Sunday, July 8, 2012

Konnichiwa world!

As a Japanese-American who can no longer read, write, or speak Japanese competently, I've often been frustrated by the lack of up-to-date information on Japanese stores/restaurants in Boston in English. Just last year I came across a guide that clearly hadn't been updated in years - it recommended Yoshinoya (closed in 2006?) and Kotobukiya (closed May 2009). Recently, it occurred to me that I can't be the only one with this problem, and perhaps I should provide the information! While it's nice to have Google Translate, I find that it tends to translate Japanese-language sites into barely comprehensible English.

Sadly, Boston doesn't have an official Nihonmachi (Japantown). Porter Square in Cambridge has been an unofficial Japantown for many years with a high concentration of Japanese restaurants and shops (there even used to be a bookstore, but it closed in 2004), but most Japanese businesses and organizations are spread out and if you don't know where to look, you might never find them. I've lived here for over a decade and am always surprised when I come across a Japanese restaurant or business I've never even heard of. With JAL's new non-stop service between Boston & Narita, maybe we'll see more Japanese restaurants and businesses come to Boston.  One can hope!

This blog will focus on Japanese food, culture, language, and arts information in the Boston-Cambridge-Somerville-Medford vicinity, with occasional information about Japanese businesses & organizations in other parts of Massachusetts. I don't plan to cover Japanese pop culture (i.e.: anime, manga) or martial arts. (Update 9/9/13: I forgot to mention I'm also not going to cover sports, religion, or alcohol.)

There may be occasional musings about what it's like to grow up Japanese in America. Domo arigato gozaimasu for stopping by! :)

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