Saturday, December 5, 2015
The literal translation of the Japanese expression kyou no medama is "today's eyeball." Variations include "the eyeball of the menu," or "the eyeball of the festival," or "the eyeball of the event." It refers to a particular thing of special interest or value that is meant to attract customers or participants within a larger context-- the keynote speaker at a conference, a popular season-only item on a restaurant menu, and so on.
The silly series of etegami posted here was inspired by this expression. The wordplay going on would be clear to any Japanese speaker. A fried egg ("sunny side up" as we say in English) is called a "fried eyeball." And the eyeball creature bathing in the cracked rice bowl is Daddy Eyeball, a popular and very familiar character from the Japanese manga series Gegege no Kitaro by the late Shigeru Mizuki. At the top right is a bunch of fresh-caught fish with bulging eyes, and at the bottom right is a pair of toy pop-out eyeball glasses. I may add a few more to the series if I ever get unbearably bored with nothing better to do. Maybe you can help me by suggesting more eyeball wordplay.