Tonight, another group of folks and I rode the bus all through the suburbs outside of the city limits of my fair city to head to an elite sushi restaurant that is in the middle of a bunch of industrial parks. The place is called Zen and it used to be just a general Japanese restaurant in the east end of town in what is frankly a pretty seedy area (it was located next to a lot whose building had burned down). However in the past several months, the management moved the place to a much safer, albeit less accessible, neighbourhood, and streamlined and upscaled its operations so that it basically specializes in sushi now. We went for the most expensive kaiseki and were not disappointed. Of course, having a good soup with that meal was important, too.
Seguing somewhat clumsily then to an NHK program that I saw last week via TV Japan, "Utau! SHOW Gakko"（歌う!SHOW学校...Sing! SHOW School）stars enka legend Hiroshi Itsuki（五木ひろし）as the comically amiable teacher of a singing variety program shaped as an old-fashioned elementary school in which comedians and other singers appear as students to demonstrate their prowess (or not) in singing the old kayo.
Enka darling Kohei Fukuda（福田こうへい）earned his gold star in that "class" for performing an old 1980 enka tune originally sung by Masao Sen（千昌夫）. Starting off with the necessary "Brrrrr" to illustrate the winter setting, Fukuda launched into "Miso Shiru no Uta" (The Song of Miso Soup) which had his classmates and audience swooning and perhaps reminiscing.