At this time of year, half of Tokyo’s population is suffering from bonenkai hangovers. Unlike American holidays, where overeating is the festive indulgence, here in Japan we have overdrinking—nomisugiru.
There is an entire industry of hangover cures. Genki drinks full of caffeine and nicotine, mineral and ionic drinks to replensish lost liquids and salts, and scads of vitamin and herb supplements.
One remedy which I am ready to swear by is ucon, turmeric in English. Last night at the Kajiro’s bonenkai, I had entirely too much 80 proof sake. Fortunately for me, I won a bag of Ucon Kuro Tou, brown sugar and turmeric candy. It is the weirdest stuff—very sweet but bitter, and the texture is like fudge that’s crystalized—but a few chunks of it last night kept me from feeling too horrible today.
I handed it around at the party, and everyone was chiming in about ucon’s tonic properties. Good for the liver. Keeps you healthy. I added “nomisugitara…” (when you drink too much…) and everyone laughed.
Like cough drops, Ucon Kuro Tou’s medicine that’s actually pretty tasty in its weird way. So I’m munching on some now as I type this. My liver will soon be singing my praises or asking for beer.Posted by kuri at December 20, 2002 05:32 PM