Oishinbo, Volume 1: Japanese Cuisine

Oishinbo, Volume 1: Japanese Cuisine

5.0 6
by Tetsu Kariya, Akira Hanasaki

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Japanese Cuisine introduces us to the fundamental ingredients--rice, sashimi, green tea, and dashi (cooking stock)--that constitute the soul of the Japanese kitchen. In each story we learn about the proper preparation and presentation of different dishes, as well as their history and cultural significance. The result is a moveable feast of a book,…  See more details below


Japanese Cuisine introduces us to the fundamental ingredients--rice, sashimi, green tea, and dashi (cooking stock)--that constitute the soul of the Japanese kitchen. In each story we learn about the proper preparation and presentation of different dishes, as well as their history and cultural significance. The result is a moveable feast of a book, as informative as it is engaging.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Journalist and cynical foodie Yamaoka ShirA´ is tasked with creating "The Ultimate Menu" for the TA´zai News as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Yamaoka has amazing culinary skills, but a rival newspaper has in mind a "Supreme Menu" and retains ShirA´'s arrogant gastronome father to design it. This fictional manga has nonfictional intent: to give cooking buffs and armchair culinary anthropologists both enjoyment and insight re: Japanese food. Each episode features a different dish or facet of preparation embedded in the overall story about the two competing teams. Fantastically popular in Japan with over 100 volumes, Oishinbo("the gourmet") is being recompiled for Americans into attractive theme-based collections with recipe samples and copious translator's notes. This volume introduces Japanese kitchen basics: rice, sashimi, green tea, and dashi(cooking stock). The otherwise merely serviceable art renders the food exceedingly well, and additional translated volumes are lined up for sake, ramen, raw fish dishes, and vegetables. Entertaining and informative for both public and academic libraries, plus specialty cooking collections. Rated teen and up but probably belongs in adult collections, with topic-specific cataloging.
—Martha Cornog

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—This is the first title in a manga series that will highlight thematic selections from the more than 100 Oishinbo volumes published since the 1980s in Japan. The premise is that rival newspapers (an almost charmingly outdated notion these days) are competing to create "The Ultimate Menu," a meal that will embody "the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine." Tension sizzles as the volatile and oft-misunderstood Yamaoka is pitted against his famous bulldozer of a father, Kaibara. Each "course" in this menu features an in-depth exploration of an aspect of Japanese culture and cuisine, from the intricacies of chopstick making and use to the importance of holistic cooking to the integrity of a dish. The artwork is static, with simplistic characterization and expression that does little to add depth to the story. Fluidity between panels is slightly lacking, too. Color recipes and detailed notes on the text are included. All said, clearly the author has a passion for Japanese cooking, and his enthusiasm is contagious. A pinch of Rebel Without a Cause served with a generous spoonful of Iron Chef, this book will be snapped up by the ever-growing ranks of Japanophiles, as well as foodies.—Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA

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Product Details

VIZ Media
Publication date:
Oishinbo Series , #1
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Barnes & Noble
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108 MB
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Meet the Author

Manga writer and essayist extraordinaire Tetsu Kariya graduated from prestigious Tokyo University. Kariya was employed with a major advertising agency before making his debut as a manga writer in 1974 when he teamed up with legendary manga artist Ryoichi Ikegami to create Otoko Gumi (Male Gang). The worlds of food and manga were forever changed in 1983 when Kariya, together with artist Akira Hanasaki, created the immensely popular and critically acclaimed Oishinbo.

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Oishinbo, Volume 1: Japanese Cuisine 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
It's a graphic novel, a cookbook, and primer on Japanese culture all in one. Oishinbo is not your ordinary cookbook. This creative narrative by Tetsu Kariya, takes us into the heart of Japanese culture and tradition using a comic book format. Not content to simply offer your run-of-the-mill cookbook, Kariya begins this epistolary with a family squabble that capitulates us into the world of Japanese culinary art. The story begins when one of Japan's leading newspaper editor's comes up with a great gimmick to build readership. He assigns his top journalist, Yamaoka Shiro, to visit a series of Japanese chefs in order to find the holy grail carte du jour, a.k.a. the "ultimate menu." Early on it is revealed that Yamaoka Shiro is not just any journalist, he is the son of the infamous director of The Gourmet Club, Kaibara Yuzan. The story becomes more layered when we learn that Yamaoka Shiro and his father have a long standing fiery rivalry that complicates the outcome of this venture. Along the way we meet Shiro's cohorts, and a series of chefs who explain everything from the secret of making a good dashi (a broth that is the basis for many Japanese dishes), to the careful crafting of chopsticks. The chapters are divided by course, and each section tells a fascinating story. We learn why a good chef does not smoke cigarettes, how to correctly brew tea, why a simple sushi recipe takes substantial talent to prepare, and that the main ingredient in a tea ceremony is humility. Though the book does not furnish as many recipes as I would have hoped, it fully conveys the unique qualities of Japanese fare; simultaneously taking on the universal conflicts that impact family relationships. This compelling story details the art of Japanese cooking using a clever format that makes one want to, if not try and create the recipes themselves, at least savor some of these delicacies at a nearby restaurant. Quill say: Explore the world of Japanese cuisine and culture, with a side dish of family conflict.
sue_nyc More than 1 year ago
I learned so much about food and Japanese cuisine in particular. Got the whole series. This is a keeper. Couldn't even find them at the local Japanese book store.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The elaborate descriptions of the food and the techniques used to create them make this a highly entertaining story. The characters are interesting and well concieved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heard so many good things about this manga.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago