In the Fall of 2017, I finally realized my dream of living in Japan. A year after the Fort McMurray wildfire of 2016, I moved on from my work as an Associate Pastor at NorthLife Church to become a Missionary English Teacher in Osaka, Japan. I had never been to Osaka, despite three prior trips to Japan. On those trips, I focused on exploring Tokyo and the Tohoku region, but I of course wanted to visit Kyoto and Osaka. Little did I know that I would eventually live there for two years.
When I arrived in Osaka, I did many of the typical “tourist things” that you might expect. One of which was visiting Kuromon Market. And that’s where I saw all the Fugu shops. Fugu was made infamous by the Simpsons episode “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” (Season 2, Episode 11). In that episode, Homer demands to eat the poisonous fish even though the restaurant’s head chef wasn’t around to prepare it. Hilarity ensues, and fugu entered into the American mainstream.
I had watched tons of video about Fugu while researching things to do in Japan for my earlier trip. But I never really had the opportunity to try it until those early days of living in Osaka. I didn’t hesitate to seize the opportunity. I had some fugu! And it was… meh. It doesn’t really have flavour, so it’s definitely a fish you need with a bit of sauce. Anyway, obviously I didn’t die – because serving Fugu is heavily controlled. Apparently about 100 people die every year of eating Fugu, but pretty much all of them died because they tried to prepare it themselves.
And so, Fugu is the most adventurous thing I’ve ever eaten. And, I cheated death just like Homer Simpson.
(Photo Credit: Raita Futo)