2012 MAY vol. 12
QR Quality Review
Cross Plasma Ion Generator blua Sakura-mochi and Mame-daifuku 匠
A Tour of the Hotei Yakitori Canning Factory
The Flavor of Showa Era Yakitori A Long-Selling Old Favorite NEW
The Shirano Theater
Delicious Canned Foods
C O N T E N T S May 2012 (published on April 10, 2012)
This Month’s New Opening
05 Can's Bar 07
The Shirano Theater
09 Hiroshi Sawada’s
Theory of Cafe Evolution
Delicious Canned Foods
Photography/ Hiroyuki Kiseki
Spotting hot trends in Tokyo
STREET SNAP 32
Spring at Last
Light and Bright 36 22
A Tour of the Hotei Yakitori Canning Factory
The Flavor of Showa Era Yakitori A Long-Selling Old Favorite
Touring the Festivals of Japan
Jindaiji's Daruma Fair (March 3, 4) in Memory of Gansan Daishi NEW
42 HotPicks What's New
● Hotei Foods Corporation Limited
Cross Plasma Ion Generator blua
In Praise of Fine Sake
HokaJ Junmai Genshu Nama-Ippon
Sakura-mochi and Mame-daifuku
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
［Fashion Critic］ ［Executive Producer, Ecole De Cuisine Egami］ ［Joint Representative Director Ramsar Network Japan］ ［Economist, Professor at the University of Tokyo］
［High-Tech Industry Innovation Agency］
High-Tech Industry Innovation Agency
Digital Lights Inc.
JQR editorial department
2-1-14 Sarugakucho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-0064 03-3518-2270 JQR advertising department
2-1-14 Sarugakucho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-0064 03-3518-4488
eng.jqrmag.com 2012 May
This Month’s New Opening
Can's Bar Photography/Satoru Naito Text/JQR
Delicious ajillo mushrooms as they are in the can (￥400) and the popular tuna gyoza (￥400).
Check out the drink and appetizer menu on the bar's web site. Can’s Bar plans to keep expanding their original menu.
CANS 原宿外苑 中学校西
Akihabara Ekimae Plaza Bldg Electric Town Exit
Akihabara Station Central Exit
Atre Akihabara 2
Can’ s Bar
3 minutes’ walk from JR Akihabara Station Central Exit. Look under the train tracks for the bar's neon sign and silver doorway.
Enjoy a drink with a canned-food appetizer
Gap フラッグ ショップ原宿 フォーエバー 21
The cans lined up along the wall are colorful. The most popular choices are the Can-tsuma series and the Thickcut Bacon.
Can’s Bar, which is located under the train tracks near Akihabara Station’s Central Exit in Tokyo, opened earlier this year on January 23. As the name implies, this café and bar offers a variety of dishes made with canned food that you can enjoy with
This is the menu. You can simply open a can and eat its contents, or you can order something off the original menu Nagashima created through trial and error in his own kitchen. He has concocted and evaluated around 50 or 60 dishes so far. Choose a drink that matches the appetizers from a wide range of wine, beer and local sake varieties. Nagashima acquired sommelier and sake taster qualifications in preparation for opening
a drink. The owner, Tomoyuki Nagashima, who had no prior experience in the restaurant business, decided to use canned food to create a unique menu. Upon entering Can's Bar you are faced with a wall lined with about 40 varieties of canned food that make perfect appetizers, such as yakitori grilled chicken and bacon.
his bar. He selects the drink that best matches the canned food you ordered. To bring out the best flavor, Nagashima serves the wine in luxurious Riedel glasses, and uses tin cups for the sake. An original selection of dishes made with canned food served with specially selected drinks. This is the only bar that offers such an eclectic combination.
Can’s Bar 1-19 Kanda Hanaoka-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Under the Sobu Line tracks at JR Akihabara Station Tel: 03-3251-8722 Weekdays: 11:00–23:00 (last orders 22:30) Weekends & Public Holidays: 11:00–21:00 (last orders 20:30)
The Shirano Theater
志 ら 乃 劇 場 志ら乃、ってい
About the Shirano “act”...
う ヤ ツ は …… 。
ultimately answers nothing. Would it simply be
problem is, it would be fair to say that the rakugo
safest to pretend I didn't hear?
group to which I belong, the Shiraku “stable” of
I'll begin the search for an answer by introducing
Tatekawa-school storytellers, bears little
myself. I am Shirano Tatekawa, a rakugo
resemblence to the conventional rakugoka image. If
storyteller of the Tatekawa school. In March
my life consisted of making my way to my teacher's
1998 I joined the Tatekawa Shiraku rakugo
home every day, cleaning the house, eating
stable as an apprentice. I am a second-
breakfast together, proceeding to the yose (music
generation apprentice of the late Danshi
hall) to perform, then going out at night drinking
Tatekawa who died last year, ie an apprentice of
with patrons, then I could have written the piece
an apprentice. My status is currently that of a
requested, but my day is nothing like that. I don't
second-tier performer (futatsume). I've now been
even perform at yose, which many would describe
performing for fifteen years. So this is me, but
as the very lifeblood of the rakugoka. We do give
does it actually reveal much about who I am as a
original Tatekawa-style performances, but
person? No doubt it just prompts more questions.
fundamentally, never work in the usual venues such
What do I mean by “second”? Oh and is it
as the Shinjuku Suehirotei or the Suzumoto in
“Tatekawa” or “Tachikawa”? They're written
Ueno. If I asked you to look on the net or such to
using the same characters. Even though I've
find out exactly what constitutes a so-called “yose”,
been doing it fifteen years, how come no one's
and why we stopped appearing at yose, you'd draw
heard of me? Is there something wrong with me?
a blank. So it doesn't bother me if you perceive us
Those who know a little about rakugo will wonder
as a stable spurned as heretics by the rakugo
why I'm going on like this, but I do still get people
community. But we heretics have used rakugo
calling me “Tachikawa-san”, or asking “Do you
successfully to engage with the public of today,
become a third after a second?” Then I actually
and I believe we have to pass down those genes
had someone who mistook futatsume for nimaime
and continue the fight: because this is what the
(meaning a handsome man) and said with a
head of the Tatekawa school Danshi Tatekawa,
smirk, “So you actually refer to yourself as good-
who passed away last year, dedicated his life to
looking?” I take heart from the fact that countless
“Hagiwara-sans” for example have been
All of which may seem a little confrontational
mistakenly called “Ogiwara-san” by countless
straight off. And no doubt some of you are thinking,
people throughout their whole lives.
“What exactly is rakugo anyway?” Oh to be able to
The name is Tatekawa, Shirano Tatekawa. My
explain it simply. It's a question I've never been
mission will be to wrack this poor excuse for a
asked directly before, nor have I seriously
brain to describe the world as seen through the
considered the answer, so now I'm rather stuck, to
eyes of the rakugoka Shirano Tatekawa, and
be honest. Should I be tiresome and try asking in
explain what Tatekawa-school rakugo is all
return, “Conversely, what do you think it is?” Or
has the appearance of a serious response, but
in the life of a rakugoka (comic storyteller)”. The
川 志 ら
My brief for this column was to write about “a day
reply enigmatically, “It is life itself”? Which at first Shirano Tatekawa
Second-generation apprentice of Danshi Tatekawa. Joined the Tatekawa Shiraku rakugo stable in 1998, advancing to futatsume status in July 2003. This spring determined to win promotion to star performer! Don't miss his Shirano Daisakusen solo shows held regularly every month. Also a subculture aficionado with a regular radio program that allows him to expound exhaustively on this subject.
da e. Hi ros hi Sa wa Osaka Prefectur e artist. Born in turer before Barista and latt a food manufac for d rke wo Sawada ere he was attle, U.S.A., wh at studying in Se urned to his job latte art. He ret , but enchanted by back in Japan ce on er tur fac in the food manu rsue a career ependent to pu soon went ind 08 Free Pour named the 20 ing be er his Aft ed e. coffe wada open Champion, Sa Latte Art World ER COFFEE AM RE ST p, own coffee sho 2010. COMPANY, in
Theory of Cafe Evolution Vol.7 Self-Service Cafés with Sushi Shop-Quality Service Cafés come in two styles: full
cafés works the same way.
service and self-service. Full service
For me, the thrill of running a café
involves taking the customers’ orders
comes from taking on the challenge
and serving them their drinks at their
of trying innovative ideas. Consider
table. Self-service involves the
also the fact that I create latte art
customers paying for their order at
free hand. Japan has never had
the counter and taking their drinks to
specialized shops like this before,
their table themselves.
