Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity

Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity

by Katarzyna J. Cwiertka


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Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity by Katarzyna J. Cwiertka

Over the past two decades, the popularity of Japanese food in the West has increased immeasurably—a major contribution to the evolution of Western eating habits. But Japanese cuisine itself has changed significantly since pre-modern times, and the food we eat at trendy Japanese restaurants, from tempura to sashimi, is vastly different from earlier Japanese fare. Modern Japanese Cuisine examines the origins of Japanese food from the late nineteenth century to unabashedly adulterated American favorites like today’s California roll.

Katarzyna J. Cwiertka demonstrates that key shifts in the Japanese diet were, in many cases, a consequence of modern imperialism. Exploring reforms in military catering and home cooking, wartime food management and the rise of urban gastronomy, Cwiertka shows how Japan’s numerous regional cuisines were eventually replaced by a set of foods and practices with which the majority of Japanese today ardently identify.

The result of over a decade of research, Modern Japanese Cuisine is a fascinating look at the historical roots of some of the world’s best cooking and will provide appetizing reading for scholars of Japanese culture and foodies alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780234533
Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
Publication date: 02/15/2015
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,261,055
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Katarzyna J. Cwiertka is professor in and chair of Modern Japan Studies at Leiden University, Netherlands. She is the author of several books, including Cuisine, Colonialism, and the Cold War: Food in Twentieth-Century Korea, also published by Reaktion Books.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

1 Western Food, Politics and Fashion 13

2 The Road to Multicultural Gastronomy 35

3 Strengthening the Military 56

4 Reforming Home Meals 87

5 Wartime Mobilization and Food Rationing 115

6 The Culinary Consequences of Japanese Imperialism 138

7 Multiple Circuits of Affluence 156

Conclusion: The Making of a National Cuisine 175

Postscript: Japanese Cuisine Goes Global 181

References 200

Glossary 228

Acknowledgements 233

Photo Acknowledgements 235

Index 236

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