Portugal and Japan in talks concerning “ownership” of popular deep-fried dish

The kebab.  It’s the pride of Turkey, and it’s the pride of Greece.  The origins are vague, and this has allowed both countries to claim to be its cultural custodians.  And, while the countries haven’t gone to war over the kebab, the issue is far from being solved.

Now, if we substitute the word tempura for kebab, and Japan and Portugal for Turkey and Greece, we find ourselves in similarly culturally sensitive territory.  But, it’s here where similarities end, because Portuguese and Japanese diplomats will be sitting down this week to create an historic Agreement on the Degree of Cultural Importance of Tempura in Portugal and Japan.  Rumors that a delegation of Melbourne fish & chip shop owners were eager to participate in the talks have so far been denied by all parties.

The tone of the talks will largely depend on the opening remarks given by both sides but, while everyone seems eager to engage in a spirit of cooperation, friction doesn’t seem far away. “They should know that we are above corruption,”  said one Portuguese delegate. “Seriously.  Don’t smirk.  We can’t be bought off with a couple of evenings of booze and rub ‘n’ tugs, which is apparently how they got custodianship of Genghis Khan BBQ from the Mongolians.

“One of our Japanese counterparts said that Japanese people take extra care when they eat tempura.  When I pressed for a concrete example of that, he told me that it was because they ate with chopsticks.  That was what it came down to; eating with chopsticks.  Come on!  Would that hold up in a court of law?”

“These people in the far east are cheeky as hell,” said another delegate wearing garish epaulettes.  “The Philippines tries to claim adobo as their own dish. All they’ve done is add soy sauce.  Wow! Big change!  And this is when every former Spanish colony has tweaked it one way or other. You can’t claim a dish as your own just by adding a different sauce.  In this case with tempura, it should be acknowledged that Portugal is the birthplace. 

“You can’t change that!  Japanese people are trying to support their claim by saying that it’s been 500 years (since the dish was introduced).  What does that mean!?  In 2300 will the USA be able to claim spaghetti as their own?  Will the Australians be able call their sparkling wine Champagne again?  The answer to these questions, my friend, is no.  As you can see, this is an issue that’s going to have repercussions for everyone in the future.”

The shots across the bow aren’t coming from one direction either, with a Japanese participant asserting that the dish is now Japanese.  “The Portuguese have suggested that we should change the name to something else, but I think our pronunciation has allowed the word to take on a sophisticated air,” said an middle-aged man with obviously dyed black hair. 

Another old guy with a permanent creepy smirk explained that, “When we talk about tempura, we say the word with the feel of a farmer’s beautiful daughter slowly walking through a field of wheat as her dress brushes softly against the stalks.  Oh, and did I mention that we are very proud of our tempura? That fact alone should count for everything.” 

Japanese man annoyed from being complimented on knife and fork ability

Masking the cultural differences between the two cultural superpowers.

Kocho Umin stands on a bridge across the Seine River and shakes his head, a wry smile forming as he prepares to let it all out. “I like living here.  Paris is where it’s at for me,” he begins.  “But, these people act as though they’re the center of the universe, but then express surprise if you know anything about their country.”

French cakes became super popular in Japan, but only after forks were imported for the first time in 1910.

For the 32 year old systems analyst, life in France is much more than people discussing avant garde art and lesbian film. “These people behave as though it’s only them who use knives and forks, even though all the countries surrounding France have the same culture.  The French didn’t even invent this style of eating.

Crepe has always been a fallback snack for Japanese who have failed to familiarize themselves with western cutlery.

“I’ve been living in Paris for over a year.  Of course I can use a knife and fork,” said Umin, before adding that he tends to swat away many such innocuous, yet slightly irritating, questions at least once a week. “They ask me if I like French girls, and if I like French food.  It’s as though they think I only moved here because I have some kind of French fetish, where I get all turned on by young women who know how to coordinate stylishly.

Macron was mightily impressed when Abe told him that he’d been to a French town with no well-known tourist attractions.