and many shops simply serve
The price of a cup of coffee at an
cappuccinos with designs drawn
establishment depends on whether
with a toothpick in the freshly poured
the proprietor wants to run a self-
froth. If we did the same, our coffees
service or full-service café. As you
would not meet our customers'
can imagine, buying coffee at a
full-service café is generally more
I take joy every day in creating a
expensive than at a self-service
café that offers new perspectives
café. But who ever decided it should
and ideas, and am always on the
be that way?
lookout for interesting new things to
My cafés are self service, and I
try. I do not tire of creating free-pour
charge 500 yen or more for a cup of
latte art because I still have much to
coffee. A self-service café serving
learn. My cafés are the same; they
coffee at full-service prices must
are interesting works-in-progress.
sound absurd. However, for that
The desserts we already offer are
price our customers receive fresh
specially ordered from an American
coffee brewed using recently ground
sweets shop, and go perfectly with
coffee beans with latte art drawn
café lattes. Recently I also added
before their eyes. Imagine ordering
seasonal desserts to the menus. In
sushi or tempura and having it made
the future, I want to concentrate
before you at the counter. Is this
more on offering sweets that
nigiri-sushi or tempura you eat at the
accentuate the deliciousness of our
counter any cheaper? Not
necessarily. Ordering a coffee at my
STREAMER COFFEE COMPANY 1F, Miyagawa Bldg, 1-20-28 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-6427-3705 http://streamercoffee.com/
fe i L e e ff o C o y Tok 2012 May
NIPPON NO KANZUME
Delicious Canned Foods Canned goods, survival food with a long shelf life for times of emergency.
They may be seen as emphasizing function over flavor, but in reality, canned foods can be very tasty. With a little ingenuity, they can be turned into fine dishes. What a waste to let all those cans, pushed into the dark recesses of kitchens and cupboards, go past their "best by" dates. Why not start incorporating canned foods into your life? Photos: Hiroyuki Kiseki (Pgs.10 ~ 13), Susumu Nagao (Pgs.14 ~ 19)
Th e a r t o f t h e t i n c a n
FEELING PECKISH? An interview with canned goods expert Hayato Kurokawa
Hayato Kurokawa, who calls himself “Professor Tin Can,” is no crank. A former employee of the financial sector, he decided to give it all up to realize his dream of becoming a full-time writer. He swapped his financially secure, comfortable lifestyle for lonely hours spent in front of his laptop. Starting as a freelancer, he had to take whatever work came his way. He quickly realized that his meager earnings would no longer allow him to indulge his taste for fine dining, and that he would have to make to with the “low-budget” option of eating canned goods. He didn’t lose his sense of humor, however: “So as not to get depressed, I published my recipes on my blog (flavoring them with a good pinch of selfdeprecation). But I surprised myself with the quality and tastiness of my discoveries.” The freshness and piquancy of his prose, spiced with illustrations of his culinary exploits, found a ready audience
Tin can or vacuum pouches? The best way to empty the contents of a tin can is to soak it in a pan filled with boiling water for a few minutes. This will also improve the appearance of the contents.
Although sterile vacuum pouches are lighter and take less room than tin cans, more care has to be taken when storing them; they don’t last as long (one to two years); and their contents can be damaged or crushed.
S PE C I A L I N T E RV I EW in the blogosphere. His handy hints and
usually about three years, but as far as
tasty tips on how to make the most of
Professor Tin Can is concerned, as long as
“canned” meals spurred him on to a more
the can has been stored properly, the
serious study of canned goods––different
contents will never spoil. “One hundred-
processing methods, product ranges, and
year-old tin cans have been found to be as
manufacturers. The Canned Goods
fresh as the day they were sealed!”
Association of Japan then invited him to write a column for their monthly magazine. Media recognition quickly followed: He is a
regular guest on daytime TV shows where
The Japanese tend to favor small formats.
he shares his latest discoveries and
Our expert explains that this is a recent
recipes; he is the spokesman for the
trend linked to contemporary lifestyles.
Japanese canned goods industry; and he
“When you live alone or there are just two
appears on talk shows and takes part in
of you, when you get home after a long day
promotional tours nationwide.
at the office, you want to prepare a quick
“I’ve always been a big fan of cooking. As
tasty treat, which you can have with a
a child I never missed an episode of TV
drink or bowl of rice. “family-size can have
chef Graham Kerr’s Galloping Gourmet. I
meal has become a rarity.”
watched the show with my kid sister, and
As for the inspiration for his recipes, he
our mouths would water as we watched
often finds it in meals that he’s sampled
him prepare his succulent dishes. I’m very
while traveling in Japan or overseas. “I
fortunate that my work combines my two
have to experiment a great deal before
passions: writing and cooking.”
hitting upon really good combos: To see how I can improve the flavor of one canned
LONG LIVE READY MEALS!
product or vary the uses of another. But
“Although most of us will happily use
that came to me in a sudden flash of
canned ingredients when cooking, canned
inspiration and worked first time!”
ready meals suffer from a serious image
No, Kurokawa doesn’t only dine off canned
problem. However, today’s canned goods
goods. But he shows considerable skill in
are of the highest quality, using only the
transforming these mundane meals into
best natural ingredients; they don’t contain
gourmet offerings a master chef would be
preservatives; and they’re sterilized at
proud of. All of which has rightly earned
extremely high temperatures.”
him the title of Professor Tin Can!
the recipes I’m most proud of are those
The use-by date on canned goods is
A historical note CALENDAR
The Book of Canned Goods October 10 is “Canned Goods Day” in Japan–– the day set aside by the Canned Goods Association of Japan to commemorate the first canned goods factory that opened in the small Hokkaido town of Ishikari on October 10, 1887.
By Hayato Kurokawa Tatsumi Publishing, 2011 ¥1,050
Cooking with Canned Foods Canned foods are convenient when you just want to whip up a quick meal. We asked an expert in all things canned, "Professor TinCan" Kurokawa, to share a few recipes for easy, delicious dishes using canned goods.
The good thing about canned foods is that they make complicated dishes easy to prepare. For example, using canned yakitori (grilled chicken) to make tandoori chicken not only eliminates the time required for marinating, but by mixing in the yakitori sauce you add a hidden depth of flavor to the dish. Steak tartare made with corned beef also results in a flavor completely distinct from the original, as the saltiness of the corned beef matches perfectly with the acidity of the pickles and lemon. Something to try when you need just one more dish on the table.
Tastes great alone, or served on crackers!
Corned Beef Tartare Steak Tartare, famed staple of Parisian restaurants. This recipe recreates the dish using corned beef!
◎ Ingredients 1 can corned beef Approx. 1/4 onion 2-3 cornichons 1 tablespoon capers Dash of nutmeg Dash of black pepper Dash of lemon juice Approx. 1/4 lemon
1. Heat the can of corned beef in warm water to soften the contents. 2. Mince the onion and pickles, and roughly chop the capers. 3. Cut the lemon into 2mm slices, then quarter. 4. Open the can of corned beef into a bowl, thoroughly breaking it apart before adding the onion, pickles, and capers, along with the nutmeg and lemon juice. Mix well. 5. Use a fork to spread the mixture into a thin layer on a plate, garnish with the lemon slices, and season with black pepper.
Canned yakitori is transformed into an authentic Indian dish
Tandoori Yakitori (grilled chicken) Tandoori chicken all depends on having an authentic sauce. The hidden ingredient in this recipe is the sauce that comes with the canned yakitori. ◎ Ingredients 1 can yakitori (salt flavor) 1 tablespoon of yogurt that has been drained overnight Half a clove of garlic 1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coriander 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cardamom 1/2 to 1 teaspoon paprika Dash of salt Dash of red chili powder Dash of black pepper
1. Grate the garlic. 2. Make a sauce by combining the yogurt and garlic with the turmeric, coriander, cardamom, paprika, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. 3. Mix the sauce with the (salt flavor) yakitori, and place on an oven-safe plate. 4. Place the plate in a pre-heated 180℃ oven, and grill for about two minutes until lightly browned (an oven toaster may also be used).
Fun to eat with friends and family!
Conger Eel and Beef Hand-Rolls Hand-rolled sushi is always perfect for parties. Using canned ingredients makes clean-up a breeze! ◎ Ingredients 1 can Yamato-ni (stewed beef) 1 can grilled conger eel Approx. 4.5 cups prepared sushi rice 20 sheets of nori (seaweed) for hand-rolling Wasabi to taste Ginger to taste 1/2 cucumber Ooba (shiso) leaves to taste
1. Warm the cans of stewed beef and conger eel in hot water. 2. Grate the wasabi and ginger. 3. Julienne the cucumber. 4. Place the desired amount of sushi rice on each sheet of seaweed. 5. Place the other ingredients, as desired, on the rice, and form into a roll. Cucumber and wasabi go best with the eel, while ginger and shiso are best with the beef.
