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Kimchi is not just a daily food for Koreans, it’s a potent symbol of national identity. Hence the outcry when the news broke of Japanese companies marketing ersatz versions not made according to the traditional process. This was sacrilege on the same order of trying to pass off carbonated grape juice as champagne.

It was not a storm in a pickle crock. But instead of street demonstrations and the burning of effigies, a wiser strategy was adopted. Japan obviously needed to be lifted from its benighted ignorance of the true nature of kimchi. This, above all, is the mission statement for Saikabo, arguably the most authentically “Korean” restaurant in all of Tokyo.

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