Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I just saw the academy award winner Okuribito, ("Departures" is the English title, although Okuribito literally means "Sender"). I cried my eyes out.

Please see it. It’s steeped with Japanese culture, including gnarly kinds of food set in a morbid, yet beautiful, wabi-sabi context.

For example, there is a scene (featured above) where the master invites the young apprentice up to his home and together they eat grilled shirako. Shirako,白子、 “white children,” is milt, or fish testicles filled with semen. You can find them at any sushi restauarnt or izakaya.

At the wedding party last weekend I was asked what Japanese foods I havn’t tried yet. I said shirako and this one girl sitting next to me asked why? What is it? Many Japanese people don't actually know, in the same way many westerners don't know what’s in hotdogs, but eat them anyway. I told her it was fish testicles and she laughed and said, “No it’s not! No way.” With the help of the bar tender and another girl next to me we softly broke the news to her. She was shocked.


lostamerica said...

Nice post David! I'll definitely have to check out that movie.

Abigail said...

Hahaha that's an amazing story. ^_^

Also, my friend Masumi recently taught me 'wabi-sabi', and it's an amazing phrase. Hard to grasp at first, because it's not really something we have in America...but so beautiful.

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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