Archive | November, 2013

Thanksgiving

29 Nov

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving Day holiday in America.

I like Thanksgiving. And I like my daughters to know about their U.S. heritage.

So, lucky for me, my wife is an excellent cook!

She makes a wonderful, American-style Thanksgiving dinner for us every year!

In honor of the holiday, everyone should watch one of the greatest comedy movies ever … 「 大災難P.T.A. 」(“Planes, Trains and Automobiles”) !

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It’s a man’s crazy adventure to get home to his family for Thanksgiving.

Have you ever watched this movie before?

Starbucks Beer in Tokyo

26 Nov

In Japan, a number of fast-food restaurants, including Burger King, have beer and other alcohol drinks on their menu.

And now, Starbucks Japan, at least at one location so far, have begun selling alcohol too.

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A Starbucks in the trendy 下北沢 (Shimokitazawa) area of Tokyo have added beer and wine to their menu.

Another way that they are trying to separate from the usual Starbucks coffeeshop image is that the staff at that particular store will wear their own street clothes rather than the Starbucks uniform.

Eric Carr RIP

24 Nov

Eric Carr, the former drummer for KISS, died twenty-two years ago today.

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Here’s Eric Carr with KISS at the Budokan in Tokyo in 1988:

iifuufu

22 Nov

In Japan, November 22nd is popularly known as “Nice Couple Day“.

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Says “Nov 22nd. ‘Nice Couple Day'”

This is because 11/22 (November 22nd) can be read “ii-fuu-fu” by using a type of play-on-words that is popular in Japan.
This is a play-on-words because 「いい夫婦」 is also read “ii-fuu-fu” and it means “nice couple” in Japanese.

Many couples have a date or special dinner on this day.

Maybe I’ll take my wife to a restaurant for dinner tonight.♪

1963.11.22.12:30

22 Nov

It’s November 22nd (2013). Former U.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated fifty years ago today.

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JFK, 1917 May 29th – 1963 Nov 22nd, RIP

(His daughter, Caroline Kennedy, has recently become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, by the way. Click here to read my post about that.)

I was born in November 1969. Six years after the JFK assassination. My parents were junior high school students back then…so, of course, they remember that day well.

Since I hadn’t been born yet, I obviously have no memory of that event in history.

The earliest historical event that I can remember is the U.S. bi-centennial in July 1976. I was only six years old, so I didn’t really understand it…but I seem to remember it somewhat.

The earliest historical event that I can remember clearly and that I understood was was the U.S. diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Iran being taken hostage in 1979. There were yellow ribbons tied to trees, car radio antennas, etc all over America.

How about you?
Do you remember the JFK assassination? What are your memories?
What other historical events do you remember?

U.S. Ambassador Kennedy

14 Nov

On November 12th (2013), it was confirmed that the new U.S. Ambassador to Japan is to be Caroline Kennedy.

She is the daughter of the late former U.S. president John F. Kennedy.

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Caroline Kennedy as a small child with her father, John F. (“JFK”) Kennedy.

She and her family will move into the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Tokyo tomorrow…one week before the 50th anniversary of the 1963 November 22nd assassination of her father, JFK.

Caroline Kennedy and her husband are reportedly very fond of Japan…they spent their honeymoon in 1986 in Kyoto, Japan.

Fermented beans and pickled cabbage

14 Nov

A visitor to my blog asked me to do a post about what I eat for dinner since my wife is Japanese and I’ve been living in Japan for most of my life now.

So, I’m writing this post about a unique and healthy dish that I had for dinner yesterday. Rather than explain the side-dishes that I had, as well…I’m just going to focus on the one dish.

This particular Japanese dish is extremely unpopular with most foreigners in Japan.
It’s called 「納豆」 (nattou) and is fermented soybeans.
Nattou is very sticky and stringy and has a very unpleasant odor…but it’s healthy and it actually tastes good.

I’ll admit that the first time that I tried natto I was repulsed by it’s appearance and smell…and I didn’t like it’s taste either. But I gave it a second chance because I noticed that my kids liked it even when they were young—“if kids can eat it, then so can I”, I thought.
So…even if you’ve tried natto before and didn’t like it—give it another shot. Especially the way I had it yesterday.

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Japanese natto and Korean kimuchi over rice…better than it looks!

My favorite way to eat 納豆 (natto) is over rice with キムチ (Korean kimuchi) on top.
Kimuchi is a staple of the Korean diet…spicy pickled cabbage. And it goes great with natto and rice!

It’s a delicious and healthy dish!

Give it a try!

Tokyo-jidai Matsuri

6 Nov

Last Sunday (November 3rd) was the Japanese holiday 「文化の日」 (Culture Day).

On this day, the Emperor of Japan presents awards to people who have contributed to Japanese culture.  And there are also many “culture related” festivals on this day, such as 「流鏑馬」 (Horseback Archery) shows and 「時代祭り」 (Era Festivals).

The 「東京時代祭り」 (Tokyo-era Festival) is in 浅草 (Asakusa, Tokyo) every year on November 3rd from about 1:00-4:00PM.

「東京時代祭り」 (Tokyo-era Festival)

We didn’t go to a festival on Culture Day this year because we’ve gone to them a few times before.

Click here to read my post that I wrote after I went to this festival five years ago. It has photos and videos.

Old beer posters

5 Nov

Here are a couple of retro Kirin Beer posters that I saw yesterday at an 居酒屋 (Japanese izakaya restaurant).

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「大正15年」 (1926) キリンビール (Kirin Beer) poster.

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「昭和10年」 (1935) キリンビール (Kirin Beer) poster.

Compare those with a more modern Japanese beer poster: