Japanese Men and Cooking

What do you mean you don’t know how to cook???
“…. I dunno… it seems hard…”
At least three of the Japanese men I’ve talked to so far grew up not knowing how to cook.

And they still don’t know how to cook. It doesn’t seem to be just those three men, either. It’s starting to seem endemic. 

When the Japanese men I talked to need to eat, they eat out (because they don’t have wives, they explained.) Some of them live in company dormitories which serve breakfast and dinner, but even with that option, they go out. Convenience stores. Kaitenzushi. Donburi shops. Ramen shops. I’m starting to understand why every other shop I see is a restaurant. That many restaurants wouldn’t last very long in the United States, but here, restaurants are a daily expense. 

Donburi shops are everywhere. Menus posted on the street advertise bowls (meat, vegetables, sauce, an egg) for ~500 yen. I visited one with a friend, and the process is automated. You walk up to a machine similar to the machines that sell train tickets, only this one vends meal tickets. You chose your bowl and the features you want. You purchase the food. You hand the ticket to the kitchen, and almost immediately you have your bowl. You break your disposable chopsticks, you break the yolk on your egg, you mix it into the rice, meat, and vegetables, and pick up your bowl. Lift it toward your face and shovel the food down with your chopsticks, drink your miso soup, and you’re off.

When I explain to people that most boys in the United States grow up knowing how to cook at least basic things, like eggs and pancakes and cereal, they’re surprised and a little shocked. They tilt their heads back and say “heeeee? sugoi na.” (Huh? That’s amazing!) 

I explain further that sometimes my mom cooks dinner, but sometimes she tells us we’re on our own, and when that happens, my brother cooks himself food. I explain that moms in the United States generally stop making lunch for their kids around age 10. They’re surprised. 

And when I ask men if they want to learn how to cook, they shake their heads. Convenience store food is good, they explain.

(Which it is, here. In the United States, you couldn’t go it on convenience stores alone.) 

And when you can’t cook, you get to try a lot of good restaurants, they tell me. (Or eat 500 yen bowls of donburi every day. Filling, I suppose.)
I shake my head and tell them I can’t believe it. They can’t believe me either.

October 18th Thoughts

About two months into gap year.

Things worth knowing:

  • I am working 60 hours a week between two jobs.
  • I am transitioning between two jobs.
  • For a little while I will have three jobs.
  • I am saving up to spend six months in Japan via Workaway.
  • I am learning kanji with kanjidamage.
  • I cut off all of my hair.
  • I’m super excited that Haikyu! season 2 has arrived.
  • I’m following Stephen Colbert’s next phase with interest.
  • I’m miffed when I turn on cable news (so what’s new, really?)

Until next time.

The Otaku Girl Grew Up

I was 13 when I started this blog.

I was precocious, I was awkward, I knew some hiragana and about ten words of Japanese.

I wrote in a sickeningly sweet tone, and aspired to kawaii-dome. I conceived of a pen name, Yume Otaki, the representation of everything I wanted to be.

And I started an anime blog before attending my first anime convention.


Otaku girl is now 18. Still precocious, still awkward.

But somewhere in there I realized my social vocabulary needed to include more than anime.

My blog went dark while I earned an IB Diploma, a high school diploma, took six AP exams, and went through the college admissions process.

My blog went dark while I left anime for other loves.

I’ve now taken four years of high school Japanese, and am seriously studying it on my own.

I’ve worked really hard at art. I like slam poetry. I find international relations, journalism, radio, podcasts, and animation to be really, really fricken’ cool.

(And now I have enough world experience to know that if there is, indeed, a queen of smoothies, she is not me.)

I’m taking a gap year now before I attend Carleton College for my undergraduate degree.

The Otaku Girl grew up.

But she realized sometime around the beginning of the summer that she still had a soft spot for anime.

So her blog will grow up, too.


Imitation Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino! Nummy ^-^



If you’re like me, you have tons of random ingredients that you don’t know what to do with, scattered around the kitchen, from previous attempted asian cooking projects ( i.e. mochiko from the time you tried and failed to make hanami dango, or nori from the time you attempted the sacred art of sushi and ended up with everything falling apart.) So if you’re like that, and you happen to have some matcha that needs to be used, and you also have a fetish for green tea frappuccinos, but can’t stand the price of them, this recipe is for you:


2 teaspoons matcha

1.5 tbs sugar

1/2 cup of milk

A few handfuls of ice

Blend all ingredients together in a blender. You can adjust all ingredients as necessary (more ice if too thin, more milk if too thick, more sugar if you have a sweet tooth, more matcha if you like matcha)


PS: if you don’t have matcha lying around the house, find an asian food store.



