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Sure, Ariana Grande May Appreciate Japan, But Does She Actually Collect Late Edo Period Antique Barbecues?

Ariana declares her love for finger bbq on stage

Some enjoy learning about Japan through travel, and others prefer to appreciate from afar through the likes of anime and j-pop. However, only the most enlightened pursue the noble path of attaining Japaneseness by owning a Late Edo Period Antique Tabletop Charcoal Grill Shichirin (5.7” diameter). Imagine my surprise, then, when Ariana Grande-san came out as one of us!

It’s not easy to be a Japan enthusiast, and much less so to be a Japanese BBQ grill collector. I didn’t know what to think when I saw that crude imitation of artistry printed upon Grande-san’s palm. She certainly established herself as an admirer of Japan, but it will take her more than three poorly-inked kanji to reach the same degree of appreciation as Scarlett Johansson, Wes Anderson, and the rest of us Nihonjin nakama.

As all true Japanese grill lovers should know, each and every grill takes hours of blood, sweat, and tears. To find my own Shichirin soulmate, I toiled like a samurai, poring over manga (Japanese information manuals) and Translate-o no Google-o (online translation services). And the result? I am now in a loving relationship with my grillfriend-slash-waifu, affectionately named Shi-chan. Considering that Grande-san hasn’t had much luck with Davidson-san (or any long-term relationships since that fling with Nickelodeon), I don’t know whether she can handle this kind of commitment.

Frankly, I doubt if Ariana Grande-san can even tell the difference between an Americanized hibachi grill and the very rare finger-sized Japanese BBQ. Did she do any research? Her tattoo isn’t even a lightweight, portable stove made out of diatomaceous earth, as all shichirin should be. Sure, her enthusiasm is cute and all, but I can’t help but feel as if she’s cheapening the rich culture of grill collecting.

All in all, I only have one thing left to say: arigatou, next.

© 2019