Japanese word corresponding to "best" or "most" in English. It literally translates to "number one" -- the fact that it is the means of saying "greatest" or "best" kind of emphasizes the strict ranking system of historic Japan.

Ichiban kirai na yasui wa nan desu ka.
Which vegetables do you hate the most?
(lit. As for number one hated vegetables, what are they?)

Sono neko wa ichiban kiree desu.
That cat is the prettiest.

Written ichi-ban, with the kanji for the numeral "one" and "number in a series". Sometimes written completely with hiragana.

Often used with the word naka. "Yasui no naka de nani ga ichiban kirai desu ka?" means "Out of all vegetables, which vegetable do you dislike most?", or literally "Inside vegetables, what is (your) number one dislike?"

Also, probably the most popular (the Number One!) beer in Japan is Kirin Ichiban. Being underage when I visited, I was unable to have a taste, but I would imagine, from what I know of the prominence of bars in the Japanese culture, that the beer is superb.

Sapporo Ichiban is a high-quality brand of ramen. It's more expensive than other ramen (but it's still dirt cheap at $0.50 a piece), but well worth it. One thing to watch out for: The chicken flavor cooked according to the directions is extremely salty, to the point of being sort of gross; either add some extra water, or don't stir in all the powder.
This stuff has gotten me through many a "I only have $10 for groceries"-week.

All anyone ever asked for was to simply exist. Slowly our ability to achieve a simple goal has been obfuscated by the sour stomach of tradition and tide within the most obvious zone of living, breathing and eating. There is an existence that transcends the one we fall most habitually into pursuing, but often it is not accessed until death. It is for these reasons that I no longer fear death--I look to it as a sort of promise that was made the moment I was born into this world. And as the tethers flourish and the perpendicularity recedes most are not aware of the duality of their existence. Duality is a misnomer, however, as that implies a binary pair between this life and the one that happens after. Through our limited sense of perception this duality appears attractive, allowing us to excuse certain constructs as just being a life that we will someday (far off into the future) shrug off and recollect upon. But what if we began this process still within the loop?

My name is Ichiban, and I wear no silk or flannel. I seek no future and my impotence is desired. I do not fear death--I fear living. The world makes this so, like a burden upon my back. I whistle songs of my own design, each note opening another separate, parallel version and vision of my self. In one I am strong in the ways that I am weak; in another I am sad about the things that now make me happy. I do not automatically think of these things as a black and white yin and yang. Instead, I perceive all of this simultaneously--a personal relational database within my head.

This document is an attempt to open the source code to my modus operandi. One may make changes and modifications to suit their own needs. Often the kernel of our perceptions and I/O processes become stale. Occasionally we must find the reboot button and instead of starting from scratch, merely revise and strengthen the core. Often my file system becomes corrupt because I do not have the opportunity to partition my mind into appropriate sizes and functions to suit their abilities and utility. Instead, the lump of my mind sits within a mass grave, intermingling with prejudice and fragmentation.

My name is Ichiban, and I don’t want to play this game anymore. Quitting would be futile, as I’ve already come all this way and I feel as if I’ve nothing to show for it yet. I do not fear death, but I fear the strands left unconnected. When I sit and reflect on my own idleness within this world, I am immobilized. Lax begets lax begets lax begets lax. If I could return to my childhood and revise the operational schematic of my habitual patterns, I feel I could make my intentions clearer, even to my self. Directive would not be as difficult as it is now. I could push the buttons until the cows come home, but they’d be the wrong buttons. Nothing would disintegrate. Nothing would create, and I would still be the self that fears the misconnection.

It is often common with my species to give birth to children. Children can embody the could-ofs, should-ofs, and would-ofs of any waking life. One thinks that in their sons and daughters they can mold a more appropriate environment for them to confront their own essences, while learning to differentiate between that and the world around them. But from what I’ve seen in most cases, the children often repeat the errors of their parents--who thought the same thing as their parents, and their parents before them.

The question then becomes—where do I cut the loop? What responsibilities do I have as a human being to accomplish prior to having little human beans of my own? If the intention is to not inflict the same deficiencies upon their offspring, shouldn’t the filtering and revolution begin in the minds of the parents first?

So yeah, I’ve been thinking. It’s best to work this all out, even better to actually act on it. Right now, Ichiban is number one.

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