NHK ~ Begin Japanology ~ Izakaya

NHK ~ Begin Japanology ~ Izakaya

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Language: English

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Number of phrases: 494

Number of words: 2975

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00:01
Revd paper lantern brightened Japan's streets after done they mark the locations at the much smoke japanese-style pubs called izakaya inside you'll see colleagues stopping for drinks together on their way home from work couples on a date all kinds of get tickets is a Kyra where people build relationships over dates these pubs are renowned for their extensive menus you can choose from a tremendous variety of
00:35
alcoholic beverages and Japanese dishes [Music] sake spills over the lip of the glass but it's not a mistake this isn't izakaya tradition for centuries izakaya has served as places where people mingle across areas of age and drink [Music] recently new types of pumps have appeared on the scene to cater to
01:06
increasingly diverse preferences [Music] on this edition of the King JEP analogy we look at japanese-style cuts izakaya will explore the food drink and camaraderie that give them such widespread appeal hello and welcome to begin Japanese G I'm Peter barrack and our theme for today's is OK up which I
01:37
shall translate for the purposes of this show as pubs although as you'll realize they're a little different from what we call pubs in England I'm in the Shimbashi area of central Tokyo it's a commercial area where hordes of japan's corporate warriors come to unwind after an exacting day at work as you'll see from the looks of this little alley here just about every building is a drinking establishment it's said that there are over a hundred and fifty thousand yokai are all over Japan why so many and what
02:08
are they exactly to find out I'm gonna go on my own little pub crawl this evening while I get started let's get an overview as night falls in the city izakaya springing to life these are drinking places for the masses serving up seasonal food and alcohol at reasonable prices this is our boss it's common in Japan for corporate workers to accompany their bosses colleagues and top clients to izakaya on the way home from work
02:45
alcohol helps the conversation to flow izakaya are an important venue for cultivating relationships and connections let's look inside a typical izakaya izakaya come in all sizes big and small many consist of a bar plus a handful of tables customers pick the busiest establishments it's a
03:18
place for men and women young and old to share good times [Music] izakaya offer lots of different alcoholic beverages and prices are reasonable beer wine whiskey cocktails whatever you drink you'll be sure to find an izakaya that serves it and of course they also serve a variety of
03:48
Japanese drinks this is called to hide the Japanese distilled spirits short to cut with soda water in the early post-war years the shorter available wasn't tasty to make it more palatable pubs cut it with soda water and flavored it with lemon or lime this created a light refreshing goop and here is a beer like carbonated beverage this also dates from the early post-war years when beer was pricing it was developed as a cheap substitute made
04:24
from hops it's drunk mixed with shortened [Music] Saeki is made by fermenting rice there are many ways to drink in summer people drink it chilled to fend off the heat in winter Sokka is drunk warm in an izakaya you can have your drink of
05:01
choice just the way you like it [Music] [Applause] the food menus are also extensive many izakaya offered dozens of choices Pattin izakaya each individual dish is usually small so it's great for people who just want a light nibble with their drink as well as those who want to fill up with a meal let's look at some typical items on them izakaya menu this is fermented squid seaweed pickled in vinegar soy beans
05:57
boiled in salty water or a pup stable assault grilled sorry might be shared among several people Chaska rice with green tea poured over it often marks the end of the mill but it's not just Japanese fare there are often dishes like croquettes Grutter and pizza even Chinese style fried chicken Japanese pub fare is eclectic some pumps
06:30
are built a reputation on specific dish [Music] here they serve grilled chicken chunks on sticks bite-sized pieces of meat are skewered and grill with sauce or salt seasoning [Music] it's not just chicken sometimes grilled beef and pork are used as well this kind of kebab is great with any alcoholic beverage here's a bumpy tree or den a selection of stewed items
07:09
typical ingredients are cakes of processed fish blocks of tofu and seasonal vegetables the broth is based on seafood stock and soy sauce this type of food is an izakaya favourite this is a Chaya offers charcoal grilled seafood and vegetables the ingredients are simple and the honest-to-goodness regional flavors have mini pounds [Music]
07:47
Japanese clubs come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of members he's a hire a design so that people can always find the kind of food they want and enjoy eating and drinking in a pleasant cozy atmosphere this is a popular izakaya in the Shimbashi area which fills up from very early in the evening I'm gonna go inside and find out why it's so popular this establishment has a
08:23
very extensive menu of a look up here and you'll notice that there are no prices here on the menu and there's a good reason for that which is that everything is the same price every item on the menu is 300 yen they've put out some of the more popular items on the menu here on the counter for us how many I can do have on the menu altogether you always have between 50 and 60 and how long does the preparation take five or
