Friday, 7 June 2013


Okonomiyaki, in other words grill what(ever) you like, is probably as good as junk food will get. Some will say soul food, fair enough.

Okonomiyaki is an improved pancake, popular all over Japan, but the lucky ones, those with the real deal are the people of Hiroshima. More cabbage, more pork, more noodles, more sauce, more cheese if you so wish.

I've heard a few say okonomi-yucky. I couldn't disagree more. Sometimes nothing will do but high-end junk food and a beer.


  1. Marie, this all looks a good deal more appetising than what we have in the way of fast food round our parts. Battered sausage, anyone?

  2. Hahaha.. why not, WB. Then we can have a yakisoba sando.

  3. Now that's what I call drinking food.

  4. The pinnacle of drinking food in Japan looks green. I'll have that battered sausage. Battered anything will do.

  5. We're longtime vegetarian whackos here and consider it unkind for humans to consume an animal as noble as the pig (do forgive this curious preference).

    But it's starting to appear to us and others as well that even those individuals and cultures that still insist on consuming these perfectly innocent and pacific creatures ought to think twice -- not for ethical reasons (chacun a son gout), but considering the serious environmental and health concerns.

    pig factory farming

  6. And by the way, about the phrase "soul food", I'm not sure what religion if any assigns pig-eating a spiritual role, but I do know that there is a sort of para-religious centrality accorded pig-eating in the town where I had the misfortune to grow up and work as a young person in proximity to the "yards" where the business end of meat production was a fact as unavoidable as the disgusting stench that wafted therefrom, particularly on warm summer nights at this time of year. The semiotics remain salient to this day, even in the infernal underground it is never forgotten, there, that the place has always been, as a poet once proudly sang, hog butcher to the world.

  7. Then maybe let's replace "soul food" with "comfort food". Oh dear, I'm not helping my case am I :-((

  8. Yum, more Japanese food please! That edamame pic looks very pee-ish!
    I wish I could hear the sounds of that kitchen in full swing!! AND smell it!

  9. I do appreciate the photography. Tom's comments do strike a chord as the American's relationship to meat is complicated & maybe not what everyone might think. I guess it's right there with all the mink skins. Lew Welch's "Chicago" might just be one of my favs ever.

    Driving back I saw Chicago rising in its gases and I
    knew again that never will the
    Man be made to stand against this pitiless, unparalleled
    monstrocity. It
    Snuffles on the beach of its Great Lake like a
    blind, red, rhinoceros.
    It's already running us down.

    You can't fix it. You can't make it go away.
    I don't know what you're going to do about it,
    But I know what I'm going to do about it. I'm just
    going to walk away from it. Maybe
    A small part of it will die if I'm not around

    feeding it anymore.

  10. How nice for the very civilized Japanese people that the wee piggies, so inferior in the great order of things, sacrifice themselves for their yummy discretionary dining pleasures.

    Ugh and double ugh.

    There is never really a "case" to be made for main force or dominance. Power is its own argument. Sicko logic, but it always rules the day.

    The great Austrian film-maker Ulrich Seidl has a scene depicting pig slaughter in his 1992 Losses to Be Expected (Mit Verlust ist zu rechnen). The pigs scream so terribly when the carnage is going on that while watching the film a grownup and indeed quite civilized person here (Austrian by the way) had to cover her head with a towel to block out the horror.

    Let us imagine a few nice fat porky Japanese people being sliced up and eaten by some very civilized pigs who have just been handed stewardship of the planet and informed that there is a "divine" or "natural" order of things which makes it perfectly okay and right for pigs to eat people, yum yum!

    But would they really want to? Or might not they find the smell and sound of "long pig" sizzling away on the cooking fires to be properly degoutant??

  11. Just now saw De Villo's apt citation of the poet Lew Welch, who drove cab in Chicago once upon a time.

    The South Side of Chicago, where Lew drove that taxi, is a historical blood cauldron of the species memory of millions of cows and pigs slaughtered to provide the arterial clogging of millions of greedy slobbering humans across Europe and North America, meanwhile creating the vast meat and packing company fortunes that built all the great mansions of that city.

