Automated Sushi Disposal System

Sushi was a preservative food to make good use of food and now it is all about the freshness. Sushis are consumed all around the world using fresh raw seafood, even though it is a great food culture it is a cause for mass food disposal due to the difficulty in quality control. The origin of sushi was a fermented food made from steamed rice and crucian carp and it was one of the best preservative foods in the past.

The reality of mass food disposal was in low cost conveyor belt sushi restaurant. They put two pieces of sushi on a plate and puts it on a conveyor belt so that customers could see it and choose their sushi. These kind of restaurant gain dominant popularity among Japanese people for its high entertainment properties and cheap prices. However to sustain the freshness of the sushi some restaurants created automated sushi disposal system. The system allows the bar code on the back of the plate to automatically distinguish sushi that went around the conveyor belt for 55 minutes and disposed it.

It is important to eat fresh food not only because they taste good but to consider about health, however people these days are extremely sensitive to the expiration date of an food. People should use the expiration date as an rough guide and not as an certainty.

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Amazon Selling Buddhist Priest

Amazon.com in Japan started the deliverly service of buddhist priest. There are many dissenting opinion about treating sacred buddhist priest as an product, however at the same time people below middle-age that has less religious spirit thinks that it is a good “product” for  people to have the opportunity to pray. Whether it is good or bad to sell buddhist priest on Amazon it gave Japanese people time to think about the view on religion in Japan.

Recent Japanese people have less relation to religion, but many of Japanese people do their funeral in buddhist style. Funeral itself can be done by funeral home and they can arrange temple and buddhist priest. The problem about buddhist style funeral is that people have to do the first year memorial service, the third year memorial service and the seventh year memorial service. This is a problem to people that have no connection with buddhist priest especially among modern people and it is not rare for young generation to quit these memorial services. Prewar time in Japan, people had their own temple that they belonged to and this practice is fading in Japan.

As a dissenting opinion of buddhist priest, many think that it is a desecrate against religion instead of helping and the portion of the money that they receive is very low. The price of ordering the service of the buddhist priest is 35000 yen about 310 US dollar and most of that money goes to the hand of the operating company. Only one seventh which is 5000yen about less than 50 US dollar  goes to the buddhist priest.

There are still problem that needs to be fixed in selling buddhist priest on Amazon, but I think this is one of the way that can allow people to retain their religious spirit in this modern society.

http://www.musashino-u.ac.jp/bukken/pdf/watanabehiro27.pdf#search=’%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E4%BA%BA%E3%81%AE%E5%AE%97%E6%95%99%E5%89%B2%E5%90%88′

First biracial Japanese Miss Universe

Miyamoto Ariana who is half African American and Japanese was chosen as the Japanese representative of The Miss Universe. She was the first Japanese miss universe to be biracial and there are many Japanese people saying that she is not suitable for being representative of Japanese women. It became a problem because the definition of beauty is different by country and Miyamoto Ariana did not fit into the typical definition of Japanese beauty. Many people in Japan think that to be chosen as miss universe, she’s parent should both be Japanese.

As a result of long history of Japan’s national isolation, Japanese people have the tendency of having peculiar identity towards their own culture and society and does not want any foreigners involved in it. In island country Japan, many people believe about the purity of the race of Japanese people. However in reality the people of Japan is formed from immigrants from other Asian countries such as Korea, China and Southeast Asia.

The reason why Miyamoto Ariana decided to apply for miss universe is that she wanted to change Japanese discrimination and bias against biracial people. I believe that Miyamoto Arian being The Miss Universe, Japan will become more globally aware.  miss_universe_japan-0y0g6uc91jl76y9bwj2_t620

Spicy culture

In Japan around 1980’s before I was born, extreme spicy food from foreign countries became popular among the people. Japanese people use chili pepper as accent for tastes and they never had extreme spicy foods like the one in Southeast Asia. This can also be seen in the US dietary culture where people started consuming Mexican foods like tacos.

After many years the chili peppers that are used in spicy food has spread around the world from Mexico. However there were ethnic groups that took in chili pepper into their food culture and others that did not. In the late 16th century the chili peppers were brought into the Far East where Japan and Korea are located. Unlike Japan, Korea used chili pepper in their national food Kimchi that are still loved by the people.

Then what is the reason why spicy food has recently gain its popularity. The study by Paul Rozin a professor in University of Pennsylvania tells us about why people like spicy foods. The reason why people started the habit of eating chili pepper is from the environment and life style in the area such as to increase appetite when its hot and to increase body temperature when its cold. In cases like Japan however, people started consuming spicy food because of the penetration of urban-type life style and people started to enjoy the sensational flavor. In modern society with lots of stress people tend to demand for more stimulation.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00995932

Sumo Culture

Look at the picture on the textbook of Cultural Anthropology on page 43. It is a picture of sumo wrestler and on his waist there is s rope tied around him. The highest rank of sumo wrestler called “yokozuna” only has the rights to put shimenawa around their waist. The rope that is tied around yokozuna is the same rope called “shimenawa” that are displayed in shrine as an object of worship. Every year in New Years Eve we put shimenawa up our front door and whish for a great year. Japanese people have valued the tradition and it has been adapted to our normal life of modern society without any feeling of wrongness.

The sumo wrestling fights are one of Shinto ritual and the sumo wrestler that is ranked as yokozuna is capable of attracting the spirit of god. The picture of sumo wrestler on the textbook is a famous sumo wrestler named Taiho from showa period and he was a yokozuna. He was half Russian and half Japanese and nobody criticized despite the fact that sumo wrestling is a sacred ceremony. Recently there are many sumo wrestlers that are from foreign country and the existing yokozuna are all from Mongolia. This shows that Japan value tradition but very open to the foreigners that are willing to participate in it.

Since we are talking about gender in class, there is a strict rule in sumo wrestling that women can’t go on the official playing field of sumo which are called “dohyou.” The reason for this is that the god will be envious of the women. As a sport there are women sumo wrestling where women can also participate in sumo.

http://www.sumo.or.jp