08:54
six hours because they're all homemade and why did you make everything the same price customers can choose freely the whole idea is that customers should just drop by casually anytime they feel like it but exactly I do have their own systems and customs which reflect Japanese ideas about hospitality and interpersonal relations let's find out a little bit more about them various
09:25
customs are observed at izakaya first as soon as you sit down a small appetizer you served this touch ensures customers have something to eat even before they're first ordered dish arrives in this case it's kept Jack tuna usually served as sashimi for this dish a Phillips has been cubed and boiled with Japanese leeks Nanyang we try different ideas this one uses Japanese leeks fills up the time
10:12
before your order is served the flavor needs to be quite light there are customs involving the drinks themselves too when you order Sakic cold a server will sometimes pour out enough liquid to overflow the glass and spill into the wooden box oppressive this makes you feel that you are getting a kind of bonus [Music] first you drink a little out of the
10:51
class then you pour the contents of the box into the glass refilling it with Sakura [Music] the next customers observed between drinkers it's customary to pour drinks for each other and this promotes social interaction whether among a group of men or between a man and a woman it's a worthless way to express respect for
11:23
affection perhaps it has something to do with the Japanese tendency not to verbalize feelings special occasions such as welcome parties going-away parties and year-end parties often involve a drinking session at an izakaya these are occasions when everyone drinks together on an equal footing differences in rank between boss and subordinates are set aside this is
12:00
an old custom in Japan drinking creates opportunities for people to speak their minds at these Akaya they can drop the polite front they use in the work of a life at least to a certain extent it's great how everyone loosens up and pours out their hearts it's a special time we all share together as equals I love that you don't have to worry about disturbing other people by talking too loud because
12:30
the whole blazes noise customs also come into play when settling the bill groups of drinkers often split the town it's 2,000 yen each when colleagues or friends go out to the pub it's very common to split the tab evenly among all those in the party so that everyone plays the same well that we all pay equally it keeps everything evil and fair now and then
13:09
someone will drink too much or eat a lot but that's just understood maybe someone who's not drinking much will eat more to even things out and so on this way just seems to make things fair for everybody izakaya have such customs to help make sure that everybody has a good time their rules founded on being considerate towards others and that's why generations of Japanese people have treasured and maintained these customs okay on to my second stop for tonight
13:48
and this place has no tables it's all standing which makes it somewhat close to an English pub [Music] these kind of stand only bars have a really casual feel about them you can walk in here off the street just by yourself and feel totally at home have some of the drink have something to eat to stand by yourself or you can strike up a conversation with the person next to you it's all very free and easy he's uh kaya have been around now for hundreds of years they've had to go through changes
14:30
of course through the years to keep attracting customers as customs changes from period to period it's believed that izakaya first appeared in Japan at the end of the sixteenth century in the city of Edo as Tokyo was called back then laborers came from all across Japan to construct a castle for the Shogun in Edo to slake their thirst sake merchants would set aside part of the shop to serve drinks [Music]
15:12
these pictures show what izakaya looked like in the mid 18th century [Music] in those days a 1.8 litre bottle of sake cost about half a day's wages even so many people gathered at these pubs some drank standing up others sat on benches [Music] the customers included samurai in those days Japan had a strict social hierarchy but samurai and commoners mingle that is
15:47
a clan which served as a venue for interaction across social classes in the late 19th century Japanese society rapidly westernized and Western drinks became popular beer halls and grilled chicken bars made their appearance as pubs evolved into a variety of forms more people than ever flocked to izakaya [Music] right after the Second World War Japan suffered food shortages but even when
16:28
people could barely survive izakaya didn't vanish as the nation rebuilt little pubs popped up everywhere people gathered at them and encouraged each other to stick it out with everyone hoping for a better tomorrow he's a KY are also important centers of information exchange [Music] the recent year as many new types of izakaya have propped up to serve
16:59
increasingly diverse consumer preferences [Music] this is a car is located right on the platform of nagoya station in central japan office workers can enjoy eating and drinking as they wait for their train home quick and cheap it's a great spot to catch up with friends [Music]
17:31
this is a Chaya evokes the warring States period the heyday of the samurai it was inspired by recent surge of public interest in history it's fun for everyone to feel as if they slipped back in time this is a folk music pub targeting people approaching retirement age members of this generation get together to play the songs of a youth it's all about connecting with memories
