2.05.2012

The Dirty: From the Right.








This piece is a temporary slight departure from my usual Japan worship, and will cover topics related to the WTO, white worship, why me, Japanese sake, and anti-hallyu.   This is an inflammatory prose on the current state of affairs in Japan.   


I have been romanticizing the onsen and sake these last few days, and then I found out that Makoto was trying to promote Western worship and about how better it is for Japanese women to be with white men.   

Later on, I found out that Sousuke Takaoka got fired because of comments he made against channel 8 Fujitv  over the rampant influx of Korean culture in Japan.    I had  to pause for a moment and reflect on a lot of different things all at once.   So I decided  to join in and make myself heard, so I  put everything together into one rant.    I also will update on the current situation regarding Japanese sake.  


For starters, sake needs to be reintegrated back home in Japan first, before it can be mass exported to the world, especially in the West.   When 60% of all alcohol sales in Japan are of western origin,  where the vast majority of drinkers  consuming Western cocktails is under the age of 50, and when most  prefer  cheap beer to boot, to Nihonshu then you know a new marketing campaign is desperately needed right here in Japan first, not necessarily overseas!    


Of course they knew that right?  They, being the sake marketers, and profiteers, seem to have adopted an attitude of indifference to their own market at home, only to embrace more western ways and attitudes about how sake should be sold, and thinking this will somehow save Japanese sake. 



Allow me to clear up a few things here in regards to the promotion of Japanese sake.  Firstly, there's the certification.  In the sake world you have the 'kikisake - shi' which is the most prestigious certification you can receive and achieve in the sake world.   It is also the only true  official  sommelier level equivalent of its kind in the world.    



SSI, sake service institute, or,  the sake body, that governs the testing and administration of the 'kikisake-shi' is the only organization of its kind in the world, which is responsible for the testing and administration of this certification in Japanese in Japan by Japanese proctors.  And then there's the Sake Association which overseas the marketing and the developmental aspects of sake, and so on.   

Have I cleared that up?    


The  pseudo 'sake sommelier' certification that's administered in English is located in the United Kingdom, and last I checked it's a 3 to 5 day course.  This certification does not make you a sake sommelier, nor does it make you a Kikisake-shi.  The SSI ( sake sommelier institute) and the SSI ( Sake Service Institute) are not the same organizations.   One does not "necessarily" represent the other and vice versa.      



And then there's the sake certification course held here in Japan in English, and then there's another organization called Sake Pirates.  None of these programs or organizations certify you as a real "sake" sommelier.  Only when you achieve the Kikisake-shi level in Japanese do you become a sake sommelier.  These other programs are only entry level and give you the basics in the English language.  


There are a few  groups in the States who are over commercializing sake education, with stupidity that should be called out - in Texas.  There is much confusion between which is which and which certification qualifies you for what?   Sake education has to be unified and certified under one organization ran by Japanese sake brewers in Japan in order to give sake education uniformity.  







On another note, the youngest sake sommelier in Japan is 10 years old.  Akane Niikura  is her name, so if cute wasn't enough, licensing a ten year old is somehow going to revive the sake world here in Japan is an exercise in futility.   So much for Japanese men's fascination with lolita.   She was certified by the SSI, or Sake Study Institute according to some sources, which is an organization that cannot be looked up in Google.    It's a written test, so there's no tasting required, according to some reports.   



So if Japan's sake is endanger of extinction let's market an underaged Japanese girl who will have to wait  ten years before she can even taste the sake she's licensed to sell for the first time in her life supposedly, and because no one of a reasonable age and maturity  is willing to promote sake here in Japan first.   In ten years sake will become a Western drink and you won't need Akane anymore unless she takes a white husband and decides to promote it as a white / Japanese appellation - reinvention.      







This all needs to be cleared up.   







Here's the problem.  Sake needs to be unified.   You cannot dumb down sake to appeal to everybody, especially with a dozen certifying organizations.   You cannot have a non-Japanese speaking sake professional who has never set foot in Japan, nor an underaged representative.  It's illegal for the latter.   That would be dumb, too.  Why promote underaged drinking?  


Just like in the wine world where wine sommeliers need to have a fairly reasonable command of French, Spanish, and Italian pronunciation in order to really sell, promote, and educate others from the standpoint of tradition.    You cannot put a white face on nihonshu, just like you cannot put a Japanese face on a Bordeaux without the linguistic content associated with the history, culture, and regional terroir of the grape and provinciality and history of the person of the representative country.   But that's a subjective opinion, sure, but let's get real here.  Do you follow me.


