為せば成る (naseba naru)
Asian cuisine and culture are bigger parts of my life than my public persona may suggest. Many of my subscribers would believe that hamburgers are my favorite food, however, the truth is that I love Asian cuisine more than any other; be it Yakitora, Sushi, Korean BBQ, Dim Sum, Shabu Shabu, Hot Pot or Tempura. Within the world of Asian foods there are more than I can number, but of those I have experienced, Japanese food holds a special place with me, thereby so does Japanese culture and influence.
When I heard of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 I was devastated as much of the rest world. The images and videos were daunting, and for while I was in shock. My only experience with a large earthquake was in January 1994 when the Northridge Quake hit Southern California. That was terrifying to go through, so I can image the suffering, fear, and anxiety felt by those in Japan. In March 2015 a report was issued with the death toll numbers. Over 15,000 loss their lives, more than 2,500 injuries, and property damage in the billions. Despite this tragedy, Tōhoku strives to regain a sense of normalcy.
This weekend a food fair was held at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance, CA. The event was exciting, educational, and quite entertaining. I learned a lot of things, including the symbolism of 4 really cool Japanese characters: Nebutan (of Aomori City), Benichan (of Yamagata City), Musubimaru (of Sendai City), and Momirin (of Fukushima City). These character are a recent development in Japanese culture but the impact they have is astonishing.
Japanese food ranges in style, taste and selection. On today’s journey I indulged in a Tempura Squid Bento w/ Miso Soup. The meal rewarding and closed out the experience of Japanese culture. I can surely say, I look forward to traveling to Japan one day, and learning, experiencing, and becoming more involved in the culture.
A communal culture is trying to recover from a tragic event, and together they will. Naseba Naru.
The 2015 Rising Tōhoku Food Fair was held on August 20 – 23 at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance, CA. For more information click here.