Sunday, January 22, 2006

Fascist Gourmet

We do a lot of Chinese and Asian Fusion cooking at home, so we are no strangers to the mushroom section at our local Wegmans. My favorite mushroom variety is the tasty and versatile shiitake. The conveniently pre-sliced shiitake's that we usually get are grown in Avondale, PA by our good friends at To-Jo Fresh Mushrooms.

Am I the only one who finds it strange that a company that grows Japan's most treasured mushroom has a name eerily reminiscent of that country's wartime Prime Minister and convicted war criminal, Hideki Tojo? What's next? Hit-Ler's Choice sauerkraut? I'm guessing To-Jo is a combination of two red-blooded American names like Tom and Joe and is neither a tribute to Imperial Japan nor a deliberate attempt at irony.



MDS said...

I wouldn't have thought of it if you hadn't pointed it out, but that is a little weird. My guess is there are so few Americans who have heard of Tojo that it never comes up.

MDS said...

Regarding the Tojo Wikipedia entry, I found it interesting that it listed only seven counts on which he was found guilty at his war crimes trial. I presume that means he was acquitted of the vast majority of crimes with which he was charged? And I don't get why Hirohito was granted immunity from war crimes prosecution. In general, I have a problem with the way the Americans and our allies prosecuted our enemies after World War II. I believe those people were essentially being tried under ex post facto laws, as Sen. Robert A. Taft said at the time and Supreme Court Justice William Douglas later concurred.

dhodge said...

I believe the reason Hirohito was spared was so the allies could use him as a figurehead to help sway Japanese public opinion. I imagine that having a guy whom the Japanese people deified (at least, until he was forced to renounce his divine right after the surrender) on your side would be very useful in trying to build a modern, democratic society.