Japanese housewife: How does it taste? /Nihonjin shufu: Aji ha dou? Foreign student: It’s really delicious. How do you cook this? /Ryuugakusei: Totemo oishii desu. Douyatte tsukuru n desu ka. Japanese housewife: Well, it’s not easy to explain. /Nihonjin shufu: Sou ne, kantan niha setsumei dekinai wane. Foreign student: This is what’s called “fukuro no aji” (boil-in-the-bag flavor), isn’t it? /Ryuugakusei: Kore ga iwayuru “fukuro no aji” desu ka. Japanese housewife: I’ve never hear such an expression. /Nihonjin shufu: Sou iu kotoba ha kiita koto ga nai wayo. Foreign student: I’m sorry. I should have said “ofukuro no aji” (the taste of mom’s home cooking). /Ryuugakusei: Gomennnasai, “ofukuro no aji” to iu n desu ne. Japanese housewife: That’s fine. You can say “fukuro no aji.” /Nihonjin shufu: Ii no yo,“Fukuro no aji” de. Manga Explanation: Scene 1. A foreign student was invited to a Japanese home and a meal was served to him. The hostess asks him whether or not he enjoyed the meal. Satisfied, he replies that it was delicious and asks how to cook the dish. Scene 2. In fact, she made it out of a packet. So when the student asks her how she cooked it, she is embarrassed and replies that it’s hard to explain. Scene 3. He meant to say that it was “ofukuro no aji” (the taste of mom’s home cooking), which is often used as a kind of complement to describe homemade dishes. But, he mistakenly said “fukuro no aji” (the taste of boil-in-the-bag food). Thinking that her cooking secret had been discovered, she was even more embarrassed. Scene 4. Relieved to hear that the student had made a mistake, she replied that it was okay to say “fukuro no aji” because it was true.
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