Be it summertime, I figured I’d talk a bit about on of my favorite matsuri foods. A matsuri (祭) is a festival in Japan. Most towns from the smallest to the largest have festivals, which are usually during the summertime. Accompanying the festivities are food booths with various tasty attractions. One of my favorite happens to by jaga bata. Jaga bata is a deep fried buttered potato. The name is a portmanteau of jagaimo (potato) and bata (butter).
Jaga bata is often topped with just butter.
Many people, myself included, like to put mentaikomayo along with the butter on the jaga bata. Mentaikomayo is mentaiko (spicy, fermented fish roe) and mayonnaise. It gives the jaga bata a creamy, spicy quality. So delicious.
If you are ever at a Japanese matsuri, I highly recommend you seek out and try jaga bata with mentaikomayo.
Interstellar Technologies, Inc. of Hokkaido, Japan is an aspiring private space launch company, hoping to join the ranks of companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic in providing low cost access to space. The company was formed by a group of hobbyists who had previously built and launched their own rockets noncommercially.
Their first product, MOMO, is modest. It is a “sounding rocket” which is intended to launch lightweight payloads into space on up-and-down missions which give them a brief period of weightlessness and access to the space environment. MOMO is designed to launch small payloads above the Kármán line of 100 km, which is the conventional boundary of space. The rocket is small and light: just 10 metres tall and one tonne. For further details, see the Interstellar Technologies Web site, which is also available in Japanese.
The first launch of MOMO in July 2017 became the first privately-funded space launcher to be launched from Japan. The rocket was functioning normally until telemetry was lost 66 seconds after launch. This triggered an engine cut-off, which caused the rocket to reach an altitude of only 20 km before falling into the sea.
The second launch attempt was on June 30th, 2018. Here is what happened.
This is early this week. It is the World Cup and I am up at 4:30 am watching the Japan vs Belgium match. Japan is ahead by 2 with less than a half hour left. Japan has not been known for soccer so this is big deal.
Belgium just scored. It is now 2-1 with Japan in the lead.