February 27, 2003

must have been the awamori

A work colleague is visiting from Washington. We discovered last year during a different visit that we enjoy checking out funky eateries in Tokyo together, so when he's in town, he calls me up and I get to try out a new place. Last night we went to Little Okinawa in Ginza. We were told we'd have to wait an hour to get in, but it looked well worth it, so we signed up and headed for the nearby toy store, Hakuhinkan, to pass time.

The entrance was packed with White Day chocolates. It's a totally commercial, totally Japanese obligation day: if you receive chocolate on Valentine's Day, you should give back on White Day (March 14). Now it's kind of divided that women give on Valentine's Day and men give back on White Day. But it's to the point where it's like a ritual; my mom dutifully prepares a bag of White Day goodies for my dad to take to work come March 14.

It reminds me of the various complicated gift-giving 'rules.' Like the Oseibo and Ochugen gift sending rush people endure twice a year to send soap or cooking oil to basically anyone they are indebt to ( お世話になった人). Or like wedding gift money where the receiver must then give back a gift of exactly half the monetary value of something that is enduring (like dishes or useless gaudy towels), a tradition so developed that you can go to department stores and they have sections of 'appropriate' gifts in all the monetary value ranges you'd need.

Anyway, I digress. The main point is we went to Little Okinawa and first ordered
Awamori. I was all into taking pictures to record the evening and traditional Okinawan dishes, but uh, I somehow got distracted after the Awamori was served. Good conversations and mighty good Awamori!

Posted by Mie at February 27, 2003 09:41 AM | TrackBack


Posted by: Travis Morgan at May 6, 2003 04:14 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?