January 2023





[Gohan no Otomo]

There is a word in Japanese, "gohan no otomo," which refers to a dish that, when eaten with white rice, allows one to eat as many servings of rice as one likes. They are like "friends with white rice." Most of the side dishes have a slightly stronger flavor and are in small quantities. For example, umeboshi (pickled plums), natto (fermented soybeans), and tsukudani (food boiled in soy sauce and sugar to make it sweet and spicy) are typical examples of such dishes.

Most of "gohan no otomo" are easy to make, and some are not only served over rice, but can also be used as a dish for lunch or bento. For example, why not try making a simple Japanese-style bento with chicken soboro and stir-fried egg? Even if you don't take your bento box outside, you can use it as a vessel inside your home and enjoy it.

Kurikyu's Magewappa Lunch Boxes remove rough heat and excess moisture from the rice, allowing you to eat delicious rice with the aroma of Akita cedar. It is because bento boxes are made of bent-wood that "tastes good even when cold" can be realized. Magewappa's moisture absorption and heat insulation properties, which are not found in plastic or metal containers, prevent food from getting damaged and keep it tasty. This bento box, which is entirely unpainted inside and out, was specially produced by Kurkyu by our store.

Kurikyu is a long-established company that has been representing Odate Magewappa since 1874. It has received the Good Design Award from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry 17 times, one of the most prestigious design awards in Japan. Please feel the craftsmanship cultivated over 150 years of history at your hand.

(Chicken soboro)
100 g minced chicken meat
1 tablespoon each of soy sauce, sugar, mirin and sake
1/2 tablespoon oil

(Stir-fried egg)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt

Snap peas, to taste

1. Put minced chicken meat, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sake and vegetable oil in a pan and heat. Stir-fry with 4 chopsticks and simmer until there is a little of the cooking liquid left. (chicken soboro)
2. Crack an egg into a pan, mix sugar and salt, heat and stir quickly with 4 chopsticks. When the bottom of the egg mixture begins to harden, place the pan on a wet cloth to cool the bottom of the pan while stirring, and return to the heat. When the most of thewater is gone, it is ready to serve. Serve 1 and 2 with boiled snap peas. (stir-fried egg)

Kurikyu's Magewappa Lunch Box (Unpainted)

https://www.osarai-kitchen.com/%E3%83%86%E3%83%AC%E3%83%93%E6%9C%9D%E6%97%A5/%E3%81%8A%E3%81%8B%E3%81%9A%E3%81%AE%E3%82%AF%E3%83%83%E3%82%AD%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B0/%E9%B6%8F%E3%81%9D%E3%81%BC%E3%82%8D%EF%BC%86%E7%82%92%E3%82%8A%E5%8D%B5/ (recipe)


[Kind Feelings]

If you are a Tokyo Metro user, you have probably seen this poster at least once. This is a series of Tokyo Metro manner posters that has been running monthly since last April. The posters are basically painted in red, yellow, green, and blue, with no extra color scheme, and they brighten up the otherwise gray-toned subway premises. Many lovers look forward to the new poster every month, don't you think?

The smiling, slightly comical, and intellectually playful illustrations are the work of Paris-born Paul Cox, an English teacher and self-taught artist. After working as an English teacher, he became self-taught and devoted himself to creative work. He is active in France and around the world, and his works include picture books, paintings, graphic design, as well as stage and costume design and many other fields. In Japan, he has gained a wide range of fans through Lumine Christmas installations, advertisements for the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, picture books, and collaborative goods.

The posters were created based on the concept of using expressions that are easy for everyone to understand and appreciate, including young and old, men and women, and customers from overseas, with the hope that they will practice a "kind feeling" while caring for one another. My favorite was "How to hold the umbrella" in June. Other simple phrases, such as "Luggage needs attention," "watch where you're going," and "Please sit properly," remind me again of the importance of these simple phrases.

The passengers wearing masks in all the months of the year were also uniquely Japanese, as they were suffering from the Corona disaster. Back numbers are also available for viewing, so please try to feel the "kind feelings" conveyed through the paintings. We are sure you will encounter them somewhere when you visit our Ginza showroom. There are only two months left, and we are looking forward to seeing the next installment.

Ginza Showroom





[Onigiri and Omusubi]

Japan is the land of rice. In Japan, onigiri is both a soul food and a fast food. Why the triangle shape and why is it also called "omusubi"?

There is a theory that onigiri imitates the shape of a mountain. People in the past believed that "God lives in the mountains" and "when God comes from the sky to the earth, he first descends to the top of the mountain." And the belief that "the mountain is God" became "the shape of the mountain is the shape of God."

The word "musubu" in omusubi (rice ball) has its roots in Japanese mythology, from "産霊 (musuhi, musubi)" meaning "birth spirit It refers to the divine spirit that gives birth to the universe and all things, and the power of the divine spirit is created when they are tied together. The word "musubu" means "to connect" or "to create a strong relationship," and is also used in the sense of connecting karma and hearts. Mizuhiki used for congratulatory gifts, also has the meaning of connecting people by tying them together.

Onigiri rice balls are made in a triangular shape to connect with God. People came to hold onigiri with the hope of attaining the power of the gods and spending another day safely, and they were also used as meals for working in the fields, picnic lunches, and as portable food for travelers.

Onigiri have been around since the Heian period (794-1185), but it was not until the mid-Edo period (1603-1868) that they began to be wrapped in seaweed. Until then, it was more like salted musubi. In 1978, 7-Eleven commercialized a hand-rolled type of onigiri with crispy laver, and since then onigiri have become a mainstay product of convenience stores, and the triangular shape has become a nationwide standard.

Today, we see new ideas of onigiri such as "onigiri rolled with meat" and "onigirirazu." If you know the reason for the shape of onigiri, making and eating onigiri may become more enjoyable.

Rikucho Ogasawara's Onigiri Iron Plate
Yamasaki Design Works's Sandwich Guide

『日本の「なぜ?」に答えるお話100』 PHP研究所