Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories Ep 8. “Nagaimo Sauté”

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories Ep 8. “Nagaimo Sauté”

As all types of people go to the little restaurant of Meshiya for Master Kaoru’s delicious food, drama naturally unfolds. Master Kaoru makes any kind of dish the customer wants. Every dish in every episode has an individual theme. In this manner, Midnight Diner delves into the practical, everyday issues people face.

In episode 8, the theme is showing open-mindedness in love. A married couple, Hisamatsu and Fujiko, visit Meshiya for the first time. They are a lovely couple, and Hisamatsu treats his wife with affection. Soon after the married couple arrives, a famous porn star, Elect Ooki, comes to eat at Meshiya as well. 

Hisamatsu and Fujiko 

Hisamatsu and Fujiko 

Surprisingly, Fujiko and Elect Oki had already met 23 years ago.  Unfortunately, at that time, Fujiko was already preparing to marry Hisamatsu. However, Fujiko did not actually like Hisamatsu –  theirs was a political marriage. Fujiko was to becomeHisamatsu’s second wife because his first wife died early.

Fujiko’s real emotions were instead aimed toward Elect Oki, and she wanted to throw away her virginity before becoming Hisamatsu’s  second wife. Therefore, Fujiko decided to do a pornography video just once to have her first time with Elect Ooki. Fujiko went to shoot for this porn video job right after she had a fitting for her wedding dress. Fujiko had kept that a secret from Hisamatsu all this time. Fujiko thought if Hisamatsu knew that she was once in a pornography video, he would never have married her.

So, after 23 years, Fujiko and Elect Ooki finally talk and their true feelings get across to each other.  As a result, Elect Ooki and Fujiko resolve to spend another night together. But they are cut short as Fujiko gets a call from the hospital. It’s about Hisamatsu. Hisamatsu falls ill and eventually dies due to a rupture in his main artery. Then Fujiko finds something unexpected. She discovers that Hisamatsu knew about her porn video appearance the whole time. There were hundreds of copies of Fujiko’s porn video left in his storage. This action proves that Hisamatsu decided to marry and love her even though she was a female porn star once.

The main dish in Episode 8 also contains a significant meaning about Hisamatsu's love - Nagaimo Sauté (a Chinese yam sauté). This dish symbolizes Hisamatsu’s deep feeling towards Fujiko. 

Nagaimo Sauté

Nagaimo Sauté

A Nagaimo Sauté is Hisamatsu’s favorite food. At the beginning of the scene, he orders this dish and says that Fujiko’s Nagaimo Sauté is more delicious than Master Kaoru's. Master Kaoru’s Nagaimo Sauté is tastier than hers, but Hisamatsu said he prefers his wife’s because he really treasures and loves Fujiko.

Elect Ooki eating Nagaimo Sauté

Elect Ooki eating Nagaimo Sauté

At the end of the scene, Elect Ooki orders the same Nagaimo Sauté and contemplates Hisamatsu's tolerance and love of his wife. To Hisamatsu, it did not matter whether Fujiko had appeared in a pornography video; he did not need it confirmed or explained from her. Perhaps, Hisamatsu even knew that Fujiko did not like him. However, Hisamatsu decided to remain silent, quietly love her and do his best to cherish her. Such subtlety in Hisamatsu’s actions has a powerful impact on Elect Ooki’s heart. Maybe the initial purpose of their relationship was just a political marriage, but Hisamatsu kept treating Fujiko dearly. Tragically, Fujiko was not able to realize Hisamatsu’s thoughts until after his death. However, the fact that Hisamatsu truly loved her will exist even after his death. 

Season 4 Episode 8 reminds us all that there are different kinds of love. There is no exact answer to how to love someone. Through love, some people will live happy, and some people will not. 

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