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A newly acquired Japanese pitcher can do incredible things for foreign exchange . There is a Boston boom in Japan and an increase in Japanese visitors to the Hub as well. It's "the Matsuzaka effect," says Hayato Otsuki, who works at Kotobukiya in Cambridge's Porter Square Exchange. We have become devoted to sushi, so it's not surprising that everyone is curious about other aspects of Japanese culture --anime (animation), manga (cartoon magazines), and emerging rock groups. This interest is opening up a world of new foods, including salty, sweet, and sometimes powerfully aromatic snacks. How long will it take for Yawkey Way concession stands to offer bottles of cold green tea and squid jerky? Probably until Mt. Fuji stands beside Fenway. -- DEBRA SAMUELS
(Food styling/Debra Samuels; Photos by Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff)
 
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