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Reading

~Chinese / 中文
《平如美棠》饶平如

~Japanese / 日本語
「女のいない男たち」村上春樹
「職業は武装解除」瀬谷ルミ子

~English
"Notes on Democracy" Arundhati Roy

~Korean / 한국어
《그렇습니까? 기린입니다》박민규
《소나기》 황순원

~Finished / 読了 / 已读
「コンビニ人間」村田沙耶香
"Factory Girls" Lesley Chang
"Your Republic is Calling You" Kim Young-ha
「色彩を持たない多崎つくると彼の巡礼の年」村上春樹
《裸命》陈冠中
"River Town" Peter Hessler
"Oracle Bones" Peter Hessler
"Country Driving" Peter Hessler
「カンガルー日和」村上春樹
「こころ」夏目漱石
「火の鳥9」 手塚治虫
《呐喊》鲁迅
《娃》莫言
《朋友》余华
"Inside the Kingdom" Robert Lacey
《活着》余华
"A Room of One's Own" Virginia Woolf
「羊をめぐる冒険」村上春樹
《阿Q正传》鲁迅
《倾城之恋 》张爱玲
《茉莉香片》张爱玲
《金锁记》张爱玲
「深夜特急」(2)沢木耕太郎
「1973年のピンボール」 村上春樹
"One Foot In Eden" Ron Rash
「双子の星」宮沢賢治

Four Famous Foods in Fukuoka

In August 2012 I returned to Fukuoka for the first time. In 2009-2010 I studied at Kyushu University as an exchange student, where I studied Japanese culture and linguistics and learned Japanese.

My return was part of a five-week trip from Tokyo to Shanghai via Nagasaki by boat. I spent about five days in Fukuoka meeting old friends, teachers, and my host family. (I also wrote a post about the temple of the Great Buddha.)

Today I want to share four of the most delicious things I ate in Fukuoka. Can you guess what they are?

4. Fugu bibimba

The Fukuoka Fuku Festival was all about showing off the versatility of fugu, a delicious poisonous pufferfish. I didn’t find fugu sashimi very flavorful, but I once bought a bit and fried it with excellent results. At the festival was a very popular stall selling fugu bibimba (a Korean rice bowl) for 500 yen (~$6).

3. Tonkatsu, or pork cutlet

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My friends recommended this place that serves tonkatsu, Japanese pork cutlet, among many other washoku, or Japanese-style, foods.

2. Tofu hamburger

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A tofu specialty restaurant was a favorite and a recommendation of my host mother’s. She took a friend and me to eat there. The decor was very “Japanese” to our eyes, and the many variations on tofu were amusing and creative, like tofu croquette and tofu hamburger. I went for the latter, with no regrets. It came with steamed vegetables in a wooden box.

Now anyone familiar with me or Fukuoka will certainly guess what tops my list. The historic neighborhood in downtown Fukuoka known as Hakata is practically synonymous with Hakata ramen, a tasty noodle soup made a broth brewed from pork bones. Japan is home to many good ramens, and tonkotsu is king and queen of them all. (Am I biased?) I was overjoyed when Ippudō, Fukuoka’s best known chain, with branches in Hong Kong, New York, etc., opened a branch in Shanghai. Feast your eyes on Hakata ramen!

1. Hakata ramen at Ippudō

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Have you eaten any of these foods? Please comment on your favorite Japanese foods!


8 Comments

  1. tukusigal says:

    I noticed the manga, Hinotori (火の鳥) in your reading list. Did you read it in Japanese? Or is it available in English? That manga was published when I was in high school (in 1970s) and I got completely hooked to it as a lot of my friends. I am happy young people are reading it now.

    • kieranmaynard says:

      I am reading 火の鳥No.9 宇宙編 in Japanese. It was a gift from my host mom she gave me in Fukuoka last year. I really enjoy it. I’ve just got to the part where the Hi no tori appears in the flashback!

      • tukusigal says:

        You are reading it in Japanese! Awesome. Have fun. I think Osamu Tezuka was a genius.

        • kieranmaynard says:

          Thanks! What works by Tezuka Osamu would you recommend?

          • tukusigal says:

            I would recommend ブラックジャック(Black Jack) – it’s about a physician who does not have a MD license but he is an incredible doctor. That was a big hit in late 1970s-1980s. And 鉄腕アトム (Astro Boy) – this was the first one ever in the TV anime history, I believe. It was a hit on TV in the early 1960s. You can sense the space era reflected on it.

          • kieranmaynard says:

            Thank you! I didn’t know Black Jack and Astro Boy were by Tezuka Osamu. I have a lot to learn about manga. After reading Hinotori I’m intrigued. I will look for those series online.

          • tukusigal says:

            Now I am not totally sure if Astro Boy was the first TV anime…I remember the American cartoons such as Popeye and Tom and Jerry. I am not sure which is the oldest in the anime history. Probably you know better than me.

  2. ektm says:

    Love ramen! And I’d like to try the other dishes. Yum!

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Kieran Maynard

Kieran Maynard

Writer, translator, researcher, traveler specializing in Japanese and Chinese literature.

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