Yasuko Nakamachi

A Research Fellow at Kanagawa University’s Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture. She majored in Folkloristics and Cultural History, and has an interest in fortunetelling and food culture. She is currently investigating tsujiura fortunetelling after noticing the deep correlation between American fortune cookies and the Japanese tsujiura confectionaries. Yasuko Nakamachi, “A Consideration Regarding Tsujiura Confectionary—Uncovering Luck/Tying the Knot—“, Wagashi #11, 2004 Toraya Bunko

Updated October 2012

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Nikkei Chronicles #1: ITADAKIMASU! A Taste of Nikkei Culture

Nikkei Chop Suey Restaurants and Fortune Cookies

In America, there is a great amount of interest about the origins of the fortune cookie. According to a study by Fitzerman-Blue, the fortune cookie—now served all across the country—is said to have gotten its start from chop suey restaurants after World War II.

Chop suey is an Americanized Chinese dish, consisting of pan fried meat (often chicken or pork) and vegetables, and bound in a starch-thickened sauce. In 1945, American soldiers returning to San Francisco’s naval base had first tried fortune cookies as a complimentary service at Chinese chop suey restaurants in San Francisco. The servicemen ...

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