[The American Years]

Monday, March 19, 2007

Chicken Cartilage, revisited.

I've had overwhelming response (two comments) to the chicken cartilage bit. Photo forthcoming of how it's cooked up.


Lunchhour is sacred in Japan. At least in my company, but it seems like in many others as well. No phones ring, the lights in the office are turned off. People are either playing computer mah jong, solitaire, or sleeping. Mostly sleeping. With all the people with their heads on desks or sprawled across three chairs it looks like someone released some nerve gas in here.

It's odd that in an office where most people stay well into the night hours (it's full here at 7pm, and the last person leaves usually after 11pm), nobody works through their lunches. It's very rare that they will talk business. It only for eating and sleeping until the bell rings.

It’s getting to be Sakura (cherry blossom) season over here. It hasn’t hit yet in this middle part of the country I live in. The weather forecasts on TV have maps showing the projected bloom dates, region by region. The below shows 3/26 as the bloom date for this area. Local businesses and planning people organize festivals, etc., based on the bloom date.

A reclusive and exotic animal makes a rare outdoor appearance during sakura season. It is the drunken and silly Japanese person. Get a picnic together, get some sake, then get silly under flowery trees!

A linguistic note about sake. It’s pronounced Sa-keh, not sa-kee. And it’s not pronounced Sa-keh either. If you are going to use the word sake, which I think usually means spirits, in general, you use the honorary ‘O’ in front of it. O–sa-keh. Or to be even more correct, you call it Nihon-Shu. That's what most Japanese people call it. i believe literally means Japanese Spirits. 日本酒。

It makes for a silly translation when Japanese people talk about Nihon-shu. They translate it back into English as “Japanese Sake”. They ask “Do you like Japanese Sake?” To which I respond, “It’s one of my favorite kinds of Sake.”

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