I like it when communities retain a personal, small town touch. For example, in Mui Wo, the tiny town in Hong Kong which was home for three years, every week or so a woman would walk through the rows of village houses singing a song. I never knew what it was until a half Chinese friend told me it’s a song to bring out your old appliances for scrap/recycling. And I’m sure even now in my old neighborhood in Trinidad, there is still a truck driving around announcing the sale of ‘MANURE AND SOIL’.
Well Japan is no different, and they sure seem to like to have little songs announcing certain times of day, or certain trucks driving around. Some garbage trucks play catchy little elevator-music like songs. The schools all seem to turn on little ditties in the mornings over the loudspeakers to announce that it’s time to get your ass to school, and at 6pm when it’s time to go home. And recently, I’d been hearing a truck driving around playing a strange, haunting two-note tune, over and over.
I’ve finally figured out what it is — tofu!
Yes, tofu. It’s not an ice cream truck, it’s a tofu truck!
I’m sure the tofu truck does not get kids running outside. But I had to go outside with my husband to check it out. He said he remembers these trucks in Tokyo when he was a child, though this tradition is dying out.
Tofuyasan (literally honorable tofu vendor) may be an old tradition, but the truck was super high tech. The guy jumped out of the driver’s seat and swung open the side of the van to reveal hot tofu, cold tofu, dry tofu, soy milk, soy snacks, and all kinds of other things I could not even begin to identify. How cool is that!
I just had to take a picture. And buy a few things to try. Not exactly my favourite, I have to say… but healthy for sure.
Just don’t expect sprinkles on top!