Omakase (1979) and Omusubi (1991)

Benjamin Barrett bjb5 at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Mon Apr 5 05:13:01 UTC 2004

Thank you, Barry, for this interesting post. I didn't know omusubi was used
outside of Hawai'i, and I didn't know omakase was used at all in English.

I'm going to forward this on to my first-year Japanese students.

Benjamin Barrett

>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]
>Poster:       Bapopik at AOL.COM
>Subject:      Omakase (1979) and Omusubi (1991)
>OMAKASE--17,500 Google hits, 798 Google Groups hits
>OMUSUBI--4,150 Google hits, 71 Google Groups hits OMAKASE--204
>Factiva hits OMUSUBI--25 Factiva hits
>  The revised OED has gotta have "omakase." It should be in
>the next revision.  But you never know.
>  "Omakase" and "omusubi" were mentioned this week in a
>restaurant review of Oms/b.
>335 words
>31 March 2004
>New York Post
>1/2 (two and one half stars)
>THE current Japanese food wave that brought the $500 omakase
>menu to town has also washed ashore a $6.50 omusubi meal at
>Oms/b, a stylish little rice ball caf.
>The omusubi maker in the front window shows how the rice balls
>are made: She places rice in a mold, then a dab of filling,
>more rice, then wraps the disc with nori and finishes with a
>dollop of filling..
>Like sushi, but bigger - meant as a snack, lunch or even
>breakfast to go.
>They come in various shapes, layered with everything from
>traditional eel to Western-inspired novelties such as
>pastrami. Three pieces and soup make a $6.50 set;
>individually, they cost $1.50 to $2.50. (...)
>199 words
>7 February 2004
>New York Daily News
>Copyright (c) 2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning
>Company. All rights reserved.
>Omusubi is a Japanese dish that is portable, bite-size, and
>usually made of seaweed, rice and fish. But it's not sushi or
>sashimi, because the fillings are never raw.
>You can sample omusubi at OMS/b, a new shop with white tiles
>and polished wood tables where they make the rice balls in
>both traditional and innovative forms.
>The traditional ones are pouches of black seaweed packed with
>sticky rice and fillings - pickles ($1.50), Japanese plums
>($1.50), fried shrimp ($1.75) or salmon roe ($2).
>Nontraditional omusubi loses the seaweed entirely and gets its
>flavoring from Western-style fillings: pastrami ($2),
>prosciutto ($2) or tuna with mayonnaise ($1.50).
>"Here, we make them for you, but in Japan people make their
>own," says OMS/b manager Ayano Izumi.
>"They hold the cooked rice in one hand, add a filling and roll
>it into a ball. It's a casual food that you can take along
>with you, the way you would a bagel, a hot dog or a slice of pizza."
>OMS/b, 156 E. 45th St. (212) 922-9788.
>(FACTIVA)(first "omakase")
>TORONTO I resolve to find...
>4,521 words
>18 December 1987
>The Globe and Mail
>P27; (ILLUS)
>GODZILLA'S COMING] GRAB LUNCH QUICK] Some people have no time
>for sushi (like the cab driver in Desperately Seeking Susan
>who confided, "You know what I do? I take it home and fry
>it"). But for weight-conscious gourmands, Japanese sushi has
>long been a low-cal delight. The Takesushi Restaurant, 22
>Front St. W. (862-1891), offers a special 20-piece lunch-time,
>take-out sushi selection called Omakase Sushi, from $22 to
>$26. Head chef Kumai selects each day's Omakase special from
>the best and the freshest of the available fish; each day's
>catch might contain such treats as raw tuna, abalone and sea urchin.
>  ESCAPADE EATERIES & OTHER HAUNTS There's more to Japanese
>than just sushi KIMM CULKIN 745 words 21 April 1990 The Globe
>and Mail P74
>For a minute, it seemed better to have a dinner companion. The
>Omakase, a complicated feast requiring a day's notice, was
>available only for two or more (at $60.00 per person). So was
>the Nabemono, another complete meal whose main course (sirloin
>beef), was cooked at the table, and the Love Boat ($29.00 per
>person), which might have been worth it just to have your food
>arrive in a small wooden boat - soup a la sloop? Ketch of the day?
>Eve Zibart
>4,263 words
>12 April 1991
>The Washington Post
>To dine on the kaiseki menu, you sit (after taking off your