From Gourmet Delicacies to Emergency Rations!
Canned foods were first produ years ago. Today, over 800 va are made. Here we introduce s entrees and desserts, to canne emergency rations.
A Pictorial Guide to Canned Foods NO.1
Traditional Stewed Beef Using Only The Most Carefully Selected Omi Wagyu Yamato-ni Stewed Omi Beef (￥1,575) from Sennari-tei, a shop specializing in the famous Omi Beef of Shiga Prefecture.
Canned foods are currently attracting interest for use in emergency food stockpiles, but there are also gourmet varieties that use only the highest-quality
Generous cuts of carefully selected Omi Beef are slowly braised in a beef bouillon. The chunks of rich, savory meat fall apart in the mouth. Sennari-tei 0120-290-289
Whole leg meat! Filling and Delicious!
As Juicy as Fresh-Picked!
Okayama Prefecture is famous
Kinsen King Crab (¥4,000) is
for its Shimizu white peaches,
caught in the North Sea, then
the finest brand of white
boiled and flash-frozen right on
peaches. These canned
the boat, ensuring all the rich
Okayama Shimizu White
crab flavor is sealed in. Cans are
Peaches (¥1,500 *suggested
then filled with fat slabs of whole
retail price) are carefully
leg meat. Unlike flaked meat, the
blanched and peeled to
crab retains its plump texture.
preserve their flavor. Sweet,
and redolent of fresh-picked
peaches. Sunyo-do 0120-234-034
Canned Sazae (turban shell) in a Secret Seasoned Canned Sazae (1
Two dishes from a popular
can/¥4,725, 2 cans/¥9,030)
Okinawan curry restaurant, now
uses the finest turban shell meat
in a can. A fruit-based roux is the
from Saga Prefecture's Seki, a
secret behind Nankotsu Sparerib
region famous for the mackerel
Curry (2 servings, ¥1,890), while
and horse mackerel taken from
the Wagyu Hamburger Curry (2
the Bungo Channel. The meat is
servings, ¥1,890) is succulent
boiled the day it's caught, and
with rich beef flavor. Now you
marinated in a secret-recipe
can enjoy this popular hamburger
sauce. An irresistible combination
curry at home!
of fresh texture and exquisite
Ota Cannery 097-575-0001
Juicy Sparerib and Hamburger Curry
uced in Japan over 140 arieties of canned goods some of the best, from ed foods that can serve as
An Easy Way to Enjoy a Traditional Dish From Aomori Prefecture's Hachinohe
Canned Ichigo-ni, a traditional fisherman's dish using sea urchin and abalone from the rich waters of the Pacific Ocean (¥1,365).
Advances in food processing technology have made it possible to can a wide variety of foods. Some of these may make you look twice!
The name comes from the appearance of the sea urchin meat when served, which resembles wild strawberries (ichigo). Delicious in soups, seasoned rice, and savory custards. Aji no Kakunoya 0120-34-2444
Fluffy Omelets Just Like Fresh-Made
Ingredients Unique to Hokkaido
The world's first canned
This Yamato-ni style stew uses
Japanese-style omelet (¥550).
meat from culled animals,
Yoshidaki, a venerable Kyoto-
including bear, Ezo deer, and
based purveyor of Japanese-style
sea lion (Bear, ¥800; others,
egg omelets oversaw this
¥700). Bamboo shoots and
product's development. Fluffy,
ginger mean no gamey smell,
with the distinct richness of a
making this a delicious treat.
Kyoto-style broth, this rolled
Bear and sea lion versions are
omelet has an delicate flavor
stewed in a miso (soy bean
that's not too sweet.
paste) stock. A dish to make
you reconsider the importance
of food, and life. Also available in curry. Hokuto 011-663-5421
Revolutionary! This Mentaiko (cod roe) Needs No Refrigeration!
The Rich Flavor of Shellfish, in a Can.
Mentaiko, Fukuoka's famous
Filling chunks of surf clam in
seasoned cod roe, is steamed
water (¥2,000 *Suggested price).
whole and then canned (Mentai
Simple seasoning brings out the
CAN, ¥630). It can be kept for
rich clam flavor of the stock.
long periods at room temperature,
Enjoy the crunchy texture alone
making it a perfect gift. With a
as a snack, or use the stock for a
texture like roasted cod roe,
fragrant steamed rice.
Mentai CAN is an ideal
accompaniment to alcohol.
Great packaging, too! Yamaichi Bussan 093-372-7939
A Refreshing Dessert in a Light Syrup Cubes of milk-based agar jelly mixed
Canned foods include more than just entrees, with many kinds of sweet, delicious treats also available. Why not add a little variety to your larder?
with chunks of pineapple and mandarin orange slices (¥140). The rich milk flavor and plump texture of the agar go perfectly with fruit. Kokubun 0120-417-592
Long-selling Anmitsu (fruit, agar jelly, and sweet bean paste) from a Venerable Japanese Confectioner
The Sweet, Rich Aroma of Fuji Apples from Aomori
Loved for over 40 years, this canned
These baked apples (¥300) are made
mitsumame (¥346 *suggested price)
using only Fuji apples grown in the
uses a proprietary agar with a plump
Tsugaru region of Aomori Prefecture.
texture that still melts in the mouth.
Enjoy the oven-baked aroma and
The dark molasses and bean paste
sweetness, great when heated and
bring a refined finish that's not too
served with vanilla ice cream.
A Slightly Fancy Bread With a Long Shelf Life
A Petit Custard Pudding from a Venerable Japanese Confectioner
The Bon Courage line of canned breads (4 varieties, ¥525 each) are made using artesian spring water from Mt. Fuji. A proprietary production method means each loaf stays as soft in the can as fresh-baked bread. Flavors include green tea and green bean (left) and chocolate marble (right).
This canned pudding (Box of 5, ¥840) was first sold by Surugaya in 1963. Made only with milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla essence, and caramel, these custards are prepared in a steamer, imparting a rich, deep flavor. Sohonke Surugaya 0120-5060-73
Emergency Rations: a Source of Power for Self-Defense Forces
The Canned Foods that Fuel Japan's Self
The canned foods of Japan's Self-Defense Forces are something ordinary citizens seldo We asked the Ministry of Defense to tell us more about how they're made and the creat
One of eight possible meal combinations. This one consists of five-ingredient seasoned rice, seasoned beef, and pickled radish. Nutritional balance has been taken into consideration.
In the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, many people watched TV broadcasts documenting the efforts of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) under very difficult conditions. In situations like these socalled combat rations are used as emergency provisions when normal meals are unavailable; these rations consist primarily of canned goods. A meal will typically consist of three cans of food: one of rice, one of fish or meat, and another of pickled vegetables or some other side dish. There are eight possible combinations of these three cans available, and while personnel don't get to choose their own mixture, every meal is a different combination. The main difference between these "combat rations" and the canned goods sold to the general public is that they are saltier and more
heavily seasoned. This is because the heavy perspiration generated by physical labor causes a loss of sodium as well as water, and this sodium must be replaced to maintain the body's inner balance. The three cans that make up a typical meal generally contain around 1,000 calories. While the cans themselves are plain and unlabeled, bearing only words like "Seasoned Meat" to indicate their contents, what's inside reveals some surprising creativity. Take the rice, for example. Normally when rice is canned for extended storage, the contents of the can settle to the bottom, and when opened the rice will be soggy and unappetizing. The rice used in combat rations, however, stays fluffy. This was by experimenting with a wide range of rice varieties, searching
Nothing Relaxes Like a Familiar Dish This miso soup (¥175 *suggested
It's always good to have rations on hand, just in case. Let's check out some of the standards, as well as some that come with special features.
retail price) requires no preparation. The single-portion cans only need to be warmed 5-7 minutes in hot water before serving. Can be kept for up to three and a half years. Forika Foods 025-794-5333
Candy That Comes in a Handy Can
Even an Old Standby Can Taste Great
Kanro, a storable candy sold by Kanro
These pumpkin biscuits (¥367) are
Co., Ltd. (¥420 *JQR research). Sugar
made from Hokkaido flour, beet sugar,
is effective in reducing stress during
and pumpkin, and are marked by the
emergencies, and the can is printed
natural sweetness of their ingredients
with a scale, making it a useful
and the aroma of sesame. Light and
container once it's empty.
crunchy, they make a good snack, too.