“They’re super proud of their wine here, too.  One person asked me if I knew what beaujolais was.  Of course I do.  Japan, more than any other country, gets excited about it every autumn thanks to clever marketing conducted by our electronics companies who were kind of forced by the French government to import the stuff.  When I tell people this they give a really vague response, as though they either don’t believe me or don’t understand what I’m saying.”

Umin regularly finds himself tending to the emotional and physical needs of groups of young Japanese women struggling with Paris Syndrome.

Full of momentum, Umin was still keen to wrap up our interview so that he could go to a nearby Japanese bar where he could be amongst regular people and breathe.  “When I mention something like The Louvre, escargot, or the guillotine during a conversation, the reaction is usually condescending.  People seem amazed that I know these things, as though I’m Marco Polo or some guy blessed with the key to universal cultural understanding.  When I tell them that it’s basically all simple general knowledge, there’s often an awkward silence.  What’s that all about?”

Two flags to lead the world in a cosplay revolution, yet Umin would prefer it to be a unilateral Japanese initiative.

Umin was also keen to describe the ignorance of the locals.  “I’m from Japan, but people often think I’m Chinese.  What an insult!  That would be like people in Japan assuming that every white person they see is from America.  It’s that ridiculous.  What’s more, when they find out that I’m Japanese, they want to tell me that Sony, Panasonic, and Nintendo owe their very existence to the silk loom.  These Frenchies are so proud of their DNA.”

Umin desires nothing less than official recognition that French culture isn’t as fabulous as people tell him on the streets of Paris every day.

Jean Kulasek, Paris Municipal Councilor for Special Events, expressed dismay at Umin’s attitude.  “It is a shame that a relatively new resident of our world class city could harbor such views.  Perhaps living in France is difficult for foreigners, as we have many things that you’d have to be French to understand.”  When pressed for an example, the councilor sucked in air through his teeth before quickly saying, “Lots of cheese.”  He then stared down at his desk for a while, eventually glancing up with apparent hope that I wasn’t sitting in front of him anymore.

Bald white guy hoping for new Jason Statham smash hit film to help him get laid

Disgusting.  Unattractive.  Gross.  Weird.  Unfashionable.  Ugly.  Unfortunate.  Stale.  Jerry Grinter has heard all of these words and more uttered in close proximity to him quite often during his time in Tokyo.  More painful for him is that the words are sometimes coming out of the mouths of beautiful women.

“In places like Thailand and Vietnam the local women go wild for me,” explained the 34 year old Albertan, his scalp shining despite the darkened woke café interior.  “They see baldness not just as a sign of virility, but also nobility.  Prince William, in particular, helps a lot in maintaining this image.  In Japan, however, a bald man is bottom of the pile.  That’s why you see so many rugs from hell when you’re on the subway here.

“Basically, Japanese women don’t get wet over the sight of a bald man.  They think bald men are old and creepy, and probably unable to perform adequately.  On the other hand, it’s not all doom and gloom for the follicly challenged in Japan.  The advantages are, of course, that saucy old British comedian Benny Hill is barely known so the chances of being slapped about the scalp are minimal.”

Reduced to wearing pork pie hats and flat caps when he ventures into Tokyo’s more fashionable areas, Grinter has learnt to try picking up young ladies in city parks rather than chasing them in exclusive nightclubs.

“Yoyogi Park is probably where I have most success.  The girls there tend to be racier and more agreeable to capping off an afternoon’s drinking in a disabled toilet at sunset.  When chasing skirt during the day, few women question why I’m wearing a hat.  Without any head-covering though, I couldn’t even get laid at a Bruce Willis Appreciation Event in a club filled with ugly chicks.  That’s the reality that I face in this unforgiving city every weekend.”

According to local historic sex expert Sarashi Matashita, baldness was considered macho 300 years ago, and could see a comeback in our lifetime.  “According to poetry of ancient Nara, women of the court would hunger for the love of a bald man following a legendary afternoon when three chonmage samurai ravished a dozen maidens in a carefully maintained garden.  Baldness also indicated an absence of headlice, which could be devastating for a long haired lady back in those days.”