You cannot go to  the United States and promote sake as just a beverage.   You have to incorporate the culture and Japanese pastime along with it.   Sake is not a beverage JUST enjoyed with friends, never has been either, but it is a beverage that is incorporated in almost every single thing, such as onsen, cooking, hiking, and nature worship, even cosmetics.    You are not just simply trying to sell the taste to appeal to a bunch of wapanese, sophisticates, and celebuscum, just because it's posh and Geeky.   



Nihonshu is not a recreational drink.   



The premise of my blog was founded on the Jukujo and  nihonshu.    Having one without the other would  make sake just  another  drink for the masses to look and appear stuffy and sophisticated over, and as a result totally rendering the drink itself meaningless.    Wouldn't you rather drink something as refined as nihonshu with a  Japanese person who could transmit his/her own culture, experience, and love to you about his/her own national drink, culture, and country?    Let's get the juices flowing here.   Or, would it be better with a table full of eyesores from the midwest in North America who have absolutely no idea what they're drinking, and with horrible pronunciation to boot when trying?  




Maybe some of you are the types who just wanna look cool and hip and could care less who you drink sake with as long as the person is cool and the sake  gets you drunk, like with the rest of the alcohol you swallow down.   Nihonshu is savored in the mouth, nose, and throat.   It's not a recreational drink.   If anything it's more ceremonial, and with more ephemeral qualities than anything else.   It's a living drink, some with active enzymes.   Some even say that silk spun to make kimono gives life to the kimono because silk is a living thing.   What more sake?




Why is it so important to me?  Because I'm a sake drinker, unlike half of the people in my age group in Japan.  I take drinking seriously.   If sake sales are declining here in Japan, and young Japanese aren't drinking it, then the industry as a whole cannot survive very long, now can it?  Unless of course white people re-invent it in the States or in Europe like they are attempting to right now as I type, or even better, in the U.K.  


Unbelievable that when you Google 'sake sommelier' you get a British organization that certifies people as sake professionals with a sake sommelier license within days.  There is absolutely no correlation between Japanese sake and British spirits, yet they bare the seal of excellence in Europe for promoting Japanese sake from a Western institution that is not even ran by one single Japanese person.  



The term sommelier is of French origin.  I could've forgiven the French had they endorsed such a certification.    Here in Japan you have the 'kikisake-shi' or a sake master certification which is extremely hard to pass, even for native Japanese.   I'm wishing Ichibay luck in finding his voice in this and representing his own national drink not only here in Japan first, but to the world.  




If I'm the only 'sakanese'  drinking Japanese sake in Japan amongst Japanese then I appear really strange.    And if I appear strange because I love the ancient rice brew more than the Anglo loving boot licking Japanese sophistocrates then I'm seen as a strange gaijin whose being too pretentious and artsy, and out of touch with contemporary Japanese folks.  Or, as some would put it, more Japanese than the Japanese, or some other stupid label by some half-baked sissified Japanese .   It's because I have a pair an am not afraid to show them.  I can drink sake with white people any day if I wanted to appear geeky.

  


American made sake ain't Japanese sake and it never will be.  The face of sake  is not white,  in other words.   The face of sake is no longer Japanese like it was back in the 80s when Japan not only exported but taught about sake along with its national cuisine to the world.  Back when Japanese had a sense of dignity and a truer sense of self.   At a time when sake and all the ancient customs and traditions were all still shrouded in mystery and enchantment.  Now the Japanese just whore their souls away, and feckless and tone deaf to the ways of their cultural assets because Western fundamentalism has taken root, and is for some more reasonable and more contemporary  in the minds of the Leftist and Pacifist.   



Unbelievable at how they shake in their urine stained fundoshi's when they hear about free trade agreements and the WTO and about how they've allowed themselves to slip down the economic ladder, and about how America wants a piece of Japan's agriculture market when the agricultural surplus is already at an all time low.  And then sneer  at the problems that they have allowed to fester out of control because they can't seem to solve their own problems.   




