The Japanese Go West

Seven is the magic number of pieces I’ve sold to Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, all on Japan: Tokyo restaurants, Sumo dining, Ryokons, Kyoto, Japanese Whisky, Japanese Beef, The Best Guide in Tokyo.  Here’s the thing: By imperial decree, the Japanese decided about 144 years ago that rather than become targeted by western forces that had colonized most of their Asian neighbors, they’d compete.

The West wanted the raw goods and slave or nearly slave labor of China, India, southeast Asia.  Holland, England, and France all were busy taking stuff.

So the Japanese, faced with Matthew Perry’s demand to open trade, decided: We’ll figure out what you do and do it better.  Refine it.

That applies to food, of course, and the result are products that are exceptional, from single malt to beef.

All this keeps me occupied while waiting…for Back of the House


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