Matashita expressed sympathy for crome-domes by pointing out the lack of sexy bald Japanese stars, but he also offered a glimmer of hope for the follicly challenged.  “We’ve always seen dead fashions come back after prolonged periods of being ridiculed.  The same goes for hairstyles.  By my reckoning, baldnesss is due to come full-circle during the next decade.  Until then, however, all those cue balls just have to accept that they are grossly undesirable in the eyes of an astonishingly large number of Japanese women.”

Japan Flips! “We Japanese now like eating lamb.”

It’s in the supermarkets.  It’s in the izakaya.  It’s in the restaurants.  It’s delicious.  And now even the powerful Four Unique Seasons Groupthink Association (FUSGA) has announced that, due to recent developments, it has slightly altered its position on lamb.

For years the agreed-upon national attitude had been that lamb had a strange smell which every single son and daughter of Yamato found abhorrent.  Following the increase in Pacific trade agreements and the dismantling of tariffs, however, it seems that palate selectiveness is entirely coincidentally becoming a thing of the past.

“We’ve never eaten lamb because somewhere at some time someone said the smell was disagreeable,” explained FUSGA spokesperson Kintama Asedarake.  “Although, at the same time, in Hokkaido they have been eating a barbeque lamb dish for years.”  Hana Susuri, a random 70 year old woman, who sticks her nose in whenever a westerner is around, added, “We call it Genghis Khan.  Do you know?”

The news has been welcomed by Aussie and Kiwi farmers, who may or may not have slipped the President of the FUSGA a thick brown paper envelope recently.  “You little beauty,” exclaimed the head of the Queensland Farmers Federation, Terry Sterling.  “It’s great for us (Australian farmers) and it’s great for the Kiwi’s too.  We all want a robust New Zealand economy as it gives all those Kiwis more reason to stay in New Zealand, rather than going out into the world and living amongst the rest of us.”

Not everyone is happy with the news, however.  For 75 year old Kazuo Shitauchi, it leaves a few questions unanswered.  “I’ve always accepted that I didn’t like lamb, but now I am supposed to like lamb.  I may need time to adjust to this situation.  Should I buy some now?  Is the smell still bad?  How will my highly sensitive scent glands and my unique digestive system handle it?”

Foreigner Expectation Zones to be designated to avoid bewilderment among locals

A comprehensive national guide to where foreigners can be encountered.

We’ve all seen it before; a Japanese person responding in disbelief upon seeing a clearly non-Japanese person, even when the foreigner lives in the area and walks down the same road 300 times a year.  The encounter can be frightening for a Japanese person, and annoying for a blow-in.  That’s why the government has got around to introducing a map that can serve as a guide for areas where it’s quite entirely possible that a foreigner may be present at some time.

A spokeswoman for the government, Mirei Tokimeki, was only too happy to explain the initiative.  “We like rules in Japan, so it’s only natural that we have rules for dealing with non-Japanese. 

“We can see from this map that in some areas it’s completely reasonable to expect to see a foreigner.  Here we’re talking about central train stations, tourist areas, and neighborhoods with down-market drinking establishments. In these areas we would like to encourage everyone to just go about their daily business as if foreigners are normal, regular people. 

The mere sight of a westerner can arouse all kinds of suspicions in some people .

“In other areas, just the thought of seeing a foreigner may be incredibly weird and barely comprehensible.  This is where an over-the-top reaction would be appropriate, be it an overt coughing fit, indirect questions as to why they are there, an observation that there have been a lot of foreigners around lately, or simply an assertion that you are most definitely surprised.

“As with the introduction of any rules, however, there may be some confusion. So, we’d like everyone to remember that they also have the choice of relying on the traditional default setting of stopping whatever it is that they are doing and staring blankly. This can always be considered an appropriate reaction.”

Japan Govt looking to open borders, but limit numbers of J-vloggers

He’s having fun because he’s role playing as a successful reporter.

While plans for opening borders are now moving swiftly through Nagatacho, lawmakers have also made some broad outlines for the door to remain shut for certain types of people.  Humans Rights groups, left-wing organizations, and other perpetual whining pains in the ass had been ready to crank up the outrage, but they called a halt to things when it was revealed that western youtubers were the targets of new government policy.

