Japan: The Grandeur of Gamu

In Japan, where borrowed Western ways become Nipponized in no time, the latest national cult is gum chewing. The great chewalong has quadrupled gum consumption in five years, making it Japan's third favorite sweet, after chocolates and caramels. No fewer than 43 manufacturers are turning out gamu, as it is called, and they have already popularized 150 flavors, including such tangy new taste sensations as green tea, gin fizz and pickled plum. In the interests of more mannerly mastication, the manufacturers have even prescribed a code of gummanship (cardinal rule: never chew...

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