Claims that Japanese curry
originated in India
only tell half the story. Anyone who has had Japanese curry rice can tell you that it doesn't have the consistancy of "traditional curry" like you might find in India and other parts of southern Asia
. It's more of a thick, brownish gravy with a slight kick of spice. The other major country with this style of curry is, of course, England
, where it is a popular pub food
So how did these two nations on opposite sides of the world end up with the same style of curry?
As it happens, Japan decided that they needed to build a proper navy. Rather than waste time trying to figure out what makes a good navy, they decided to find a good navy and copy it. This lead them to the British Empire. The Land of the Rising Sun copied the ships of Land on Which the Sun Never Set, right down to the menu of the mess hall, which meant, you guessed it, English curry.
From there, Japanese karee raisu attained huge popularity, and can now be found anywhere with a significant Japanese population. Hawaii in particular has been taken with the flavors and textures, and have added their own local spin to this Indo-Eur-Asian taste.