Hi, bruce. Welcome to DC. You're a long way from home. How long have you been in Japan? Maybe you could share some what you've learned about the cuisine there.
Can't help you with your pepper question but, don't worry, someone will be along and offer suggestions.
Glad you've found us. Enjoy!
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!