Authentic Potato Salad with Cucumber and Apple
Filling, Nutritious Gomoku (five-ingredient) Steamed Rice This chestnut steamed rice (¥320
Mix this freeze-dried powder with some
*suggested retail price) also includes
hot water and stir for 1-2 minutes with
soybeans, shiitake mushrooms, kelp,
the spoon provided, and you have real
and fried tofu. Easily portable, the can
potato salad (¥399 *suggested price).
opens with no sharp edges, so it can
The can is impact-resistant, and
safely be reused as a serving dish.
perfect for long-term storage.
Tokyo Katsushika Welfare Factory
om have a chance to see or try for themselves. tive ways they're incorporated into menus. for one that wouldn't settle over time. The canned pickled radish, a popular item among SDF personnel, uses crunchy white radish from the city of Ibusuki in Kagoshima Prefecture, and is formulated to taste good even when eaten cold straight out of the can. These canned rations have a shelf life of three years, but during their first year they are stored all over the country for distribution to disaster victims. After a year has gone by, they are redistributed for use as provisions by SDF personnel. SDF personnel continue to lay their lives on the line no matter how difficult things become, and these canned foods are what sustain them.
Pull-top cans aren't used because of the risk that they might break open if roughly handled. Personnel use a can opener tucked among the cans that features a space-saving design with a foldable blade. Opening the cans can require a little skill, however.
The popular pickled radish is thick-cut. When it was rumored that it would disappear from the menu due to the relocation of a production plant, many personnel voiced their desire that it be kept in the line-up.
Naohiro Hirashima, who helped to produce this article, is a member of the Logistics Division/Supply Department of the Ministry of Defense's Ground Staff Office and is in charge of food provisions for SDF personnel. 2012 May
Washed Away But Not Washed Up Founded in 1957, the Kinoya Company in Ishinomaki,
the news of the salvage operation spread, busloads
Miyagi Prefecture, was once famous for its high-
of volunteer diggers came to help out. The tsunami
quality canned mackerel and whale meat. Until March
cans went on sale nationwide, and the proceeds went
2011, this family-run firm employed around one
to a fund to help the now homeless and jobless
hundred workers, but after the disastrous Tohoku
former Kinoya workers.
earthquake and tsunami, Kinoya was completely
Yuya Kimura is smiling once again and is full of hope
wiped out, and along with it, the hopes and dreams
for the future. They finished the salvage operation in
of the grandson of the company’s founder and
August, and washing the cans in December. As of
president-in-waiting, 24-year-old Yuya Kimura.
early 2012, only a few thousand of the 500,000 can
Once the waters had receded, Yuya clambered over
recovered from the mud are left. Kinoya has rebuilt
the wreckage to the seashore where the Kinoya
its offices at mountain foot; there are projects in the
factory had once stood and was greeted by a scene
pipeline; and a new factory could be built next year.
of utter desolation. He managed to salvage a few
The battle is far from being won but thanks to the
cans of mackerel from the cloying black mud. He
tsunami cans, Yuya’s future is looking a lot brighter.
brought the cans home, and they provided the family’s first proper meal since D(isaster)-day. A few days later, a family friend and owner of the Saba no Yu Restaurant in Tokyo, Yasunari Suda, called Kinoya to put in an order for salvaged cans of mackerel. He was certain that once washed, the cans would taste just as good as they had done before the tsunami. Yuya and his co-workers began digging cans out of the stinking, putrid, fly-infested mud at a rate of 300 cans a day. In Tokyo, Suda designed a special menu using the “tsunami cans.” In April, the Kinoya Café opened its doors in a trendy Tokyo neighborhood. As
The Tin Cans of Hope Current Kinoya president Nagato Kimura is certain that the firm owes its survival to Tokyo restaurateur Yasunari Suda, who came up with the idea of selling the salvaged tin cans. Suda also wrote a children’s book, The Tin Cans of Hope, to help the victims of the disaster and to make sure that the Kinoya story is never forgotten.
Yasunari Suda, founder of the Tin Cans of Hope Project and author of The Tin Cans of
The Tin Cans of Hope (Kibo no Kanzume) By Yasunari Suda; illustrated by Seijiri So Published by the Tin Cans of Hope Project and marketed by Be Nice
(Available from Kinoya and Amazon; ￥1,200).
Emergency FRESH bread! Think fresh oven-baked bread and you can smell its mouthwatering aroma and imagine yourself crunching through the crispy crust to the soft, warm, buttery dough inside. But when baker Yoshihiko Akimoto sent fresh baked goods to the victims of the Kobe Earthquake in 1995, they had gone stale by the time they reached the refugees. What did Akimoto do? He
Akimoto is a businessman but when starving children
put his bread into tin cans! It cost Akimoto
tell him they’ve never tasted anything better than his
considerable time, effort, and ready cash to find a
fresh strawberry-flavored bread, he works even harder
process that would keep bread fresh and fluffy for up
on the project, even if it puts his company profits at
to three years, but the product is now so popular that
it’s hard to come by in the shops. The idea behind the can is to provide an emergency supply of fresh bread for companies and households. The cans are replaced every two years and replacements are sold at the discounted price of ¥100 ($1.20). The bread has a shelf life of three years, so Akimoto works with an international shipping company to collect the cans and redistribute them to famine-stricken areas all over the world. The label is designed like a postcard so that the donor can write a personal greeting to the recipient. The can itself is designed to be cut-proof and to be re-used as a multipurpose container. Akimoto is very active as a philanthropist: In 2010 he flew to Haiti to hand out 30,000 bread cans to the victims of the earthquake, and after last year’s Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, he distributed over 100,000 cans to the refugees.
Donors (Companies & Individuals)
NPO / Help programs / WeCan
Disasters, famine, etc.
Furniture 2012 May
T A K U M I
From the Workshops of Monozukuri Manufacturers V o l
JQR Select Japanese Skills
A Tour of the Hotei Yakitori Canning Factory
The Flavor of Showa Era Yakitori A Long-Selling Old Favorite
Photography/ Satoru Naito… Text/ Kyoko Ohtsu
Tatsuya Yamamoto, President and Representative Director. He speaks passionately about preserving the flavor they have maintained since 1933 while keeping an eye on the world market and the next generation of food culture.
Canned pre-prepared meals that can
have with a drink on the way home
if the fire is left alone the heat dies
be preserved for long periods are
from work. The company set about
away. In order to reproduce the flavor
currently attracting interest for use in
trying to develop a version that could
of a yakitori stand, it was necessary for
emergency food stockpiles. One
be enjoyed by the whole family and
a skilled person to watch the fire. Even
product in the diverse range of tasty
give the same sort of small pleasure.
today an expert in controlling charcoal
canned foods available in Japan is the
This idea turned out to be a real
fires is an essential part of the
Hotei Yakitori series, a line that has
winner. Canned yakitori quickly
been popular for over forty years.
became popular after being released
The great taste of Hotei yakitori is due
Yakitori is grilled chicken, a food
on the market due to the influence of a
not only to their use of charcoal, but
usually served on skewers and bought
television commercial that was first
also their policy of consistently using
at roadside stalls. We paid a visit to
broadcast the following year, and also
domestically raised chicken meat.
the Hotei Foods factory where this
because it was such an unusual
Using mature birds rather than young
canned version is manufactured.
ones helps to ensure that the meat
Of course getting to that point involved
retains a firm texture.
Sauce-flavored yakitori first appeared
a challenging journey. The company
On the day of our visit to the Kambara
in 1970. Until then Hotei exported
was especially concerned about
Factory, 70g cans of salt-flavored
products such as canned tuna and
creating the same taste as a yakitori
tangerines to western countries, but
stand. Without charcoal grilling, it was
now canned yakitori is the company’s
simply not possible to get the right
top product in the domestic market.
aroma. Every day they had to deal with
Over 42 years it has become a
with smoke, because grilling large
signature product known throughout
amounts of chicken over charcoal fires
produces huge clouds of it. It is also
“The idea was to bring the image and
difficult to get the heat of the fire and
flavor of a yakitori stand directly to the
the grilling time just right. If the meat
home dining table,” says Hotei
isn't browned then it doesn’t give off
President Tatsuya Yamamoto. Back
an appetizing smell, but if it’s over
then, yakitori was a popular snack to
grilled then the taste is destroyed, and
♪ Yakitori nara, Ho-te-i. Yaki yaki♪ goes the television commercial that became an instant hit when it was broadcast in 1971. The cartoon characters and script, drawn by the now deceased manga artist Hiroshi Oba, radiate warmth.
