Earlier this year, yokozuna (sumo grand champion) Hakuho broke the all-time victory record of Taiho, the yokozuna regarded by many as the greatest sumo wrestler of the postwar period. This reminded me of a well-known saying from the 1960s, Taiho's heyday, which says that Kyojin (the Yomiuri Giants baseball team), Taiho and tamagoyaki (rolled omelet) are the three things most-loved by Japanese children. A piece or two of cheery, bright yellow tamagoyaki is still considered to be an essential component of a bentō (boxed lunch).

Tamagoyaki (literally "egg cooked over dry heat"), which is also known as atsuyaki-tamago ("thick egg"), is a savory-sweet egg dish that is made by cooking a beaten-egg mixture in a hot pan in thin layers, which are rolled into a small bundle. Even though the egg is thoroughly cooked, a well-made tamagoyaki is as tender and soft as a soft-set French-style omelette. Besides being a ubiquitous bentō item, tamagoyaki is also a popular neta (sushi topping).

I like to have tamagoyaki — as sushi or sliced on its own — at the end of a meal at a sushi restaurant. Its soft sweetness is like a little dessert, and a palate cleanser.