Japanese Food: The Importance of Cuisine in Culture
Japanese food is famous all over the world, but this cuisine is more than just a tasty meal, it says a lot about Japanese culture. Culinary traditions in Japan have developed over centuries and give us a rich insight into the history of the country and the strong sense of nationality which is prevalent here. UNESCO even added Japanese food to its intangible cultural heritage list, making it an important and protected part of Japanese culture. Food is of course also an inherent part of events, and here at JTB Meetings & Events by JTB Communication Design (JCD) always aim at providing the best of Japanese cuisine for attendees. Let’s take a look at just why Japanese food is so important in Japan and what it can tell us about this extraordinary culture.
Japanese food preparationThe way that Japanese food is prepared, with great care and beautiful simplicity, says a lot about Japanese culture and the way Japanese people treat all of their work. In Japan, great pride is taken in one's work, which is why Japanese food is cooked to perfection. Many ingredients are selected based on their season so they are served at their best and recipes have been passed down from generation to generation so each aspiring chef benefits from years of wisdom.
Instead of eating until you are stuffed, Japanese cuisine is often presented in small delicate portions so you can savor your meal and its carefully selected and balanced flavors. Not only do these portion sizes show a less indulgent and more mindful attitude toward food, but also serve to deliver as many different tastes as possible in one meal, so you won’t actually be as hungry as you first think when you look at the food laid out.
Japanese culture and etiquetteJapanese etiquette is an important aspect of culture, both in business and at the dinner table. In Japanese culture, showing your appreciation and enjoyment of the food is encouraged, so don’t feel conscious about eating neatly, but show how much you love your noodles by slurping them. It might feel impolite to do, but in Japan it is considered normal to eat your noodles this way since long ago.
As in many Asian cultures, chopsticks are the usual cutlery for eating and you can show that you are finished by placing your chopsticks on the edge of your rice bowl or on a chopstick block provided. While you may be tempted to stick your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice, this is too similar to the appearance of incense used after someone’s death and is considered unlucky and offensive.
Japanese dining etiquette is very important and reflects appreciation of the food and respect for your fellow diners. These manners are upheld in any social situation which is why the Japanese are known for being such accommodating business partners.
Seafood industry and exportsGlobally, the most recognized Japanese food is of course sushi, resulting in a seafood industry that is booming due to the popularity of the dish. Sushi became popular as far back as the ninth century, when the spread of Buddhist beliefs meant that many people were abstaining from meat and turned to fish instead. This, combined with a long tradition of rice farming, created the classic dish.
Japan is now also one of the world’s biggest exporters of seafood products including frozen fish. So the healthy fishing industry in Japan contributes to the whole country’s economy and success in international export.
Restaurants in JapanAll this amazing Japanese food makes Tokyo one of the best places in the world to visit for gastronomic tourism. Tokyo has more top-rated restaurants than any other city and offers a wide range of options to suit any taste. If you are visiting Japan on a budget, you can also enjoy high quality food at cheaper prices by sampling the rich street food and markets.
At a promotional event we managed, Japanese food was promoted to the world, showing the global interest in the Japanese cuisine and how it captivates people from all over. As a Japanese events company, we’re very proud of our cultural history and the amazing food that has come out of this beautiful country. When holding your event in Japan, utilizing the power of the local cuisine will without a doubt bring a special flavor to the occasion. Contact us here to discuss your future event options in Japan!