Japan’s Cuisines: Food, Place and Identity, Modern Food Culture by Eric C. Rath, MOBI, 1780236433

August 26, 2017

Japan’s Cuisines: Food, Place and Identity by Eric C. Rath

  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Publication Date: November 15, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B073Q5FXX8
  • ISBN-10: 1780236433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780236438
  • File Format: MOBI


Cuisines in Japan have an ideological dimension that cannot be ignored. In 2013, ‘traditional Japanese dietary cultures’ (washoku) was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Washoku’s predecessor was “national people’s cuisine,” an attempt during World War II to create a uniform diet for all citizens.
Japan’s Cuisines reveals the great diversity of Japanese cuisine and explains how Japan’s modern food culture arose through the direction of private and public institutions. Readers discover how tea came to be portrayed as the origin of Japanese cuisine, how lunch became a gourmet meal, and how regions on Japan’s periphery are reasserting their distinct food cultures. From wartime foodstuffs to modern diets, this fascinating book shows how the cuisine from the land of the rising sun shapes national, local, and personal identity.



“This wise and richly documented study provides an important corrective to the many misconceptions about Japanese food culture. Rath moves skillfully between high cuisine and the great diversity of local foodways to reveal how class cultures, national institutions, and economic change have shaped what Japanese eat and what most people think of as typical Japanese cuisine.” (Jordan Sand, Georgetown University)

“In Japan’s Cuisines, Rath argues that, by focusing on ceremonial and festival foods, and the typical white-rice dinners of today’s middle class and the past’s elite, Japanese culinary history is inaccurately portrayed. The food of the rural and lower classes is unfairly omitted.” (Times Literary Supplement)

“Offers a well-informed and lucid critique of the government-led addition of the ‘traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese (washoku)’ to the UNESCO list.” (Huffington Post)

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