Twelve Days of Kitsune
- The First Day of Kitsune – a folk tale
- The Second Day of Kitsune — Shift Your Shape with a Kitsune Costume
- The Third Day of Kitsune – Wordless Wednesday kitsune images
- The Fourth Day of Kitsune – the Brief History and Use of Chopsticks
- The Fifth Day of Kitsune — Dining with the Daimyou
- The Sixth Day of Kitsune — On Kimono & Japanese Clothing
- The Seventh Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 1
- The Eighth Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 2
- The Ninth Day of Kitsune — A Period Playlist
- The Tenth Day of Kitsune — Using Furoshiki to Wrap Gifts
- The Eleventh Day of Kitsune – the Kitsune Code of Conduct
- The Twelfth Day of Kitsune – Mizuhiki
Today we’re going to have a meal with the oyakata-sama and okugata-sama, the lord and lady of the household. Have you been practicing with your chopsticks? I hope you’re hungry!
We will be seated in order of social hierarchy, and as we are dining with the nobility, we will each have a short-legged table made of lacquered wood (called a zen). All dishes will be served at once.
“Itadakimasu.” I humbly receive this food; let us eat!
The Daimyou’s Meal
Vegans and vegetarians will be very comfortable; eating meat (other than fish) has been uncommon in Japan for centuries, for religious and economic reasons, and while polite society is eating more meat now, it’s still very much a supplement (okazu) rather than a staple (gohan). Most animal protein comes from fish or shellfish, or possibly whale meat.
Dieters won’t have to worry, either — very few oils or fats are used in food preparation. Dairy is also almost never seen. (In fact, you probably shouldn’t bring it up; just as you might not like the smell of fermented beans, they won’t much like the scent of dairy products. It’s just not what anyone’s used to.)
Tonight we have pickled vegetables, dried abalone and other fish, umeboshi (pickled ume, a fruit related to the plum and apricot), raw trout, grilled vegetables, starchy dumplings fried in sesame oil (one of the few fats you’ll see), seaweed, and of course rice.
It’s polite to lift your bowl to an appropriate while eating; please don’t embarrass the rest of us by leaning over your food. And we will have sake, of course, but remember not to take it at the same time as eating rice; that is rice with rice, and that isn’t done.
The Kitsune’s Meal
But wait! Are we dining with a kitsune as well? The gentleman to your left seems particularly fond of his fried tofu, which is known to be a favorite of foxes.
This is why today you can buy inari-zushi (vinegared rice wrapped in deep-fried tofu) and kitsune-udon (udon noodes with fried tofu balls). Sometimes the inari-zushi has pointed corners like fox ears! (Remember that Inari is the deity who retains foxes as messengers.)
“Gochisousamadeshita!” It has been a feast; thank you for the food!