TAK U M I
J Q R
S e l e ct io n
J a p a n e s e
S k i l l s
Placing the skin side down and cooking the top then bottom seals in the juices that give the meat its flavor.
The Process of Making Salt-Flavored Yakitori k e n is e d c h ic produc li n e y e ll a th c n ti Domes la c e d o p d n a ed season
After the upper side is cooked, the skin is grilled over charcoal. Charcoal smoke rising up creates the same distinctive smell and atmosphere of a yakitori stand. Cooking over charcoal adds aroma and seals in the flavor. A random grill pattern on the meat gives it just the right texture.
o r charc ed ove is s e a r in k s e Th a th nderne fr o m u
cut m e a t is
The cooked meat is cut evenly into cubes by machine
yakitori were being manufactured. With
the seasoning is added and it is
another unexpected use of canned
an increasing number of people eating
sterilized at a high temperature.
yakitori that has drawn attention. Hoteiâ€™s
alone nowadays, can weights have
In recent years methods for cooking
canned yakitori can be kept for long
apparently decreased over the years, in
canned yakitori have become more
periods at room temperature, and has a
line with the times. There was a
widely used. The use of pre-cooked
pull-top opening system that does not
surprising number of people inside the
chicken is an advantage, because it
require a can-opener. The chicken
factory. The human touch is necessary
means that the food can be simply
doesnâ€™t have the rough texture that
in order to package and standardize
mixed, fried or simmered with other
might be expected from chicken fat
the final product, which is made from
ingredients, making laborious flavoring
and dissolves at room temperature,
ingredients that are not uniformly
processes during cooking unnecessary.
unlike pork or beef, which means that
shaped in the first place, unlike
For example the yuzu citrus pepper
protein and fat are easily absorbed by
industrial products. These workers
flavor is delicious simply mixed with
the body. Many households have
make sure that anyone who opens the
boiled pasta. The garlic pepper flavor
emergency stockpiles of carbohydrates
cans wonâ€™t find only skin inside.
can be used as a pizza or rice topping.
such as dried bread, water, candies
The company home page has many
and chocolate, but in a prolonged
ideas and recipe suggestions on ways
disaster scenario canned yakitori is a
to enjoy canned yakitori with family
very effective source of precious
protein. As time passes its significance
The Trick to Selecting Delicious Canned Foods Factory Manager Mamoru Sugimoto also mentioned that the flavor of several months after canning. The food
Canned Yakitori is Useful in Disasters
is prepared so that the flavor
Canned food as a preserved food
penetrates fully only some time after
suitable for emergency stockpiles is
canned foods generally improves
Pre-seasoned chicken is arranged skin side down with no gaps between the pieces. The meat is 100% produced in Japan. The flesh is cooked over a gas burner immediately.
is being reevaluated.
o n te n e th e c B a la n c
cans t o f th e
d is a d d e
(f la v o r
in g )
T A K U M I
ものづくりの 現 場から
Meat is packed into the cans by machine, and these then go on the line to be separated into correct weight, underweight and overweight. Workers use their judgment to adjust under or over weight cans by one or two pieces to get the right weight. This work takes less than one second for each can.
fe w es of a fe r e n c if d h tc Ca d by han grams
The right amount of seasoned sauce is added. Flavoring differences are created at this stage. aned c a n c le a n d th e d e h c a is a tt T h e li d
Workers check the balance of meat and skin in the cans. When the right balance is attained, it is automatically packed in the cans.
The aluminum lid is shut and the outside of the can washed. From the outside the product looks complete, but at this stage it still would not taste as good as possible. Cans are rolled along the line for heat sterilization.
The Hotei Yakitori series currently on sale as of April 2012. Sauce flavor (white), spicy sauce flavor (red), salt flavor (blue), garlic pepper (black), and yuzu citrus pepper (green). The factory manager particularly recommends the sauce flavor yakitori in the large can (no. 7),
Cans are steam sterilized at 120 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, then water-cooled. The flavor penetrates at this stage. The bestby date and other details are stamped on the can after heating and sterilizing.
which is a recreation of the original taste.
Hotei Foods Corporation Limited Kambara 4-26-6, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka Tel: 054-385-3131 Fax: 054-388-2081 www.hoteifoods.co.jp http://www.hoteifoods.co.jp/profile_english/ greeting.html
H e a ti n g a n d s te ri li z in g in a re to rt o v e n
Cans sold at convenience stores have toothpicks attached. This is for the increasing number of people who eat alone, allowing them to start eating immediately once the can is opened. 2012 May
Quality Review The Glamorous models created in collaboration with Glamorous magazine. The two Glamorous Premium models on the right are covered in rhinestones and cost 24,800 yen each. Other models: 8,980 yen each/Trywin
Cross Plasma Ion Generator blua Photography/Hiroyuki Kiseki Interview, text/JQR
â€œcross plasmaâ€? technology. According
around your neck wherever you go, a
to the Techno Science Institute, blua
single recharge can last for up to 16
generates a maximum of 15 million
hours of continuous use. If recharged
plasma ions per 1 cm3 around the
during the night, blua will work
person wearing it â€“ over 600 times
throughout the next day, from the
the normal level. Once these negative
moment you leave home until the
ions unite with the positive ions in
moment you return.
You may be concerned about your
the air and absorb moisture, blua
blua comes in a range of designs,
home environment and use an air
encloses and dissolves the pollen,
from simple models all the way to
purifier. However, most of us actually
mold, and other substances in the air,
beautiful rhinestone-studded versions,
spend over half the day outside our
thereby stopping these harmful
so choosing one is like picking out a
homes, at work or at play. Sometimes
substances from attaching to the
fashion accessory. All models (except
an unsafe environment can await us
mucous membranes in the nose and
the Glamorous Premium models)
outside. Special care should be taken
throat. blua catches the sources of
come with a desktop holder in case
in shops where people gather and
cigarette, pet and body odors,
you don't feel like wearing one
enclosed spaces such as trains. The
preventing these unpleasant smells.
around your neck while you work.
air is filled with pollen, viruses and
Many people who have used blua
No filter changing or troublesome
cigarette smoke, leading to hay fever,
have commented on how they rarely
maintenance needed. For a healthy
colds and other illnesses.
catch colds anymore, and no longer
and beautiful lifestyle, wear blua
So you may be thinking: what if there
need to worry about cigarette odors
around your neck and breathe clean
was a portable air purifier you could
when they go out. The ions also
air wherever you go.
easily carry around while outside?
collect air moisture, and many have
The plasma ion generator blua is the
said that they feel beautifying effects,
answer you are looking for.
such as their skin being less
blua hangs around your neck like a
susceptible to dryness, because the
pendant, constantly cleaning the air
ions absorb moisture and penetrate
around you. Only weighing about
the outermost layer of the skin.
45g, this generator uses the latest
Not only does blua conveniently hang
Clean air anywhere with a portable ion generator. Just hang it around your neck!
Insert it in the special holder to generate ions when placed on the desk.
[Specifications] Size: H7.95 cm x W4.3 cm x D2.0 cm (excluding ornamentation) Weight: approximately 45g (The ornamentation increases the weight of the Premium models.) Operating time: A maximum of approximately 16 hours continuous use (Varies depending on use.) Ions generated: Maximum 15 million/cm3ă€€ Ozone density: Maximum 0.03ppm (No adverse effect on body) Contents: Generator, AC adapter, power cord, stand (excluding Premium models), strap.
The two Glamorous Premium models come with a star-covered neck strap. 2012 May
Quality Review A deliciousness that can only be born from careful work. The craftsmen put themselves into their products, making you come back for more. Enjoy elegant, soft Japanese traditional sweets while sitting in the warm spring sun.
Chomeiji Sakura-mochi, Mukojima/Mizuho, Harajuku
Sakura-mochi and Mame-daifuku Photography/Hiroyuki Kiseki Interview, text/Kumi Yamamoto
People have loved Chomeiji Sakura-
famous mame-daifuku shops in
mochi for almost 300 years. A thin
Tokyo. The owner, Masafumi Ohashi,
mochi rice-cake wrapped around
trained at Okano Eisen in Toranomon
anko red-bean paste is covered by
before opening his own shop 31
three cherry leaves to give the mochi
its aroma and keep it moist.
Ohashi carefully makes hundreds or
Shop clerks recommend people peel
even thousands of daifuku each day.
