A ‘Gaijin’ Woman’s Challenges in Japan

People stare at me all the time. They make comments on my appearance. On my clothes. On my behaviour. On the food that’s in my bento. About how I hold my chopsticks the Chinese way. ALL DAY LONG, I have to hear how everything about me is not Japanese. Yet – when I open my mouth, people are surprised by my near perfect imitation of the Kanto accent. I AM SO SICK OF HEARING – nihongo wa jyozu des ne. Your Japanese is so good. Can you please ask me a real question?

The Ultimate Japanese Winter Comfort Food: Oden

Tonight, I’m making something typically Japanese. ODEN. A staple during the winter months – my students recommended it to me two winters ago. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop eating it. Mmm…mmm…

Oden is made of: boiled eggs, daikon, konjac and fishcakes all stewed in a soy-based dashi broth. The ingredients vary depending on where in the country you are – and of course, your own personal preferences.