Sunday, June 07, 2009

Queen of Sweetness

When I was a kid, I used to eat a lot of bad things. Outlets of dagashiya, which literally translates as "junk sweets shop", used to be our favorite hanging out places. Incredible things were consumed by today's health conscious standards. For example, there was a "sweet paper", which tasted sweet when you licked it. In addition, your tongue would turn into red due to the color additives. Modern kids will roll their eyes to hear that. Who would want to taste a just plainly sweet paper? Didn't they have more nice things to eat?
Those were the days when sweets were still considered as luxurious (I was born in 1962), and kids got a kick out of tasting sweet things. It was a time when the Queen of Sweetness reigned in the kingdom of children.
I sometimes wonder if the degree of health-consciousness at one era is not reversely correlated with the overall energy as living organisms of the members of the society. When you are full of energy to live, and are very active doing this and that, you eat and drink what you can get, and do not really care about the supposed qualities of these things. I wonder if there aren't similar phenomena in other countries and cultures.

6 comments:

Oliver said...

What an amusing thought, and a plausible one. It sounds like conservation of energy, in a way: health conscious people are necessarily expending effort managing their health rather than on other things. (Economists, I think, would use the term "opportunity cost".) Of course, for some people, this may be a reasonable tradeoff in their estimation.

Is there a more effective way to ensure good health so that sickness doesn't interfere with the great things we hope to do? Just as deliberate attention is limited (and limiting) in the performance of certain cognitive tasks... Perhaps the next revolution is not increased health consciousness, but a more effective health unconsciousness.

I'm just playing with words and curiosities here. :)

Thank you for continue updating this English site. I look forward to being able to read your updates in Japanese soon.

Junko said...

It seems that vague anxiety is
drifting among health conscious people in Japan.
People tend to follow strong opinion without thinking, including me.
I wonder most important thing is
keeping balance.

How simple comment it is.
I would like to write more essential note.

Anyway, take care, have a good night.

(ma)gog said...

Although it was a forbidden habit to visit Dagashiya as a child, I usually somehow managed to get what I wanted. Children in those days could have that sort of freedom if they decided to get one.
One of my favorites was a set of skin coloured thin crackers to go with bright red-orange Ume tasted paste!

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

I read today your latest book on Japanese, English and other linguistic matters.

I listened to your lecture on the radio NHK-2 a little while ago.

I feel sure these two things will change my life.

Thank you for your amazing book and lecture.

T.Sunayama Jan 17, '10

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

Thanks to this journal and your books relating to English, I was able to get a professional qualification of the legal translator last month. I’m going to start new career as a translator from the middle of this month.

I‘d like to put the accent on the Japanese-English translation. Yes, it is the “export” English as you say, not the “import” English.

Outside the special field, I still like my clumsy English like this. I sometimes recall my good old childhood with full of the dagashiya’s sweetness and without any examinations.

Anyway, thank you very much.

T. Sunayama Apr.6, 2012


Special Thanks to…
Dr. Kenichiro Mogi
The late Dr. Hideo Tanaka
The books published by the Cambridge University Press

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

Thanks to this journal and your books relating to English, I was able to get a professional qualification of the legal translator last month. I’m going to start new career as a translator from the middle of this month.

I‘d like to put the accent on the Japanese-English translation. Yes, it is the “export” English as you say, not the “import” English.

Outside the special field, I still like my clumsy English like this. I sometimes recall my good old childhood with full of the dagashiya’s sweetness and without any examinations.

Anyway, thank you very much.

T. Sunayama Apr.6, 2012


Special Thanks to…
Dr. Kenichiro Mogi
The late Dr. Hideo Tanaka
The books published by the Cambridge University Press