It’s funny how different smells and tastes can bring out different memories. One of the most pleasant related to summer in Japan are those spiral mosquito coils (in Japanese, katori senko or “mosquito-killing incense”), and when I smell it for the first time in early summer, it really brings back the memories. With winter approaching, we’ll soon be heating our rooms with “fan heaters” (electrically controlled space heaters that use kerosene to heat rooms), and that first whiff of kerosene fumes transports me back to my first winter in Japan. The first gum I chewed while in japan was No Time, which brushes your teeth for you when you have no time to brush, and every since then I can’t chew this gum without becoming extremely natsukashii (nostalgic) about my early days in Japan. Whenever I go to the U.S. I bring back American staples like Cream of Wheat, Jello kidding and salsa for my family, and once I brought back some Mr. Bubble bubble bath for the kids. My son took a whiff from the bottle and reported to me, “This smells like America.”
Mr. Bubble smells like America, but hts picture smells like Japan.