Imagine if they'd been serving dorayaki ~ now that'd been something (d'oro = gold piece, and yaki = cooked in skillet on stove or fried ~ not baked) ~ a regular transcultural phenom of ancient etiology.
Rice ~ that'd be the ticket ~ if they'd had Kokuho Rose from Koda Farms ~ flop some fresh minnows on top ~ pour on some sriracha sauce, you'd get something real close to what the hardier Marines at Camp Pendleton eat when they get cut loose to check out Vista.
Teriyaki is just chicken roasted/broiled/boiled/baked part way and finished up with a soyu/brown sugar concoction ~ some dissolved ginger, and maybe a hot spice or two ~ you take that and braise it on a grill for a few minutes until it flames.
Now that's some eats. I don't think the Japanese invented the chicken or soyu or brown sugar though.
Something almost peculiar to the Japanese when it comes to food is the very round little fish that are dried and tossed into the package with the rice senbei (crackers) ~ Otherwise that's all pretty common Asian fare, but the Japanese mix that fish in like a crackerjack prize!
>>Frying up yesterday’s soba (noodles) is hardly unique to the Japanese.<<
True, but it’s all in the name.
If you called a rice, veggie and fish roll sushi, it’s Japanese.
If you made the same thing and called it Gimbap, it’s Korean.
Same thing with a Gyro compared to a Doner Kebab. When it’s Greek it’s a Gyro, when it’s Turkish it’s a Doner Kebob.
IMO you are missing the point. The point here is their intention to insult and retain deniability because someone (you in this case) will point out the iffy authenticity of the fare.
It’s like saying “eff you” and then smugly claiming you didn’t say f*ck you.