Jewish in Japan

This is a subject I have covered here and there.  Normally being Jewish in Japan is no more difficult than being Jewish in the States.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It’s more difficult in some ways and less in others.  Being a relatively unknown (here) religion means that I normally just say I’m allergic to the foods I don’t eat, rather than trying to explain my religion to them.  It also means that almost no one knows the stereotypes attached to my religion.  As a result, it can be both freeing and constricting at the same time.

While there are large communities of practicing Jews in Japan (in the Kansai and Kanto regions), the number of Jewish people on Kyushu is significantly lower.  As a result, when it came time for my Passover seder, there was only one other Jew in the area who might be able to come and none who could actually come. As a result, my seder looked something like this:

Seder for one.

I can’t complain because it ended up being the fastest, smoothest seder in the history of ever.  I said the appropriate prayers, broke the correct matzah, and just skipped over the wine drinking requirements in favor of some grape juice I scored from the vending machine down the street.

Thankfully, keeping Passover in Japan isn’t too difficult…if you have an oven (which thankfully, I recently acquired).  If my matzah supplies run out, I can make more.  I’ve made myself some granola for breakfasts and tried my hand at things like cauliflower crust pizza and lots of matzah brei.  Packing Passover bentos for lunch is only slightly more challenging, but nothing impossible.

Passover bento # 1: Spinach garlic brei, red peppers, salsa, and charoset.

The real challenge is going to be avoiding rice at the welcome party dinner at the end of the week.  Otherwise, finding food should be no more difficult than normal.  I’ll just have to be a bit more creative.



2 thoughts on “Jewish in Japan

  1. Way to be flexible, Jodi. Love that “being the fastest, smoothest seder in the history of ever.” As for avoiding rice, may be you can use the carb as an excuse. Good luck.


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