I am John, a proud member of the Clan Uprising, belonging to the dragoon class who acts as a vanguard of justice protecting teammates in times of struggle and chaos whether it be the first to try new found oddities, providing assistance to those who are unable to eat mass amounts of nourishment, or supporting those who have stomach complications, I will be there for all of you for that is a Dragoon’s purpose. What my research will be tackling on in regards to Japanese sweets consists of 3 variations, convenience store sweets, street vendor pastries, and the ever enigmatic wonder of vending machine snacks. As a child born from a father who only loved the meats my diet consisted of much protein and not enough sugar there were rare instances where my mother would satisfy my desire for sweets with Kinder Surprises, sour soothers, and the like. But loving the taste of sweets comes with great responsibility, problems that one may face is that Halloween only comes once a year, the gradual impregnable invasion of cavities, and limiting yourself knowing when you have had too much to eat. While these are detrimental for any sweet lover, I have always strongly believed in the value of freedom, come what may but you are the ruler of your fate. Associated with my research is a list of confectionaries I would like to try. Taiyaki which is a fished shape like pastry usually filled with sweetened bean paste, and melon pan which is a sweet bun coated with a thin layer of cookie dough on top sometimes having a “pineapple” or “cantaloupe” taste to it. At this point you may ask yourself why I choose to do “street food” my reasoning is simple.
We are intelligent individuals that have faced the many hardships university has thrown at us primarily, money. In this day and age scholars such as ourselves care only about the tasks we must accomplish in school rather than earning money and if we do our earnings amount to small time purchases. Exquisite foods are limited to that of the bourgeoisie and so this problem is nullified by looking into street foods such as the convenience store, street vendors, and vending machines. Extremely budget friendly to foreigners such as us. As great as our country may be, it faces yet another problem and that is the lack of variety it gives us. When purchasing snacks we are shown about 3 or 4 of the same choices on a daily basis. Japan once again thwarts this problem by continuously experimenting new tasty innovations from matcha green tea to fried chicken wing flavored ice cream. Some examples I would like to give are Bust Up gum which supposedly enhances the breast size of the individual; it is also said to enhance growth of hair and nails. Its male counterpart, Suplitol Tongkat Ali Gum, is basically chewable Viagra that is palatable. Another, Okonomiyaki Drops, which I am sure many of you have had or would love to try the real thing also comes in bite sized flavored mayo/radish/cabbage drops. Some confectionaries are also served seasonally like traditional Japanese sweets; this gives Japanese confectionaries a sense of uniqueness and rarity. Some special approaches I plan to execute are comparing the prices from the cheapest snacks to the most expensive, exploring how media greatly affects the purchases of these snacks, and observing how the presentation/style is presented to the customer.
Enough about my research though, I believe now is the time I should formally introduce myself to all of you. I am but a simple man who enjoys delicacies to no end. You may call me gluttonous but my love for food is eternal and always has been since created in my mother’s womb. Other than food some special skills I possess may surprise you. In kindergarten I never realized the significance of proper titles addressed to people, so when my mother had come to volunteer one day in our class I introduced her as “Mrs. Mommy”. When I was about 12 years old only then did I grasp the concept of tying ones shoes. By age 13 I discovered a newfound passion for jumping off the tallest objects in a sanctuary known as the playground, I would be entertained till days on end until I had ripped my pants, many on lookers laughed at me and so the passion shortly died. At age 15 I had become a master of swallowing food within seconds and received a medal of honor for defeating 50 watermelon pieces in 2 minutes. Yes, such was the dangerous high risk life I lead as a boy. Currently I would like to describe myself as an outgoing and calm individual, though I am also very self-conscious and sometimes impatient, weak with advice but always a listener. My love of Japan stems off from its animation and gradually led to everything about it. Of these entities is music, a few artists I enjoy listening to are L’Arc~en~Ciel, X Japan, and yes…the great girl group AKB48. Another hobby of mine is karaoke. I am not the greatest singer but the atmosphere it provides is great and the memories shared are unforgettable. One thing I aspire to accomplish is to become fluent in the Japanese language and teach overseas, it is a dream I am currently working hard for and am blessed for having my family’s full support. If I were to describe myself in one word, I would call myself a fool, I tend to usually think of others rather than myself in situations that matter the most but it’s an innate habit I have. Well this ends my introduction as of now and I expect to see you all soon in the next blog. T-minus 4 days to Japan!