JAPAN FAN / Parker Andrus

AUGUST 2019 (VOL.144)

Parker Andrus

Currently lives in:Irvine
Occupation: International Sales Manager at Tele-net America Corporation
Loves Japan since 1987
Have you been to Japan?Yes, nearly 30 times and have lived there for 4 years
Favorite Japanese Food:Miso Katsu (from Yabaton) or Sukiyaki
Favorite Japanese Item:Japanese Toilets & Bidets
Favorite Japanese Characters or People:Ichiro Suzuki
Favorite Japanese Word:ちんぷんかんぷんChinpunkanpun (meaning gibberish or anything that you don’t under-stand)
Favorite Japanese Spot in LAShinsengumi Hakata Ramen

What inspired you to like Japan?

My dad grew up in Tokyo and frequently traveled to Japan on business. He would always bring back the coolest toys and most delicious treats! I’ve had the great opportunity to live in Japan for about four years and I still travel there frequently for work (and now I get to bring my kids toys and treats). Every time I go to Japan, meet or speak with Japanese people, or eat Japanese food, it’s always an exciting and happy experience for me.

Anything you are deeply in love with?

I’ve always been in awe of and have fallen in love with Japan’s rail system. I love seeing the different types of trains and could watch them for hours at a time. I recently brought a toy shinkansen back for my son to play with, but I’ve found myself spending more time with it than he does.

Which part of Japan are you fascinated with?

Japanese culture is fascinating. Japan has done such a great job of embracing the modern, western world while preserving its most important traditions. It’s amazing to see how the ancient and modern customs of Japan work together to create such a unique area of the world.
Additionally, Japanese people are some of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. They are always extremely respectful and do everything they can to show others their gratitude.

Anything other readers should try?

I think everyone should have a goal to visit Japan sometime in their life. I love all the major cities in Japan and there is plenty to do, see, and taste in each area. But there is so much more to Japan outside of the major cities. I would absolutely recommend making time for less popular and less crowded areas of the country. Travel to Nagano, visit around Hokkaido, check out Shikoku, and see the beauty of Miyazaki.

What is your ideal imaginary food that combines a Japanese and American dish?

One of my good friends came up with an idea that I really want to try. Tako Yaki (octopus balls) is a very popular dish in Japan. Taco Rice is also fairly popular throughout the country, too. I think it would be great to have “Taco Yaki”. Instead of octopus chunks, it would be filled with taco seasoned ground beef, tomato, and green onions. After it is cooked, it would be topped with cheese, salsa, and sour cream.