Excerpt from Some Prefer Nettles by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki. elaborate lacquerware had always seemed to him a luxury whose day was past, but here for the first time he saw it as useful and unaffected. Indeed, now that he thought of it, the lacquer did go well with the theater lunch, with the pale tones of its omelets and rice balls. There were lively reds and whites throughout the theater, and somehow the food was more appetizing by virtue of the color effect. Japanese food is meant to be looked at and not eaten, people sometimes say. Perhaps they are right if they are making fun of the formal banquet carefully laid out on its trays. But here the colors were more than only pleasant to look at; they worked on the appetite, made even the unremarkable rice and pickles seem a little more exciting.
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