Eating Symbols


2007 is the year of the boar. On Tuesday night the Mie U. Law School Dean threw a new year party: not to be confused with the New Year’s Parties on the first; or the New Year’s Eve parties on the 31st; or the year end parties thrown in late November through late December. One friend brought from the countryside brought some boar meat for our dining pleasure.

We had several amusing conversations about it being because it was the year of the boar, but really it has more to do with the abundance of boars where he lives and his taste for the meat.

This got me thinking about the Chinese zodiac creatures and their edibility. Sheep, no problem; Rabbit, no problem; Chicken, no problem; Horse, probably OK; Snake, …

Sometimes there are jokes made about what Japanese people will eat, but I have never heard of anyone considering eating snake (fortunately). The year after snake is dragon. My guess is that dragon tastes like chicken, but I’m not sure where to catch one.


2 Responses to “Eating Symbols”

  1. Keven Says:

    I guess you could eat a Komodo dragon. That’s a close as we’re likely to get these days…

  2. びっくり Says:

    This actually came up in a silly conversation with a friend who loves KISS (and Sekima II, a Japanese knock-off). We were talking about making a pair of Gene Simmons’ platform shoes. We could figure out where to go in Japan to capture a dragon, but figured it would be too hard to find two of identical size and coloring to make the shoes.

    One person emailed me, insisting that dragons are a protected species. But they were really horrified that I would eat horse. If your standard for what is barbaric is: “Would the French do it?”, then eating horse is clearly barbaric.

    Also, I found out that one breed of poisonous snake is indeed turned into a ‘medicinal’ food in Japan.

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