Ever sit down to eat a meal and wish you knew how many calories or salt were in your food? Ever cooked a piece of meat or fish only to later wonder whether it might have gone bad? Last week, Chinese Internet giant Baidu announced that it has been working on a pair of wi-fi-enabled high-tech chopsticks that will be able to detect the nutritional makeup of the food it touches as well as warning consumers of any safety issues such as contaminants or expired food.
Sitting down to a traditional Japanese meal is made even more special by those little sticks you’ll have to manipulate to get the food to your mouth. However, for fork-loving westerners, using chopsticks, or hashi as they’re called in Japanese, can be downright frustrating when all you want to do is sample the local cuisine, not wear it on your shirt. But while you’re skewering your tempura and twirling your udon (PS – don’t do that), be sure to take a few seconds to appreciate that little tool propping up your hashi. From simple to completely bizarre, there’s a chopstick rest to suit any style in Japan.
Jan 20, 2014
Family restaurants like Saizeriya are a staple of Japan’s cheap culinary world. From fake Italian food to fake Mexican-Indian hybrids that taste far better than they really should, family restaurants are a great place to hangout for high school students, to grab a quick meal between meetings for harried salarymen, or to take hungry kids for frazzled parents. Though convenient, the chains aren’t exactly known for their high class presentation.
However, Aiya, a family restaurant focused on Japanese-style cooking, has come up with a way to offer their customers a bit more pizazz!
Remember when you had a favorite TV/comic/game/storybook character you couldn’t live without, and you just had to have some toy or other connected with it close to you at all times? Well, if you’re a fan of Sailor Moon, you’ll be delighted to hear that toy manufacturer Bandai has just announced a line of products that may just let you relive some of that giddy excitement. And while these products may have the sparkly appearance of a toy, they also have a very practical use too, as you’ve probably been able to guess from the picture. Yes, folks, get ready to enjoy some Moon Prism magic — at your dining table! Read More
The above picture (sans pixelization) is blowing up on Twitter, having been retweeted over 4,000 times. But what’s wrong with a little chocolate milk tea??
Jul 24, 2013
Who hasn’t wanted their own mecha to get through rush hour, pick up dates, or smite one’s foes? While current technology is slowly getting closer to the real thing, we’re still a ways away from the mobile suits we’ve come to love.
Lucky, one talented artist has uploaded his “easy to make method” of making gundams to YouTube, which uses naught but ordinary household objects. They won’t fly you anywhere or shoot lasers but they do look pretty cool. Let’s check it out.
May 22, 2013
Throughout my time in Japan I’m often reminded of how “awesome” I am at using chopsticks at every possible moment by the locals (a phenomenon compounded by my being left-handed).
Yet despite this excessive praise for eating like a human, I still feel I have a lot to learn about manipulating said utensils with more poise and grace. That’s why I’m excited to have found this instructional video that has answered all my questions and more.
Please, join us in learning how to use chopsticks like an expert through this video. And for all our Asian friends who think they have chopsticks mastered, I’m sure there is something for you to learn too!
Karen Bremer Masuda
Dec 6, 2012
In Japanese eating culture, holding chopsticks improperly might be frowned upon (see: Proper Way to Hold Chopsticks), but how does it compare to that other notorious dinner table offense, chomping down on your food with your mouth open?
According to denizens of Japanese message board site 2channel, who recently discussed the matter in depth, noisily eating your food is a far graver crime than poor chopstick handling. Let’s take a close look at their discussion below. Read More
Earlier this week, website Netallica posted an interesting little article entitled “The Things That Foreigners in Japan Hate to Hear” for its predominantly Japanese readership. Naturally, classics like “wow, you’re so good at Japanese”, and “you’re very good with chopsticks” were flagged as the main offenders, which I’m sure many gaijin (a term I use intentionally and will come back to later) will no doubt empathise with and would be happy to hear a little less frequently, but overall there were few phrases that could not be reasonably perceived as stemming from either the speaker’s genuine desire to compliment the listener or simple naivety.
It’s difficult to broach this topic- especially as a cynical Brit who loves a good grumble- without it quickly turning into a cliché-ridden compendium of gripes about life in Japan as a foreigner or an ill-advised rant about how comments of this nature are, in fact, some kind of backhanded attempt to draw a line between foreigners and Japanese; and goodness knows there are plenty of those out there.
There are, nevertheless, a number of phrases that foreigners living in Japan have heard a thousand times and would definitely prefer Japanese people knew aren’t always received in the way that they are probably intended…
Aug 22, 2012
So by now all us alpha-males have purchased our bathing beauty iPhone cases, but are left wondering: How do I hypnotize the ladies with my machismo during meals? It would be rude to pull out one’s mobile phone while eating after all.
Well, picture this: Just before having dinner with that lucky lady you slowly and gently peel down the stockings along those smooth and silky legs – of your sexy lady chop sticks!
Trust me boys, the deal will be sealed after that.
May 26, 2012
Actually, there are many possible motives to get these chopsticks, which will defy your sense of what is right in the world, presented by ES Corp. of Hiroshima. On the lighter end: they come in black and white boxes, which lined up side-by-side, form a picture of a torii (the gateway to Shinto shrines), and thereby make for a nice his-and-hers wedding gift. On (off?) the deeper end: they bring into question the reason for existence of chopsticks. Read More
While some claim that the Japanese are paragons of good table manners, Japanese model kit and figurine manufacturer Kotobukiya has practically given us a reason to play with our food with their series of awesome novelty chopsticks.
There are currently 15 different designs, including Star Wars lightsaber chopsticks, Harry Potter wand chopsticks and even far too detailed Alien chopsticks (see below). The latest in the lineup, chopsticks modeled after the blades of four members of the shinsengumi, a famous group of samurai from Japan’s late shogunate period, is set to go on sale In Japan on April 28.
Check below for a closer look at some of the best the series has to offer!
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