Throwback Thursday: Thanksgiving in Japan

Thanksgiving is here!  I thought it would be fun to share a post from my old blog about the first Thanksgiving I had in Japan.  It was one of two non-traditional Thanksgivings I’ve spent in my life.  I can’t remember what the first one was, although I mention it in the Japan post so there must have been one before then.  It seems apropos to share the old entry now, since this year will mark the third year of non-traditional celebrating.

We’re still gathering together with family and giving thanks for our bounty, but minus the usual meal of turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole.  Instead, we’re hearkening back to a different family meal tradition: chya! Aka, egg rolls (and I know it’s not really spelled “chya” but here’s a shout out to phonetics!)

When we were little, our mom, who is Vietnamese, would fry up big batches of chya (okay fine, chả giò) and sell them by the dozen to our neighbors.  Of course, there was plenty for us to gobble up also.  Back then, we didn’t know they were served at restaurants one at a time as a side or a starter.  We ate them by the boatload.  I could put down half a dozen when I was only that many years myself.

Chya, the best German Shepherd in the world

We loved egg rolls so much, my sister made it her German Shepherd’s namesake. RIP Chya, see you at Heritage Ranch!

This Thanksgiving we’re celebrating family and personalized traditions and having a mommy who will still come over and cook us up huge batches of comfort food.  I hope your day is filled with joy and memory making as well! (Even if you may have to read your own old blog post to remember what happened…)


Happy Thanksgiving (Gobble)

Originally posted November 28, 2006

This year marks the fourth year in a row that I have spent Thanksgiving away from home.  It marks the second year I haven’t celebrated with a traditional turkey dinner.

However…I feel that watching a bunch of overweight men wrestle on the holiday that I usually celebrate by getting a little fatter myself was quite apropos.   So…Scotty and I went to sumo!  Yay!  Although the sport itself is relatively low on the exciting-meter, I had a lot of fun!  (Fun greased by copious amounts of sake :D)

The stadium is set up with premium “box” seats and regular “stadium” seating.  Stadium seating is western style chairs in a row, and furthest away from the ring.  The box seats are in front of the chairs and are literally boxes.  They are about four feet square and they have four flat cushions that you sit on.  So basically, sitting on the concrete floor.  We paid for the cheaper stadium seats but snuck over to the box seats later on as there were quite a few empty ones.

Sumo Match in Fukuoka, Japan

We got to see a Yokozuna (the highest rank) battle one of Fukuoka’s own celebrity sumo wrestlers.   The Yokozuna won.   At the end of the match (last match of the day) everyone threw their seat cushions.  That was fun except mine didn’t go very far…it bounced off the head of the guy sitting in front of me.  (oops)

After that Scott and I felt it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without stuffing our faces with something.  So we went to a buffet in Canal City [a giant outdoor mall in Fukuoka] and feasted on pasta, potstickers, pizza, curry and rice, tacos, crab legs, and weird jello drinks.  Not the usual Thanksgiving fare but still delicious.  I was only sorry that I couldn’t nap and then go back for more. 🙂

Hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

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