Japan in the Cards

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.



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