info for vegetarians
| February, 2002 |
Tokyo Vegetarian-friendly
Restaurant Guide
Diary - Living in Tokyo
as a Semi-Vegan
Recommended Readings
Written in Japanese
Articles about Vegetarianism
written by Hiroko Kato
Online Vegetarian/Vegan Handouts
Shopping Guide
Good News & Good News
Links for Vegetarians
August: Healthy vegan snack, vegan peach cobbler, stray cats, and so on.
September: Vegan pizza and brownie as well as experiences at several vegan restaurants.
October: New soymilk product and vegan ramen noodle, and so on.
November: Stories about the meeting with Japan Vegetarian Society chairpersons, vegan wedding meal, and experiences in Kyoto and Vietnam.
December: Attended Japan Vegetarian Society's meeting, delicious vegetarian food in YOKOHAMA China town, wasting time and money on staling foods, and trip to Penang.
January: Experimenting some vegan breakfast recipes, receiving an e-mal from the reader, pondering bug's life, and so on
February: Tried a macrobiotic restaurant in Tokyo, and the trip to Laos.
March: Struggling to get a vegan flihgt meals at Malaysian Airline.
April: Having vegan wedding plates again, business trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, and busy days.
May: Nayonnaise discovery and some food disasters.
June: Life is going on.
February: Attended a meeting on refugee issues in Japan held by Amnesty International Japan
March: Fresh soy milk and fasionable fake leather sneakers, etc.
April A conversation with my husband over a TV show and "Meatarians vs. vegetarians."
May A trip to the U.S. for research. Had an opportunity to attend a fantastic vegan wedding of my friend's.
July A thought on eating whale meat.

Okay, it's time to do some updates. Past six months, I attended a vegetarian cooking party (in November), coordinated a vegetarian meeting for Japan Vegetarian Society (in December), and found some vegetarian-friendly restaurants including the one in my neighborhood. Now I can order noodle plates without meat at that Chinese restaurant. In the meantime, I had to make a compromise when I should eat a slice of pork cutlet to write a restaurant review. But the good things are going on as the bad thing happened: Now I CAN eat Natto, in 32 years of my life! That sticky, strong-flavor fermented soybeans will help me to eat vegan way much easier than ever. (February 9, 2002)

February 10, 2002

I found that Martha Hill, my favorite cosmetic brand for more than four years, stopped sending their products to overseas. (They are British company.) I was shocked because I've been relying most of my cosmetics including shampoo on MH and had no idea what to substitute for. They should be good for my skin and hair, not animal tested, not contain animal ingredients. In Japan, there are many "natural" cosmetics but generally, they never mention whether they are animal tested. I felt so anxious, almost unreasonably, and thought I should get something as soon as possible. Maybe I'd have chances in Ginza, I wondered. I knew that there are a couple of drug stores that sell imported cosmetics. At the first store, most of the space was packed with chocolates for St. Valentine's Day and I only found Aubrey. Unfortunately their products don't work great to me so I went for next one. What I saw was that the store was closed. I was desperate and the last chance I could get alternatives on that day was to go to Body Shop. They are not bad, at least, only if the fragrances are too strong. The good thing was they have a variety of range from cosmetics to shampoo and body soap so I could get all the the necessary things at once. Now I think that I should explore vegan cosmetics in Japan besides vegan foods here. A long way to go!

February 19, 2002
I attended a meeting on refugee issues in Japan held by Amnesty International Japan. The guest speaker was a Burmese who fled to Japan due to the current government's harsh oppression to him because he is one of them who organized democratic movements among students as well as came from Rohingya, an ethnic minority. Unfortunately, Japanese government is not as generous as he expected and he was detained almost a year and after all, couldn't get a refugee status here. He now stays in Japan under the custody by his lawyer and work as an activist who seek for Burmese democracy.

He says that Rohingya is Muslim and that is one reason why they are abused by the government where the majority of its people is Buddhists. I asked him if he could get special meals because of his religion in Japanese Immigration Office's facility. The answer was "NEVER" and he didn't eat but white rice since he worried if his meal was contaminated by non-harral meat or other foods.

His decision reminded me vegans who fear that they couldn't get anything but white rice when they visit Japan. But the big difference was, I guess, that vegans would have more choices than he. It might be possible for vegans to break the rules by eating suspicious foods when they can't be patient of hunger anymore. That's up to them to decide. But for him, it was the law that he can't break in whatever situations, as long as he tries to be a devout Muslim. Anyways, he could have more to eat if Japanese Immigration Office served him vegetarian meals, I believe.
Copyright (C) 2002 Hiroko Kato, Tomoko Kinukawa(designer).All rights reserved.