-Yume: Otaku, Cosplayer, Blogger, and Lover of Green Tea Frappuccinos

Princess Tutu


As I lie here, sick, tired, and fed up with Ax of Murder rehearsals, I bring you news of triumph! I have finished Princess Tutu, a gripping yet cheesy anime about a duck with a dream. My friend introduced it to me last week. All around the house, I have now been dancing around, imitating balet moves lol. I must say I was upset to watch Muto walk off with Rue in the end, I was really hoping that Duck would be able to be with him some how, but oh well, Fakir is still a nice substitute. It had a better ending than many anime, where the girl has cute, funny, lovable guys falling for her left and right, and yet she chooses the unattainable disgusting jerk who sits in the background spewing his depression on innocent bystanders, and holds the opinion that they are star crossed lovers. Not that I have opinions or anything. I’ll get back to posting, I’m sorry, life is a busy thing, as all my faithful readers know.

Enjoy, GAO


P.S.- Duck’s friends, Pique and Lillie are so annoying! They don’t get her at all! UGH!


*image: http://www.watchcartoononline.com/thumb/princess-tutu-episode-19-english-dubbed.jpg

My New Honey Hunt Obsession

Honey Hunt Characters


My brother got me the first volume of Honey Hunt for Christmas. I can’t get over it and I’m loving it so far. In fact, I’ve read the first volume 4 times now. Yesterday I went and sat in Borders and read the next to books. Apparently it got bad reviews from some magazines, but I really like it so far. Unlike most other manga, the love interest of the heroine is not the dark, creepy, snobby unattainable one, but the super sweet, declares his love from the beginning, funny, cute guy. And this guy is really cute. This manga is perfect for any hopeless romantic, and it’s refreshing.

The plot that Miki Aihara has written is about Yura Onozuka. Yura hates living in the shadow of her celebrity parents, who aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be. So, when they get a divorce, Yura decides to make the world accept her by becoming an actress, so that she isn’t getting attention for just her parents anymore. This manga is absolutely fabulous and I would recommend it to shojo lovers anywhere.




Yume-chan, hopelessly romantic anime and manga lover, smoothie queen, Air TV lover, Blogger, DND player, and Otaku Girl for life.


Cover of the First Book


Natsumi Ando started another manga last year, and in November, the first of the translated volumes was released here. I picked it up in Borders, and sat in the isle reading for maybe an hour. So far it’s addicting, good, and refreshing in the fact that it isn’t girl meets dark creepy boy, girl crushes on dark creepy boy, girl gets dark creepy boy. (lol isn’t that how it almost always happens in shoujo?) Anyways, it’s about a girl named Tsubasa who was split from her twin sister Arisa when their parents divorced.  Tsubasa thinks that Arisa has a great life, as she has a cute boyfriend, great grades, and ultimate popularity. However, when Arisa attempts suicide, Tsubasa starts looking for the cause and realizes that she too may be in danger.

This manga will definitely keep me turning pages if it stays as good as it is now, and I recommend that you try it! One Manga has it too, though lately it seems their website has been a little slow.

Happy Holidays!



I’ll Miss You OneManga!


I know it’s a little (way) late for this, everyone, but I would like to dedicate this post to the glory of OneManga! OneManga has been my favorite online manga reader for years. No one could contend with the completeness of all of the series they had online. If you wanted to read Hana Kimi, say, they had every chapter, or were in the process of scanning chapters. Other websites, though they have a wide variety, usually only have chapters three and five, random chapters that were uploaded by whoever. If OneManga had the series, they had the whole series.

OneManga began it’s shutdown over the summer because of complaints from publishers. Though it’s true that if you have a product, you want people to buy it so that you make money, it’s still sad for us otaku. You never can find the diversity of manga in a library or even in a bookstore, that you find online. And as any otaku knows, in a bookstore, manga is extremely expensive for the half hour of entertainment it provides. And so, as my final farewell, OneManga, you will be greatly missed.




P.S. OneManga’s forums will continue to exist, if you enjoy forums.

Excited For Nan Desu Kan :)


The thing an otaku looks forward to most… the congregation of people who actually speak their language… the anime convention! Nan Desu Kan aka NDK is going to be going on in Denver from Sept. 10-12! I’m working on sewing my costume, and my friends and I are starting to prepare. Soon I might even have a little pep in my step 🙂 My friends are doing a big hetalia cosplay which i might join, but I’m also going to cosplay Misuzu Kamio from Air TV. I cant wait!!!! Woot woot!