• Beniko

33. No More Pork Cutlet Sandwiches


At Ozashiki (お座敷, Maiko banquet), we often play games called Ken (拳). Among the many kinds of ken games, the most popular one must be Jan ken (じゃん拳). Other than that, Tora Ken (虎拳) in which players sing "Tora, tora, tora", has become famous ever since it was introduced on a TV show. In addition, there are Bara (バラ) Ken, Tosa no Kanzashi (土佐の簪) Ken. The famous Yakyu ken (野球拳) can be considered as a kind of Ken also.

There was a certain rule for any Ken games at Ozashiki: drink up a cup of Sake (酒) when you lose. However, if the loser is under the age of twenty, she is exempted from drinking but have to eat something instead.

At the Ozashiki that night, the loser of the Ken game had to eat cutlet sandwiches. I kept losing and eating until I felt like throwing up. In addition, I didn't remember the other particular rule: if you point something with your index finger, you lose.

Being one step before puking, I told the customer that I was not capable to eat anymore. They replied "What are you talking about? WHAT exactly you cannot eat anymore?" I pointed the cutlet sandwiches with my index finger, only to hear them burst into laughter and telling me to have another one. I was merely a girl of 15 years old, and the customers loved to make fun of me.

Ozashiki went very successful, partially owing to my solitary struggle. Everybody looked happy, but I found myself cursing sandwiches. I couldn't even give a glance at it for a while.

Well, that was an old story. The poeple in Hanamachi (花街, Maiko and Geiko district) invents many ways to entertain their customers.

Thank you so much.

Talk to you soon.

Beniko

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