There’s a TV drama on Prime right now called きのう何食べた？ or, What did you eat yesterday?
It’s a slice of life Japanese drama about a middle aged gay couple living together in Tokyo. It’s about their daily life and it touches on many different issues they face as well as issues faced by others around them.
I’ve watched several episodes ahead of my husband. I can’t understand most of what they say in the show, but I have been studying recipes in Japanese lately (and thanks to a lifetime of watching cooking shows, youtube cooking channels, recipe books etc) so I can usually understand some of the cooking portions of the show. I know the technique names in English and quite a few ingredients he uses. The food terms are an “anchor” of sorts that helps me from getting too lost. (Still happens)
My husband translate for me when we watch it together or I’ll ask him to check my understanding. We’re only a couple episodes in together so far.
I’m glad I watch it first though because I love the atmosphere of the couple. It feels gentle. It feels comforting, like being invited into their family. It’s hard to explain. We also seem to share some personality traits with Shiro-san and Kenji, so not only do I feel the family warmth, I feel the warmth of familiarity. I do know that it’s not quite the same and that we don’t face the same issues that they face. Being gay in Japan isn’t easy, and to be honest I can’t understand exactly what they go through. But I can empathize. And I’m glad this show is out there, so I can see the world through their eyes. My heart aches when they ache and I am happy when they are happy. We love watching their relationship grow.
The show does touch on so many things but – food is such a huge part of this show. Shiro-san’s hobby is cooking. It’s how he relaxes, saves money, stays healthy, and shows his affection. It’s not just for refueling the body, it also refreshes him.
Something you might notice if you watch this show is – maybe they might seem a bit well, cold to you. There’s been no hugging between the main couple, no kissing (at least so far that I have seen)… Coming from a Western culture, it might seem really distant. We usually show lots of affection by tons of cuddling and kissing. But, thankfully my husband is there to help explain to me again. Love isn’t always shown the same in all cultures. Shiro-san’s cooking for Kenji, and even Kenji’s part of washing the dishes – the love is there. It’s not just chores, it’s a sign. A symbol of love and respect and affection. At least, that’s what we feel.
They also grow as a couple, outside of just the food and chores. The way they listen and respect each other – Shiro-san tries to talk even when it’s difficult for him. Kenji isn’t afraid to ask directly. They both admit when they are wrong. Well, at least it’s how it seems to me. I’m sure I’ll get back to you about this show, as it’s my current obsession and escape.
Oh, and the picture above is a recipe from Shiro-san’s recipes, the book we bought that ties into the show. This recipe is tomato and tuna cold somen.
If you want to know more about this show, I encourage you to look it up! Other people who are way more knowledgeable about this show and the manga are out there – this is just one person’s humble desire to gush over something she finds beautiful, amazing, informative, and peaceful. Also delicious – two recipes made so far and OH MY GOSH SO GOOD.
If you watch it, please let me know your impressions!