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jerryking : japanese   30

My kitchen essential: I’d be lost without . . . miso
March 16, 2020 | | Financial Times | by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
cuisine  Japanese  soups 
11 days ago by jerryking
How business is capitalising on the millennial Instagram obsession
July 13, 2018 | Financial Times | Leo Lewis in Tokyo and Emma Jacobs in London 12 HOURS AGO.

Japan's 21st century’s burgeoning experience economy, which is being driven by millennial consumers and transforming the landscape for businesses everywhere. Japan is not only an innovator in this economy but is also seen as a bellwether for​​ the likely tastes of ​China and south-east Asia’s swelling middle-class is not just the quality of the food that attracts crowds to these cafés, but also the quality of the encounter. “That is why the tables are made to wobble,” she explains. “It’s designed so that when you have your pancake in front of you, you can see how fuwa-fuwa it is by how much it jiggles on the plate when the table moves. It is extremely, extremely satisfying to watch,” she adds. “It is what makes it an experience.”.....In Mori’s opinion — a view evidently shared by the customers currently queueing in the stairwell — it is not just the quality of the food that attracts crowds to these cafés, but also the quality of the encounter. “That is why the tables are made to wobble,” she explains. “It’s designed so that when you have your pancake in front of you, you can see how fuwa-fuwa it is by how much it jiggles on the plate when the table moves. It is extremely, extremely satisfying to watch,” she adds. “It is what makes it an experience.”.......In their influential 1998 article “Welcome to the Experience Economy”, American consultants Joseph Pine and James Gilmore argued that a marketable experience occurs “when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event . . . ” These experiences were, they went on, “inherently personal, existing only in the mind of an individual who has been engaged on an emotional, physical, intellectual or even spiritual level”.

This was seen as the logical next step from the service economy, itself an evolution from the industrial economy and, prior to that, the agrarian economy....In Japan, notoriously long working hours have made time-poverty one of the defining features of the country’s leisure sector. The market has responded, over many decades, by refining and packaging experience in the most efficient, deliverable way......The millennial generation — and the growth of social media — has taken this economy in some unexpected directions. Instagram is to thank for the birth of “Oshapiku” — a compound of “oshare” (fancy) and “picnic”, where the emphasis is on meeting up, dressing up and engaging in the most photogenic picnic imaginable......“Experiences are king,” the consultancy McKinsey stated last year in a report arguing that, “in recent years, faced with the choice of buying a trendy designer jacket or a shiny new appliance or of attending a show, consumers increasingly opt for the show and, more broadly, for experiences with their friends and families.”.......Japan’s experience economy has evolved along two distinct avenues. On one side an already fully fledged leisure, dining and hospitality sector has sought ever more inventive ways of packaging experience — from hotels staffed by robots and limited-edition Shinkansen bullet trains fitted out with Hello Kitty decor to many of the country’s aquariums offering the opportunity to camp overnight surrounded by the relaxing pulsations of bioluminescent jellyfish.

The other side, says Mori, has to an extent developed as a branch of Japan’s “otaku” culture. This originally referred to the obsessive focus on particular areas of popular culture such as animation, video games or comics but is now more generally applied to a tendency to single-minded connoisseurship......“There are actually three sides to the experience economy in cosplay,” says Eri Nakashima, the manager of the Polka Polka second-hand cosplay costume store in central Tokyo. “There is the basic passion for becoming a different character from the one you are in everyday life; there is the participation in a community that shares that; and there is the creativity of making the costume perfect.”

This notion of community has become a pattern of growth for the experience economy. .......Shopping remains a huge draw for these tourists: the country’s retailers continue to thrive on the high average spending (£1,000) of middle-class visitors from China, Taiwan, Vietnam and elsewhere. But, by the end of 2017, when the government’s target was obliterated and 28 million tourists arrived during one year, it was clear that Japan’s long history of perfecting short, sharp experiential offerings — from onsen springs to pancakes — had won a new generation of admirers from overseas....Japan’s tendency towards connoisseurship — part of the reason that queueing for an experience is often regarded as a necessary ingredient to enjoyment — continues to be a powerful part of its appeal. The country’s manufacturers have long made a fetish of monozukuri — the quality of “thing-making” artisanship — to actively encourage people to own more stuff. But today the instinct to collect and accumulate things has, she says, been replaced by a desire to collect and accumulate experiences — and, in time-honoured Japanese fashion, to building ever larger libraries of images......Japanese companies Canon, Olympus, Konica, Minolta and Nikon were some of the most successful camera makers on the planet: the passion behind them was not just about the physical machinery but about a recognition that picture-taking dramatically enhances the consumption of experience....Insta-bae became not just a description of something you had seen but an explicit target to seek out. The experience economy, says Harada, is increasingly built around people going in search of experiences that are insta-bae.
bellwethers  cosplay  experiential_marketing  experience_economy  image-driven  Instagram  Japan  Japanese  millennials  obsessions  novelty  self-absorbed  visual_culture  connoisseurship  end_of_ownership  Joseph_Pine  James_Gilmore  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts 
july 2018 by jerryking
Japanese convenience stores limber up in effort to spur growth
April 15, 2018 | FT | Leo Lewis and Robin Harding in Tokyo YESTERDAY.

