The First Day of September

This is a big day in Japan because the second trimester of the school year starts, and it is also the anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. This means it is Disaster Prevention Day in Japan and everyone from school children to politicians will be participating in different kinds of drills. You can never get complacent about natural disasters in Japan since from a geological point of view there is no escape. I remember running to turn off the gas and sometimes shoving the kids in the closet (a safer place during an earthquake) or struggling to shut huge shutters to stay protected from a typhoon.

On a lighter note, the very first Japanese cookbook that I bought was a 365 days of meals cookbook published in 1980, by ShufunoTomo, a well known publisher for women’s magazines and books. The listing for this day reflects the season appropriately as the main dish is cold noodles with late summer vegetables. I wonder if newer such books adhere to seasons. How has AC affected seasonal cooking? That’s probably an overthink on my part, but seeing as how I cooked chahan or fried rice for dinner despite the heat—and only because I enjoy central AC—I began to wonder if Japanese families are also eating differently if they have AC.

Today’s miso soup: I needed a pick-me-up mid-afternoon, so I quickly whipped up the simplest miso soup there is. I used tofu and scallions with white miso. And yes… I drank it in a coffee mug at my desk….Most of it was gone before I remembered to take a photo!



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