SCENE IN TOKYO: Squid Snacks in Shinjuku!
SCENE IN TOKYO
...wherein we sink teeth into a flaming cliché and fiddle around with homonyms and wordplay transitive to retelling our daily living, working, and existing as mostly sentient bipedal mammals, hive-minding about the big, big city...with video makers in our pockets!
Squid Snacks (MUJIRUSHI; SHINJUKU, TOKYO)
Okay, first let’s just go ahead and state the obvious: Japanese food is pretty great; it skips a lot of the extra sweeteners, goes light on the preservatives, and is generally served in reasonable portions. Washoku, traditional Japanese food, has even been recognized by the UN as a World Heritage Cuisine. Good. Good. Good.
New arrivals - unless they’re really driving hard to get all chubbeh - will often find that the standard Japanese diet and eating traditions/cycles/rituals can even precipitate a passive weight loss (particularly amongst those from the Western world). Again, good, good, good. In a nutshell:
- Wholistically, the Japanese diet is extremely healthy.
- Japanese food is diverse, generally fresh, and varies by season (which is awesome).
However, beyond novelty and stunt-eating for fun, one quickly realizes that it's definitely not ALL good, and for this, just one bullet point:
- The Japanese have an aggressively intimate, very often disconcerting culinary relationship with fish and other seafood.
Think that’s unfair or inaccurate? Well, travel to Japan and count how many times your chicken is served with beaks and feathers, or beef is served with a hoof garnish, or pork with some snout, floppy ears, and a squiggly tail - then contrast that 0 number of times with how often fish and other seafood are served with heads, tails, fins and guts like it ain’t no thing.
Food-Based Character Judgement
Now, if one disagrees or takes issue with that last sentiment, one:
A. is possibly from another coastal region or island nation with similar dietary habits;
B. has not been in Japan long enough;
C. has been in Japan too long, or;
D. possibly in concert with C, has become one of those, well...why say “overly enthusiastic” when the phrase is really “borderline creepy” people who go a little too far with the cultural immersion, often doing their utmost to out-Japan the Japanese.*
*If you live in Japan and don’t yet understand this phenomenon, you might be an A (no judgement levied), or you are a B (minimal judgement), or you are almost assuredly a C/D hybrid (much higher dose of judgement going your way).
To be clear, this isn’t a statement about the kookier foods that also creep out a lot of Japanese people (fish sperm soup, fermented things that really shouldn’t be fermented, wasp-marinated liquor, raw barnacle gonads, tuna eyeballs, etc.). Most extremes are universally extreme.
No, this judgement is about those who don’t find something at least a little bit peculiar, humorous, or gross about, for example, the impressive and creative variety of squid delivery vectors offered by the popular “No Branding is Our Brand” retail chain Muji. Here, count along at home:
And hey, this doesn't mean you're not to be loved, Japan - all countries have their weirdnesses. In America, for example, a whole lot of the people don't even know that you're not China!