Amamiya Karin, a left-wing social activist who is known for representing the Japanese Precariat [the ‘precarious proletariat’], wrote a small piece for the Niigata Nippo newspaper about a trip she recently took to Korea, which was published on December 28.
By December 29, the print article had been scanned and uploaded to 2ch blogs, where it began attracting considerable netizen attention for Amamiya’s story about a Korean restaurant that served leftovers. Amamiya is well known for her left-wing views, which means that the right-wing netouyo have reacted to her unusual travel tale.
Author Amamiya Karin:’Korea’s Culture of Giving Leftovers to Customers Really Moved Me. Compared to that, Japan is Depressing’
At the beginning of December, we went to Korea. Two women, on a trip where they would just eat as much delicious Korean food as they could. We stayed for two nights and three days, ate six meals a day, so in total we ate about twenty meals. Going to Korea like that really was a ‘detox’ trip.
A restaurant we visited on our first day has a management policy that is based on the unwavering principle that the ‘customer is the lowest’, and it really impressed me. First of all, although the woman on the door was quite persistent, once we got into the restaurant, the old woman suddenly changed. She switched to a way of treating us very roughly. The Yukgaejang and the squid stir-fry that we had ordered were delicious, but when we ordered, we were already annoyed. And then the icing on the cake was the ‘scene of the restaurant staff having a meal’.
Although the staff working in the restaurant took their rice from a different rice cooker to that which was used for customers, the rice in the staff rice cooker was clearly going to be ready first.
That was fine, but after the meal there was a problem. When the staff had finished eating, they put the leftover rice into the ‘rice cooker for customers’, as though it was quite reasonable. Those who had leftovers, returned their rice to the rice cooker from which the rice for us was taken, as though this was quite normal. When I saw that, I was really touched.
A while ago, there was some trouble in Japan when a high-class eatery had been re-using leftover dishes, and yet in this restaurant in our neighbouring Korea, the leftover rice from staff meals was openly being supplied to customers. What’s more, there were no bad feelings about it either.
In Japan, at some point the value judgement that ‘it is the consumers who are the most important’, is widely acknowledged. In a society in which we complain at the slightest thing, we end up being pretty savage. However, having had the precious experience, of ‘paying to allowed to eat leftovers’, it made me think. Wouldn’t it be ok if we were a bit more laid back about things? At the very least, having witnessed this scene, I no longer want to be friends with people who get angry over things like this.
Comments from Twitter:
Would have been better if Amamiya hadn’t come back to Japan…
I don’t really know whether she’s praising the Korean restaurant or putting them down. What is she on about?
Seriously disgusting ＼(^o^)／ Is she stupid or what w
I hated her before, but with this she’s the lowest of the low. Get out of Japan!!
Being happy at getting served leftovers. There’s no need to expose your extreme masochistic fetish w.
An old hag who was made to eat toxic food in Korea when she went there on a detox.
So this is what they mean by ‘killing them with kindness’, then?
Which country’s newspaper was this!?
This is really disrespectful towards Korea, isn’t this kind of thing getting booed in Korea nowadays too?
I thought that this was sarcasm, but it wasn’t sarcasm.
Come on, I mean even if this kind of thing was discovered in Korea then they’d usually have their operating licence suspended….
Leftovers are disgusting, naturally.
I reckon this is sarcasm for sure.
What is she saying?
I also have no desire to become friends with people like you.
When I read the article I thought it was some kind of black humour, but somehow she seems to be saying it for real…What happened to her?
Waah, I really don’t want to go there w
Amamiya Karin — is she the one who wrote that book ‘Groupies A -go-go’?
This is so insane I have nothing to sayw
(ﾟДﾟ;) Yeah, Japanese culture all the way for me, thanks.