Friday, December 15, 2006

Death by Fugu?

Lesser known vocabulary...

hejira
Any flight or journey to a more desirable or congenial place.
(e.g. my hejiras across Japan)


Recent news - I don't really believe this to be true, but Japan Times published an article about a growing trend: Japanese people favoring studying languages besides English. Read it here. English will always be the language of international business, and Mandarin is on the rise.

For such a culture that prices itself on acceptance and humility, I found this to be a little disturbing. Maybe it's racist, maybe not. In the work environment, I'm often told my style can be insensitive and harsh by Japanese standards. Apparently it's not a huge cultural difference if Japanese TV considers this a hit.

I knew it.


This weekend I will be exploring the small coastal town of Shimonoseki as my final trip in the 18th year of Heisei. Two reasons. One, just the experience. Two, to try the exquisite Fugu (河豚). Shimonoseki is renowned for its Fugu, the Japanese blowfish. If prepared incorrectly, you could be poisoned. Hence, all chefs have to have a special license to be allowed to prepare Fugu, which require them to eat the fugu they prepare. Only 30% of these cooks pass the necessary test. The rest are either poisoned, or make some small mistake in the preparation.

Technically, and I doubt most people know this, all fugu eaten contains trace amounts of poison. In fact, the poison is what gives it some of the flavor. You just have to be careful with which parts of the fish you'd like to consume. The fugu sashimi, raw fish, which is favored more by the natives, is very expensive. Cooked fugu is also common but considered less tasty.

I'll have a full report on Shimonoseki and fugu... assuming I survive. Wish me well.

Information about fugu


Making one last trip to Miyajima to get a good picture of a deer, the sun, and the famous torii. Should be a good Christmas present. Also searching for a Fugu shaped Christmas ornament by request. This is me telling you... don't hold grudges. My eidetic memory can be a terrible curse at times - I remember everything that's happened to me: every wrong, every injustice, every harsh sentence. I never let things go. But... as corny as it might sound, I want to be a better person. Moving forward, using my humanity. Good night (おやすみなさい).

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