“Raw Pepsi,” the most refreshing flavor ever? is out in Japan Last month, Pepsi Japan caught our attention with the announcement that it had developed a brand-new Japan-exclusive flavor, which it promises is the brand’s most brisk and refreshing variety yet. Then they piqued our interest even further by giving it the name Pepsi Nama. The Japanese word nama means “raw,” and in this case refers to how Pepsi Nama is made with a special blend of spices that go through no heat processing during production, ostensibly keeping their flavors fresh and natural. Pepsi Nama hit stores on June 22. Pepsi Nama, as well as its zero-calorie Pepsi Nama Zero variant, are on sale now, priced at 140 yen (US$1.35 for a 600-mililiter (20.3-ounce) bottle

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More from Universe Japan

Shot Out to @corinaborsuk and Thanks again as always for the wire Support!

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Superman to star in upcoming gourmet manga series this latest series will be a gourmet manga titled Superman vs Food: Superman’s Meals of Solitude (Superman vs Meshi: Superman No Hitori Meshi), written by Satoshi Miyakawa with art by Kai Kitago. The series will follow the Man of Steel as he flies around Japan and samples its various regional cuisines faster that a regular gourmet manga character would on a speeding bullet train. He may have taken on Darkseid and Doomsday, but can he stomach octopus eggs or talk a cook out of shaving their head when a hair is found in the food? We shall see when the first installment hits stands on 22 June in Evening #14. Meanwhile, people online are abuzz with this looming new culinary adventure. “Something feels off about a big muscly man holding a heap of rice.” “He’s American, so let him try some of Japan’s delicious American food.” “It’s Superman, but he’s doing stuff basically anyone can do.” “Superman eats rice?!” “Wait, what?” “Why?” “Japanese food is good. He’s in for a treat.” And so are we when Superman vs Food begins…probably. The synopsis says that Superman will visit some chain restaurants, cook seasoned rice in an iron pot to make the dish called kamameshi with his heat rays, and form a Justice League with the ingredients of a tempura rice bowl.

121 views ·

Witty Ikkyu remains most popular monk over centuries in Japan The most popular monk in Japanese history is probably Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481), who served as the abbot of Daitokuji temple — one of the Kyoto Gozan, or top five eminent Zen temples in Kyoto. Ikkyu is liked not just for his religious achievements but as a result of many events in his life that have resonated with later generations. Stories from his time as a boy monk are particularly famous, but all these tales were created in the Edo period (1603-1867) and later. First conveyed through oral storytelling and other means, they eventually found their way into books for adults and children. Children loved the anime series “Ikkyu-san” that was broadcast in the 1970s and ’80s. All 296 episodes can be seen on Amazon Prime Video. In one episode, retired shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu summons Ikkyu after hearing about his reputation for wit and asks him to vanquish a tiger on a folding screen. The shogun says the tiger escapes from the screen at night and causes trouble. Ikkyu replies, “I’ll catch the tiger, so please take it out of the painting.” Yoshimitsu is left speechless. Tales like these are called tonchi stories, using a Japanese word that means extemporaneous wisdom or wit. The boy Ikkyu always trips up adults using his wit. According to Japanese literature scholar Masahiko Oka, a storyteller from the Meiji era (1868-1912) named Shogetsudo Dongyoku created the tiger story by incorporating ideas from the novel “Nanso Satomi Hakkenden” and other tales. Nevertheless, there must be a reason why Ikkyu was chosen as the main character. In real life, Ikkyu was a high priest who devoted himself to reviving Daitokuji temple after it was devastated during the Onin War (1467-77), in which feudal lords from all over the country fought in Kyoto. Ikkyu was also a critic of the Kyoto Gozan school of Zen Buddhism, which ended up becoming the official philosophy of the Muromachi shogunate. The book titled “Ikkyu-san,” written by Sojiro Otsubo and published in 1949, is kept in the National Diet Library. Ikkyu vehemently rejected secular thinking obsessed with honor and gain, and was known for his satirical, unrestrained remarks and eccentric behavior. As a result, he continued to be popular even in the Edo period among people who opposed religious authorities. Another story involves Ikkyu’s friend Rennyo, who restored the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, now the largest sect. One day when Rennyo was not at home, Ikkyu entered his room and took a nap, using as a pillow a statue of Buddha that Rennyo kept nearby and worshipped. When Rennyo came home, he saw Ikkyu and said, “Hey, what are you doing with my business equipment!” The two monks then broke up laughing, as one of them used the Buddha statue as a pillow and the other called it business equipment. Ikkyu was also known as a poet. A Chinese poem that he created at the age of 15 about springtime, in which he dreamed about the fragrance of flowers, was recited by people all over Kyoto. In his later years, Ikkyu lived at Shuonan temple in what is present-day Kyotanabe, in the southern suburbs of Kyoto Prefecture. At 78, he met a blind woman named Shinjo who was probably around 30 years old at the time, and fell madly in love with her. He left many poems on the themes of romance and sensuality. Ikkyu’s words describing the female body are explicit. I will not quote those parts here, but there is beautiful poetry such as “I will embrace you more tightly and love you. / In the futon at midnight, I find your sensual face. It’s like a dream.

