For about ten bucks, you can get yourself a little box of simple, delicious food to eat on a train in Japan. That’s what I’ve been researching the past couple of weeks and will be writing about this week for a certain U.S. publication that is running the piece in January. Another couple of dollars and you have a cold can of Ebisu beer. Is that Fuji-san? It is.
I’m also writing about a number of cultural features of Tokyo for two certain U.S. publications, including jazz, stand up comedy, and wrestling.
It’s such a fascinating, hybrid nation, Japan is, and a number of notables I’m interviewing for these pieces add to my understanding. The influence of Japan on their work is often implicit.
Basically, a lot of silence and respect for adumbration rather than a celebration of noise; though there’s that, too: But the noise is anti-demonic and while demotic in form has elite, religious roots.
No wonder: For centuries Japan’s best and brightest headed to the military and the temples until they fused and adopted a religious sense of mission and an arrogance pertaining to the purposes of their missions.
The eki-ben sold at train stations are about the size of a hardcover book. You open the top and on a firm bed of vinegary rice are strips of protein. I love the unagi.