Smiles all around as the new policy becomes law.

“We’re kind of sick of self-styled reporters coming here and then trying to tell everyone about the real Japan,” explained government spokesperson Jiko Nagusame.  “Can people just come to Japan and enjoy it, without having to film themselves role playing as TV reporters?”

This quaint town is just waiting for a J-vlogger to arrive and film it to kingdom come.

For reasons beyond the scope of this reporter, some youtube videos end up getting a lot of views, but most seem to become a kind of holiday slideshow for the 21st century.  Phekel Mathir, an online content expert, argues that J-vloggers are performing a valuable role in informing potential travelers about what to expect in Japan.

What’s wrong with the picture? It needs a J-vlogger walking through with all the style, grace and consideration for others as a bunch of Chinese tourists.

“J-vloggers are either much-loved or much-loathed.  The fact is that westerners asking young Japanese women on the likelihood of them performing fellatio on a white man who is in town for the week can make stimulating viewing,” says the 38 year old Mathir.  “Reviews of vending machines and convenience store snacks can also be informative and entertaining.  I don’t know how people can mock that and call the vloggers all kinds of names.

A street in Tokyo. J-vloggers can teach you how to walk down it.

“The Japanese government appears to have condoned the ridicule by introducing this isolationist policy.  The silence from the Human Rights groups is also deafening.  I can’t believe that they have to be reminded that J-vloggers are real people with real dreams, and that they deserve to be supported.”

Thirsty? J-vloggers can tell you how to put coins into one of these vending machines.

For the time being, the band of itinerant, enthusiastic reporters are facing an uncertain future.  They will be allowed into Japan, but only on the proviso that they don’t film and report every single thing that they do.  For some, that’s akin to being told not to breathe, and as a result many J-vloggers are not prepared to budge an inch. Some have even publicly stated that they will not compromise.  However, if the new policy is anything to go by, neither will the Japanese government.     

Desperate film studio’s Seven Samurai adaption sees uniform outrage

Among others, veteran actor Kyoko Fukada had been considered a front runner for a lead role, until the producers went for the cheap option by signing up seven unknowns.

Following the Kurosawa family’s failed legal challenge to both block the movie’s release and then to have the title forcibly changed, it looks like we will be seeing a new “adaption” of the classic Japanese-Western “Seven Samurai” coming to the screen soon. The embattled Tochigi-based Studio Waisetsu has staked its future on the success of the movie. 

Shooting for the film, featuring seven schoolgirls in the titular roles, was wrapped up in rural Tottori on the weekend.  And, whilst the legal side of proceedings (don’t call it a “new version” or “remake” – the legally acceptable word is “adaption”) was almost a movie in itself, the location work went very smoothly. 

It’s photo’s like this that provided the inspiration for Innou Hidai to pursue his dream of making his very own Kurosawa movie.

With the controversy surrounding the project, Director Innou Hidai was eager for the opportunity to set the record straight.  “What’s the problem?  They are seven in number and they are trained in the noble art of sword fighting,” he explained.  “If people are going to focus on trivial things like gender and wardrobe, then what chance does a filmmaker have?

“Ayase Haruka starred in a version of Zatoichi.  Where were the naysayers then?  Sure, the concept of a timeslip appearing is novel, and the girls just happening to be all carrying the same kind of beverage and also the same kind of snacks could be considered unlikely, but there are always Buy 6 – Get 1 Free specials going around.  Convenience stores purposely place a discounted snack at the front of a store.  So, it isn’t impossible.”

Ayase Haruka showed that she’s more than a cleavage on legs by displaying her sword fighting prowess in Ichi.

Veteran movie critic Oppai Yuganda expressed his disgust at the undisguised cash-grab.  “It looks like a product placement pile-on.  The girls are carrying a plethora of bathroom products.  They’ve got hair gel, lipstick, foundation, deodorant, and frangers.  There’s always a product of some sort in the frame, so the audience are treated as consumers rather than patrons throughout the movie.  Any thoughts that this is a work of art, to be savored and admired, evaporate quickly.