166 views ·

More from Universe Japan

Shot Out to @corinaborsuk and Thanks again as always for the wire Support!

82 views ·

Superman to star in upcoming gourmet manga series this latest series will be a gourmet manga titled Superman vs Food: Superman’s Meals of Solitude (Superman vs Meshi: Superman No Hitori Meshi), written by Satoshi Miyakawa with art by Kai Kitago. The series will follow the Man of Steel as he flies around Japan and samples its various regional cuisines faster that a regular gourmet manga character would on a speeding bullet train. He may have taken on Darkseid and Doomsday, but can he stomach octopus eggs or talk a cook out of shaving their head when a hair is found in the food? We shall see when the first installment hits stands on 22 June in Evening #14. Meanwhile, people online are abuzz with this looming new culinary adventure. “Something feels off about a big muscly man holding a heap of rice.” “He’s American, so let him try some of Japan’s delicious American food.” “It’s Superman, but he’s doing stuff basically anyone can do.” “Superman eats rice?!” “Wait, what?” “Why?” “Japanese food is good. He’s in for a treat.” And so are we when Superman vs Food begins…probably. The synopsis says that Superman will visit some chain restaurants, cook seasoned rice in an iron pot to make the dish called kamameshi with his heat rays, and form a Justice League with the ingredients of a tempura rice bowl.

121 views ·

Witty Ikkyu remains most popular monk over centuries in Japan The most popular monk in Japanese history is probably Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481), who served as the abbot of Daitokuji temple — one of the Kyoto Gozan, or top five eminent Zen temples in Kyoto. Ikkyu is liked not just for his religious achievements but as a result of many events in his life that have resonated with later generations. Stories from his time as a boy monk are particularly famous, but all these tales were created in the Edo period (1603-1867) and later. First conveyed through oral storytelling and other means, they eventually found their way into books for adults and children. Children loved the anime series “Ikkyu-san” that was broadcast in the 1970s and ’80s. All 296 episodes can be seen on Amazon Prime Video. In one episode, retired shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu summons Ikkyu after hearing about his reputation for wit and asks him to vanquish a tiger on a folding screen. The shogun says the tiger escapes from the screen at night and causes trouble. Ikkyu replies, “I’ll catch the tiger, so please take it out of the painting.” Yoshimitsu is left speechless. Tales like these are called tonchi stories, using a Japanese word that means extemporaneous wisdom or wit. The boy Ikkyu always trips up adults using his wit. According to Japanese literature scholar Masahiko Oka, a storyteller from the Meiji era (1868-1912) named Shogetsudo Dongyoku created the tiger story by incorporating ideas from the novel “Nanso Satomi Hakkenden” and other tales. Nevertheless, there must be a reason why Ikkyu was chosen as the main character. In real life, Ikkyu was a high priest who devoted himself to reviving Daitokuji temple after it was devastated during the Onin War (1467-77), in which feudal lords from all over the country fought in Kyoto. Ikkyu was also a critic of the Kyoto Gozan school of Zen Buddhism, which ended up becoming the official philosophy of the Muromachi shogunate. The book titled “Ikkyu-san,” written by Sojiro Otsubo and published in 1949, is kept in the National Diet Library. Ikkyu vehemently rejected secular thinking obsessed with honor and gain, and was known for his satirical, unrestrained remarks and eccentric behavior. As a result, he continued to be popular even in the Edo period among people who opposed religious authorities. Another story involves Ikkyu’s friend Rennyo, who restored the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, now the largest sect. One day when Rennyo was not at home, Ikkyu entered his room and took a nap, using as a pillow a statue of Buddha that Rennyo kept nearby and worshipped. When Rennyo came home, he saw Ikkyu and said, “Hey, what are you doing with my business equipment!” The two monks then broke up laughing, as one of them used the Buddha statue as a pillow and the other called it business equipment. Ikkyu was also known as a poet. A Chinese poem that he created at the age of 15 about springtime, in which he dreamed about the fragrance of flowers, was recited by people all over Kyoto. In his later years, Ikkyu lived at Shuonan temple in what is present-day Kyotanabe, in the southern suburbs of Kyoto Prefecture. At 78, he met a blind woman named Shinjo who was probably around 30 years old at the time, and fell madly in love with her. He left many poems on the themes of romance and sensuality. Ikkyu’s words describing the female body are explicit. I will not quote those parts here, but there is beautiful poetry such as “I will embrace you more tightly and love you. / In the futon at midnight, I find your sensual face. It’s like a dream.

166 views ·