18:04
of a bygone era and with other people who shed in the 400 years since they first appeared izakaya have evolved along with Japanese society one thing has stayed the slammer is that I have always transcended barriers of social and occupational status and encouraged social interaction [Music] this style of izakaya is called robot a Aki and that means that the food is
18:40
grilled over charcoal and then served to you here in front of the counter normally they would have the grill right inside here but this place is converted their space into what sometimes becomes a performance space every week on Tuesdays and Saturdays they have a practitioner of rakugo which is the Japanese traditional story come here come in here and perform right inside here in front of the customers as they drink and of course fans of raka will come in their droves to share
19:10
experience recently a kind of niche marketing is becoming common in the izakaya field appealing to a certain age group or a group of people who have a particular preference so you have your traditional izakaya you have the ones which serve for example regional foods for example this one where I am now serves a lot of food from Hokkaido but however much variety there is there are some constants you drink you eat and you have fun and talk to your friends basically okay let's move on now and take a look at a story about a
19:43
particular man which might get you thinking about what the roots behind Facebook might be the Shimbashi district of Tokyo this bustling pub attracts a lot of office workers a neem [Music] it's appeal is not limited to food and drink these notebooks are another drawn pilot is here there are around 800 notebooks here each
20:19
labeled with the name of a high school somewhere in Japan customers right in the notebook of the school they went to memories recent happenings anything they like the notebook serve as a medium of interaction between customers the pub started keeping the notebooks in 1987 Japan was in the midst of a booming bubble economy in those days people wrote things like our group is growing like crazy the sky's the limit then the
21:00
bubble burst the day after tomorrow I'm being laid off from the oil company where I work in 2009 with the global economic crisis raging I'm 44 if you have a job opening please contact me the notebooks revealed how customers really
21:32
felt as they live through boom and bust times one man had his life changed by one of the notebooks his name is now I attack aha she a regular at the pub the financial company he runs took a huge hit from the financial crisis Takahashi poured out his troubles in the pages of the notebook for the school he went to Niigata High School my company is in
22:11
serious trouble we might not be able to pay the employees next month this might be my last visit to this pub Takahashi founded the company seven years ago he recruited trusted friends but when the economic downturn struck the firm began to struggle financially Takahashi was overwhelmed with guilt but having let
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his colleagues down but he had nobody to turn to it seems strange but when I have things that I can't talk to anybody about you know painful things and uh griping about it in the notebook helps me feel better several days later Takahashi opened the notebook at the pub and saw that someone else had written in it my name is Junichi khmer i graduated
23:21
from Niigata high school in 1970 I have worked for a number of Japanese and Western financial institutions over the years perhaps I can be of some assistance feel free to contact me [Music] a message from someone he had never met Takahashi decided to meet the writer of the message Junichi kami well thank you very much for meeting me
24:03
when he heard of Takahashi's deep distress cam I felt he just had to get involved [Music] so in your company everyone's pulling together then that's good yes but the worst case scenario is that we all go down with the ship I've been involved in two or three companies that went bankrupt everyone has that kind of
24:33
experience at some time especially in finance any children still in middle school so you need to hold out for another decade Camay offered thoughtful advice to Takashi even though they were meeting for the very first time [Music] it filled akahoshi with determination to keep going
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[Music] later with the help of another firm Takahashi managed to found a new company Andrey employee his colleagues even though we went to the same school he was complete stranger anime he was willing
25:34
to meet me or pizza was old thanks to that notebook it made me feel that the world isn't such a bad place after all these are all people will talk about human mercy well I I really felt that [Music]
26:17
because his a car a place is where everyone can relax and be themselves they are ideal for forging close connections with other people [Music] as is well known the Japanese business world is extremely hierarchical and that of course breeds a certain amount of stress but when you come to an izakaya all considerations of status are pretty much left outside once you walk inside everybody drinks and eats on an equal footing and once you spend an evening drinking with somebody that relationship that we all is going to become a little
26:54
bit closer and although they're not going to be world changing events there are all kinds of little human dramas happening in these places every evening I'll see you again next time [Music] my cool [Music] you

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