The Valpo Core Reader


Yuiko Yagi

Document Type

Comparison and Contrast Essay

Publication Date



I received a package from Japan last night. The cardboard box was almost crushed after one month's sea voyage, yet it still clearly bore my address in English. Each of the awkward letters showed my mother's hard fight with English spelling and almost got me into tears. The box had, among my winter clothes, a plastic bag with something red in it: pickled Japanese plums. I tasted one; then I could not stop my tears any more. The appetizingly sour, yet not spicy nor salty but subtly sweet, little red plum reminded me not only of my family but also of everything Japanese. I am already sick of American "junky dinners" and missing Japanese food very badly, but the point is not the taste. Food is not just food; it reflects the sense of being in each country. Let me show you, first of all, how different they are--our Japanese dishes and American ones--especially those served at dorm cafeterias.