First is best

Good morning everyone,

The next three days should see some nice weather with blue skies and highs in the low 20s. Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday are looking rainy, although it should clear up again by Sunday and it will remain warm.

The weather is looking way, way too warm in Kobe on Sunday for me to have a good run-right now they are calling for a low of 16C and a high of around 20C. If the forecast doesn't change, I'll have to seriously reconsider my goal for that race.

I've noticed that there's an infatuation with being the 'first' in Japan. What I mean is, every year the first tuna to be auctioned or the first yubari melon or the first bunch of grapes to be sold are worth up to ten times more than later ones.

Is there some significance to being 'first'?

In today's paper, I was reading that turnip pickles which are made on the first day of winter are the best. Now obviously this is just an old wives' tale (or ingenious marketing), but it is by no means unusual in Japan.

Workers at Daiyasu, a long-standing pickle maker in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward, carefully place sliced turnips for the famous Kyoto specialty of senmai-zuke pickles, on Nov. 9. Slices pickled on the first day of winter according the traditional East Asian calendar are believed to be the finest senmai-zuke pickles.

There are many instances of the first being more valuable beyond my few examples. I did a quick check online and couldn't find anything that suggested there is anything lucky or more valuable about being first, but it goes without saying that they are often insanely expensive? Does anybody know why?

Do you ever buy the 'first' of something in a year? I can't remember ever thinking about it before I came to Japan. And considering my financial situation, I'm more likely to buy the 'last' of something...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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