History and Culture of Japanese Food

History and Culture of Japanese Food

by Ishige
     
 

Despite the popularity of Japanese food in the West today, remarkably little is known about the history of a unique cuisine. This irresistible feast of a book, the first of its kind, is a detailed investigation of the food and dietary practices of the Japanese from earliest times to the present day. By focusing this most central of subjects, the analysis throws new

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Overview

Despite the popularity of Japanese food in the West today, remarkably little is known about the history of a unique cuisine. This irresistible feast of a book, the first of its kind, is a detailed investigation of the food and dietary practices of the Japanese from earliest times to the present day. By focusing this most central of subjects, the analysis throws new light on Japanese history and on society as a whole. Dividing the history of Japanese dietary life into six periods, the author traces its development from the paleolithic and neolithic eras before rice was cultivated in Japan to the formative period between the sixth and fifteenth centuries, when a stable indigenous cuisine began to evolve. Typical dishes and beverages, ingredients, methods of preparation, origins, etiquette, the aesthetics of presentation, eating implements and cooking utensils are presented in the wider social, political and economic contexts. Breaches of chopstick etiquette, the design of Japanese knife blades, the underlying philosophy of Japanese haute cuisine presentation as "gardens on a plate," and the historical origins of sushi are among the many subjects covered in this rich and compelling work that presents a full portrait of all aspects of Japanese food for the first time, introducing the reader to home cookery and regional schools of cuisine that are virtually unknown outside Japan.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780710306579
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
02/28/2001
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction--The Historical Framework1
Part 1The Dietary History of Japan
Chapter 1The Prehistoric Era7
1.1The Paleolithic Age7
1.2The Advent of Earthenware9
1.3Jomon Society and Dietary Culture12
Chapter 2Establishment of a Rice-Growing Society17
2.1A Crop Held in Special Regard17
2.2Dissemination and Development of Rice21
2.3Rice Cooking27
2.4Sake Brewing32
2.5Fermented Fish and Flavourings35
Chapter 3The Formative Period of Japanese Dietary Culture45
3.1Historical Setting45
3.2The Taboo on Meat Eating52
3.3The Lack of Dairy Industry58
3.4Annual Observances and Rites of Passage62
3.5Place Settings and Table Settings67
3.6Cooking and Banquet Styles71
3.7The Role of the Monasteries75
3.8The Popularization of Noodles77
Chapter 4The Age of Change81
4.1Historical Setting81
4.2The Diffusion of Tea86
4.3The Impact of the 'Southern Barbarians'91
4.4Formation of a New Style96
4.5Change in the Frequency of Meals101
Chapter 5The Maturing of Traditional Japanese Cuisine105
5.1Historical Setting105
5.2City and Country109
5.3The Spread of Soy Sauce113
5.4The Emergence of the Restaurant117
5.5Snack Shops122
5.6Books on Cooking and Restaurants124
5.7The Ainu128
5.8The Ryukyu Islanders133
Chapter 6Changes in the Modern Age141
6.1Historical Setting141
6.2The Resumption of Meat Eating146
6.3Milk and Dairy Products153
6.4Entry of Foreign Foods155
6.5Zenith and Nadir158
6.6New Meal Patterns162
6.7Integration of Foreign Foods--A Model167
Part 2The Dietary Culture of the Japanese
Chapter 7At the Table175
7.1Gohan--Framework of the Meal175
7.2The Rise of the Table178
7.3The Tabletop as Landscape187
7.4Chopsticks and Table Manners189
7.5Etiquette--As You Like It194
Chapter 8In the Kitchen199
8.1The Secularization of Fire and Water199
8.2From Wood Fire to Electric Rice Cooker202
8.3The Knife--A Sword for the Kitchen206
8.4Restaurants--The Public Kitchen213
Chapter 9On the Menu219
9.1Soup and Umami Flavouring219
9.2Sashimi--Cuisine That Isn't Cooked224
9.3Sushi--From Preserved Food to Fast Food227
9.4Sukiyaki and Nabemono231
9.5Tofu and Natto--Meat for Vegetarians236
9.6Vegetarian Temple Food240
9.7Tempura and Oil244
9.8Noodles and Regional Tastes248
9.9Pickled and Preserved Seafood253
9.10Mochi, Confectionery and Tea257
9.11The Dynamics of Sake and Tea262
References267

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