San Diego has a vibrant Asian community, and driving down the Convoy Street will introduce you to a wealth of restaurants serving Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and other types of cuisine. Yesterday some friends invited me out to a place called Yakyudori for good ramen and Sapporo beer, and everything was delicious. While we were eating, I realized everyone in our group seemed to know all the Japanese words related to the food we were enjoying, from shoyu (soy sauce) ramen to katsu (fried pork cutlet) to edamame beans. It then occurred to me that food is a natural area that bridges Japanese and Western culture, providing an easy toehold for people to mingle language and ideas back and forth. There are many other “natural cultural bridges” that make it easy to share information between East and West, such as kaiju monster movies, martial arts, anything awesome related to samurai and ninja, and of course the ecchi stuff. Are there any other natural bridges between Japan and the rest of the world you can think of?
Food is an natural cultural bridge between East and West.