On last night's episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain went to Tokyo. But it wasn't just a regular old trip to Tokyo, this was Tokyo after dark, meaning lots of snacks and beer and discussion of Japanese porn. Bourdain also caught up with ex-New York sushi chef Naomichi Yasuda, who left to open a restaurant in Tokyo back in 2010. Below, tentacle porn, fried food, beer, Japanese bondage techniques, giant dancing robots, karate-inspired sushi, and much more. On to the Quotable Bourdain — feel free to add your picks in the comments below.
1: On going to Tokyo for the first time: "I often compare the experience of going to Japan for the first time, going to Tokyo for the first time to what Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend — the reigning guitar gods of England at the time — must have gone through the week that Jimi Hendrix came to town."
2: On Tokyo's red light district: "The Kabukicho district near my hotel has the advantage of being where the subterranean life, the repressed ids of the Japanese male — and some females, too — comes out to play."
3: On the Robot Restaurant show: "Always a good sign when protective chains separate entertainers from the soon-to-be entertained."
4: On the silent contract between bartender and drinker that what happens at the bar, stays at the bar: "So if I came here with some dinosaur-riding ho in a bikini...you don't have to answer that, it's okay."
5: On chef death wishes: "This is a great country. Every chef I know wants to die here."
6: On Japan: "I think all of us understand that we don't understand anything about Japan."
7: On Japanese porn: "I totally don't understand the porn here. Why is it you can't fuck somebody with a penis, but you can fuck them with an octopus tentacle?"
8: On the best sushi being a little funky: "Most people who don't understand sushi will go to a sushi bar and say, oh! I had the best sushi last night, the fish was so fresh. It was right out of the ocean."
9: On bondage: "So in your experience, all Japanese men like to tie women up, but in your experience, all Japanese men like to be tied up."
10: On manga that appeals to women: "What legions of young girls and soccer moms find compelling in the thousands of these titles is something of a mystery to outsides looking in. But there they are: whole sections of manga bookshelves dedicated to basically One Direction-type boy band figures having sex with each other."
11: On looking at tentacle-porn manga in a restaurant: "Notice, by the way, the distinguished owner and her complete lack of shock or offense at the graphic, frankly horrifying images of rape, violation, and murder spread casually across the table for all to see."
12: On the difference between tentacle porn and actually seeing out octopi: "Nobody's going to the fish market and asking for live octopus. Probably not."
13: On pop music: "The pop music scene in Tokyo is not that different than ours, with an accent though on pretty boy bands, pop idols, tween stars. Generic, industry-created crap, for the most part. Like I said, not so different than us."
14: On the grammar of Miley Cyrus: "Picture an army of Miley Cyruses. Or would that be Miley Cyri?"
15: On an apparently violent distaste for Nickelback: "When I see Nickelback I want to kill myself. I want to kill them, and then I want to kill myself. And then I want to kill everybody who listens to them. What's so funny? It's true.
16: On the tall buildings of Tokyo: "Tokyo may well be the most amazing food city in the world, with a nearly unimaginable variety of places stacked one on top of the other, tucked away on every level on densely-packed streets."
17: On relationships: "I'll tell you something really terrible: every relationship I've ever had with a woman, at some point very early on, I'd bring them to Yasuda in New York and I would watch how they eat. If they talk too much, if they didn't understand how to eat sushi, if they did not eat the uni, we will never have a relationship. That's the end."
18: On the density of Tokyo: "I could spend the next five years just doing shows on one building."
19: On the difference between the US and Japan: "Our own obsessions, arguably, are at least as crazy, violent, and lurid as Japan's, and we tend to act them out more frequently."