Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Koinonia Graffiti

Think about your favorite meals from last year--those meals that were so delicious, you still remember them long after you've eaten them. (If your memory doesn't go back that far, just think about your favorite meals from the holiday season.) What did you have during that meal? What flavors can you recall?

And... who did you eat those meals with? Family? Good friends? That guy/girl you have a huge crush on?

For me, I most remember the various meals I had in Japan, a lunch on Thanksgiving Day, and various holiday meals. The Thanksgiving meal was with friends, while the others were with family. Of course, the foods themselves were great (sushi from nearby a wholesale fish market is the best), but even then, I doubt I would have remembered them as much as I do if I had eaten them by myself. Something about food just tastes better when eaten with people you care about.

And that is what Koufuku Graffiti, or Gourmet Girl Graffiti, is all about.

The obligatory cute-girls-doing-cute-things show of the new anime season, Gourmet Girl Graffiti is a Studio SHAFT production that is equal parts cute and hunger-inducing. Ryou Machiko had been living by herself for a year since her grandma died, and while she enjoys cooking, she finds that nothing she's been making is tasting good. Things change, though, when her second cousin, Kirin, visits for the weekend, and suddenly, the food she's making tastes good again. As Kirin explains, it's because she had been eating alone all this time, when dinnertime is supposed to be a time spent with loved ones.

No foxes were harmed in the making of this dish; it's just udon with fried tofu.
The importance of fellowship and food is also something that the Bible mentions when describing the first Christians:

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47, ESV)
The Greek word for "fellowship" here is "koinonia", which is perhaps one of the more well-known Christianity-related Greek words out there. And this fellowship does seem to be connected with "the breaking of bread", referring to both the observance of the Lord's Supper and general group mealtimes. The early Christians seemed to recognize that there was something about food that is worth enjoying together, just like what Ryou discovered with her food.

If you do find yourself eating alone, though, don't worry, because you are never truly alone: you can always enjoy your meal with God. Things like saying grace before a meal and receiving your meal with a glad and generous heart can help, as can taking the time to savor your food to praise God over it. Of course, this doesn't mean you should forego fellowship meals with loved ones; Christianity was never a faith to be followed alone, after all.

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Gourmet Girl Graffiti is definitely is looking to be my favorite show of the season. Aside from its cuteness and charm, it's a show that makes me think about food--not just eating it, but also what role food has in my life and my relationship with others and God. As such, expect more posts about this show and about food. And yes, I realize this show has some rather... sensual eating scenes. In fact, that will be the topic of my next post on this show.

If food is something important to your life, too, then I think this is a show worth watching. Whatever the case, though, I hope this post and the rest to come will encourage you to think more about your food. Bon appetit!

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