Osaki or Oh Sake

by Jake Jacobs
23 May 2017

Jake Jacobs

If you tuned in expecting the third installment of my match with Jerry Grandell: thanks for your devotion to this column. But we interrupt that match with breaking news (relatively speaking).

The JBL lost their regular venue for the Japan Open, the Shidax Tower in Shibuya.

The new location, the Osaki Bright Core, wasn't available in October, during the holiday weekend, but it was available during the first week of May, Japan's Golden Week.

So they switched: the Open would be held in May, and the Ouisen would be held in October.

The Super Jackpot was less than super. I lost to Takayuki Hino straightaway, then reentered and lost to Hiroshi Nishiyama. After losing to Hino and Nishiyama I lost to Nakajima in the main event, and was down 0-4 to 9 to Poem in the Consolation. But let's back up!

A year and a half ago, the last time I played in the Open, I nearly missed dinner at Sushi Saito. The tournament started on Friday, and I was scheduled to fly in Thursday evening, when I accidentally learned we had reservations at Saito. So a month beforehand I emailed Kenji and Mochy. I was coming in on Monday, the tourney started on Wednesday: was there a dinner scheduled on Tuesday? I heard nothing. So ten days beforehand I tried again. Radio silence was maintained. Then I called Kenji a few days before departure. He said something cryptic about Saturday after the tourney. On Tuesday I exchanged some emails with Mochy about other matters. After a day at my Tokyo office a friend and I went to the best German restaurant in Asia: EX in Roppongi. It is very small and difficult to find, but after forty-five years it has developed a cult following.

My friend and I split an order of meatloaf and an order of cordon bleu. The half slab of meatloaf was 150 cm^3: 15 cm * 10 cm * 1 cm, and smothered with mushrooms. The half portion of cordon bleu was roughly 75 cm in diameter and 50 cm thick. With it I had a half portion of veggies: ten varieties, which filled a good-sized dinner plate. All this was washed down with four beers and two shots of "Vampire's Blood," schnapps with red juice added.

I was on my way home, glad the taxi had a strong suspension after that meal, when the phone rang.

"Are you coming to eat sushi?"

After that mixup, at least I was in the loop the next day. The event ended at ten, and then we'd go downstairs to eat beef. So I was happy when my consolation opponent agreed to play at 8:30, instead of waiting until morning. I might get to sleep in. It was only after I'd started that Carter and Matt Reklaitis, sitting nearby, mentioned that dinner had been moved up to nine.

Carter and Sander

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