Over the next five years, FamilyMart — Japan’s second-biggest convenience store chain with revenues of ¥3.1tn ($29.5bn) — plans to open 300 Fit & Go gyms in a challenge to its two largest competitors, Seven & i Holdings and Lawson.

FamilyMart’s move into fitness highlights powerful trends that are transforming Japanese retail. They are creating fresh opportunities, say analysts, for the mighty konbini (a transliteration of “convenience”) to seize an ever greater share of consumer spend.

“Current social patterns — the rise of working women, the ageing population — are a strong following wind for the convenience store industry,” said Sadanobu Takemasu, chief executive of Lawson, the third-largest operator with ¥2.6tn sales and 14,000 stores. Rural depopulation is also on their side, with a konbini often the last shop standing in many communities.

“There are people who think Japan can manage with nothing but ecommerce and convenience stores. The big dry goods like toilet paper would come online,” he added. “All the day-to-day goods would come from the convenience store.”

But, say analysts, even the konbini face the challenge of population decline. Footfall at stores open for more than a year has fallen for 24 months in a row, the longest period since the Japan Franchise Association began compiling the statistics in 2004.

The answer to lower footfall is more revenue per customer. Having achieved dominance of their own industry through consolidation, the konbini are moving into other sectors, taking on supermarkets, coffee shops, drug stores and fast-food chains......“The convenience stores’ biggest challenge is the absence of a new category big enough to give the whole industry a lift,” said Mr Kawano, who added that even the ready-to-eat likes of the Famichiki had yet to prove their power to transform. “Each group is investing more in its fast-food offering — but there has been nothing revolutionary, no game changer.”
convenience_stores  retailers  Japanese  prepared_meals  Japan  foot_traffic  gyms  fast-food  trends  new_categories 
april 2018 by jerryking
A chilling portrait of the world's mafias
August 14, 2017 | Financial Times | Book review by John Lloyd of

Mafia Life: Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime, by Federico Varese, Profile Books £14.99

Two of the most chilling observations in this learned, fluent book is, first, that the mafias “put themselves forward as institutions of government, ultimately in competition with the legitimate state”. Second, that “mafias thrive in democracies”.

Totalitarian regimes, such as the Italian Fascists, suppressed the mafia almost to extinction; democracy restored, they grew again. Only now — with massive policing, greater ease of sentencing, increased surveillance and pentiti — is the Sicilian mafia facing, if not extinction, then severe reduction. But the Neapolitan Camorra and above all the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta across the straits of Messina have grown and grow still. Calabresi families are rich on the proceeds of the heroin trade from the container port of Gioia Tauro (unfortunately Varese doesn’t say much about them here).

Mafia life is often short and usually tense. The Russian vory v zakone (thieves-in-law), spawned in Soviet prison colonies, live more than any other by their own law, spurning contact with state and police, vicious in their feuds. The Japanese Yakuza, who like to trace their lineage back to the samurai (Varese thinks their origins are in late-19th-century gamblers), settle scores with a sword....
Mafias sometimes side with, and are used by, states. The Hong Kong Triads, facing pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014, took the side of the Chinese authorities in confronting the young demonstrators — and gained some credit with Beijing. Where mafia are powerful, as the drug cartels in Mexico and the Wa heroin refiners in Myanmar’s Shan and Kachin regions (said to process 45 per cent of world supply), they create their own “states” with laws, social provision and a savage punishment code.
organized_crime  drug_cartels  globalization  institutions  book_reviews  books  Japanese  Russians  Italians  mafia  gangs  viciousness 
august 2017 by jerryking
The new-found fascination with bone broth - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 03 2015
bones  broths  Japanese  soups  ramen 
february 2015 by jerryking
Recipe: Ramen with Mushrooms, Bok Choy and Egg - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 23 2015
recipes  broths  Japanese  mushrooms  Lucy_Waverman  eggs  soups  ramen 
january 2015 by jerryking
Finally: A relaxed, welcoming izakaya and yakitori joint in Toronto
Nov. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail| CHRIS NUTTALL-SMITH.

yakitori cooking – charcoal-grilled meat, fish and vegetable skewers; the term “kushiyaki” is also used – and izakaya food, the cheap and cheerful Japanese pub grub
Japanese  restaurants  restaurant_reviews  Chris_Nuttall-Smith  Cabbagetown  grilling 
december 2013 by jerryking
An Ingredient Guide
February 2, 2013 | G&M | Chris Nuttall-Smith
Japanese  Japan  food  Chris_Nuttall-Smith  soups  pork  meat  noodles  glossaries 
february 2013 by jerryking
5 top spots for ramen in Toronto -
Feb. 02 2013 | The Globe and Mail | CHRIS NUTTALL-SMITH

