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Literature Review of the Japanese Food Culture

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This journal article provides information about specific genre of diaries. It also analyzes what is the meaning of Aoyama labels “down-to-earth eating and writing”, which is elaborated as realistic descriptions of the hand-to-mouth existence of Japanese peasants and the working classes involved in the production and distribution of food. Author covers cannibalism, from Ningen sōsēji (Human Sausage, 1936) set at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, to the futuristic Kachikujin yapū (Yapoo, the Human Cattle, 1970–1999). This reading of the book covers a wide range of twentieth-century novels and other literary forms, in which in one way or another food plays a prominent role. Tomoko Aoyama is an Associate Professor; whose research interests include modern and contemporary Japanese literature. She has published an award-winning monograph on food and eating in modern/contemporary Japanese literature which also includes cannibalism, gastronomic novel, food diaries, and food and gender. This reading helps to give more exposure about importance of food and the quality of food that Japan is serving in today’s modern era. (171)

This book describes the condition of Japan as the world’s largest importer of agricultural products because of the fact that Japan is the small and heavily populated country with little arable lands. Author finds out that the net social cost of Japan’s 1985/86 production goals for eight major food items is calculated under the assumption that these goals existed in 1975/76. Though, Japan’s agricultural sector is nevertheless heavily protected by a variety of trade barriers and is heavily supported by input subsidies and support payments. This book is useful to know that what problems japan is facing regarding food production and what metods are being used to overcome from that problem and some statistical data which gives report of production of food in japan every year. (126)

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In this book the author has shared her experience of that time which she passed in japan. The author appears to be more familiar with the food (worshaku) of japan as she is explaining different types of Japanese food which she really likes, and she also know their benefits also. Moreover, the author is focusing more on the advantages of Japanese food like how they keep one healthy and keeps away from diseases like diabetes, breast cancer etc. furthermore, the author describes about the nutritional value of the traditional Japanese food and even explains various types of ingredients, taste, cooking methods of Japanese food. At last, author compared the western food to Japanese food and presented both the pros and cons of both of the foods and after comparing then she concluded that Japanese food is better among western food which cause health problems. Sherley booth lived in japan for several years and she is basically an award-winning film maker and food writer. Author presented the life of Japanese people in very beautiful way that if really like the most. (180)

In this book the author lightens up the fact that how Japanese women hold the world record for longest-living women in 2009 because of low fat Asian diet of rice, soya bean products, fish and vegetables. This book provides information of different countries about food balance sheet in 2003 which shows the self-sufficiency rates of grain. It clearly shows that how well Japanese people utilize soybean for preparation of different types of food like tofu (soybean curd), shoyu (soybean sauce), Moyashi (soybean sprouts) miso (fermented soybean paste) etc. this book is written by Takuji Ohyama who is a professor of the faculty of agriculture at Niigata university and researchers of the food research center, Niigata agricultural research institute, Niigata. This book is helpful because this gives me exposure about how soybean plays important role in Japanese tradition food and with one thing they make so many different nutritional dishes and also came to know about how healthy and useful soybean for everyone is. (163)

In this book author has enlightened the changes that occurred in the processing/ production of Japanese food like how it was initially prepared by using traditional cooking techniques. But, nowadays westernization have transformed the production of Japanese food. Moreover, it focuses on the change of nutritional value of Japanese food. (50)

In this video it is shown that Washoku, the traditional cuisine of Japan, was given world cultural heritage status by the United Nations. It shows that the ingredients are very unique and it is highly delicious and it takes lot of time to be prepared. Basically, Washoku is practiced at the traditional Japanese restaurant named as Genyadana Hamadaya, which was founded in 1912. The restaurant’s chief chef, Yoshihiro Ito, explained: ‘Be it the ingredients, or the serving of the dish, it needs to be something that can be eaten only at that specific time, using that specific serving dish.’ (99).

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