Catching Colds

March 1st, Friday:


  • Midakusan Soup (Potato, Tofu, Konnyaku, Burdock, Carrot, Onion)
  • Simmered Daikon and Mincemeat (Daikon Radish, Pork, Edamame)
  • Salt-Broiled Pentacerotidae
  • Wakame Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 779

Shiitake that are dried in the sunlight become “Dried Shiitake”. When drying them in sunlight, their scent and flavour as well as their nutrition increases. Since they get all wrinkled up when drying, that is very strange.

I am a little confused why kyuushoku dayori above talks about shiitake, since today’s dish didn’t seem to include any mushrooms, shiitake or otherwise. Although the soup broth may have been shiitake based?

Anyway, the other day I was reading some of the papers posted in the classroom. It is common for each student to write their goals for the term at the beginning and then hang them all along the walls of the class. In this class room, the students each wrote two things they wanted to do (say good morning to fellow students, raise their test scores, etc.) and two things they wanted to avoid (forgetting things, bullying others etc.). One of the students wrote for the latter than he wanted to not catch a cold.

I thought this was interesting because–to me–catching a cold is not really something you have a lot of control over. Yes, you can wash your hands and gargle, but I don’t know, I seem to always catch the cold anyway. But actually, I think this sort of statement is an element of a broader way of thinking in Japan. For example, in America I think, if you are late but you have a good excuse, then you are forgiven since it wasn’t your fault. But in Japan, even if you have a good excuse, you are still held responsible for being late. So I think it is the same with catching a cold: even though it is not your fault, you are still responsible. I am reminded of a quote by Yoshida Shoin:

Desiring food and drink or fine company, yielding to sickness, falling into idleness, or failing in willpower is the waning of bushido.

Getting sick is included along side vices like being lazy, a glutton, or a womanizer…【・_・?】

This way of thinking is has its merits and faults. On the good side, we can control a lot more things in our life than we think, and this way of thinking encourages responsibility and industriousness. On the bad side, it puts a great deal of pressure on people for things that they might not be able to control and this can lead to suicide. I imagine the important thing is to still hold people responsible, but never forget to temper it with compassion.

Wakame Gohan

Wakame Gohan


Daikon Yakusha

December 7th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Cabbage, Carrot, Daikon Radish)
  • Satsuma-age with Egg (Satsuma-age, Rgg, Onion, Burdock, Green Bean)
  • Salt Broiled Boarfish
  • Wakame Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 778

Poor actors in theatre are called “Daikon Yakusha (Radish Actors)”. Because daikon are easy to digest, even if you eat a lot of them, you will rarely get (lit. hit) food poisoning. Thus actors who rarely have a hit are called Radish Actors.

By the way, I asked my friend about this, and she said there were many stories behind this term “daikon yakusha”. One is that daikon are often grated (orosu) which sounds the same as the word meaning to be fired. And another story is that daikon are white and boring (they don’t have a strong flavour and are very common), and poor actors are white and boring as well.

Speaking of Japanese theatre, I was reading in a book the other day that in the Edo period, while the amount of people who actually went and watch theatre wasn’t that high, the amount of people who read books and papers about actors and theatre life was very great. As someone who has no interest in celebreties (theatre or otherwise), I thought that contrast was interesting.


Iridori Stew

July 6th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Daikon, Wakame, Green Onion)
  • Iridori Stew (Chicken, Burdock, Bamboo Shoot, Onion, Carrot, Shiitake Mushroom, Konnyaku)
  • Salt Broiled Boarfish
  • Rice
  • Milk

Rice is an important foodstuff without which we could not do. Not only do we eat rice, but rice flour is increasingly used in processed foods.

Iridori stew has a sort of thick Chinese-like sauce. I like the vegetables used in it, but I dislike the sauce’s texture. The boarfish was soft and tasty.
By the way, I ate English Curry packaged by the Hakodate restraunt Gotouken for dinner. It was crazy expensive–200 grams for like 500 yen or something–which was why bought it. I wanted to know why it was so expensive. It was tasty, but too spicy for me. I conjecture the reason it was so expensive is the first ingredient is fruit (apple and banana) and the second is beef. Which makes me wonder: did Englishmen really put fruit in their curry?? Or was it just because fruit and beef are by nature expensive and thus only Englishmen could afford them??

  • みそ汁
  • 炒りどり
  • つぼ鯛塩焼き
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