The cherry leaves used to wrap
off the cherry leaves, but eating the
Creating this delicacy requires
sakura-mochi have a distinct aroma.
leaves along with the sakura-mochi
stamina, with no time for even a
The moment Japanese smell it they
is a matter of personal taste. Eclectic
moment’s rest. When complimented
immediately think of cherry blossoms
people peel off only two leaves and
on his mental energy, Ohashi replies
and feel the soft, fresh breezes of
then eat the sakura-mochi, while
that it comes from his love of daifuku.
others feel eating all the leaves is the
The moment he first ate mame-
This aroma is associated with
mark of a true Tokyoite.
daifuku is etched in his memory, so
Chomeiji Sakura-mochi from
The sweetness of the anko and the
he produces the confectionary with
Mukojima, Tokyo, where sakura-
saltiness and fragrance of the leaves
the hope that more people can
mochi originated in the Edo Period.
complement the soft mochi and the
experience the flavor of Okano Eisen.
In 1717, Shinroku Yamamoto
rough texture of the leaves. Despite
invented the treat by pickling in salt
the complexity of the flavors,
The Okano Eisen mame-daifuku has 鷹島 anko an exquisite flavor. The strained
cherry leaves he picked from trees
everyone is struck with wonder at
has a smooth texture, and the mochi
along the banks of Sumida River. He
how delicious it is. In a sense, sakura-
is firm but springy. Added to this is
began selling these "sakura-mochi" in
mochi are works of art.
the texture and saltiness of the red
front of the gates to Mukojima’s
However, the Japanese confectionary
peas. French actress Catherine
landmark, Chomeiji temple. They
that symbolizes Edo (old Tokyo) – no
Deneuve personally came to buy
were an instant hit with the cherry-
matter the season – is mame-daifuku.
some – proof of how discerning she
Mizuho, in Harajuku, is one of many
is when it comes to quality.
People continue to celebrate the coming of spring with Edo confectionary
Chomeiji Sakura-mochi, Mukojima/Mizuho, Harajuku
Chomeiji Sakura-mochi 5-1-14 Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo Tel: 033622-3266 Sakura-mochi: 180 yen each Harajuku Mizuho 6-8-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: 033400-5483 Mame-daifuku: 200 yen each
in HARAJUKU in
Military parka with fir trim
Men: vivid colors!
Here we see a military parka, this one with fur trim. This girl has decided to pair hers with lace-up Doc Martens and a feminine print mini skirt to give her a cool yet feminine look. The girl on the right is wearing a short brown leather riders jacket with two front pockets and a pair of cut-off damaged denim shorts. She has also decided to add a feminine twist with matching frill eyelet lace socks. An example of a spring trend for men is the colorful nylon backpack worn by the man on the left. He has matched his vividly colored bag with brightly colored socks and shoes for a consistent look.
Fashion in Japan Since 20 0 6, Lebiz Tokyo Fashion Consulting has been developing Benchmark and Trends Reports for clients from all over the world. It is also well-known for its original concepts: the Tokyo Fashion Tour (guided shopping tours) as well as its live Tokyo photos website: www.fashioninjapan.com The Fashion in Japan website provides fashion snapshots of Japanese streets and stores, covering all the market segments and trends per product, age, sex and area. Its slogan: "To be ahead of fashion, Open_your_ Eyes & Imagine_the_ Future" Their founder, Frenchman Loic Bizel (39), has earned nicknames such as "cool hunter" and "trendspotter," although he describes himself as "the foreign eyes of Japanese Fashion." He has been dealing with the Japanese fashion market "from the inside" for the past 15 years. His team's experience and connections help foreign firms to tackle the Japanese market effectively.
D o n ’ t fo rg et t h e accessories!
o in Toky s d n e r g hot t Spottin
P A N S T E E STR Photography & Text/Fashion in Japan
JQR has asked experts from Fashion in Japan to go trend hunting … This season’s must-have: the military parka! Come downtown Tokyo and you’ll see it everywhere! Just make sure you add a little personal touch such as some fur trim, poncho style, or other embellishments. Long skirts were big last season and still seem to be popular, though with slightly new and different twists. To be the most “kawaii” cute this spring, however, you should go out in your princess tutu skirt! It’s making a comeback straight from the '80’s! Men: be bright! Wear vividly colored accessories, bags, socks or shoes. Feminine touch
in SHIBUYA in
渋谷 Top Kawaii = the tulle tutu!
The two girls on the left are both wearing a mini version of the tulle tutu skirt. The girl on the right is wearing a chiffon pin-tuck pleated skirt which is in the same vein as the tutu skirt. These girls know the importance of accessorizing and added some extra "kawaii" to their look with perfectly placed doll accessories. 2012 May
Spring at Last
Light and Bright Hearts leap when the season changes after a long cold winter. Spirits soar in spring. Time to straighten up bent shoulders and wear light, colorful clothes.
photograhs : Maki Taguchi hair&make-up : Miki kimura(menâ€™s) stylist : Souta Yamaguchi
Jacket 13,440 yen/ Kai Lani (Kai Lani, Lumine Shinjuku store) Pants 6,930 yen, sandals 11,550 yen / with Laguna Moon (Laguna Moon) Other items from the stylistâ€™s private collection
T-shirt 7,875 yen, Bare top 5,250 yen, pants 12,600 yen, gloves 6,825 yen, Clutch bag 18,900 yen / all from DURAS ambient (DURAS ambient customer inquiries) Sandals 11,550 yen Laguna Moon (Laguna Moon) 2012 May
Shirt 7,980 yen, vest 15,750 yen, short pants 6,930 yen, sandals 11,550 yen, bag 12,600 yen / all from Laguna Moon (Laguna Moon), Other items from the stylistâ€™s private collection
Front tie tank top 3,990 yen Laguna Moon (Laguna Moon) Vest 10,290 yen, pants 13,650 yen, sandals 23,940 yen, bag 14,490 yen/ all from Kai Lani (Kai Lani, Lumine Shinjuku store)
SHOP LIST ● Kai Lani, Lumine Shinjuku Store 2F Lumine 2, Shinjuku 3-38-2, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 03-6380-6387 ● DURAS ambient Customer Inquiries: 03-5772-6470 http://www.duras-ambient.com ● LagunaMoon 5F Mark-Styler Bld., Hiroo 5-19-15, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 03-5447-6539
Vol. 2 Touring the Festivals of Japan
Jindaiji's Daruma Fair (March 3, 4) in Memory of Gansan Daishi
The Daruma Fair is held to coincide with the Gansan Daishi Festival. The ones in the back are a little more expensive. Their eyes are covered to keep the gold leaf from flaking off.
The faces differ slightly from one shop to another.
Her dad bought her a pink one.
Go in the morning if you want to take your time choosing. In the afternoon, it gets so crowded you can hardly move!
Temple Ground Engulfed in a Sea of Bright Red
Today we're in Tokyo's Chofu City, visiting the daruma doll fair at
A Kitaro Cafe can also be found along the approach to Jindaiji, and
is usually a popular stop, but today Kitaro's feature role has been
Chofu usually brings to mind the popular manga series "GeGeGe
usurped by the daruma. After all, this fair is about them, not Kitaro.
no Kitaro." Shigeru Mizuki, the creator of the series, lives here, and
ă€€Resisting the temptation to be pulled in by the aroma of noodles
the Kitaro character features heavily in efforts to boost the city's
frying in sauce wafting from a nearby stand, I make my way
economy. You'll find statues of him and his other yokai (monster)
through the approach to the temple, but can't help stopping a
friends in the shopping arcade in front of the train station, and even
moment to listen to the sales pitch of a vendor hawking shichimi
city buses are painted with pictures of Kitaro kicking a soccer ball,
chili pepper. Finally stepping through the main temple gates, I find
with the slogan "Go For it FC Tokyo! Kitaro is Rooting for You!"
myself confronted by a sea of red, red, red. The grounds of the
What a combination!
temple are engulfed by a sea of bright red daruma of all types and
On the Musashino plateau, with the plum blossoms at their peak, the pathways of an ancient temple known for its delicious soba are lined with lucky daruma dolls, turning the grounds red.
Illustrations and Text/Itaru Mizoguchi
Tokyo There were all kinds of daruma.
They'll write the characters representing your wish on the back of your daruma. Family well-being, Business success, Physical health, etc. Even a fierce daruma with a beard. I'd hate to find out the beard was still growing!
A chubby-cheeked daruma. You can't paint in the eyes, but it sure looks like it'd bring good fortune.
The mother of a daruma maker from Iwatsuki City, Saitama Prefecture
Bargaining for the best price.
These are lucky charms, though, so you probably don't want to bargain too hard. A 10-centimeter daruma will generally cost around 1,000 yen.
