On Friday, Japanese netizens went crazy over news that the country’s armada of Aegis destroyers – the nation’s most powerful and capable warships – were coming together not as a precursor to armed conflict but to have a contest of who can cook the best curry. Japan’s Marine Self Defense Forces (MSDF) has a huge curry tradition, and as part of the SDF’s ongoing public relations blitz, these 15 warships gathered on Saturday at the MSDF base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture to know which ship does the meanest, most delicious curry meal.
The MSDF actually inherited the curry cooking tradition from the WWII Imperial Japanese Navy. Not to diminish the atrocities of the Second World War, but the Imperial Navy was known for great curry recipes, and the dish is also very popular with the Japanese public. The MSDF has carried on this tradition, with the ships serving curry meals to their crews every Friday. The contest is expected to draw as many as 10,000 visitors, all ready to taste the 15 curry recipes from the ships and pick out the best one. Given the SDF’s recent PR push, this event should provide pretty good mileage for the maritime forces, given the public’s inherent love of curry.
But the MSDF was quick to dispel any ideas that the 15 ships gathered only for the sake of the curry cooking contest. A spokesman for MSDF said in an interview at their headquarters in Tokyo that the warships are at Yokosuka for an annual training exercise. In this case, the one-day curry contest is just a side event. “Those ships have not gathered only for a curry contest,” the spokesman said. On Friday, Japanese netizens exchanged messages over Twitter about the event, with some critical of the PR push. “Wow, this many destroyers have together just for curry meals,” one user tweeted.
[via Japan Times]