Have another onigiri on me (Onigiri article in the Japan Times)

I totally forgot to mention this here, sorry! I had an article a couple of weeks ago in The Japan Times, published back on March 24, about the role onigiri may be playing in Japan right now, especially in disaster areas. To quote myself:

But above all, onigiri are comforting and familiar, speaking straight to the heart of eater and maker alike. Especially in the case of onigiri being made for the hungry quake and tsunami survivors, there is love in every bite. They are Japanese soul food.

Long time readers may recall the Healing power of an umeboshi onigiri post I had here in February. My Japan Times article was partly inspired by Yumiko Kano's account of how a simple rice ball helped to get her back on her feet emotionally (I actually had a bit about that in the original draft for the article, but it got cut for space reasons.) In the middle of all the devastation, it has been heartening to see onigiri in action.

I've actually seen some reports that some people at the evacuation shelters are complaining a bit about the monotony of the meals. It seems they are getting a lot of onigiri, tonjiru (a kind of pork and vegetable soup) and curry. Some elderly people are losing their appetites because of this. If people are feeling comfortable enough to complain about the content of their meals, I'd like to optimistically take that as a sign that things are slowly getting a little better up there.

To finish off this short post, here's a sign of "normal" down here in Yokohama....a very spring-like takeout bento I had the other day. Beautiful, isn't it? I'd never attempt such an elaborate bento myself, so it's nice to be able to buy such a gorgeous thing to eat.

hayama-spring-bento.jpg

Life in Japan is certainly not back to its usual peaceful, fairly worry-free state for everyone, especially in north-eastern Honshu, but it is slowly getting there.

(The Bento4Japan auctions are still in full swing! Tons of great bento items are up for grabs, including two copies of The Just Bento Cookbook! Winners of the books will, if they request it, get personally signed letters or cards from me. ^_^)

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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I read the Onigiri article when it came out

I was even thinking of posting about it here or sending an email to bring it to your
attention. I had no idea you were the person who wrote it. I thought it was a great article.

Re: Have another onigiri on me (Onigiri article in the ...

I love your articles and read them often. You've really brought a new type of meal to my table.
Unfortunately, this post actually brought me a little sadness, as I was just reading about the complaints from the older Japanese people about the same food everyday. It's called appetite fatigue (occurs in disastors), and older people and children are especially susceptible. It basically means that they can't force themselves to eat anymore, they become ill, and eventually starve themselves.
Your a lovely writer, and I will keep the people of Japan both in my prayers and make a donation as well to help out with the efforts.

Re: Have another onigiri on me (Onigiri article in the ...

looks yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Have another onigiri on me (Onigiri article in the ...

It has been a long time that Japanese people have had to endure this difficult situation. Still, the kinds of foods they are getting seem so much more appealing than what some people subsisted on during the days following hurricane Katrina (if they even got any food). Have you ever seen/had an American MRE (meals ready to eat)? I would trade a MRE for an onigiri any day. Still, ganbatte Japan!

Re: Have another onigiri on me (Onigiri article in the ...

PS can you recommend a tonjiru recipe? It think my son might like this.

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