Bug Eaters?

Posted March 27th, 2015 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

It was about 2 weeks after my son started going to kindy that I found out there is a backpack filled with books and toys to borrow from local library (part of Better Beginnings service) to encourage kids to participate in reading books.  I went to local library and borrowed this Discovery Backpack, and found some books & toys inside.  The theme was “insects”, and one of the books was The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a toy was a caterpillar which can be turned into a butterfly.  I thought it’s a very good service for kids.  My son Hiro started talking about these small creatures a lot and clearly he became a bug lover, thanks to these books.

Ask A Bug

Then, I was stunned… I was reading one of the books “Ask A Bug”, and spotted a page saying “In Japan, sushi is topped with insects”!!!!

OMG, this is not true….!!!!

My reaction was bit too eccentric, it’s just because I hate insects….

Sushi we eat in Japan is mostly seafood. Some are meat, egg and vegetables, but never insect.  Besides, I do not want to imagine sushi with insect on top.  It’s disgusting…!! I’m not against people in the world who eat insects, just that we do not eat insect sushi in Japan!

Anyway, I was shocked and talked to my friends who are also Japanese.  They were surprised, laughed, and some were furious.  These books should be educational, especially it was part of Better Beginnings program.  I don’t want children to think Japanese people eat insect sushi and my son to get buried.  So I contacted the publisher of the book to let them know my concern.

Ask A Bug2

As soon as I emailed them the story, they replied to me with apologies and told me that they’d investigate where the sources came from. The publisher was very nice and responded promptly, and it seemed that my story spread to their head office in UK very quickly.

I received an email from an editor in UK last night.  It also began with an apology, and said they’ve been consulting with the senior editor on the book.  They were informed  that actually there has been a relatively recent (since 2000) revival of the insect-eating traditions that actually stem from mountainous areas of Japan, and some restaurants in Tokyo serve insect-based dishes as a special offering….  OMG, and there were some links that show articles and photos of sushi with insects!  So Japanese people do eat insects!!!
(Here is the link if you want to see these images of insect sushi… but I warn you they looks gross!!!)

I was shocked, to be honest.  I’ve never seen such sushi (gross…) in Japan and can’t imagine eating them.  Well, I guess some people get appetite when they see insects..  I now know my own country better, haha.

I still think the wording on the book Ask A Bug was inappropriate.  The editor also said that it should have been something like
“In Japan, insect eating once happened in mountainous areas.”
I agree!!

I’m still going to talk to the library to eliminate this book from the library though, till reprints are issued with different wording.


What’s your thought?

Posted March 13th, 2015 in Perth WA | 5 Comments »

Yakisoba and Okonomiyaki


If you’ve been to Japan in matsuri (festive) season (most likely in summer), you know those stall food that add more excitement and energy to the atmosphere.  Yakisoba, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kakigori, crape, grilled corn, just to name a few.   Here in Perth, I get to see some stalls that sell Japanese food at festivals (I saw Fumi’s Okonomiyaki & Yakisoba stall at  Chinese NY festival in Northbridge last month) but not so many kinds.

City of Melville is organising a Japanese festival, which is a charity based event, in October this year.  The details are yet to be confirmed, but there will be some stalls selling food and also Japanese goods for children.  I hear taiko performance will be played at the beginning of the festival, and they will show a Japanese movie “paper plane”.

It sounds exciting as I love matsuri!  I know it’s a charity based event and I can’t expect too much, but I hope to see some stalls selling Japanese stall food there.

Here is a question:  What do you want to see at this kind of Japanese festival?  Food? Activity?  I want to hear your thoughts so I can probably pass this to people who are organising this festival in Melville.


After Japanese Festival 2015

Posted March 9th, 2015 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »


It was another hot day in Perth.  Perth Japan Festival was held last saturday in the city, and I’d say it was a huge success..!

The festival opened its door with taiko (drum) performance just before 1pm.  Our stall wasn’t really ready to sell items yet around 1pm as we were still waiting for some food to be delivered.  I was surprised to see so many people passing by, and asking if we were open.  There was a huge queue on our dango (mitarashi & sanshoku) section which was amazing.

I was in a bread section with Melon-pan, Anpan and soybean pan.  Although I thought the pricing was bit too high, customer kept coming and we sold all our items out around 2pm!  I think the atmosphere of the festival helped selling these bread.  We wish we could prepared more food but it was our maximum… There’re total of around 400 bread.  I didn’t think it’d sell out in 1 hour.


I wonder how much did these people at Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and other food stalls prepare the ingredients to keep up till 8pm.  It must have been a massive amount..

I found that there’re more Australians and other Asian customers compared to Japanese customers.  I think the locati on of this event is bit too small – you can’t really walk around especially with strollers.  And, I thought there should be more stalls selling variety of food… including sweets.



Anyway, after that crazy 1 hour, I was free and joined my sons to enjoy kakigori, wataame and takoyaki.

I love matsuri.  There will be another Japanese festival in Melville in October.  I’m looking forward to it.