Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving in Japan

I tried to celebrate Thanksgiving Day my first year in Japan but it didn't work out well. Thanksgiving, of course, is not a holiday in Japan and my job, six days a week, was more than full time. Not that I needed time to prepare a feast. I could neither find turkey for sale nor did I have an oven in which to roast one. Cranberries and sweet potatoes were also unavailable. Baking a pie without an oven was out of the question and while you could get pies in Tokyo, the bakeries of Shizuoka had only cake and pastries. My Thanksgiving meal ended up consisting of pan fried chicken with cooked daikon radishes over rice. I had invited some new Japanese friends over to dinner and I sensed they were disappointed, expecting the American Thanksgiving meals they'd read about in magazines. After some champagne, however, we soon got into the real spirit of the holiday: to be thankful for what we had, whatever that was, and celebrate with family, whomever that turned out to be.

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