(5) A-OK Foods - 930 Queen St. W (at Shaw)647.352.2243
(4) Ramen Raijin - 3 Gerrard St. E. (at Yonge) 647.748.1500
(3) Kinton Ramen - 51 Baldwin St. (at Beverly St.) 647.748.8900
(2) Sansotei - 179 Dundas St. W. (at Chestnut St.) 647.476.3833
(1) Hokkaido Ramen Santouka - 91 Dundas St. E. (at Church St.) 647.748.1717
restaurants  Japanese  Toronto  Chris_Nuttall-Smith  Yonge_Street 
february 2013 by jerryking
Tangy, tasty heat in a bottle
January 2, 2013 | G&M | Bonnie Riechert

Yuzu Pao, a condiment
soybeans  rubs_sauces_marinades  japanese  Japan  condiments 
january 2013 by jerryking
Fujitsu Helps Farmers 'Cloud Compute' -
January 18, 2011 | WSJ | By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI

Shinpuku Seika has placed sensors out in its fields to collect readings on temperature, soil and moisture levels. Fujitsu's computers then crunch the data and recommend when to start planting or what crops may be well-suited to a specific field....The significance of the cloud is the farmer doesn't have to build the sytem. The devices connect via wireless network. The internet is already built, the data center is already built. The farmer doesn't have to hire an IT staff and stays focused on farming, now with the help of the technology.
Japan  farming  agriculture  cloud_computing  sensors  GPS  demographic_changes  Japanese 
june 2012 by jerryking
Hot and Sour Buckwheat Noodle Salad
To existing recipes, add sweet peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, avocados
salads  tahini  Japanese  vegetarian  pasta  mushrooms  recipes  rubs_sauces_marinades 
march 2012 by jerryking
Miso Soup
Miso, a paste made from fermented soybeans and grains, is a wonderful flavouring for soups. It's aged anywhere from 2 months to several years; for the best flavour choose one that has been aged for 2 years.
1/4 cup arame 50 ml 6 cups cold water 1.5 I 1 1/2 oz. kombu 42 g 1 onion, diced 1 2 carrots, thinly sliced 2
112 tsp. grated ginger root 2 ml
1 tbsp. mirin or rice vinegar 15 ml 1/4 cup barley miso 50 ml 112 cup mushrooms, sliced 125 ml 8 oz tofu. diced 250 g
1/2 cup chopped red pepper 125 ml
1/4 cup chopped chives 50 ml
1. Soak arame in 1 cup/250 ml water for 15 minutes; drain.
2. In large soup pot, combine water and kombu. Heat slowly over medium heat
for 20 minutes; do not let water boil.
3. In non-stick skillet, cook onions until soft, about 4 minutes; add carrots, red pepper and arame; cook 5 minutes.
4. Remove softened kombu from soup pot; add ginger root and mirin. Bring stock to a simmer. 5. Pour 1/2 cup (125 ml) of stock into small bowl; whisk in miso until well
blended. Stir miso mixture back into soup pot. Add mushrooms, tofu and onion mixture. Simmer 5 minutes. Serve hot with chives sprinkled on top. Makes 6 servings.
soups  Japanese  recipes  soybeans  grains  vegetarian 
march 2012 by jerryking
The Tech Profile: How a Small Retailer Handles I.T. -
May 17, 2011 | NYT |By DAVID H. FREEDMAN
The business: JetPens, based in San Jose, Calif., is a 14-person online
retailer of mostly Japanese pens and pen-related paraphernalia. The
slick, slightly edgy Web site is packed with stuff that you won’t find
just anywhere, including pens designed specifically for drawing Japanese
Manga-style cartoon art and a five-function eraser. As a result,
JetPens has drawn a cult following and fills about 100,000 orders a
running_a_business  marketing  retailers  e-commerce  David_Freedman  google  PayPal  Quickbooks  facebook  handwritten  analog  writing  artifacts  IT  owners  small_business  Japanese  premium  brands  Stanford  alumni 
may 2011 by jerryking
The zen humidifier
January 17, 2010 | Collision Detection | Clive Thompson, a writer on science, technology, and culture.
Japanese  ideas  design  home_appliances  wood_products 
november 2010 by jerryking
Uniqlo Parent Fast Retailing Pursues Global Deals -
FEBRUARY 11, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by MARIKO SANCHANTA and JURO OSAWA
Uniqlo  japanese  retailers  fast-fashion  apparel 
february 2010 by jerryking
Recipe - Soba Salad With Spinach, Edamame and Miso Dressing -
September 18, 2009 | New York Times | . Recipe for Soba Salad with Spinach, Edamame and Miso Dressing
recipes  salads  Vegetarian  salad_dressings  Japanese 
september 2009 by jerryking
A midsummer night's dream menu
Jul. 13, 2009 | The Globe and Mail | Lucy Waverman. (1)
summertime  Lucy_Waverman  chicken  Japanese  salads  fruits  desserts  roasted 
july 2009 by jerryking

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