24 thoughts on “Poems Up at ISACOUSTIC*

  1. That must be some kind of Japanese fusion sushi in the photo: it has vinegared rice (sushi), a kind of nigiri rice shape, it is fish on rice so that basically makes it nigirizushi, but some of the pieces kind of look like seaweed is rolled into them (rolls). Interesting.

    I had nigirzushi recently in a Japanese restaurant outside of Japan. It was terrible. Oh, to be back in Osaka eating street takoyaki and that awesome triangular o-nigiri from Lawson’s!! Heck, just to be back in Osaka in general… 寂しい!!

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              • Your mother made natto and/or inari? She was clearly from a highly respectable family with sophistication and good taste!

                If you are here at Robert’s blog reading this comment, and have never tried the Japanese fermented bean dish called natto, it is both greatly loved and reviled in Japan, depending on where you live. Imagine a giant bitter chunk of wet snot fermented (in part) with the same bacteria you find in the bowels of a deer… yum! BUT… mix in a little bit of mustard and soy sauce and it becomes a DIVINE little chunk of extremely healthy and delicious soy-based deer snot! Robert will tell you that natto is disgusting and something called umeboshi is delicious.

                Umeboshi are little pickled apricot-like fruit usually served as a single fruit on a bed of white rice. Imagine eating a tiny chunk of peach soaked in pickle juice… disgusting! Umeboshi are horrible little things… BUT people that like them REALLY, REALLY like them.

                Umeboshi and natto are often used as “test foods” on newcomers to Japan by fun loving Japanese, getting great humor out of watching people’s horrified or delighted reactions (usually horrified!). It is also something that they find interesting as a way of casually seeing if the foreigner is the kind of person that will fit into the area, as certain regions of Japan tend to be filled with mostly umeboshi or natto lovers. In my area of Kansai (Western Japan) I was surrounded by mostly umeboshi loving people, so they enjoyed teasing me about being so “out of place”.

                Robert loves umeboshi and I love natto. Yet somehow we found a way to not start any wars because of it! LOL.

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                  • We are so opposite. There was/is nothing I love more in Japan than natto and inari (and zarusoba and takoyaki…except maybe Yoshinoya gyudon.) It just seems so alien to me how anyone could stomach the “blessed tartness” of that horrible little red menace we call umeboshi. BUT millions of people in Japan love the heck out of them and would look at me like I was insane for loving natto! I think we can agree though that whatever it is we like or hate about various foods, Japanese folks sure do know how to make some stunningly delicious stuff!

                    I will give the Chinese folks some major credit for Peking duck though. I went to the most famous Peking duck restaurant in Beijing and had it there. I am not even using hyperbole when I say that it was pretty much ‘indescribably’ delicious.

                    It would take a world class poet such as yourself to capture its gustatory power!

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                    • Be forewarned, top notch Peking duck will spoil your tastebuds forever. The skin is dried via air blown between the muscle and skin, thus the skin is super crispy while the muscle is dripping with fat. It is served by a waiter at your table who slices thin strips of skin and meat, which is then served on a little wrapper with sauce and lovely little bits of scallion. These little bite sized servings are unbelievable, especially when washed down with a pale lager.

                      You want to know what Heaven is like? Peking duck served by a world class chef is worth any price, no matter how expensive. Your poetry is like Peking duck… precious.

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                    • Convenience store foods are perfectly designed to take hold of our cravings. Thanks to our evolutionary history, we crave sugar, salt, and fat, what was the scarcest and most useful in the beginning of our ascent out of our hominoid past. A convenience store burrito consumed 600 hundred thousand years ago could have fueled a lot of hunting and running… and reproducing!


  2. The four together are a bit intense … will read again, separately, in days ahead. But I had an immediate love for the 2 Self-Portraits. Your specifics are so very you-Okaji, and yet I identify with both Circle and Nine. I’ve been circular all my life, shying away from hierarchical structures (even during 33 misfit years in corporate culture). And for the past 10 years or so I’ve been increasingly grasping more and more of my Enneagram type 9. Thank you for abundant food for thought in both portraits.
    (And congratulations, of course!)

    Liked by 2 people

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