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No pork in Japan?

Bravemouse

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My boyfriend and i are going to Japan for about 15 days, i am from Canada and he is from Turkey.
We both love Japan and can't wait to go!

However i feel i have a bit of a problem.

While i was visiting him in Turkey he told me that Muslims don't eat pork, when i asked him if he was Muslim he said he was but wasn't that devout to the religion and that mostly his family was.
When i asked him if he had pork before he said no, i asked if it was because it was against his religion and he said "No, i just don't want to try it".

When we are in Japan he doesn't want to try Pork, he said that he refuses to try it at all, i really don't want to offend the tour guide as i think refusing to try new food is rude.

My boyfriend thinks that i should help him keep from eating pork on the trip, but secretly i really don't want to help if this is just a picky eater thing and not a religious thing!

I want to try new foods in Japan and i'm open to eating everything from there, we are suppose to be dining at Ryokans and nice hotels most of the time and i would be very embarrassed if i offended the host with this problem.

I love my boyfriend and respect his religion, should i help out my boyfriend? Or would this offend people?

Has anyone been to Japan and had to order different because of allergies or religious reasons? Has this caused any problems?

Any advice would help, Thank you :)
 

Mike Cash

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What does his religion say about taking such a trip with a woman he isn't married to?

If you want pork, have pork. If he doesn't want pork, then let him worry about avoiding it.
 

Bravemouse

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Nothing i would guess, i don't think it's not permitted.

I'm going to have it, i wouldn't keep myself from enjoying the food over there. He said he is fine with me eating pork and respects my decision, would people in Japan consider it rude if he said "I don't eat pork"?.
 

Mike Cash

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It wouldn't be considered rude. You needn't worry about offending people in regards to food you are ordering and paying for yourself, which will be the case it seems.
 

Bravemouse

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Thank you!
Maybe he will cave in and try once he realizes he is missing out on a lot, if not oh well, his loss.
 

Mike Cash

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Thank you!
Maybe he will cave in and try once he realizes he is missing out on a lot, if not oh well, his loss.
Don't pressure him. Have nothing to do with it. He may say he's not that serious about it now, but if he becomes serious about it later and you two are still together, you really don't want to spend the rest of your life hearing how you were the evil influence that tempted him to defile his body and risk sending his soul to hell. There are enough things to fight about in life without adding that.
 

Bravemouse

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Oh i would never pressure him! His body, his choice. You are very right though, i wouldn't want to be the end result of that. I'm was just worried that because this is going to be his first time over seas anywhere and such a different place compared to Turkey that he might end up having a bad time if this one thing got in his way. He isn't picky and he isn't allergic to anything, i was just worried when i looked up that Japan uses a lot of pork.
 

Glenski

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As mentioned, if he doesn't want to eat something, just say so. Many Japanese actually think foreigners CAN'T eat certain things because of the "uniqueness" of Japanese food. Take sushi, for example. Or natto. Hogwash, of course, but keep that mindset in mind.

I would strongly suggest that the only real prep he does is to learn the word for pork (buta) and perhaps the kanji and hiragana/katakana spellings. Maybe see what dishes have it in them without using the word buta/pork. Niku jaga, for example. Then, he can merely avoid it without refusing anything outright.

Perhaps learning what ramen dishes use pork as a broth wouldn't hurt, either, even if they don't put a slab of the meat itself on top.
 

Mike Cash

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He just needs to learn "butaniku wa dame" and be sure to say it when ordering.

The only real problem would be if he were strict about dietary restrictions and only ate Halal food. I had a friend here who had one hell of a time dining out because of it. The problem isn't just pork, which is relatively easily avoided, but that the meat of other animals is only acceptable if killed and butchered in a certain way and it is practically impossible to dine out and obey Halal restrictions unless you eat nothing but fish dishes.
 

Bravemouse

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Thank you both :)

He doesn't have that strict of a diet, it's just that he was raised with being told pig is not to be eaten in his culture. The only problem for him is the pork, he is open with eating everything in Japan. I told him to learn the signs for pig and he has been going over types of dishes served with pork.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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The following may be helpful at restaurants if you can print them out and show to your server.

ツ宗窶ケツウ窶堙娯?堋ス窶堙淞、窶愿倪?愿キ窶堙債食窶堙冷?堙ァ窶堙ェ窶堙懌?堋ケ窶堙アツ。

窶愿倪?愿キ窶堙娯?堙遺?堋「窶堋ィニ湛ニ湛ニ陳≫?堙ー窶堋ィナ?ティ窶堋「窶堙??堋ォ窶堙懌?堋キ窶堋ゥツ。


Top Sentence: Because of (his) religion, (he) can not eat pork.
Bottom sentence: May we request your recommendation of something without pork?
 

nice gaijin

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Even if he's not eating halal, saying that it's due to his religion is an easy way to get the point across. Use Mikawa Ossan's note and you shouldn't have any trouble.
 
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