Home > Japanese Culture > An analogy for your sincerity

An analogy for your sincerity

I got one topic on soba, one of Japanese noodles.

As I wrote it in this blog, it was my birthday last Sunday. “So…you had spaghetti?” I got these words from my godmother who lives in the other country.

“Why?” She told me that there is just one of customs in her country. “Ummm…it’s like…hikkoshi soba?” said I.

Ofcourse she didn’t know what the meaning hikkoshi soba has, so I explained it to her. As one of the ways to show politeness, we have one custom to visit our new neighbors and let them know ourselves when we move to the new place. At that time, we often bring hikkoshi soba and present it to them. hikkoshi just means “to move to the new place”, not indicate sorts of soba. In other words, all sorts of soba gifted when moving are called hikkoshi soba overall.

soba, as you know, is a long and thin strip made from soba flour, like spaghetti. Giving soba to our neighbors in the new place, we try to express our “I would like to let you know I start living in here, and make a long and constructive relationship with you” feeling.

I asked her that serving spaghetti and eating it on one’s birthday have the same meaning as hikkoshi soba has. She said “kinda”. In her country, they eat spaghetti on thier own birthday or someone else’s birthday, hoping for the person’s (who got his/her birthday) health and happiness.

Unfortunately, such a custom I refered above now seems to be diminishing in Japan because people tend to avoid communicating with each other, and even if people has opportunities to visit neigbors after moving, the visit is finished without hikkoshi soba. Anyway, it’s so crucial for you to visit neigbors, let them know yourself and know what kind of neigbors live. It is said from police officers in Japan that such behaivor can protect you from robbing. “You have to know at least the people who live in your right upper floor, right lower floor and right your both sides, especially in the case you live in a condominium” One of police officers taught me like that when I went to the police station and got the instruction against crimes related to condominiums. I often get such instructions on condominiums and use them as one of interesting topic for my clients. That is one of my job as a consultant.

What about your contries? Are there any similar customs?

Incidentally, zaru soba is the most favorite soba among all kinds of soba. Here it is.


I’ll show you how to eat zaru soba. Don’t pick soba and put it into your mouth directly. You have to some strip of soba and dip it into the cup placed next to soba, and you can taste it better.

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  1. October 23, 2009 at 7:03 am

    How are you?

    It’s look tasty. I’ve heard about it before. And once, I woke up with an urge to eat it, like I was a pregnant woman craving it. 😆

    I remember when people were neighborly; some still are. When moving into a new place, they’ll come over and introduce themselves, not bringing anything. And that’s the point, bringing themselves meant that they were bringing friendship.

    Neighborhood crime watch is a good thing. We have one where I live. It’s advised to have one by the police. Sometimes the world’s not so different after all.

    Have a nice, relaxing weekend.

    • honeypotter
      October 26, 2009 at 4:39 pm

      Hi, girlgeum, how’s your weekend?

      >And once, I woke up with an urge to eat it, like I was a pregnant woman craving it.

      😆 Yeah, I know how you feel. I also get deperate to eat it suddenly. You after all ate soba at that time? I prefer soba to udon, by the way.

      Yeah, the world is not so different after all.

  2. October 25, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Yakisoba pan daisuki desu! 🙂 Typically, in america, we don’t do that kinda stuff anymore. That’s like, 1950’s style. We don’t like people showing up at our door uninvited. Even if they bring food. Sometimes in fact, people do that to get into someone’s house to rob them or scope out what they want to steal later. Americans are not nice people. Look up america’s crime rate vs japan’s. You’ll be shocked. Sorry if that was a little bit darker fare than you expected. I’ll have to remember to do the soba thing if I ever get to japan though. It sounds nice.

    • honeypotter
      October 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm

      Hi, Mugami, how do you do? I’m so sorry I was late to reply.

      >Sometimes in fact, people do that to get into someone’s house to rob them or scope out what they want to steal later.

      Oh…Sounds sad. Sadly, in Japan, those who try to rob or steal something from someone also do as well as you told. But I imagined that Americans also try to be on good terms with neighbors. I know it depends on the situations.

      Maybe there are restaurants serving soba in America, right? I want to visit there, taste it and tell the differences between America’s and Japan’s soba.

  3. October 27, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I’ve read enough about it to want to eat it. And no, never was pregnant before, but have you ever heard about the food cravings that woman get when they are, well I think that’s what happened to me. I get this urge for certain foods sometimes.

    I’ve had Udon Noodles before. Love, love, love. 😆

    My weekend was okay, except for this heat. Well I shouldn’t complain huh? And your own?

    • honeypotter
      October 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      It is said that the pregnant in Japan often develop a craving for something sour, like a lemon. Wait a minute…oh my younger sister ate a lot when she was pregnant, with such an excuse; “I have a baby in my body, so I need to eat twice as much as usual.”

      Oh, you’ve ever had udon? Great. Actually, I’m planning to go watching autumn leaves next month and eat a strange udon there. I’ll write it in this blog.

  4. October 28, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I don’t need an excuse to eat a lot, I just eat–a lot. 😆 Still skinny though.

    Strange udon?

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