    Eventually Lew had had enough of the incorrigibly cruel and insensitive human species, and just got up and walked away from it, into the woods, and was never seen again.

    I think that's admirable and regard it as the ideal solution to the endemic American problem, if not the human-race problem.

    Though actually there are more than a few humans on this planet who are able to get along quite well without eating the bodies of other living sentient organisms.

    There are certain karmic issues here, perhaps.

    And hey, wasn't karma invented in Asia, after all?

    Of course, as De Villo suggests, Marie's photos are wondrous, as they always are, but is not photography an art form, and does not art have a certain truth content that will sooner or later out itself, come what may?

    Will never forget walking through the still war-ruined inner city of Cologne not too long after WW II, being stunned by the ambient sense of lingering desolation, and then going down some steps into an underground brew-parlour where fat sweaty white men were noisily guzzling beer in great tall steins and stuffing thick juicy sausages into the holes in their heads with a vigour that suggested the hideous aerial bombing their city had endured had actually taught them nothing at all about the meaning and preciousness and fragility of sentient life in all its forms... sentient life, which, at that moment, it was indeed not at all easy to attribute to those merry, swilling, grunting, belching, surviving "long pigs" of Deutschland.

  12. Early memories difficult to subdue in this context. Will never forget the shock effect upon a smallish child of being taken on school "field trips" to those places where the animal-murdering factories did their grisly work.

    The pigs may be seen being crowded along in dread to their unhappy endings in the fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-from-bottom photos here.

    Just below those, one sees a shot of a tiny tyke about the size I then was, being led by the hand through the pens of the "yards".

    As they used to say at MGM, That's Entertainment! (Or wait, was it meant to be something else... Education? Hmm.)

    Perhaps also it might be noted that the actual death-stinking killing-floors of the Chicago animal-murder houses were located in that part of the city consigned to the poorest and most downtrodden people, the blacks, the ones who were of course going to benefit the least by the enrichment of the meat barons with their miserable dwarf-grand greenback-walled empires.

    The blacks too were housed in foul overcrowded pens, but it seems their flesh was not regarded as quite so appetizing to the rich. There's no accounting for taste.

    But oh well, do forgive me dear Marie for abusing your hospitality by going on so, in your impeccably cool and discreet space, about such ugly creatures as meat-lords and sausage-guzzlers... by way of apology, let me offer a few pictures of some much prettier ones.

  13. Thank you for your comments everyone. I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone with this post, I'm sorry if this was the case. There is no abuse of hospitality whatsoever, everyone is always welcome to express whatever they feel like expressing, and I'm glad if they do.
    To make it up:
    One year ago I made this and uploaded it on flickr. It used to be called "Ode to the Meatwheal Rotation" because somebody back then used to have strange visions of the visionary type. I later deleted it but I put it back today JUST for you, and renaming it Ode to Piggy chan. For all the Piggies out there.
    And this is Piggy chan after the weekly bath

  14. Thank you Marie.

    Always regrettable to presume to judge, while also regrettable to consider the sufferings of fellow creatures.

  15. Marie, you did not offend me w/ the photos. You are very hospitable. That you have not gone De-letist on me is a testimony to your patience. I think it gave occasion to pursue a subject.

    As to the MinXus lore of the "cosmic meatwheel rotation," that was explained once at EUOMA. I borrowed that from Kerouac's "Mexico City Blues" and was originally a reference to Karmic cycles of existence, if I can remember at all. It did inspire folks to start posting pics of meat platters. The Law of Unintended Consequences might be one of the few you can safely take to the bank.

    Being a Great Laker, the horror of those Chicago yards is tale often told.

    And being but a narrow few generations off the farm myself, rather than the urban landscape, the nightmare that persists with me are seeing the bodies of skinned minks tossed in the fields that kids trapped in the swamp.

    Marie, I think you're doing great.