Seaweed farmers carved her image in a granite pillar facing the Ariake Bay.

Rapture of the Deep

Rapture of the Deep  

Poem

Published at dusie #19: Asian-Anglophone

Sushi seems so Japanese, but so does
tempura, its roots in the fritters

introduced by Portuguese sailors. The Ishikawa region
still pickles whole fish with rice in a jar, preservation

being the same process as
decay. Americans didn’t invent

California rolls with avocado in
the 1960’s because they didn’t know any

better; those were by and for a Japanese clientele homesick
for fatty raw fish. Gunkan-maki – nori seaweed enclosing

rice and soft toppings like melting
mounds of sea urchin – was created only

in 1941, by a Ginza chef inspired by warships
docked in the Tokyo harbor. Nori was hard

to come by then. No one even knew
what it was, until new findings in 1949

by Kathleen Drew-Baker, a British botanist. Seaweed
farmers carved her image in a granite pillar facing

the Ariake Bay, with the English inscription
Mother of the Sea. Marry the sea and

mother your mother. Every great discovery
is as old as death.

Read Rapture of the Deep (p.222) →

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