9/29/2007

Vietnamese Pho at Food Stall in Sangenjaya

Today, I needed to go to Sangenjaya. 15 min. by bus from Shimokitazawa. It is also close to Shibuya. The atmosphere of this town is similar to Shimokitazawa , yet little bigger. I like its casual atmosphere and reasonable prices at shops. I had nice Vietnamese Pho at this food stall today. Late lunch around 3:00 p.m. Delicious Soup. The photo is the one I ordered -- Beef & Veggie Pho. The coriander and basil added ethnic flavour to this Asian rice noodle soup. Bean sprouts was fresh and light.
The price was less than 600 yen. The detailed contact is not available. ( It is small place and they probably don't have phone. ) Almost right on the corner of the Sangenjaya intersection.

Otsuya ??? Dinner at Otsuya ???

I will write about Otsuya today in case you do not know what it is. Like this friend's death, the news came from a friend of the group. When I heard it, it was Sunday afternoon. The friend said " He passed away around 2:00 a.m. and the Otsuya is planned Monday night. " Usually, the next night is Otsuya. The start is around 6:00 p.m. usually. It is better to arrive at the ceremony site early enough or on time. What we wear is same as other countries , I guess. If you are family of the person, you would wear black kimono with family emblem. ( especially women wear kimono ) I wore black one piece with pearl necklace and earrings. no manicure, no flashy accessories. The pearl necklace has to be single string. ( since it is not a good news and if the string is double or triple, the image gives you the bad news will repeat. ) When you write your name at the registration , you write your name and address. You are supposed to bring a condolence money wrapped in special envelope. ( You can easily find them at convenience stores. ) If you know the person from business or something and not that close, 5,000 yen is fine. If you are close, 10,000 yen or more. Also, if you are old enough , it is better to avoid 5,000 yen, I guess. ( Ask other Japanese people's opinion , please ! ) Then, the ceremony starts. The monk starts the sutra and you will be invited to offer incense to the person in front of the photo and the coffin. After that, there will be a dinner served at the tables. I would say, if I don't know the person well enough, I would decline. This time, I was close enough and there were other close friends also, so, we decided to go up stairs and start having beers , sushi and other dishes. We talked about the dead friend and recalled good memories. We also put the beer and food in front of his photo.

9/24/2007

A Friend Passed Away

Yesterday, sad news arrived. A friend of mine who I have known for over 12 years passed away. He was sick for a while, but this sudden death was something nobody expected.
Later today, there will be a wake ( the first night ceremony to mourn the death) at a temple.
I am going to attend that.

9/23/2007

ROUKALA LOKKI ( Kamome Shokudou )

No major accident, murder, love in this story. Sachie who owns and runs small Japanese restaurant in Helsinki , Finland is the main character. Joining her is two Japanese women, one is Midori, who looks lonely and confused first, but gradually shows her drawing talent and sweetness supporting Sachie. Then, Masako, middle aged sincere woman shows up saying her luggage has been lost on the way. Masako also starts helping Sachie. In relaxing Helsinki, Masako also finds comfort although she doesn't speak any of the local language.

According to Sachie, Onigiri - rice ball- is the soul food of Japanese people. When people are tired, confused, Sachie makes Onigiri and serves them. Sachie seemed to be independent, strong woman, but in a way, she has been stubborn. With Midori's support, Sachie is changing also.

The story does not describe much of the history of those women, yet you can sense each of them has own history and came to Finland. It is superb movie for adults. Especially women.