Eating Japanese rice daily

japanese white rice

Staple food of Japan

I never thought I’d be eating so much rice. I mean I went from no rice, to rice all the time. Not that I mind rice but you know how it is. It’s like going to the same job everyday and not wanting to go back the next. It’s like taking that same bus over and over again with that same guy sitting across from you not knowing what he’s thinking, and he just stares. It’s like, well you get the idea. I kid though, it’s not that bad. Rice, among others, is a staple food in Japanese cuisine. It has to be expected that ones Japanese wife would be eating Japanese rice daily. And to clarify, I don’t mean morning noon and night or anything but everyday at least with one meal.

Eating Japanese rice daily for me wasn’t that big of a deal to start doing. I’ve always enjoyed many asian dishes, in which of course in many other asian counties, rice is also a staple food. If not in direct rice form then in some other prepared fashion such as rice noodles. One of which is my all time favorite Vietnamese Rice vermicelli with grilled pork and fried egg noodles. Another is the all time classic Thailand Pad Thai made with wider flat rice noodles. Pad Thai is great with a different assortment of meats. The last one that comes to mind is Chinese Chow Fun with wider stickier noodles. Holy crap I am making myself hungry now.


Public bath? I have to think about that.


Onsen ritual

Of the many things I was able to experience while in Japan, can’t wait go to back by the way, was the public bath. My wife told me long before we went that she had expected me to participate in this ritualistic event. This was the first time I was to meet her entire family so we, had to take a bath together? Of course I had asked many questions about what it was like and what I had to do. And of course being American, was anyone going to see my penis? I don’t make a habit of showing just anyone. She teased the hell out of me about my questions of course. She kept telling me that more than likely, they had probably wanted to check out my penis. Not in any weird way, but to just “see it”. A particular day while driving around in Japan with the family we had passed by a bathhouse and we turned around to go back. I asked what was going on and my wife said “We just passed a bathhouse so we are going.”. I was half asleep in the car at the time but woke quickly and asked “Right now? As in we are going now? I am not mentally ready for this!”. Her parents laughed at me and thought I was being a child so we waited.

Needless to say I was nervous about it. The reason she expected me to participate is that we all were to go to Onsen for a couple days. Onsen is the Japanese term for a hot spring or even more to the point a bathhouse inn or as such fed by a hot spring. Technically however I don’t think all bathhouses are fed by a hot spring only onsen. There are many bathhouses scattered all over the place. Mostly easy to spot just because, to me anyway, they had this indoor pool type of building familiarly about them.


What is Marimokkori anyway?


Japanese mascot characters

Ok so you might be thinking to yourself right now. What is this green character and why is there some type of huge ball thing where his package should be? Better yet, why is he reaching out to a child and trying to touch his hand? I can tell you right now, something like this in America would never fly. There would be protesting and riots in the streets if this were going on. Again however, this is the kind of thing the American mentality would never fully embrace or understand. Which, I understand. My first reaction was one of shock for the reason alone that Americans have been taught certain things about sexuality that traverses through our adults years as being “bad” or not “normal”. I am not saying there isn’t problems in Japan with sexuality or behaviors but from what have experienced, it’s just not the same. There is a lot of sexual connotations in Japanese culture which I have yet to fully understand though it seems a lot of it comes from the Edo period as well as other cultural values and ideas. Though don’t quote me on that.