“Japanese film makers need to ask themselves if they are making film as art, or just a 90 minute advertisement.  While I’ll always applaud local cinematic productions, more often than not I find myself merely giving a token golf clap.  We all know there’s a big bucket of federal arts cash for local production, and there is even more money handed out if you put the right products in the stars’ hands.  It’s just sad when the cash is always allocated to friends, or friends of friends.  Personally, I worry when porn production quality is surpassing that of supposedly serious drama.”

These young ladies had no way of knowing it, but they provided a blueprint for how classy students used to look back in the day. Director Hidai ultimately decided to make his seven students faster and more open-minded.

Another critic, or film reviewer as he requested that we call him, Mogura Tebayai, was scathing,  “The bandits aren’t bad, are they?  Oh, they’ve got moustaches and poor personal hygiene.  They chew and spit tobacco.  They use foul language.  But, they have seven hot teenage girls whom they take prisoner, yet no harm comes to these girls at all.  Tokyo offices and subway trains are actually more dangerous places for young women.”

Despite the one star review, Tebayai admitted to investing his life’s savings in the film.  “This kind of stuff is a license to print money.  Don’t look at the storyline. Look at the visual content in its most simple form. You’ve got seven 18-year-old babes with swords running around in cute uniforms.  The weaboos around the world are going to go nuts for this.  Just the income from DVD sales in France ought to be enough to pay off my house.”

Tech-Wiz Hirogari Seibyo is back to answer readers’ questions

A little over twelve months ago we introduced computer maestro Hirogari Seibyo to all of you, our legion of readers from around the world (“Tech-Wiz quietly achieves anti-mosaic breakthrough” – Nov. 2019).  Interest in Seibyo’s situation has remained high.  Every month we receive enquiries into how he is faring, and whether he has developed any new programs that could benefit porn enthusiasts.  So, over lunch at a Peruvian restaurant in Jiyugaoka, Seibyo answered some of your more thoughtful questions.  Once again, it’s over to you…

Stewart Barber:  How are you doing financially these days?

HS:  Remarkably well.  One former college buddy discovered that I was the guy who everyone was talking about.  He’s a big time financier and he immediately recruited me and now I’m raking it in as his go-to for IT solutions. 

Haley Brewer:  Is there any hope that you can make money from your invention?

HS:  I’m quietly confident.  My financier buddy fully supports my mosaic busting research.  In fact, he’s got a legal team searching for loopholes in the law so that we can launch an app legally and develop revenue streams.

Rupert Falconer:  Where does your interest in porn come from?

HS:  To be honest, it comes from many places.  I have an aunt who was very hands-on with me right when I was discovering sex.  I got an erection when she was stroking my back rather sensually one day.  So, after that I went out and looked for a porn actress who looked similar to my aunt in order to satisfy my sexual curiosity.

Tiffany Candler:  What part of the anatomy are you focusing on with your research at the moment?

HS:  The clitoris.  Right now I’m programming my app to identify so many varieties of the upper region of the vagina.  Big buds, small buds, and wonky buds… We’re really making progress in accurately reproducing these cute little things.

Ronnie Faulkner:  Are you a uniform man?  If so, which kind?

HS:  You know, I’ve never really got into uniforms as a fetish.  I’ve always seen the bloomer genre, in particular, as a sign of repressed intellectual growth.  Having said that, I’m a patriot and I love the sight of a young woman in a yukata being ravished.

Sean Farrier:  Do you have any advice for youngsters who want to follow in your footsteps?

HS:  Just to keep having a go, and not giving up.  When kids start out on guitar, they usually start with the obvious chord riffs like “Wild Thing” or “Blitzkrieg Bop”.  In a similar vein, focusing on large cocks is probably the best way for a budding mosaic buster to practice.  So, start with the basics.

Ray Muller:  If I stick something up my bum when I flog off, would that make me homosexual?

HS:  I’m not sure why you’d be asking me this question.  I would say that all depends on what kind of porn you were watching.

Eliza Fuller:  Have you ever thought about developing something that could be useful in education, or how about something that would help the disabled?

