Page 1


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

2012 May

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


JQR Fashion

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

26 28


Quality Review

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

Jun Shinozuka


Jun Nakaki

Editorial Committee

Syozou Izuishi

Tanehide Egami

Christine Lavoie-Gagnon

Shinichi Hanawa

Ayako Oda

Ryuichiro Matsubara

Dai Furusawa

Humio Maruyama

Web Director

Tokuhisa Maruyama

Yumi Yamaguchi


Wakako Kawasaki

[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]

[Travel Writer]

Additional Editing

High-Tech Industry Innovation Agency


Integral Corp.


Digital Lights Inc.


Manabiya 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 2012 May


2012 May

This Month’s New Opening

Can's Bar Photography/Satoru Naito Text/JQR


URL detail_00599/

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

Sobu Line

Showa Dori

Chuo-o Dori

Akihabara UDX

Akihabara Ekimae Plaza Bldg Electric Town Exit


Yodobashi Camera

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

原宿第一 マンションズ


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)

2012 May



2012 May

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.

2012 May


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

Hiroshi Sawada’s

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

café lattes.

necessarily. Ordering a coffee at my

STREAMER COFFEE COMPANY 1F, Miyagawa Bldg, 1-20-28 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-6427-3705

fe i L e e ff o C o y Tok 2012 May



2012 May


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)

2012 May


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

Handy hint

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.


2012 May

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


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

2012 May




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


2012 May

◎ Directions

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

◎ Directions

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

◎ Directions

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.

2012 May


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

Gourmet Foods

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,

Maruha Nichiro

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


2012 May

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

Rare Items

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

Clean Brothers

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

Suto Canning

accompaniment to alcohol.


Great packaging, too! Yamaichi Bussan 093-372-7939

2012 May




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.



Eitaro Sohonpo




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

Okaneya 0545-63-2345

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.


2012 May

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

Emergency Rations


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.


Hokkaido Seika





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.

Forika Foods

Tokyo Katsushika Welfare Factory



f-Defense Personnel

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


2012 May

(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.

Orders Bread


Furniture 2012 May



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

manufacturing process.

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

2012 May

♪ 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.



S e l e ct io n

o f

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.

2012 May


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. Hotei’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

doesn’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 won’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

and friends.

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.

2012 May

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 )


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 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


QR 1

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

“cross plasma� 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 – 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!


2012 May

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/cm3  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


QR 2

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

years ago.

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

blossom viewers.

Mizuho, in Harajuku, is one of many

is when it comes to quality.

People continue to celebrate the coming of spring with Edo confectionary


2012 May

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

2012 May




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: 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.


2012 May

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


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(men’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 stylist’s private collection


2012 May

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 stylist’s private collection


2012 May

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 ● LagunaMoon 5F Mark-Styler Bld., Hiroo 5-19-15, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 03-5447-6539

2012 May


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

Jindaiji temple.

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

 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

2012 May

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.

Chofu City

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,

 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-

 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.

Tsuno Taishi

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

 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

 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.

2012 May

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

Shinjuku Tokyo

2012 May


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.

2012 May

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 ● 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.

2012 May



2 1

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


What's N

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

Tel: 03-5572-3336

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


2012 May




4 Selection

2012 MAY

A new column starting this month introduces the editorial staff’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

Tel: 03-3367-2120

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

● ● ● ● ●

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


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Jqr 2012 12 en入稿用