Japanese Food Heritage


JapaneseFood Heritage

JapaneseFood Heritage

Inthe Japanese food culture, the core food that is consumed by almosteveryone is rice. This is one of the staple foods that are eatenalong with other foods. This culture of rice eating stems from theinception of the Japanese Cuisine, which is one of the oldtraditional assortments of foods that are consumed by this populace1.The Cuisine has changed over the years with evolution caused by thediscovery of other foods across the world. The economic and socialtransformations and the encompassing of the regional foods into thetraditional Japanese food have led to the change of the JapaneseCuisine. The cultural cuisine of Japan consists of the rice, which isserved with the Miso soup alongside other dishes. The tradition hasmade such that it forms the main meal. The meal is usually consumedin the evening and the morning for its boost of energy. Ricecontains the starch, which is a carbohydrate. The side dishes thatthis food is taken along with like the Miso soup contains proteins tocompete for the food diet. Rice as the staple is grown in the vastlands of Japan1.

Therice plant requires plenty of water. To ensure high productivity, theJapanese government has invested in irrigation of their farmland tomake sure that this core food is indeed present. Additionally, thecountry imports rice from various countries, which have helped itmaintain the demand and supply of the same. Regarding the growing,the farmlands are subtle owing to the country`s small expanse interms of acreage2.In spite of this, there is intensive farming of this staple food byalmost every household in Japan who owns these lands. The paddyfields which contain the rice plantations are mostly found in thecountryside. The rice is then processed in some of the big processingcompanies across the country5.Due to its bulkiness, the product is usually processed near thesefirms to cut down on transport costs.

Additionally,this produce is packed and sold in various retails and supermarketsacross the country where the final consumer gets them. It should benoted that this food is also imported from countries like Brazil andsome African countries. The imports are usually bought by the bigcommercial companies who later sell them to the retailers. Thedistribution channels are quite stratified to ensure that the demandfor the local market is adequately met. One of the most importantfestivals that this staple food is consumed in the Japanese cultureis the Washoku. Washoku is a practice based on social stance wherethere are a set of knowledge, traditions, and practice related toprocessing, production, consumption and preparation of food arelearned6.The cultural significance and traditions exhibitions are usuallydepicted in the celebration of the New Year. In this prospect,individuals during the New Year celebrations exhibit their skills,knowledge, and expertise in cooking, and rice is usually the mostimportant food in these celebrations.

Thecomplementary foods eaten along with rice are such as the Miso soup,pickled vegetables, fish, which are cooked in broth2. The blend makes the whole meal to be perfect. Japan is a countrythat is also known for fishing. Most of this fish consumed by theJapan populace emanates from the ocean. The fish is got from the seaand oceans around through deep sea fishing. The fish is sold into thelocal industrial market through an auction on the dock market. Uponthe receipt of these foods, they are processed and sold into thedomestic market through the various distribution channels across thecountry. If one wants to get a fish fillet to take with rice, thenthey can easily get it from the supermarkets where they have beeneither canned or frozen to avoid decay3.

Apartfrom rice, some of the staple foods, which form the secondary foodnetwork in the Japanese context, include the Noodles like, Udon andSoba. The country also has simmered dishes, which included theproducts from fish contained in broth known as the Oden or meat innikujaga and sukiyaki. Most of the foreign foods form the secondaryfoods for Japan. Some of the international foods entail the Chinesefoods like the noodles made in a soup called the ramen, dumplingsthat are fried. Additionally, we have the western foods, which entailthe hamburger packed into steaks. In the ancient culture, Japaneseculture did not take meat, and this was according to their traditionsdemands. However, through the industrialization of this country withthe effects of the nuclear bombings, the practice of eating meat cameinto existence. Consequently, meat based foods such as Tonkatsu arequite common since the 1880s4.The secondary foods like the chicken burger and other forms of meatare locally produced and also imported from other countries like theUS.

Insummary, Japan’s core food is rice, which is being complementedwith other dishes like Miso soup, pickled vegetable, and fish. Mostof these foods are planted in the Japanese farms and processed by theJapanese industries. They are distributed by the commercial retailersto the final consumers through the distribution outlets such as thesupermarket and shops. Some of these foods mostly secondary areimported into the Japanese market and sold through auctions6.The major celebration associated with rice is the Washoku festivalcelebrated during the New Year celebrations. The main aim of thistradition is to help grow talents in cooking.


  1. Assmann, S, &quotFood Action Nippon and Slow Food Japan: The role of two citizen movements in the rediscovery of local foodways.&quotGlobalization, Food and Social Identities in the Asia Pacific Region. 2010.

  2. Hosking, R,&nbspA dictionary of Japanese food: Ingredients &amp culture. Tuttle Publishing, 2014..

  3. Kasch, F, &quotDer aktuelle Übergewichtsdiskurs in Japan.&quot&nbspThe Contemporary Discourse on Overweight in Japan]. OAG Notizen. 2013: 11-26.

  4. Stephan, CW, Walter GS, &quotAfter intermarriage: Ethnic identity among mixed-heritage Japanese-Americans and Hispanics.&quot&nbspJournal of Marriage and the Family, 1989: 507-519..

  5. Tokudome, S, Shigeru Y. &quotOverview of nutrition education program for national health promotion in Asian countries: current situation and future direction,&quot&nbspAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition&nbsp21.1. 2012: 127-127.

  6. Wilk, R, ed.&nbspFast food/slow food: the cultural economy of the global food system, Rowman Altamira, 2006.