Cuisine and identity in contemporary Japan

Authored by: Theodore C. Bestor

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  April  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415436496
eBook ISBN: 9780203818459
Adobe ISBN: 9781136736278


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Food is all around us, yet remarkably elusive for something seemingly so concrete and mundane. People grow it, buy it, prepare it, eat it, savor it (or not) every day, everywhere, often without much thought about food’s significance in any larger social, cultural, or historical schemes. But food is profoundly embedded in these frameworks, and food culture (shoku bunka) is a key concept for understanding the day-to-day foodways of Japanese society, as well as the larger contexts of identity that food and foodways reflect and create, some of them not much remarked upon, some of them quite prominently on display in everyday life.

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