Overnight Pickles

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Took sample test number 6 last night; made several silly errors because I was so tired; and scored just over 87 percent. Looks like I can slow down on my level 8 preparations and start studying for the level 7 test on Sunday. Hopefully I can get enough of the fourth grade kanji in my head to add another 20 percentage points to my 50 percent performance on the practice test.

A few days ago I was expecting I could only spend Friday and Saturday night cramming for Sunday’s test. My Japanese teacher taught me a phrase to use in this case: Ichiyazuke (一夜漬け).

Japanese pickles, called tsukemono (漬け物) are made in a process that takes two or three nights. Vegetables are buried in a paste, made from buckwheat husks, salt, and water – if memory serves me correctly. Traditionally the paste was stored in a wooden bucket under the floorboards, but now is often in a plastic tub stored in a closet or fridge.

Cramming for a test is like trying to make pickles overnight. The process is half-done and the result is probably less than satisfactory. Ichiyazuke means ‘one night pickles’.

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