第005話EPISODE 005


With a lot of food talk and a short story on her life.
Ms.Cao Man, who have been to Japan four times,
loves getting around bookstores in this country,
as she works for a publishing company.
From the Rice Story's perspective,
she was the type of carnivorous woman.
"Book or Meat - which do you prefer?"
How did she make this impossible decision?
Interview and Story by : Kazuya Karasawa




I just love meat. Once or twice a week, I would absolutely order the meat-only diet. Considering that in China, vegetables are also cooked with meats, it seems to me clear that I eat a lot of meats every day.

One of my first memories of my husband is also connected with meats.

At that time, I was a master student at Beijing University, and there was a great Cantonese cuisine restaurant near the school. The 'God of Cookery Rice (食神飯),' which has a braised pork, fried egg and vegetables on the top of the rice, was my favorite menu, and one day I was eating it, experiencing a moment of pleasant fullness of the food. My husband was next to me at that time, and all of a sudden he started talking to me in English, saying "I am not such a stranger. I am interested in you." As I majored in Japanese, sometimes I answered the phone in Japanese for friends from the same department, and the other time I spoke Cantonese for Chinese friends, so he might have no idea where I was from (laughter). Showing his ID card, it seemed like he wished I would have not regarded him as a stranger. Having a conversation together, I was excited to figure out that he also loves the meat, and that he even ordered the menu I like the most: 'the God of Cookery Rice.' Whenever we eat the food, it reminds me of the moment.



私の仕事は出版関係で、オリジナル書籍を発行しつつ、夏目漱石や芥川龍之介といった日本人作家の名著を中国語に翻訳してリリースしてもいます。日本の作家の言葉で一番好きなのは、宮沢賢治さんの「雨ニモマケズ」。がんばろうって思える素敵な言葉です。人生で負けそうになったことですか? あります。ネギがダメ。あれを食べると気分が悪くなる。ネギにだけは絶対に勝てる気がしません(笑)。


Why am I such an avid fan of meat?

Well, I got a chance, so I will reflect back my life and meat.

My greatest food moment of all time was back in 5th grade in elementary school. When visiting my grandmother's house, I happened to run into the fried chicken - It was the best I have ever tasted in my life. After one bite of the food, I even thought like "I would want to eat nothing but this!" Since then, chicken has been my favorite all the time - beef, pork and duck, these meats are all fabulous, except lamb, which I don't like the most.

As for me, a culinary journey to Japan was to taste Wagyu (Japanese beef), of course. Yesterday, I also went to Yakiniku restaurant, and it was so tender I couldn't believe it was a beef, comparing to the Chinese beef. Seasoning with Wasabi, the skirt steak was so delicious I couldn't resist.

While Japan has a superb meat, the books as well as the bookstores are also spectacular.

Working for a publishing company, I involved in translating Japanese famous novels, such as Sosuke Natsume and Ryunosuke Akutagawa, to Chinese ones.
Involved in publishing the books, I work for a publishing company, and publishing the books. The epigram I like the most is Kenji Miyazawa's「Be not defeated by the rain.」This remarkable quotation keeps me motivated and inspired. Have I ever felt defeated in my life? Yes, I have - Green onion, which makes me feel bad. I will never win the game with a green onion (laughter).

Of the bookstores located in Japan, 'Store's POP (Point of Purchase Advertising)' would be my number one choice. Although the recommendation sections can be found in Chinese bookstores, it is like written by a salesman from a publishing company. Speaking of temperature, it is very cold. However, Japanese POP is different - they convey the meaningful messages to express the heartfelt feelings of the employees for each recommended book. You can sense the feelings from the handwriting. It has a warm heart.

もし、お肉と本のどちらかひとつだけを選ばなきゃいけないとしたらですか? 残酷な質問ですね(笑)。でも、選べないですよ、そのふたつは。お肉も本も私は本当に大好きですし、「栄養」という共通点があると思うんです。いい本にめぐりあえると、頭に栄養がいきわたるように感動するし、おいしいお肉は体が元気になって栄養になる。素敵な装丁の本に出会うと読む前からわくわくできますし、日本式の焼肉が目の前でジュウジュウと音を立ててくれると、心から癒されますから。

Should I make a choice between meat and book?

How cruel of you (laughter)! Nevertheless, I won’t be able to make up my mind.Meat and book are my favorite things, and they have in common in terms of「nutrition.」 When running into the outstanding book, I am very touched and impressed like it optimizes the flow of nutrients to my head, just as eating a delicious meat delivers vital nutrients to keep my body healthy. The book cover intrigued me, making my heart flutter, just as sizzling noise of the Japanese Yakiniku grilled in the pan in front of me heals my soul.