Maybe probably the most photographed and recognizable neon signage in Japan is the Glico Man, a picture of a runner crossing a end line with each arms raised, seen from Ebisubashi bridge at Dotonbori in Osaka.
The brilliance of utilizing the sprinter is that he conjures up the corporate’s caramel candy catchphrase, “300 meters on a single piece,” which means that those that eat one can run that distance.
Why 300 meters? The gap matches the candy’s variety of energy.
Riichi Ezaki (1882-1980), the founding father of Glico, believed that nourishment and play have been important for a healthful childhood. With this conviction, he added glycogen extracted from oysters to caramel and began promoting in 1922 what we’d name right now an vitality product.
He offered it in a quick crimson field that got here with a little bit toy.
Dotonbori refers to a canal, a avenue that runs parallel to it, and the overall leisure district within the coronary heart of Osaka. Its historical past dates again to 1612 when Yasui Doton (1533-1615) and his companions began building of the canal.
Sadly, Doton was killed within the Siege of Osaka, the place the Tokugawa Shogunate put an finish to the Toyotomi clan. Though he died earlier than it was completed, the canal was given his title upon its completion in 1615.
The waterway turned a well-liked and profitable commerce route, and the federal government designated Dotonbori as an leisure district, which quickly boasted a number of Kabuki and Ningyo-Joruri puppet theaters.
Eateries and ingesting holes sprang up, and theater-goers and occasion individuals poured into the realm. At this time, it’s a spot to eat, store and be entertained until you drop.
In contrast to their Kyoto and Tokyo compatriots, Osaka individuals are not identified for restraint, particularly in relation to their native baseball staff, the Hanshin Tigers. In 1985, when their favourite staff received the Japan Sequence, followers went wild and jumped into the Dotonbori canal.
Then they bought carried away, and a statue of the founding father of Kentucky Fried Rooster, too, actually bought carried away and thrown into the canal. After this, the staff didn’t win once more for 18 years, which turned referred to as “The Curse of Colonel Sanders.”
No journey to Dotonbori is full with out consuming signature Osaka meals corresponding to “okonomiyaki” cabbage pancakes, “takoyaki” octopus balls and “kushi-katsu” kebabs.
Every time I’m in Dotonbori and search for on the Glico sprinter, I’m reminded that nourishment and play are the important thing to life for kids–and all of us. Permission is granted to take pleasure in “kuidaore” (ruining oneself with extravagant meals) and “asobi” (taking part in) to at least one’s coronary heart’s content material.
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This text by Lisa Vogt, a Washington-born and Tokyo-based photographer, initially appeared within the Oct. 31 subject of Asahi Weekly. It’s a part of the sequence “Lisa’s Wanderings Round Japan,” which depicts varied locations throughout the nation via the attitude of the writer, a professor at Meiji College.