Sukiyaki is a popular home cooking on a special occasion such as one’s birthday and celebration. The main ingredients are slices of beef, onions, tofu, nappa cabbage and mushrooms. Sukiyaki was a symbol for Japan’s modernization and Westernization after the feudal ages ended in 1868 (Samurai’s government fell that year). Japanese had not had a habit to eat meat until around that time. The soup to cook those ingredients tastes strong. This was to erase the smell of meat that people weren’t used to. Now we usually eat it after dipping them in a raw egg to dilute the thick soup.
Eating raw eggs is very common. Eggs here won’t hurt!
I think we may have a different taste in beef. Soft fatty beef is loved much more than chewy lean one. Marbling like above is called ‘shimofuri’. This ‘shimofuri’ makes our mouth water. Originally, Japanese didn’t have a habit of eating fatty foods, either. Although enjoying oily foods is also a Western influence, we may go too far about beef and tuna.
By the way, late Kyu Sakamoto’s song whose original title ‘Ue wo muite arukou’ (Keep walking looking up) is very famous as a ‘Sukiyaki’ song in the U.S. This is so far the only Japanese song that reached the top in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.