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New Year’s Food Scandal!


What’s wrong with this box of traditional new year’s food (besides the fact that two measly boxes of cold appetizers cost $525)? Well, if it came from any one of the swanky department stores that was recently snagged for mislabeling ingredients, those costly “Shiba” prawns might be proletarian shrimp from India, that “Japanese wagyu beef” was recently hoofing around the outback in Australia, and those “homegrown Japanese” veggies might have come from some farmer’s home in China.

Executives hung their heads in shame after being called out by consumers, who have become a lot more beady about where their food comes from since Fukushima Daiichi started spewing radioactive water onto vast swaths of farmland.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

4 thoughts on “New Year’s Food Scandal! Leave a comment

  1. Really interesting, Jonelle. I happen to be engulfed in the DARPA robotic challenge, which was designed to produce robots that could act in a high radiation environment like Fukushima Dai Ichi. As you probably know, the most recent phase was won by a Japanese team (though they’re owned by Google). What a pity the Japanese government listened to its atomic energy industry, who assured everyone that a meltdown could never, ever happen here. Thus the government failed to support robotics that could work in such an environment, even though the Japanese are arguably the best roboticists in the world.

    • Well, since the Japanese government and the atomic industry are practically one and the same, it’s not surprising they were drinking each other’s Koolaid. And now that they need the robots, they can’t afford to develop them. And they can’t let foreign experts in, because then the foreign experts will see just how horrifying the situation is, and they’ll let the cat out of the bag that it’s fixable, but the price is far more than the government can/will pay. And no politician wants THAT. (><)

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