Japanese superstitions. If there’s a stack of cards close at hand where you can write a wish, well, why not do it? For last week’s JLPT exam, I not only left this note in my supermarket, but I also left some coins and a quick prayer at our local Shinto shrine.
I love this child’s wish below. When he’s big, he wants to be a hairdresser. What would you wish for? And where would you leave your wish?