Culture Shock: Nigiri Sushi Etiquette

There are several japanese table manners that should be adhered in the country. One intriguing one is NOT mixing wasabi and soy sauce when eating sushi. Doing so could overpower the taste of the fish, offending the chef. In addition, it could also mess its presentation, ruin the taste of soy sauce and  wasabi. Instead, a small amount […]

Essentialised Japanese Cuisine: Washoku.

There are several stereotypes about Japanese people but an outrageous one is that they all eat whale meat or sushi all day long. Clearly, while be sushi, udon and ramen are our initial impressions of Japanese food, these don’t represent what all possible foods in Japan are. Even the ‘essences’ of Japanese cuisine, or washoku, as represented from Japanese restaurants […]

Traditional symbols: The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japan has many symbols that represent it. The Japanese tea ceremony – a traditional ritual – is not mentioned, but I feel it is symbolic of Japan. The reason I have chosen this is because I like matcha (shown below, with equipment), the principal tea in the ceremony, and am curious to inquire further. Symbols embody […]

Overfishing: What’s your stand?

As I have highlighted in a previous post, Japan is well known for shark finning and indeed overfishing marine fish. However, with species such as the bluefin tuna beginning to decline due to overfishing, a serious global response is required – the sea belongs to the world, not just one country.   One aspect of […]

Tradition vs Ecology: Shark finning

In Japan, shark fin soup, or fukahire, is regarded as a status symbol and delicacy. The shark finning industry in Japan feeds Chinese demand – and it is literally driving sharks to extinction, as the fins are hacked and the bodies discarded at sea. In Shibuya, the heart of Tokyo, Spanish artist Pejac has created street art to embody this shifting paradigm. The […]