HS:  (sighs) This kind of question again.  (deeper sigh) Look, there are plenty of cherry boys out there who may never, ever, see a real vagina.  The technology that I’ve created gives them the chance to see what pussy looks like.  As for helping the disabled, I’m sure that there are some slow learners and physically handicapped who are using my creation to get horny.  At any rate, I’ve probably done more than you to help these people.  How many handicapped gentlemen have you flashed your tits at or jerked off?

Noel Thacker:  Do you think your invention will encourage actresses, like Ai Uehara, to come out of retirement to add a coda to their careers?

HS:  While it would truly be wonderful if that were to happen, Ai Uehara would have to make some tough decisions.  It’d be a shame to see her try to continue doing schoolgirl stuff, but she could perhaps move into the role of a teacher, a mother, or an aunt of a student.  Personally, I’d love to see her getting into sophisticated scenarios and donning stylish dresses or kimono.  At the end of the day, however, that’s entirely up to her and whichever Pachinko boss she’s currently living with.   

Fred Granger:  How do see the future of porn, particularly from a Japanese perspective.

HS:  I’d like to think that there is a future there for young people who wanted to have movie careers, but weren’t quite good enough, and then had trouble finding other kinds of work, and then decided that the only way to get ahead in life was to get it on in front of the cameras.  It’d be sad if this narrow avenue to financial independence were to come to a dead end.

And that’s where we’ll leave it for the time being.  Once again we’d like to thank Hirogari for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us.

“Don’t call it bread!” Culinary expert lashes out at Japanese sweet bread

Sweet bread can be served with class, like here, but it’s usually served in a generic plastic wrapper.

“There is a lot to unpack here,” sighs Pierre Petain, his hands clasped firmly as if to emphasize the conviction in his voice.  Petain, a 67 year old lifelong baker and pastry chef, has just examined a creation know as meron pan, or melon bread.

Much loved amongst cute schoolgirls and slightly wimpy schoolboys, meron pan carries an abundance of artificial sweeteners and flavoring.  Rumors related to the product are numerous. One conspiracy theory contends that pharmaceutical giants purchase meron pan companies, and then increase the levels of preservatives and additives in order to create a spread of constipation.

The veteran baker stressed the importance of people in Japan realizing that it’s far more of a candy product than a bread product.  “Don’t call it bread.  Don’t display it in the bread section.  Don’t behave as though it’s completely alright to eat it at 7:00am.”

Japanese bakery students hang on every word during lectures given by Petain.

A man who is no stranger to fighting battles against ignorance and public misconceptions, Petain carries the burden of bakers wherever he goes.  “Bakers have to be in bed early, so they don’t get the sexual opportunities that chefs, sommeliers, and maître d’s get.  What they do get is laughed at for the reputation of being hopeless drunks and loners.  Where is the fairness in that?

“That’s where the jokes about bakers committing indecent acts on the dough have come from.  Most of those stories are overblown, but you have to ask yourself; what would you do in the same position?

“Bakers don’t get the respect that they deserve.  Television tries to show us in a positive light.  We see bakers bouncing around their bakeries and being enthusiastic about the finished produce.  But, we’re fatigued, undersexed, hungover, and indulging in unhygienic behavior with our mixtures pre-oven.  Waiters are sexy with slick hair and, ironically, firm buns which they develop through working out.  Their crotches are at eye-level for the diners.  Meat and veg in your face.”

Petain in his younger days, ready to mould anything between his gentle, firm, warm hards.

The contempt for bakers extends to the product itself.  Petain constantly laments that there is no bread equivalent of the 1516 Bavarian Purity Law.  “We really need a historic document so that we can defend something tangible.  Japanese travelers complain about sushi overseas lacking authenticity.  Well… what about mayonnaise on pizza, or beer with a fake head?  With bread it’s twice as bad.  Surely the taste of melon bread alone should be enough to determine its classification.”

Petain listened in agitation when being told that meron pan is just the tip of the iceberg among the plethora of flavored bread choices in Japan.  His face took on the appearance of a dried-plum as the full extent of the bastardization of bread became more apparent.  He looked up at the ceiling before barking for the whole café to hear, “This is not good for bakers, and it’s not good for bread.”