I spent the morning at the library again, finishing the Scarlet Gang of Asakusa. The latter half described more of the decline of the entertainment industry in Asukusa during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Later, my host mum told me that it could be because the introduction of mass culture, which was cheaper and more easily accessible than theater and other forms of entertainment offered in Asakusa.
I went to Mos Burger for lunch, where I tried their Ebi Rice burger. The burger had rice instead of bread buns. It was strange. A little bit too plain for my taste. But I noticed a lot of unconventional items on the menu, like the lettuce burger, for example. I was later surfing the internet and found this interesting article about unique fast foods of Japan. Bored of eating convenience store food, I shall now resort to this list.
|Mos Ebi burger-a burger of rice buns originating in Japan|
After class, I felt ready to take a nap. So instead of heading to yet another unexplored place, I headed to the most familiar-home. For dinner, Kaori san made Mentaiko pasta, a kind of fusion food. The cream of the pasta has spicy cod roe in it and is topped with sea weed and aujiso. Its apparently a popular dish in Japanese households. I can see why, it tasted amazing, even to someone who doesn’t usually enjoy fusion food.
|Mentaiko pasta, featuring spicy cod roe, sea weed and aujiso|
Kaori san educated me about the history of Japan over dinner, filling the gaps in my broken knowledge from class. I learnt that Japan has had an emperor for the past 2000 years from the same royal family. And that the Meiji restoration involved the Shogun (the military head of the preceding Edo period) voluntarily handing over power back to the emperor ans the old system without bloodshed or war. We also talked about geishas. Kaori san told me that becoming a geisha in Japan is one of the ways to enter more prosperous ranks of society, because geishas can marry into higher ranks than the ones they were born to. I was surprised to learn that it isn’t easy to watch geishas perform. They perform in very specific places and to enter those places, you need to be invited. It is also quite expensive.
I read online that Japanese culture is fairly liberal when it comes to having multiple sexual partners at the same time. Utagaki, which is an event after traditional festivals, involves men and women writing poems for each other. And if they’re attracted to each other, they can go hook up. Some end up married.
Japanese culture never fails to surprise me. With every new bit of information, I am reminded of how much more there is to it.