This post is featuring the making of ‘sushi’ sweets with the ‘Fun Sushi Shop’ (楽しいお寿司屋さん・たのしいおすしやさん) DIY kit in the Popin’ Cookin’ Chef Series, produced by the Japanese food and pharmaceutical multi concern Kracie (クラシエ) and available, for instance on amazon.co.jp in lots of 5 or 10.
As we go towards the end of the year 🎅🎄, you might wanna try something new with your youngsters or for yourself, besides the traditional cookie making. There is a variety of 10+ such cute DIY kits 🍬🍭 you may choose from, differing in style and flavor (a list on the bottom of this article). In Japan they are categorized as Education Sweets (知育菓子・ちいくかし) for kids (3 – 12 years) to sensitize them from an early age on for the respectful handling of foods and to nurture their imagination by hands on experience. However, they are not only kids’ stuff, as nowadays they enjoy huge popularity at home and abroad with people of all ages. For a start, I tried myself on the ‘Fun Sushi Shop’ kit 🍣, which totally lived up to its name, making for a joyous pastime at this time of season. Let’s see how I did and get down to cookin’!
No, no it was not all that bad, the passing year, however as we are going towards the end of it, I would like to talk about the custom of year-end parties in Japan, which are the so called BOUNENKAI (忘年会・ぼうねんかい). It is yet another and last occasion of the year for the festive people of Japan to throw their parties. The country has a vibrant festival culture, but unlike many seasonal events, bounenkai has no religious connotation or specific event protocol what so ever. Nonetheless, it can be said that it still carries a not unimportant social relevance and therefore is not to be missed out.
Whenever I think I make a quick post about a topic, somehow I always end up with a full-fledged study in some way…well I shouldn’t mind, I guess, because it brings back some many cherished memories (i.e. the CAMPHOR TREE・楠). This post about the dried persimmons, sets me right back into Japan during this month of year.
October days are most pleasant with skies clear, the air refreshingly cool, leaves fiery red or bright yellow. Ideal for hikes in the countryside or leisurely walks in quite neighborhoods of the cities and towns. The autumn season has much to offer for the eye, but also comes up with many delectable amenities, of which the dried persimmon is one of them. With producing techniques nowadays in place, the nutritious treat could technically be made available all year round. However, only during the autumn months one will notice the fruits on strings hanging from below the eaves of resident housings and in front of windows on balconies of apartment buildings. So this practice of drying persimmon outdoors in the sunlight is distinctly associated to this time of year, therefore considered an aspect of FUUBUTSUSHI(風物詩・ふうぶつし; things reminiscent to seasons), in other words the emotional awareness by Japanese people for certain seasonal characteristics, apart from such things as natural phenomenons, living things or sense of taste. Continue reading →
Happy to announce that a new side page has been added to MyLittle Dejima with FUN WITH COMIC ESSAYS, which contains a few recommendations on books of the COMIC ESSAY/MANGA ESSAY genre. They are all Japanese only and I would classify them intermediate level. For people interested in Japan and students of Japanese language the books are definitely worth to check out. The stories are fun and light to read. Most of them have ruby characters (Furigana) over the texts to support the reading flow of difficult kanji compositions. When time allows, I will aim to add the detailed reviews of each book in a separate blog article. It is an ambitious goal and will take a great deal of time, but I shall give my best. Even though it requires quite an effort for me, I indulge in reading Japanese stuff of all kind of sources, be it books, online articles or short stories and I hope that readers will find the information I make available via the page helpful. Happy reading!
卸し (おろし; Oroshi) comes in many types, the most common one is however the 大根卸し (だいこんおろし; daikonoroshi), which is the beloved radish that often finds its way into Japanese style dishes. Other forms of grated vegetable used as condiment (薬味;やくみ) or garnish (付け合せ;つけあわせ) are for instance carrot, ginger or potato. Radish Oroshi does not only serve as a decorative addition, but with its distinct spiciness, it also has the property of neutralizing smells (i.e. from fish). What is more, containing various enzymes, radish oroshi is also said to facilitate digestion. Thus, often accompanies fried foods, like Tempura, or meat dishes (i.e. 唐揚げ; Karaage chicken) for the purpose. Hailing from the various health benefits of radish oroshi, we can hence find the saying 「大根おろしに医者いらず; だいこんおろしにいしゃいらず」. This expression is similar in meaning to ‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ in English, lit. you won’t need a doctor as long as you eat it.
Today, receiving a purchased second-hand book with a rather unusual feature on the outer wrapping (see pic). Japan is really a book country, new items are adored, but also used books are treated with great care and respect. It something that impresses over and over again.