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Taco Rice TV Stars May 27, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in Food and Drink, Photos.
Tags: , , , , ,

I saved probably the weirdest thing we took part in until now: Jojo, Sigrunn and I appeared on Japanese national television.

Our program director, Mike, was in touch with a TV crew from NHK, Japan’s national public broadcaster. The station has been doing a series of documentaries featuring aspects of Okinawan culture in an effort to boost tourism. For this particular piece, they focused on tako raisu = taco rice.

Okinawans invented taco rice in the 1960s so they could serve Americans something remotely familiar. A bed of white rice is topped with ground beef, shredded American cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes. It’s pretty gross.

But for this video, we went to a restaurant in Kin Town and acted like Americans getting off a hard day of work on the base, cooling down with some taco rice. We were instructed to give the waiter/chef (in real life a DJ from FM Okinawa) a chorus of thumbs up. For about two hours of prepping and filming, here’s the clip with us:

I can only guess at what they’re saying. I think it’s something like, back in the day, how can they serve tacos in a place where tortillas don’t exist? “It’s rice!” If you can translate, though, please feel free.


1. Sigrunn Marie - May 27, 2010

hahaha!! I thoroughly enjoyed watching myself go: mmm!!!

2. Billy Wagley - October 20, 2012

I was researching one night and ran across this wonderful sight you developed.
I lived on the Island of Okinawa from the end of 1958 to 1961. I was a dependent American and went to Kubasaki High way before the new building was built. Where I went to school was converted barracks right outside of Naha.
My Mother, sister and I really loved the people and the island culture while we were there and of course feel very close even though we are far away from that wonderful place to this day. A young girl named Mitsuko Chinen and a very nice lady name Yoshiko (from Saipan) actually turned us on to their families and so on–that is how we enjoyed the real Okinawa and not the American version we were living in. Actually Yoshiko’s son who was Okinawan but had an American father became a favorite boyfriend and both of us struggled with learning each others language. Unfortunatly, we have loss our connection so all I can do is hope and pray that all the wonderful people we loved so much are OK.
My Mother turns 96 in November 2012 and we still enjoy conversing about those days and wondering about our friends there. So many years have gone by but the pictures and songs you have on your site really mean a lot to me. I picture myself in many of the same places.
Thank you for putting this up for people like me to see it. I am now living only miles from where I was born but now live in Abilene, Texas.
Again thank you,
Billy Wagley

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