prefecture dissing top

There’s some things you just don’t do when you visit other places. You wouldn’t go around dissing the champagne in France, the pyramids in Egypt, or the Red Sox in Boston. Disrespecting a town or country’s claim to fame is liable to get you glares and maybe even fists from the locals.

And the same thing goes for Japan. Each region is very protective of its local specialties, so much so that they’ve created a Twitter hashtag to show everyone exactly what they should be wary of disrespecting if they visit.

The actual hashtag used to share (and warn each other about) each prefecture’s local specialties translates roughly as: “If you dis this is my prefecture, you’re going to hell.” And yes, they do use the actual word “dis” in the Japanese hashtag. You’re welcome to take a look for yourself.

Let’s take a look at what local specialties we should be wary of speaking ill of.

First up is Hokkaido:

▼ “You think we’ll let you get back to the mainland alive if you dis Sapporo Beer?

Ah yes, Sapporo Beer. One of Hokkaido’s proudest products. Chances are if you’ve seen a beer ad in Japan where the men were acting about their beer foam as a woman in a shampoo commercial does about her luxurious lather, then it was for Sapporo.

And it’s not just beer – the people of Hokkaido are extremely protective of their famous cookies.

▼ “Someone actually went to trial for dissing Shiroi Koibito.

While we’re not sure on the validity of someone getting into legal trouble for disrespecting the chocolate cookie, Shiroi Koibito is still pretty serious business. If you come back to work from a trip to Hokkaido without any Shiroi Koibito for your coworkers, you might as well not come in the next day. And whatever you do, don’t laugh at its name that translates to “white lover.” Hey! I said don’t.

Tohoku:

▼ “Tokio is everywhere is Fukushima.”

Since I’m not currently in Fukushima, I’m going to be honest and say I don’t really know a while lot about the boy group Tokio. But! Any group that decides to help create a super long noodle slide is certainly worthy of dissing-protection in my opinion.

▼ “Putting pork and potatoes in miso soup at stewed potato parties.”

This might not sound that strange to anyone who didn’t grow up eating miso soup every day. But for many in Japan, the idea of putting potatoes in miso soup is just downright disgusting. I’m glad it doesn’t seem that bad to me; guess that means I’ve passed the test to visit Tohoku!

Kanto:

▼ This is Chiba-kun, the mascot for Chiba. Get it, “Chiba” like “Shiba” in “Shiba Inu?

No, it’s not a great pun. And it’s not even that appealing of a character design. Still, don’t you dare say anything bad about Chiba-kun, the pride of the prefecture, until you’re safely beyond its borders.

▼ “You can dis natto and renkon (lotus root) all you want, but don’t you ever dare pronounce “Ibaraki Prefecture” as “IbaraGI Prefecture.

Hear that? It’s IbaraKi, not IbaraGi. Okay, moving on!

The Chubu Region:

▼ “Sugakiya is Nagoya.” (Click pictures to enlarge.)

I’ve never been to Nagoya before, but I’m not about to argue with a ramen restaurant that gives you an eating utensil like that.

Dessert maccha (green tea) noodles with whipped cream and what looks like an (sweet beat paste) and a cherry on top.

Why dis something do delicious when you could just eat it instead?

Kansai:

“The Hanshin Tigers.”

Oh, yes. Remember how we talked about how you wouldn’t go to Boston, Massachusetts, and dis the Red Sox? Same deal here. The Kansai region is very protective of their Tigers. I mean, you would be too if KFC’s Colonel Sanders put a curse on your local team.

▼ “If you dis Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, it’s basically over for you.”

I would never dare to get fresh with the largest freshwater lake in all of Japan. Never.

The Chuugoku Region:

▼ (Abridged translation) “Attention bands who play here: If you call okonomiyaki in Hiroshima “Hiroshima-yaki,” then we will tell everyone on social media that you said that, and you will have to apologize on stage.”

So this one requires a bit of explanation. Okonomiyaki is a very popular dish in Japan. There are a bunch of different varieties, but mostly all of them having some form of batter, dashi, cabbage and meat or fish, with mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce on top. It’s kind of like a combination between pizza and a pancake. It’s also insanely tasty.

Here’s a picture if you’ve never seen one before:

dsc_0037RocketNews24

However, there’s a big rivalry between Osaka and Hiroshima with regard to this dish, since both regions believe that they invented it. Osaka, with their more laid-back attitude, doesn’t worry so much about it, but folks from Hiroshima do. They believe that their style of okonomiyaki, whose ingredients are stacked rather than mixed and which often include yakisoba noodles, is the original. All other styles, they insist, are variations, so calling theirs “Hiroshima-yaki,” would be like calling sushi in Japan “Japanese sushi,” or calling Chinese food in China “Chinese-style Chinese food.”

Kyushu and Okinawa Regions:

▼ “Whatever you do, don’t ask someone from Fukuoka, ‘Aren’t those Hiyoko sweets from Tokyo?'”

The food-based rivalries don’t stop. Apparently the little baby bird-shaped confectionaries are serious business too, and they’re not – not – from Tokyo.

Unfortunately there weren’t any tweets about Okinawa, but having lived there for several years myself, perhaps I can supply one:

Kariyushi. The Hawaiian shirts that Okinawans wear instead of business suits/uniforms from April-September.

mrt kariyushiMeme Generator

The spring/summer is brutally hot and humid in Okinawa, so much so that even in the world of super conservative Japanese business and politics, the entire prefecture puts on a rainbow of colorful shirts for six months straight. (Or if you’re me, all year round.) Everyone from bank tellers to city hall workers to even the governor wears kariyushi during that time. They have to; they’d melt otherwise!

Still, it may seem a little silly to see everyone at your business meeting dressed in these:

But whatever you do, don’t laugh. You’ll want to save your breath since you’ll be panting in that suit of yours pretty soon.

So what about your own local specialities? Is there anything people are super protective about where you live? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Naver Matome
Featured/top image: Meme Generator