Alhamdulillah, Ramadan has come again. This is going to be my first time I fast in a foreign country. Japan, as we know is a four-seasonal country. Ramadan usually falls in summer, where the temperature is burning hot, especially for those who stay in southern part of Japan. I am now staying in a city in Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan. Even if it’s summer, Hokkaido is still a pleasant place.
During the summer, where the air is hot, the fashion changes. from clothing to hairstyles, girls usually came out with a sexy and daring fashion. In Ramadan, we Muslims must be very careful in everything we say, speak and SEE.
Fasting in Japan is a big challenge. As you can see from this picture, it is common in big cities in Japan. Almost every girls and women wear such clothing in streets, shopping mall and everywhere. It’s a great challenge to keep your eyes away from looking at such and such…
The next challenge, the food. As we know, the Japanese are really detail about the appearance of their food, besides their taste. Even the most simple sushi, the chef will decorate the sushi with a beautiful shapes or ornaments. There is a saying that “the Japanese eat with their eyes”. There’s even foods that you feel you wouldn’t even want to eat as they are nicely decorated.
Getting Halal food is also an issue. In Japan, the Japanese really loves alcohol beverages, mainly sake. Pork and ham is a must in most of the complete set of food in Japan.
One of the problem with Muslims in Japan regarding the food is always about the emulsifier (乳化剤) used in a number of foods. Foods which contain dairy products often contain the emulsifier. Most of the foods also used shortening, which is unclear (syubhah) whether it was originated from animals or plants. One way to clear the uncertainties is to call directly to it’s manufacturer. One thing I could say, the Japanese never lie (only certain). If they say there’s no animal based ingredients in the food, then it is really safe. Alcohol for example, they will tell us precisely the percentage of the alcohol.The only thing is, we must explain to them clearly about what we can eat or not.