Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Oddly Japanese-Themed Holiday Bash

Although the Japanese don't observe Christmas in the religious sense, they certainly appreciate it. The lights are a big part of the attraction, as homes and businesses display many an LED. Just look at these photos from Tokyofashion.com. "We don't celebrate Christmas, but we enjoy it. With chicken," says my Japanese teacher. In that spirit, my husband and I threw an Oddly Japanese-Themed Holiday Bash this week. 

Preparing the table
Before guests arrived we set the table with dorayaki, Pocky, and a cheeseball. (Something had to be American, right?)

Pocky: Stick to fun!
Pocky is a wonderful biscuit-stick thing covered with strawberry and chocolate. It certainly is "Stick to fun!" It's such a popular snack in Japan that Strapya World, a Japanese cell phone strap, charm, and accessory store, sells chopsticks in its likeness. Check out the Pocky Super Kawaii Chopsticks from the site. 

Christmas bento from Fuji Catering
The hit of the party was the special Christmas bento prepared by Toru-san from FUJI Catering. He packed a lot of food into those bento boxes. In addition to the obligatory rice (with furikake!),  he prepared broiled yellowtail teriyaki, chicken yakitori, tempura, hijiki (calcium-rich black seaweed), and gobo (burdock root). Toru-san also added the American (or Italian) touches of spaghetti with Italian sausage and mozzarella cheese with tomato slices. Fruit on the side made a nice dessert. That's quite a meal! 

Asian Pop Culture writer May Young tearing into her Christmas bento
I've written about FUJI Catering in Chopsticks NY and on examiner.com, helping Toru-san spread the message about the wonders and convenience of his bento delivery service. My friend May (above) seemed rather impressed.

Using tenugui to wrap bottles
Ruri Kippenbrock, owner of online tenugui store wuhao newyork, brought a bottle of Trader Joe's Vintage Ale wrapped in Japan's most versatile cloth. Isn't she clever?!

Junko Fisher playing my Okinawan sanshin
Our Oddly Japanese-Themed Holiday Bash featured an impromptu concert. I've had a sanshin (Okinawan three-stringed banjo-esque instrument; it's called shamisen in mainland Japan) for years, but my mother deemed it broken. After Junko Fisher, an Okinawan dancer and singer, took a look at it, she deemed it in need of adjustments. But she played and sang several songs to the delight of our friends. 

Alcohol
Our generous friends brought tons of bottles, so we're set for the winter. Merry Christmas! Or as they say in Japan, メリークリスマス!

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