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29751922 Aji-No-Moto Ads

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  • keith2draw
    Jun 1, 2002
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      Hello all,

      I've been going through some microfilm of the 1922 Honolulu Star-
      Bulletin, and have a few interesting tid-bits to report:

      The first AJI-NO-MOTO advertisement to appear in the Honolulu Star-
      Bulletin was on Saturday, March 18, 1922. The ads ran every couple of
      days, and were very ordinary, with descriptions of the product, ideas
      for cooking, and an occasional recipe. The copywriter did a
      satisfactory job, if somewhat dull. After awhile the ads began
      appearing daily.

      On August 4th the AJI-NO-MOTO ad had the following wording:

      GREETINGS
      I give you warning,
      good my lords,
      That in this space
      tomorrow
      You eke will see
      A change in me
      And `twill not give
      you sorrow.
      ~The Little Aji-No-Moto Chef.

      I think quite possibly that this was the debut of Blanding as the
      copywriter, as all the ads following this one were written in verse.
      They were rather simple, amateurish even. At times they were familiar
      nursery rhymes which had been reworded to include the product
      being advertised, a soup powder...but they were the first raw
      attempts at versifying by our island vagabond. Some examples:

      August 5, 1922:
      There was an old guy named De Soto
      Who threatened to butcher his cook
      If the beggar would dare a dish to prepare
      Without using Aji-No-Moto

      August 7, 1922:
      Of cooking I used to get weary,
      Is was a most terrible bore,
      Till I found on the boat O, this aji-No-Moto;
      I wish I had found it before.

      Little by little the true Blanding began to emerge in his ditties:

      September 7, 1922
      I've traveled far, I've traveled wide
      I've cooked in many lands,
      From Greenland's icy igloos,
      To Sahara's burning sands;
      I've learned the different flavorings
      From Spain to Budapest
      And find Aji-No-Moto is
      The one I like the best.

      October 3, 1922:
      The Italian is fond of his garlic;
      The Spaniard, his onion adores;
      The native of Greenland eats blubber
      Till the whale oil drips from his pores.
      You'll find that the folks in Hawaii---
      Whenever a dinner you go to---
      Like to flavor their sauces and gravies
      With a powder called Aji-No-Moto

      I think Blanding really began to get the hang of this poetry thing by
      the fall of 1922. The following poem, which appeared on Oct. 17th,
      foreshadows such future classics as The Virgin of Waikiki:

      THE BOILER-MAKER'S WOOING--A DRAMA OF FLAPPER'S ACRE

      A bachelor maid of Flappers' Acre
      Loved a fine young boiler-maker,
      Prayed each night that Husky Walter
      Soon would lead her to the altar.
      Walter simply would not hurry
      Bachelor maid began to worry.
      Woman's wit came to her aid---
      The bachelorette a dinner made,
      With soup and salad a la Toto,
      Meat with sauce Aji-No-Moto.
      Walter ate and ate until
      With softened heart and weakened will
      He said the words---and said `em snappy---
      Made the flapper flapper happy.


      And this one too smacks of his future writing...

      November 11, 1922:
      The onion is an honest thing
      It does not try to be a rose,
      It bites the tongue and smites the nose
      And makes the eyes both smart and sting.

      The garlic, too, makes no pretense
      Of being more than humble herb.
      Too bad---its odor tends to curb
      Its frequent use---it gives offense.

      There is one flavor that I know---
      It has the onion's subtle zest,
      It wins---where garlic fails the test,
      With butter's richness it is blest,
      Of flavors all---I like it best,
      Its charms on short acquaintance grow.

      ------------------------

      I'm up to the end of November with the microfilm, and will keep
      plugging away. If I get a chance I'll upload some more gems.

      ~~Keith
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