Shinji Okazaki, the Japanese footballer known for his heading ability, grew up in Takarazuka northwest of Ōzaka and has been playing football since grammar school. He immediately went professional after his graduation. Since 2011, he has been scoring goals for VFB Stuttgart, which is sponsored by WMF. Find out more from Mr. Okazaki, his passion for good food and western food culture.
Mr Okazaki, you have already become a fan of Swabian cuisine?
Shinji Okazaki: "Yes, absolutely." I think spaetzle and the Swabian style ravioli (maultauschen) are delicious and I like to eat both. I even like roasts with fried onions.
How do western influences change the eating culture in Japan?
Shinji Okazaki: "Good traditional food is still very important to the older generations. Just as before, they still take the time necessary to enjoy Japanese cuisine. With young people, it is similar to Germany and probably nearly everywhere else in the world: Many of them like to go to fast food chains, whereby in Japan there is also sushi fast food for example.”
Great designer furniture can be found in many German homes, but cookie-cutter cookware and cutlery is often used in kitchens. What is it like in Japan?
Shinji Okazaki: Everyone knows that we like to eat with chopsticks at home and that we therefore do not need any additional cutlery, apart from soup spoons. However, we place great importance on good dinnerware in Japan."
We heard that many families in Japan use WMF pressure cookers for cooking rice and that friends send them there.
Shinji Okazaki: "Yes, that's true. WMF is also an extremely popular brand in Japan. But I have still not yet sent any pots to my family or friends back home." (laughs)
In Japan, people still eat with chopsticks. In Germany, people use cutlery. What do you do?
Shinji Okazaki: "My family and I hold up Japanese traditions, even in Germany, and almost exclusively use chopsticks when eating at home. However, when I am travelling with the team and we eat together, then I use cutlery when eating just like the others. It is not a big adjustment for me."
How is German football different from Japanese football?
Shinji Okazaki: "German football is more combative and aggressive than Japanese football. Physical contact sports are played more often. That is why it is important that you are very physically strong.”
How do you interpret the WMF sentence "Life tastes great?"
Shinji Okazaki: "Food plays an important role both in the German and Japanese cultures, because good food stands for a high quality of life."
Japanese cuisine is finding more and more followers. WMF knives with an Oriental model address this trend.