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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

V.B.4 - Japan

from V.B - The History and Culture of Food and Drink in Asia
Japanese cuisine has developed the art of providing side dishes to complement consumption of the staple food. The history of the Japanese diet, which is inseparable from rice, started therefore with the introduction of rice cultivation. A unique feature of Japanese dietary history has been the country's various taboos on meat eating. Dried foods for making dashi were developed essentially to add subtle and enhancing flavors to traditional dishes that consisted mainly of vegetables with little intrinsic taste. As a rule, every individual has his or her own chopsticks and a set of tableware. The first record of tea in Japan mentions an offering of prepared tea to the Emperor Saga, in A. D. 815, by a Buddhist monk who had studied in China. The modernization of Japanese food culture after the Meiji Restoration was interrupted by the rise of militarism and World War II.
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The Cambridge World History of Food
  • Online ISBN: 9781139058643
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