People | 20 QUESTIONS

Critic 'Iceman' Fukutome: 'Eating ice cream is delicious in the morning'

Staff Writer

Name: “Iceman” Fukutome
Age: 43
Nationality: Japanese
Occupation: Ice-cream critic


1. What do you love about living in Japan? I love scouring convenience stores and supermarkets for ice cream.

2. What kind of things do you like/ dislike? I like researching and eating ice cream. I dislike such things as routine work and paperwork.

3. What do you miss about Japan when you are traveling abroad? Japanese food, especially ice cream.

4. Whom in Japan do you most admire? Fusazo Machida, who first manufactured and sold ice cream in Japan in 1869.

5. What’s your favorite Japanese word or phrase? “Those who speak up first win; those who finish first also win.” (“Jinsei itta mon yatta mon kachi.“) It’s a motto I have lived by.

6. If you could share an ice cream with anyone from history, who would it be? Machida, whose first ice cream was called aisukurin in Japan. I would like to talk about ice cream in detail and discuss how it has developed over time until today.

7. What song best describes your work ethic? The Blue Hearts’ song “1,001 violins,” because I’m always full of curiosity and up for new things.

8. What’s the strangest request you’ve ever been asked in your line of work?

I was asked to sit under a kotatsu (heated table) in a freezing ski resort and eat ice cream.

9. You produce videos in which you review different varieties of ice creams that are available at convenience stores? What first inspired you to start doing this? (Livedoor founder) Takafumi Horie first suggested I do it. I love being able to have fun producing original material that I can share with others.

10. How do you relax when you’re not eating ice cream? I watch movies, read books and take long walks.

11. Do you have a favorite ice cream? What is so good about it? Morinaga’s “Choco Monaca Jumbo,” because the ratio of crispy dough and ice cream to chocolate is perfect.

12. When is the best time to enjoy an ice cream? Eating ice cream is delicious in the morning. It used to be consumed by soldiers to boost their energy, so it is a perfect way to start the day.

13. Is there a particular ice cream you would recommend for readers this summer? What is so good about it? “Rumando” by Bourbon. It’s a seasonal, limited-edition ice cream that is sold in Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures from Aug. 8.

14. How do you handle “brain freeze” (a brief pain commonly associated with the quick consumption of ice cream)? I never get brain freeze. However, it’s not unusual for the joints on my neck to feel sore instead.

15. If you could choose two scoops of ice cream to share on a single cone, which two flavors would you select? I would choose seasonal flavors, since I can always eat classic ice cream flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and so on.

16. What is the weirdest ice-cream flavor you have ever tried? What was so strange about it? Akagi Nyugyo’s tomato pasta-flavored “Garigari-kun.” I checked the ingredients, and it included chicken and pork. It’s hard to believe it’s actually an ice cream.

17. Where did all the normal ice-cream flavors go? Manufacturing companies have made technological advances in terms of production. These days, high-quality products are constantly being produced and sold.

18. Who would win a fight between a lion and tiger? The lion. Their manes make them look strong.

19. What do you want to be when you grow up? I would like to build an ice-cream museum in Tokyo and welcome people from all over the world.

20. Do you have any words of advice for young people? Be patient and don’t worry about what others think of you. Do whatever you like.

For more on “Iceman” Fukutome, visit www.youtube.com/user/icemanch315. Staff writers Megan Green and Chinatsu Yajima contributed to this Q&A.