It’s interesting how often one of the most important cultural bridges between two countries is food. There are many “routes” one can take to get closer to Japan: exploring the country’s language or history, delving into anime and popular culture, becoming a fan of Japanese music, or learning martial arts. Another fun route to Japan is the country’s iconic snacks like Pocky, Green Tea Kit Kat, traditional sweets from the Showa Period, or those fun-to-drink Ramune soft drinks with the glass ball inside, first bottled in Kobe in 1872, making it older than Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper. An important cultural bridge linking Germany and Japan is baumkuchen, a rolled cake made by painting cake batter on a roller next to an oven while it rotates, so that the cake cooks in layers like rings of a tree. Then there’s curry, which came to Japan as a Westernized British dish during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), while Japan was embracing modern ideas at a fast pace. Today curry is just about the most popular food in the country, and my family eats it 2-3 times a week, either in its standard “curry rice” form or as the more exotic Indian varieties, which are as popular in Japan as Mexican food is in the U.S. If you want to explore Japan through its food culture, J-List can help.
“If Burger King married Dairy Queen, their child would be Jack in the Box.” This bit of wisdom was uttered by my Japanese son one day when we were visiting the U.S., and it seemed like a very astute thing for a (then) eight-year-old to say. Every parent knows how creative children can be, making up nonsensical new words in ways adults never could, bound as we are by social norms and expectations. The cool thing is, when you learn a foreign language like Japanese, you get to be just as creative as you twist your new language this way and that, exploring the boundaries just like children do. (Back when I was an ESL teacher, one of my students observed, “We cannot go to Antarctica now, because it is under penguin rule.”) The best thing about this “linguistic second childhood” is that it keeps you young. Since I started learning Japanese in college in 1987, linguistically I’m still only 28 years old!
We’re big fans of Sailor Moon at J-List, and work hard to bring you all the best Sailor Moon transforming pens, plus figures, bento and chopsticks and other surprising items. We’ve gotten in an especially big selection of Sailor Moon products today, including the only re-issue of those lovely Peach John sexy lingerie sets that will be made, plus Sailor Moon make up and rare chocolates. Items are selling out already, so order quickly!