Food Culture and Tradition

Food, People and Culture Resources

Category: Japan

Foods Commonly Used in Japan

JAPANESE COMMONLY USED FOODS The staples of the traditional Japanese diet are rice, fish and seafood, vegetables and tea. Although some meats were taken occasionally as medicine, and records show that the people often hunted and ate wild animals, it was not until the American diplomat Townsend Harris’s visit to Japan in 1856 that beef […]

Meals and Customs in Japan

JAPANESE MEALS AND CUSTOMS Many factors intrude on the strict maintenance of the traditional meals and customs of the Japanese; nonetheless, there is an increasing Japanese pride together with the delight and curiosity of foreigners that is causing even nisei (second-generation Japanese) to turn to the traditions of their ancestors. Many Japanese have discarded all […]

Glossary of Foods and Food Terms in Japan

JAPANESE FOOD GLOSSARY AND FOOD TERMS Aji-No-Moto: The Japanese name for monosodium glutamate, white crystalline powder prepared from wheat gluten and sugar beet residue, that heightens flavors without adding one of its own. Cha: Tea. In Japan, green tea is commonly used. Chanoyu: Ancient Japanese tea ceremony strongly influenced by the principles of Zen Buddhism. […]

Japanese Food and Culture

FOOD AND CULTURE IN JAPAN The Japanese call their homeland Dai Nihon or Nippon, meaning “origin of the sun.” It is from this name that Japan has also been called “Land of the Rising Sun.” It is an apt name. For in the short span of about a hundred years, Japan has shaken off the […]

Foods in Japan

JAPANESE FOODS DAIRY PRODUCTS Although dairy products have been known in Japan since ancient times, they have never been an important part of the diet. More recently (since the American occupation after World War II) more milk is consumed but still not significantly. Perhaps in its place, the many products derived from soybeans are used. […]

Domestic Life in Japan

JAPANESE DOMESTIC LIFE Present-day mass production of everything from electrical appliances to instant and frozen foods has made the urban Japanese kitchen similar to any in the West. The main difference is size. In Japan, refrigeration and storage space are minimal for several reasons: the prevalence of small-size homes, the preference for foods purchased fresh […]

Special Occasions in Japan

JAPAN’S SPECIAL OCCASIONS The Japanese constitution of 1946 guarantees religious freedom to all as well as separation of religion and state. Virtually all Japanese, except those converted to Christianity (numbering more than one million), are Shintoists. But Shintoism, indigenous to Japan, is regarded as a cult rather than a religion, and includes aspects of ancestor […]

Japanese Cooking Methods

JAPANESE COOKING METHODS There are abundant opportunities for creativity in Japanese cooking. There is great joy in tasting something for the first time and a concentration of skills in producing an original dish or garnish. It is considered commonplace to repeat what was a successful dish — one must always strive to improve. It is […]

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