Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tastes and Smells of Japan...

Can't afford to make it to Japan but still want to experience its culture in a bodily sort of way? Check out these products for a virtual reality sensual tour of Japan... (Usual disclaimer: this is not a product endorsement. In fact, please DO NOT tell my mom about these websites...)


Pleasure And Pain

Wasabi sneaks up on you. One moment youre innocently enjoying some nigiri, the next moment you're squinting, wincing and reaching for the sake.

With these Wasabi Gumballs you dont have to go out for sushi to experience that intense explosion of pleasure/pain.

See more details at perpetual kid.com:


Our sushi scent smells of sticky white rice and seaweed, with a hint of ginger and lemon. Delectable! After all, if it smelled like fish, would you wear it?

Everyone has a personal library of meaningful smells. The memories they trigger are somehow more intense than those we dredge up by conscious effort. It's as if smell provides a shortcut to our deepest memories and brings them back complete with the emotions and sensations we felt at the time.

See more details at perpetual kid.com:

Of course the issue here again is the representation of Japanese culture. These products move beyond the visual to the sensual worlds of taste (and perhaps pain) and smell (perhaps discomfort here as well). Do these products bring back memories or create new ones? Japanese people do not eat wasabi gumballs (and they seem to be shocked at the foreigner who eats chunks of wasabi by itself), but there are wasabi flavored chips and other snacks that are commonly found at stores and super markets; nor do they use sushi scented perfume. So do these products serve as representations of Japanese culture? How would Japanese people respond to these products? Lots of interesting possibilities for discourse here - comments are strongly encouraged.

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