Signs for WASABI
Meaning: a Japanese plant with a thick green root which tastes like strong horseradish and is used in cooking, especially in powder or paste served as a condiment for sushi.
Deaf Culture and tidbits
Did you know that...? In 2008, a Japanese company has developed a fire alarm that alerts deaf people by emitting the strong smell of wasabi.
Researchers at the Shiga University of Medical Science have taken the common local food condiment, wasabi (or Japanese horseradish), and created a unique smoke detector/fire alarm based on smell as an aid to the deaf in case of an emergency." Source
Deaf people use a strobe light that flashes when fire alarm roars. Why wasabi? Did researchers talk with Deaf people first? Crazy hearing people. :D
"The Japanese have this weird obsession with finding technological or scientific applications for traditional foodstuffs." -- a reddit commenter.
It should be unsurprising that the wasabi fire alarm was awarded the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry for Japanese scientists. :) "The Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded annually for achievements that make people laugh."