Japanese Soccer Star Introduces Sake in London

September 8, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. pop-up store/bar (n.) 
[pop-uhp stawr, stohr/bahr] – a small store that is open for only a short period of time
ExamplePop-up stores are common during festivals.

2. conclude (v.) [kuhn-klood] – to end
Example:  A rock band performance that played at last part of the program concluded the festival. 

3. handpick (v.) [hand-pik] – to select personally instead of asking somebody else to do the selection
Example: The actress handpicks the costumes that she will use for her shows.

4. brew (v.) [broo] – to make or mix a drink (such as coffee, beer and tea), usually by boiling a solid substance in water
Example: He brewed coffee for his guests.

5. encounter (v.) [en-koun-ter] – to come upon or meet someone or something unexpectedly
Example: He encountered different kinds of people during his travel around the world.

Read the text below.

Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata recently put up a pop-up sake bar in London to interest Europeans not just to drink sake but to experience Japanese culture as well.

His bar called “N Bar” was a part of “Arigato in London,” a 15-day event that was recently concluded last August 11. The event was organized by prominent Japanese scholars, artists and athletes as a way of thanking the international community that helped Japan during the quake-tsunami disaster last year.

N Bar served a total of 26 varieties of sake, each of which was handpicked by Nakata himself. Some varieties came from Tohoku, the region greatly affected in the 2011 disaster.

Nakata said that although sake is quite known in foreign countries because of the popularity of Japanese food, not many have tried different kinds of it. Currently, there are 1,200 sake brewers in Japan who each make around 10 brands.

Aside from the 26 varieties of sake, Nakata also served his own brand of sake which he learned to brew after visiting several Japanese sake breweries, bars and experts. He plans to launch this brand next year.

Nakata took interest in sake when he felt that he needed to learn more about his country’s culture. During his travels around the world, people he encountered would often ask him questions about his country and most of the time he could not give them answers.

He returned to Japan to learn, and soon grew fond of sake over the past three years.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Is it important for us to learn about other people’s culture? Why or why not?
·         Can you give other ways to promote your culture to people in other countries?

Discussion B
·         Why do you think some people are interested to learn about culture from other countries?
·         If you can learn about a foreign culture, whose culture would it be? Why?

September 8, 2012