daily preciousness

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sushi threesome

Sushi tasting

These cheerful sushi chefs kept the place lively, yelling out traditional sushi chef chants and toasting us with loud "Kampais." They were the hit of the tasting. Along with the plum wine and dry sake.

The company was good. Henry and I met folks from all around. They were a handful of people of the millions who'd come in to see the blossoms this year. The twenty-seven thimble-fulls of sake managed to make me just the slightest bit relaxed and mellow. But who knows -- that might have simply been the allergy medicine?

A freakishly straight-faced guy ambled about, tugging a sound system behind him. The speaker blared old country music Enka, it's called. He created curious little wax sculptures for the crowd. A blowfish here, a sand dollar there... Stranger still was his quirky sense of humor when he donned a colorful dragon mask and proceeded to "bite" at people's hands and chopsticks. People laughed and joked at his antics, while he remained aloof. Despite the giggles from kids and adults around him, he was stone-faced. How oddly impassive he was! It reminded me of the tendency for Japanese folks to not show their emotions that much.

I suppose that if I'd seen him at a festival in Japan just a few years ago, it wouldn't have made much of an impression. But among so many americanized Japanese, his impassivity stood out.

The sushi chefs above obviously have a great sense of fun about them. They made the evening a really fun affair. "Uh-oh, do you like taco?" They asked me, in English. (Taco is Japanese for octopus.) They obviously didn't expect me to like our eight-legged sea pals that much! But the octopus was fresh and tasty -- wonderfully chewy. It hit the spot.

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