>shoes; don't wear boots that lace to the knee) in one of
>Unkai's three tatami rooms. Although the kimono-clad
>waitresses will remain kneeling, the floor-level tables
>actually have pits underneath for the dangling legs of
>Occidental diners. There are several types of multi-course
>dinners (tempura, sushi) but the most exhilirating version is
>the chef's choice or omakase, which frees the itamae to invent
>whatever dishes the seasonal fresh market inspires.
>(FACTIVA)(first "omusubi")
>Otafuku Sauce has launched "Omusubi Jozu," a new
>commercial-use oil for use in making rice balls. 86 words 1
>September 1991 New Food Products in Japan Pacific Research
>Consulting, Inc. Vol. 16, No. 9 English COPYRIGHT 1991 by
>Pacific Research Consulting, Inc.
>To use, add 100g of the product to 1.4kg of rice and 2.1
>liters of water and cook. Then, (1) the rice cooker will not
>cause scorches, (2) boiled rice will be thoroughly removed
>from the cooker, (3) boiled rice becomes glossy and (4) boiled
>rice does not stick to the hands or utensils when processing.
>Retail price is (Y)800 per 1.1-kg PET bottle.
>357 words
>12 October 1995
>Jiji Press English News Service
>(c) 1995
>_F Tokyo, Oct. 12 (Jiji Press)-Seven-Eleven Japan Co. said
>Thursday it again pulled off a steady earnings growth for the
>first half to August, logging a recurring profit of 52,435
>million yen, up 5.2 pct from a year earlier.
>Brisk demand for a new line of "omusubi" rice balls and
>compact lunch boxes, coupled with improved sales of soft
>drinks, ice cream, beer and other food products, shaved 0.4
>percentage point off the firm's costs-to-sales ratio, to 30.1
>pct, company officials said.
>(GOOGLE GROUPS)(omakase)
>Re: KOR: Tree of Memories
>... _^ and maybe the double pony tail girl too (oops forget
>the name :p) BTW, did anyone do the translations for Omakase
>Hurricane in vol.7 of KOR manga (p115-135 ... alt.manga - May
>13, 1992 by Tonghyun Kim - View Thread (27 articles)
>Re: TaihoShichauzo (was:Re: Bloody Angels???)
>... For stocking buddies stories try Futari Ni Omakase. And
>you think AMG is brain dead.. hehe I've heard this a couple of
>times, what's that? Patrick YIP alt.manga - Apr 10, 1992 by
>Patrick C Yip - View Thread (3 articles)
>Re: Opinions?
>... If you like more realistic accounts of Police Women
>stories check out "Futarini Omakase" by the same dude who does
>Dear Boys. B-> Bloody Angels is okay. ... alt.manga - Jan 23,
>1992 by david mou - View Thread (11 articles)
>(GOOGLE GROUPS)(omusubi)
>Re: O'nigeri - A Question, A request
>... have had them, what do you think of them? Yes it is
>oNigiri (not O'nigeri)(stress on the second syllable); also
>called oMusubi. ... - Jul 18, 1996 by Satoru
>Miyazaki - View Thread (3 articles)
>Re: Japanese: Uses for umeboshi?
>... I like it lots better than the ones you find in a bottle
>with the pits still intact, but it's probably me just being
>lazy!) Omusubi: Moisten your hands with ... -
>Jan 18, 1995 by kcurr - View Thread (10 articles)
>Re: Anybody else seen CRAYON SHIN-CHAN...?
>... Genkai Anpan-man Anpan-man (flying) Baikin-man (flying)
>Curry pan-man (flying) Dokin-chan (flying) Cheese (flying)
>Tendon-man (flying) Omusubi-man (flying ... rec.arts.anime -
>Nov 22, 1993 by Hitoshi Doi - View Thread (9 articles)
>   1. Restaurants; Japanese find, French posh. Hakubai Le
>Terminus Mimi Sheraton. New York Times (1857-Current file).
>New York, N.Y.: Oct 19, 1979. p. C20 (1 page):
>   The omakase lunch or dinner is in the spirit of a French
>restaurant's menu de gustation--a parade of small portions of
>many dishes for those who seek variety.
>   2. The Japanese Influence in Ramsey
>By VALERIE SINCLAIR. New York Times (1857-Current file). New
>York, N.Y.: Jan 29, 1984. p. NJ23 (1 page)
>   3. The Cream of the State's Restaurant Crop; The Cream of
>the Restaurant Crop By VALERIE SINCLAIR. New York Times
>(1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jan 6, 1985. p. N_J_1 (2 pages)
>   4. Extensive Menus at 2 Japanese Places
>By VALERIE SINCLAIR. New York Times (1857-Current file). New
>York, N.Y.: Aug 18, 1991. p. NJ17 (1 page)
>(There are no "omusubi" hits on ProQuest Historical Newspapers--ed.)

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