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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Buy Nothing Day in Japan


It's Buy Nothing Day in Japan (and many other countries across the world) next Saturday - the last Saturday in November. According to the organizers: "Buy Nothing Day exposes the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism."

Buy Nothing Day was started in 1993 by the founders of Adbusters in Canada and is now an international event celebrated in over 50 countries. The Japan version stars "Zenta Claus" - an anti-consumer icon from Kyoto.

Buy Nothing Day - Japan

Kamaboko - best served with wasabi and soy sauce

It was also Kamaboko Day (蒲鉾デー) on Tuesday according to a quick snippet I caught on NHK FM (82.5). Though I'm not overly-keen on the stuff (most cheap kamaboko is made from the left-overs of the fishing industry), I tried to buy some at the local supermarket but it had all sold out. Maybe the marketing had an effect? Kamaboko actually dates back to the Nara and Heian periods in Nara and Kyoto when white filleted fish was made into paste and shaped in pieces of cut bamboo. Chikuwa (竹輪) is kamaboko formed in the shape of bamboo - which can be seen in the Chinese characters that make up the name.

Anyway, I'd like to declare today and every subsequent third Saturday in November Happi Day, when people around the world don a Japanese happi coat. Okay.

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