You might find a 'beckoning daruma' hiding among the maneki-neko (beckoning cat) figures. A quiet hit that often sells out on the first day at popular shops.
sizes, from ones small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, to
in love. A geezer like me, though, doesn't want to rely on anything
enormous daruma that are more than a meter high. Most of the
but good old red--somehow I just can't believe my wish will come
vendors who've set up shop are daruma makers from Takasaki city
true with one of the other colors. Personally, though, I'd make an
in Gunma Prefecture, Iwatsuki city in Saitama Prefecture, and the
exception for the large yellow daruma I saw, which had only the
town of Mizuho in Tokyo. There must be more than 300 shops! Still,
baseball team name HANSHIN painted on it in big letters.
since the vendors set up their stands in the same spot every year,
ă€€Once I've bought my daruma, the next thing to do is to get the
shoppers have an easier time of it than you might think, and many
left eye painted in. Climbing up just past the main temple, I find a
have been buying from the same shop for a generation or more.
special stand set up for this purpose just in front of the Gansan-
ă€€Amongst the more traditional red daruma, nowadays one can also
Daishi shrine, with a long line in front of it. Here, the monks of
find the so-called feng shui daruma, painted in bright colors and
Jindaiji will personally paint in the left eye of your daruma, but in
surprisingly popular among young people. Blue is for good fortune
a unique fashion--instead of just painting it black, they fill it in
in one's career, green for good health, and pink is said to bring luck
with the Japanese character pronounced "a", from the Indian 2012 May
The 'eye-opening' stand Here they'll paint in one eye of your daruma. The priest will also bless your daruma.
The left eye (the right when facing the doll) is filled in with the Japanese character "a". This is unique to Jindaiji.
If after a year your wish has come true, you fill in the right eye with the Japanese character "n", and offer the daruma back to the temple.
Just a small tithe is fine.
This Tsuno Taishi talisman protects against misfortune from the outside.
A stone image of Tsuno Taishi, said to be the transformed figure of Gansan Daishi. Sort of like a skeleton of the soul.
This can be found beneath the sweet tea tree in front of the Daishi hall.
A sacred Buddhist object which is only unveiled once every 25 years is enshrined in the Gansan Daishi Hall.
bonji (Brahmi) script. At the same time, they infuse the daruma
ă€€One other thing you can't forget on a visit to Jindaiji is their
with the spirit of Gansan Daishi, who is enshrined in a nearby
soba (buckwheat noodles). In and around the grounds you'll find
hall. Gansan Daishi is another name for Ryogen, an abbot of the
20 or more soba shops advertising Jindai Soba. They charge
Tendai school of Buddhism, famous for his charisma and reputed
tourist prices, but since I'd come all this way, I decided to stop in
psychic powers. A year later, if your wish has been fulfilled, the
for a bowl of noodles.
other eye should be filled in with the Japanese character "n", and
ă€€It was March, but still cold, so I ordered a bowl of hot nameko
the daruma dedicated back to the temple; together, the characters
mushroom soba. On the table in front of me I placed the little
"a" and "n" represent the beginning and ending of things. Going
daruma I'd bought earlier, on which I'd made a tiny little wish, just
through this ceremony, you really start to feel as though your
big enough to perk me up a bit if it actually comes true. I hope
wish might actually come true. If I could just put some of that
next year I'll be able to fill in the "n" in my daruma's other eye...
psychic power into that big yellow "Hanshin" daruma, the team
but if I can't, I guess I can always visit the Kitaro Cafe and order
might just... well, I'm just fantasizing, I guess.
something from Daddy Eyeball.
The Procession He looks important. At 2 p.m. on both days of the fair, gagaku musicians, adherents in traditional kamishimo robes, and a high priest dressed in a splendid brocade kesa (a ceremonial cloth worn over the robe) all form a procession. The gagaku musicians lead the way. A sho (bamboo flute)
They've got their hands together in prayer. The procession makes its way through the grounds of the lively daruma fair and heads for the Gansan Daishi hall, where the Dai-Hoyo service is held.
Special buses were running between Chofu Station and Jindaiji.
The bus's handmade daruma nameplate was a nice touch. "The Good Fortune Express"
【Jindaiji Daruma Fair】 One of Japan's three major daruma fairs, held annually on March 3rd and 4th at Jindaiji in Chofu City, Tokyo, and popularly known as a harbinger of spring in the Tokyo area. During the two days of the festival, the temple grounds overflow with visitors and ring with the lively sales pitches of the many vendors of lucky daruma that line the roads.
Jindaiji Web Site
Chofu Sightseeing Association Web Site
【Getting to Jindaiji】 By Train: Take the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station and get off at either Chofu or Tsutsujigaoka Station. From there, the bus to Jindaiji takes about 15 minutes. Alternatively, take the Chuo Line to Mitaka Station, where buses
make the trip to Jindaiji in about 25 minutes. By Car: From the Shinjuku area, take National Highway 20 out of Tokyo, turning right at the Shimofuda intersection. Proceed straight along Mitaka Avenue to the Jindaiji-Shomae intersection, then turn right again and proceed about 500 meters.
JR Chuo Line Keio Line
Music This Month’s Favorite Nikiie’s New Album Resonates Within Interview&Text/Ayako Oda
Nikiie takes her daily experiences and all her thoughts and transforms them into music. Her pop tunes convey an energy within the cutesiness. Her clear voice overlays the beautiful melodies in her memorable ballads. Released on April 11, Nikiie’s mini-album, hachimitsu e.p., covers a range of emotions. ■ What was the concept behind “hachimitsu e.p.”? “Most of the tracks on this EP have the theme of facing the most important things in life. There was a time when I had my own difficulties when it came to expressing my thoughts. I wrote songs about the people who reached out to me at that time and my relationship with music.”
it might be hard to hear the darkness within. There was one song that wasn't included that bluntly expresses these negative feelings. However, that dark side of me is also one part of the expression. I want to continue singing like it’s part of me.”
■ How do you write your songs? “When I’m alone, feelings akin to regret – about why I didn’t follow through with things, at one time or another – grow heavier. I throw these raw emotions at the piano. Most times the tension I’m feeling begins to melt while I’m playing the piano, and the melody and lyrics flow.”
“For me, music is a way of connecting with people, sort of like a door, so I want to continue creating that door.”
■ What is your next goal?
■ I did not feel any negativity in the songs, but they probably resonate with me because they are rooted in these feelings. “I think about wanting to change these negative feelings. Once these woven feelings become songs, I can sublimate them. There are many catchy pop tunes on this release, so
hachimitsu e.p., Nikiie (Nippon Columbia), released April 11, 1,890 yen Nikiie Profile Nikiie began playing the piano at age four. At 16 she began composing in the summer and joined a band. After graduating from high school, Nikiie began playing gigs around Tokyo. She released her first single in 2010. Her influences include Vanessa Carlton and Carol King.
This Month’s 3 Discs
Cancellare, Nobuyuki Nakajima (East Works), released April 17, 2,500 yen
Startin’, Hiroyuki Yokoto Ethnic Minority (East Works) on sale now, 2,000 yen
The first solo piano album from Nobuyuki
This newcomer instrumental trio creates
Following their 2008 debut, Lillies and
Nakajima, who has to date self-interpreted
music that covers a wide range of tastes from
Remains continued to make an impact on the
and beautifully woven together chamber
funk and rock to four beat dance music, all
music scene with their perfectly reproduced
music, jazz and pop. Gaining attention both
based in jazz. They often played live in the
real new wave and post-punk sounds that no
in Japan and around the world, Nakajima has
streets of Shibuya and have an underground
other Japanese band can match. Their latest
been touring the globe with Jane Birkin as
following. The energy and rush of the opening
release is an entire album of cover songs.
musical director and pianist since fall 2011.
track, Minority D-, is intense, convincing you
They go back to their roots with amazing
He has created a dream album which allows
that an outrageous band has hit the scene.
covers of Gang of Four, Killing Joke and
even Birkin to enjoy the sound of her beloved
They do not let you down. They masterfully
other bands. You cannot help but admire
piano. This masterpiece will soothe the
convert their energy into music and the album
them for creating cool new music with a good
listener’s soul – and the entire room.
echoes until the last track.
old-fashioned straightforward sound.