In L.A.,  sake is a hip drink that's enjoying steady growth with young people,  especially as a beer cocktail.  e.g....sake bombs, and so on.   But is this what sake has become?   There's a place in the States that serves sake from a tap.    Must sake be portrayed as 'cool and hip' in order to sell abroad?  No.  I recall one or two very small events here in Japan that did try to market to young people, but hardly got any notice.    A full on push should be the thrust for 2012.   More sake tasting events catering to people under 30 would be nice, maybe even a little match making too, Japanese only.    Cater a sake tasting even for singles under 30 would be nice, maybe even add a Valentines theme.   Who would've thought of something as original, like that?  


On to my next topic:  Anti Hanllyu

Hanllyu is  the proliferation of Korean pop culture in Japan. This includes Kdramas, too.  Anti-Hanllyu are the people who oppose the spread of Korean pop culture in Japan.   That would be me and a growing minority of Japanese.   Why me!?   Just like sake.   I have a stake in it.   Korean entertainment and culture has quite literally swept through this country  claiming the souls of Japanese women, namely the Jukujo, and that won't sit right with me.    I cannot have my beloved Jukujo drooling over Koreans.    I get annoyed when I see how obsessed the Japanese woman has become.   Some of them pushing and fighting each other just to sit under these idiots from Korea.    


Like Richard Greer who came over here kissing everybody in Asia and stealing all the Japanese grannies.  I didn't think it was charming at all.    Korean K pop is ruining Japan, just like these Western celebugeeks.    Couldn't believe channel 8 was being taken over by Korea.  This isn't Korea .  Japanese men and J- mommas boy fanatics need to band together and protect Japanese women from Korean men's charms, and from the spread of all of these strange love energy.   



Bakesale for Japan is a fitting image for this post.   Let's sell the country out to the highest bidder because there are no lines to cross anymore.    Let's open the flood gates and allow foreign hordes to steal Japanese women and steal Japanese sake.   Let's hire some more foreign CEOs from England so they can bankrupt the country's corporate equity and undermined the trust and co-operation between the people of Japan.

Bonsai

4 comments:

  1. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.
    Le Cadeaux Set of 12 mini Melamine Bowls For Dips, Sauces or Fingers

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  2. "Korean K pop is ruining Japan, just like these Western celebugeeks. Couldn't believe channel 8 was being taken over by Korea. This isn't Korea . Japanese men and J- mommas boy fanatics need to band together and protect Japanese women from Korean men's charms, and from the spread of all of these strange love energy."

    No one loves Japan more than I do and we've been an item for about 20 years longer than you've been alive, youngin'. And I'll admit that I love a fantasy Japan as well that probably never existed anywhere but in my own mind and that is now gone never to return. But do you, of all people, realize what a racist post this is? Anywhere else I'd write this off as bad satire. But knowing your love of all things traditional, it comes off as a rather hysterical post.

    I don't care a jot about Nihonshu; you're welcome to my share of it. But this business about protecting Japan and, particularly, Japanese women from Korean men is just Mandingo set in a different part of the world.

    As a resident of Japan, you should know that there really isn't any such thing as the Yamato. They didn't sprout out of the ground. The first imperial court were most likely exiles and/or conquerors from Chosen. That's why the right wing nut cases don't like those mounds down Nara way to be too closely inspected. And though no one knows for sure, it is believed that the SW part of the country was probably first settled by people from Mainland Asia and SE Asia, and the Ainu were there before anyone else anyway.

    So, just whose people are you exorting the Japanese to protect themselves against?

    As for the "Western celebugeeks," talk to the locals about that since as they've been going there now for nearly 70 years, at the invitation of the Japanese. Their influence on Japan is far less than the Black Ships and is culturally balanced by the anime and manga geek culture that has taken root on this side of the Pacific and elsewhere.

    About the only way your version of the "soul of Japan" can be saved at this point is if they pull a contemporary Tokugawa and close the country off all together. But then you'd be asked to leave and the country and it's arguably moribund culture would die off as it devolved into a large scale version of "Lord of the Flies."

    I'm sympathetic to your nostalgia, which is what it boils down to. But nothing is quite so pathetic as a foreigner in a foreign land railing against foreign influences.

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  3. Hi Jeffrey, this is a rant according to my observations. Decadence is getting in the way of a lot traditional aspects of sake.

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  4. It is bad, I don't like British people they steal all of our cultures..

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The reason for choosing this particular sake is because it will be featured in the March 2010 Edition of Dancyu, a very popular gourmet food & sake magazine here in Japan. Another reason is because there’s only a limited supply left and this is the best time of year for nice creamy milky colored sake. Like I’ve said in previous posts, this is the pino colada Read More...

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