A new blog, recommended by Roger L Simon, has sprung up in Japan to complement the Japundits. This new blog has sound commentary on the world and seems to be starting a cool feature of asking Trivia questions about Japan.
The answer to the first one and the posing of the second are at this post. I've got the answer to the second one - it will appear at the bottom of this post - but first I want to write about the answer to the previous question. That is the Japanese food called Natto. Many Japanese are convinced that Natto is so disgusting that no gaijin will dare to eat it, and they are therefore amazed and shocked fât foreigners sucha s myself who not only eat it but relish it. Of couse Natto is one of those foods that people either like or hate and even many Japanese fall into the latter category. I have noticed that there is in fact a correlation between people who like Marmite/Vegemite and those that like Natto. I wrote about that correlation at The Motley Fool once:
Then there is Natto, which is some kind of semi-fermented bean thingy. Most Japanese are convinced that all gaijin think Natto is disgusting (actually quite a lot of Japanese think Natto is disgusting) so there was great shock on an overnight hiking trip when Natto was served for breakfast by the inn we were staying at. About 3 of the gaijin (including me) not only ate our Natto but also ate the Natto of everyone else who was unwilling to eat it. We said it reminded us of Marmite/Vegemite which it does (kind of).
So next week the Aussie who had a secret stash of vegemite made vegemite sandwiches for all in the group. Most people found it truly "yukky" but the Japanese natto enthusiasts semeed to find it palatable. I think its one of those things that you have to be exposed to as a child in order to like....
Natto does not seem to cause the cold-turkey style withdrawal symptoms that frequently affects habitual Marmite and Vegemite eaters. That is the sorts of people who can not only tell the difference between Marmite and Vegemite but who can explain why the other is not a suitable substitute when their preferred goop is not available.
Oh yeah, the answer. Took me a while to figure it out because I thought it was something Buddhist related. Well to some extent it was in that the answer is Suiko Tenno, Japan's first Empress (of 8) and, along with her regent Shotokutaishi, instrumental in the spread of Buddhism in Japan. One of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan - in fact the oldest surviving wooden structure in the world - the Horyuji was founded by them and is pictured above.