Re/Composition, Lillies and Remains (51 RECORDS), on sale now, 2,310 yen
Woman in Winter Dress, ca. about 1867-68. Hand-colored albumen print, collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (gift from the Wilson Centre for Photography)
Beato was particularly fond of applying
This Month's Must-See
hand-coloring techniques to his series on Japan. The
From the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum
use watercolors rather
Felice Beato: A Photographer on the Eastern Road
than oils resulted in a greater sense of transparency, enabling Beato to produce
Exhibition Dates: Through May 6, 2012 (Sunday) Venue : Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2nd Floor Exhibition Gallery
photographs with a more delicate, vivid
Felice Beato, an Italian-born British photographer (1832-1909), spent almost half a century wandering throughout Asia. He lived in Japan for 20 years, from the end of the Tokugawa shogunate until immediately after the Meiji Restoration, leaving behind a wealth of photographs depicting family life and genre scenes in Japan. While Beato is one of the most focused-on foreign photographers working in Japan between the end of the shogunate and the Meiji period, this exhibition represents the first retrospective of his work.
palette. The combination of pigment with the blurring at the edges ©The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Partial gift from the Wilson Centre for Photography
of the image emphasizes the painterly quality of the work.
Panorama of Yeddo From Atogoyama, ca. 1863-64. A five-panel panoramic photograph on albumen, collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
A view of Edo. Beato was particularly expert in working with panoramas. The distant view of the fortress on the far right is important; given Beato's close involvement with the British Army, it is possible he was attempting to capture not only the cityscape of Edo itself, but its military fortifications as well.
Part 1 Buddhist Deities and Shinto Manifestations
［Special Exhibition ］
Japanese Masterpieces From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Shaka, the Historical Buddha, Preaching on Vulture Peak Nara period, 8th century
Part 2 The Great Handscrolls that Traversed the Ocean Minister Kibi's Adventures in China (detail) Heian period, late 12th century Part 3 Stillness and Radiance -Medieval Ink Painting and the Early Kano School Jinshansi Temple Attributed to Kano Motonobu Muromachi period, early 16th century Part 4 The Blossoming of Early Modern Painting
Part 5 Soga Shohaku -- Eccentric Genius
Dragon and Clouds (detail) By Soga Shohaku, Edo period, dated 1763
Dragon and Tiger By Hasegawa Tohaku, Edo period, dated 1606
Exhibition Dates: Through June 10, 2012 (Sunday) Venue: Tokyo National Museum, Heiseikan Special Exhibition Gallery http://www.tnm.jp/ ● Traveling Exhibition (scheduled) Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts: (First term) June 23 through September 17 and (Second term) September 29 through December 9, 2012. Kyushu National Museum: January 1 through March 17, 2013 Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts: April 2 through June 16, 2013
William Sturgis Bigelow (1850-1926) was a wealthy Boston physician and avid collector of Japanese art. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of his gift of that collection to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum launched a major restoration project, and 92 masterpieces, among them restored, never-before exhibited works, were selected from the vast collection for this return to their native land. These works, whose strange destiny took them to a distant land across the ocean, would all likely have been considered national treasures had they stayed in Japan. Here we introduce this very striking exhibit of the finest works, laid out in easy-tounderstand themes. All from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston All photographs ©2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
A premium cigarette from the long-selling Peace brand
Despite competition from all the other cigarette brands on the market, ever since its debut in 1946 Peace has been a long-selling brand known for its fine aroma. The Peace is a
new premium super king size cigarette with a filter that sells in cans of 20 for 1,000 yen, which launched at the beginning of February. It is packed with rich, aromatic 100% Virginia tobacco that was carefully selected by the blender and manufactured using a process called “new trimming”, which has never been used in Japan before. This process flash heats the cut tobacco to eliminate any bitterness. The innovative packaging is also a first for Japan, with the cigarettes packed in a flat sealed can. The
A Limited Edition Perfume Marks the Opening of the Tokyo Sky Tree
An original new commemorative perfume will be released on the
aroma can be enjoyed from the moment the can opens.
same day the Tokyo Sky Tree opens on May 22. Tokyo Sky
Inquiries: Japan Tobacco Customer Service Center
Tree Parfum is the result of a collaboration between Shiseido
and Tobu Tower Sky Tree Co. Ltd. Priced at 63,400 yen a bottle, it’s a refreshing modern Japanese fragrance that is soothing and nostalgic while also evoking a sense of something new. The bottle combines a pointed stopper, representing the Sky Tree, with a design that depicts in traditional Japanese cut glass an image of the Tree at the centre of a splendid future for the city and its people. Only 634 bottles of the perfume will be sold, matching the tower’s height of 634 meters. Every bottle is engraved with a serial number that makes it a unique commemorative item. Inquiries: Shiseido Customer Inquiries 0120-81-4710
A new column starting this month introduces the editorial staffâ€™s pick of new must-have quality products.
Easily Measure Radiation Levels at Home
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, hotspot areas of high radioactivity have been confirmed throughout eastern Japan. People worry about the level in their homes, especially households with small children. The Air Counter ďźż S (7,900 yen) is a joint development between Takaratomy Arts and S.T.
Beautiful Ceramic Knives Meld Technology and Traditional Culture
Corporation, and is a lighter, cheaper and more efficient version of the Air Counter that was sold mainly in Fukushima. It takes two minutes to measure radioactivity, which is shown on the display in microsieverts per hour, and tells you how much radioactivity is in the air.
Why are ceramic knives always white? From this
Inquiries: S. T. Corporation Customer Inquiries
question these beautiful knives were born. Minova
Scandinavian Knives (Kitchen Knife 20,000 yen/ Petit Knife 13,000 yen) are the culmination of a pursuit of design excellence in ceramic knives. The same overglaze painting techniques employed in Mino ware pottery making are used to decorate the blade surface with a modern, casual design. Master knife craftsmen from the Tomihide Blade Factory in the city of Seki, Gifu
Turn it on and a countdown
prefecture, find a match for the colors of the simple
begins. After the
wooden handle and carefully produce the finished knife. Keen blades combined with a beautiful appearance make these knives true works of art. Inquiries: Carozzeria Cawai Co. Tel: 0572-87-0984
measurement is taken, the display shows the average radiation level for the previous minute every ten seconds. 2012 May
Sake to Drink From a Wineglass
In Praise of Fine Sake Vol.
Toshimaya Brewery Address: Hon-machi 3-9-1, Okaya-shi, Nagano Telephone: 0266-23-1123 http://jizake.miwatari.jp/
● ● ● ● ●
Alcohol content: 17% ● Seimaibuai (rice milling percentage): 70% Nihonshu-do (Sake Meter Value + dry, -sweet): +2 Acidity: 1.7 ● Rice: Yoneshiro, Shirakaba-nishiki (grown under contract) Volume: 720ml Price: 1,155 yen (tax inclusive)
Hoka Junmai Genshu Nama-Ippon Text/ Kaori Haishi (sake sommelier) Photography/ Susumu Nagao
Sake suffused with the vitality of its youthful brewers Continuing on from last month we introduce Hoka, another label from the highly esteemed Toshimaya brewery. The main Toshimaya brand used to be Miwatari, but in recent years the brewery has introduced the limited release “Hoka” brand. Brewed with a youthful approach that combines a lowtemperature fermentation method that draws out the flavor of the rice, and brewing techniques based on the brewer's own original data, Hoka was an instant hit with younger drinkers and has since grown to rival Miwatari in popularity. Hoka's plain label, devoid of excess ornamentation, illustrates Toshimaya's unshakeable confidence in its product. The brewery selected the Hoka Junmai 2012 May
Genshu Nama-Ippon from among several
tartness and fruit flavors blend in the
varieties. While pouring it I was
mouth, drawing out the potential of both
overwhelmed by the almost voluptuous
to maximum effect. For something a little
luster possessed by only the most
unusual, battered scallops with
carefully-made sakes, and a fragrant
nozawana tartar sauce make a delicious
bouquet reminiscent of ripe fruit. Hoka is
alternative. Nozawana leaves, a
characterized by a fresh, dewy quality
specialty of the Nagano region where
and resilience at any temperature. First
Hoka is brewed, are used instead of the
to hit the palate is its sweetness, then
usual pickles in a tartar sauce to
just when you think this has been slowly
accompany piping hot battered scallops.
overtaken by acidity, the baton passes
These tasty morsels will be quickly
to the final runner, dryness. Hoka may
devoured while the glasses of sake wait
be a genshu variety (i.e. not diluted with
their turn. A sake suffused with hot-
water after brewing), but it lacks the
blooded youthful enthusiasm is the
alcoholic sharpness typical of genshu,
perfect complement to any dish.
instead having the translucent quality of
Taking advantage of current trends,
a daiginjo-shu class brew. The generous
Hoka's advance through the sake market
flavor, long on economy, also fits flexibly
shows no signs of stalling as it
with many types of food.
transcends the “local sake” label to
One suggested match for Hoka's
triumph on a much larger stage.
fulsome fruitiness is a marinade of chopped apple and sea bream. The
The next issue will be released on Monday May 7, 2012.
2012 February 2012 & March May