Sunday, July 15, 2007

No Country for Old Card Board

Well, ladies and gelmen, the good lord has seen fit to pick up a large portion of the Pacific Ocean and dump it right down on the good citizens of Japan in the form of a Typhoon. Typhoons like rolling through the Japanese archipelago a couple times a year, but if you're in the area of Tokyo it ain't suh bad. Okinawa? Well, Okinawans don't so much weather the storm so much as they get buckwheated by it, so every time a typhoon rolls up on us, I expect it to be a lot worse than it really is, and my wife tells me to cowboy up and return the goddamn DVDs, I ain't gonna get swept up to Oz.

Speaking of Okinawa, now that the typhoon is all cried out, it looks like I'm a go to leave tomorrow. I was a little worried that the trip might get cancelled, but everything's OK.

Anyway, this post is about some things that have been constantly on TV lately and that really tie into some things that the Japanese are really into, namely:

  • Food
  • Overdoing things
  • Ridiculing the Chinese

    Food is really important in Japan. Like really important. Not having access to Japanese food is no-go criteria for most Japanese people, and most cannot really imagine being without it. As with many other cultures, it's a major part of their identity and what makes them unique from other tribes. As a result, you can guarantee a food show being on TV at pretty much any time of day. Shows include cooking shows, shows where people go to different restaurants, and recently, competitive eating shows. They like this girl called "Gyaru Sone", "gyaru" meaning "girl" meaning "girl with bleach blond hair and too much makeup, like the ones in Shibuya," and "Sone" pronounced "Soh-Neh", which is her last name. At 5'4 and 95 lbs, she can eat an insane amount of food. Here's what she looks like, on the right:



    She's been getting a lot of airtime these days, but it's pretty obvious she's half-retarded, which according to my wife will lead to her downfall. "She's cute, sure, but the only thing she can do is eat. She'll be gone soon."

    I gotta say though, her eating accomplishments are pretty ridonkulous, and they've done some pretty funny stuff with it, like last night when they dressed her up in an old lady suit and had her compete with a bunch of fat foreigners, and of course she destroyed them all. She wasn't even playing for real and she ate 30 plates. That's insane. That's 60 pieces of sushi. The most I've eaten is 18 plates (32 pieces), and people looked at me like I was a complete glutton. That's not the best part tho -- she said she once ate 183 pieces of sushi in 30 minutes. On another show she ate 40,000 calories of Chinese food.

    In any case, she seems to be bringing back the lost art of competitive eating in Japan, which to me exemplifies two things that the Japanese are all about: Food and Overdoing something to the point of it being self-destructive. I mean really, what are the Japanese people famous for? Sushi and working themselves to death, Tempura and Kamikaze charges, Donburi and standing under cold waterfalls doing karate stuff. Competitive eating is the ultimate expression of what it is to be Japanese -- enjoying something you love to the point of it completely sucking and ultimately leading to your painful death.

    When the Japanese aren't eating or expressing themselves through Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, they enjoy relaxing in natural springs, climbing Mount Fuji, and ridiculing the Chinese. And who wouldn't? The Chinese love being offensive, and nothing could be more offensive than feeding people card board. For some reason this CCTV investigation has Japan up in arms, or at least the Japanese media up in arms cuz it's been on TV all week, about some Chinese dude who made steamed buns containing cut up cardboard. Like a lot -- a 6:4 ratio of carboard to pork. Here's a video showing how he did it:



    The part with the guy standing there with his shirt off has been on TV a lot here, especially a part where he says "Most people can't even tell", and when asked whether he tried eating it, he said hellz no. I believe the reason they keep showing this is to take attention away from this story, where a Japanese company was pawning pork off as beef. I can't even imagine what would happen if this had happened in the USA, what with all the people who don't dig on swine, but Japan isn't really burdened with "racial diversity", and even if there were outcry stemming from religious taboos, it would fall upon deaf ears.

    So yeah, that's the size of it. If you go to China and you get some steamed buns, check the content because if might be 60% cardboard and 40% rotten pork, and if you come to Japan and you don't dig on swine, make sure you don't dig on beef either, because there's no telling what could be in it. In the meantime I'd like you to check out this book -- it's good, and they're making a movie out of it. I think they might just be able to pull it off.

    Also, congrats to Fadi for adding an ARTO to his team. Nice.

    And I know I used buckwheat in a post a long time ago, but I couldn't resist.

    Later-
  • 5 Comments:

    Blogger Hammer said...

    The buckwheat reference caught me off-guard and caused liquid to nearly shoot through my nose. Nicely done.

    I wasn't aware that Japanese people were so disdainful of non-Japanese food. Is this part of the reason behind Japanese people traveling in huge tour groups - to ensure that even when on vacation overseas, they get Japanese food?

    7:11 AM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    damn! the first time I said it you said you actually did blow liquid through your nose. i guess the effects are wearing off. that was actually meant specifically for you, because if I remember correctly you were the only one who got it last time too. :(

    i wouldnt say that japanese ppl are disdainful of non-japanese food, but they really seem to need japanese cuisine regularly to function. at least the ones I've met. in tokyo especially there's any type of food you want and it's people like eating food from different countries, but i think the idea of being cut off from japanese food for a long time would upset most folks here.

    8:47 AM  
    Blogger Hammer said...

    Don't sell yourself short. I wasn't fully awake and alert when I read it. It's entirely possible that full spewage would have occurred if I had read it at a different time of day.

    "Adventurepan, home of the sleeper cell approach to obscure & amusing cultural references."

    10:38 AM  
    Blogger cyberninja said...

    Evidentally this earthquake of yours has caused some local post-quake concerns.

    If Godzilla arises, be sure to blog it with pictures from your cell phone. That goes double if Matthew Broderick shows up.

    8:03 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My jealousy knows no bounds sir. I remember hating Hansen almost as much as Gitmo, but man those were some great drinking binges.
    Please say hi to Erika and Ed-gaa-ru if he's still around.


    -Joe

    11:59 AM  

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