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Home » 2016 Summer Seminar » Yamashita - The Origins of Japanese Food (Tue)

Movement in East Asia
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7/26/2016 10:24:50 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: The Origins of Japanese Food
Since Taiwan was colonial by Japan for almost 70 years, the Taiwanese food culture was mixed Chinese with Japanese. I use miso and soy sauce almost everyday, but it is the first time I have the chance to learn the origins of Japanese food. Thanks to Mr. Yamashita. I have Japanese food in the tray, but I never understand the warrior plates. I feel so excited to know the “four cuisines”. I know I have a lot to talk about next time when my friends talk about Japanese history TV series.
For my teaching , if I add these Japanese food research into my “Info Process” lesson plan, my students will like it and never missing the discussion.
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7/26/2016 10:59:49 PM

hdao
hdao
Posts: 28
Subject: SUSHI!
I eat Japanese food every chance I get. I love it, but never knew anything about its origins other than it's from Japan. Samuel's lecture was so concise and enjoyable, I understand why he was voted as distinguished teacher by his students...furthermore I can see how the information and resources he offered can be used as an anchor to drill into the content of Japanese literature. Food is a universal reinforcement, and is something that everyone can get interested about, especially kids.
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7/26/2016 11:50:42 PM

njimenez
njimenez
Posts: 58
Subject: Response to Yamashita Lecture
After hearing the lecture and reading the articles, a lesson idea came to mind. Before this session, I learned about Japanese poetry and how to set it up with syllables to create long and short poems. Following that idea and lesson, I can teach about honzen meals and how similar they are when setting up the structure. Instead of syllables we can change them to dishes served. As an art teacher, I would then ask them to go to a Japanese restaurant and eat with their family. Before or during their dinner, I would ask them to take photos of their food. They can then execute a drawing or painting of their food where we will then critique in class. That is when they can discuss what they learned about their dinner experience and review Japanese cuisine setup. I’m sure my students would enjoy doing this lesson.
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7/26/2016 11:53:49 PM

victoriachan
victoriachan
Posts: 27
Subject: Asian Paradox
There have been studies done to figure out the benefits of green tea, and this website summarizes a lot of the research done on this topic:

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/green-tea

I might be able to use this as a way to discuss studies and how to conduct them with the students in my chemistry class. It would be interesting for them to do some research on their own and to test their own hypothesis about the effects.
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7/26/2016 11:58:19 PM

victoriachan
victoriachan
Posts: 27
Subject: Professor Yamashita
I enjoyed looking at the pictures that Professor Yamashita showed during today’s lecture because it was one thing to read about the food but another to see the presentation along with an explanation of how Japanese cuisine evolved. I knew that there was a lot of influence from other East Asian countries, but to see exactly how and when these influences occurred was eye-opening.
edited by victoriachan on 7/26/2016
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7/27/2016 12:20:18 AM

yreynoso
yreynoso
Posts: 23
Subject: Professor Yamashita on Beginning of Japanese Food
Today's lecture was very interesting from beginning to end. I really enjoyed Professor Yamashita's lecture about the beginning of Japanese food and the etymologies he described when naming dishes such as the namasu (raw meat), the niboshi, iriko ( dried anchovies, and the kabocha (pumpkin/squash), Okara (soybean lees); all these foreign names that sounded more interesting than appetizing until you have a visual. Interesting facts about appealing dishes that were created to not only feed but to honor the warriors according to their military ranks. Throughout history as Professor Yamashita described, warrior cuisine was more like a symbolic representation that denoted hierarchy, power, and class. For these meals, trays were highly symbolic. Dining was more like a private ritual where meals were ritualized and eaten in a specific order. Meals were prepared by "knifemen" and were served only to high ranking warriors. Too many facts and to interesting to digest in one sitting. This could be a very good way to present a lesson to my students where they can learn about the Japanese/Chinese Gastronomy from a historical context.
For another lesson I could research about nutrition and symbolic presentation of food on the table; about the ethics and the proper way to eat individual foods like soups, rice, noodles, and meats. The incredible variety of dishes, herbs, roots, and leaves that are mixed in the Japanese food makes me wonder about the nutritional value and the correlation between the Japanese healthy, slim frame that most people show and their longevity, along with their mental health. So many elements to analyze and study in small groups.
edited by yreynoso on 7/27/2016
edited by yreynoso on 7/27/2016
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7/27/2016 12:53:35 AM

njimenez
njimenez
Posts: 58
Subject: Japanese Table Manners
An interesting fact I learned today was who invented the noodles packages we see today in the supermarket. Also that it is polite to slurp your soup when eating noodles. Interesting to hear that because that is completely the opposite to what I was taught. However, now that I know this, I have no problem with having fun with my noodles next time I eat them.

So a question I had when learning about noodles was, what are the Japanese manners when eating at a restaurant? So I looked it up, for any of you who are interested in reading please click on the website below. Article goes over tables and seating, eating, drinking and how to eat various kinds of dishes including noodles.

Japanese Table Manners, http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2005.html
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7/27/2016 12:57:23 AM

njimenez
njimenez
Posts: 58
Subject: Have students write about noodles
Speaking of noodles did you guys notice that many people in class began to mention a memory associated with eating noodles? The professor even mentioned having fond memories during his college years because that was all he could afford. I can’t help but think about our students and the connection they would make since they seem to be so fascinated with eating them at school. Next time teachers need to have students write, why not ask them to write about the best or worst noodles soups they have ever eaten. You might get a student to open up about something they enjoy.
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7/27/2016 1:09:18 AM

yreynoso
yreynoso
Posts: 23
Subject: The Untold Story about Ramen
The article touches base with the origins of Ramen and how the "invention" of the noodles revolutionized how the Japanese introduced the ramen as an essential component of Japanese gastronomy post WWII. The true magic occurred when these "simple" noodles combined with herbs, vegetables and pieces of meat of choice could make an affordable and nutritious meal for any individual. Ramen became a socio-economical phenomena when Chinese immigration occurred and post-war conditions did not provide the Japanese with many food choices. Japanese were provided with wheat to make bread that would take care of starvation. People in this area of the world didn't like bread but noodles. That is when Ando Momofuku intervened and mentioned that "people will come to the world when they have enough to eat." He decided that it was time to create a ramen dish that could be tasty, affordable, fast, and satisfying. After trial and error, this is how this product became increasingly popular to the point that provided the Japanese a sense of national identity throughout the globe.
I did not know how important Ramen was until now when I read the article and I learned that Ramen shops have reached the level of "soft power" since is so popular that ramen shops have been opened all over the world at the same time that provides a quick and practical relief to hungry people in an increasingly rushing society where nutrition is often sacrificed for fast food. Ramen is now and international product that has transformed the Japanese economy thanks to those who like and consume ramen around the world, whether as an instant noodles version, or accessing roman shops where a more elaborated and appealing meal is served.
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7/27/2016 9:46:09 AM

aschleicher
aschleicher
Posts: 44
Subject: Seminar #3 Evaluation
The basic tenet of Japanese cuisine today is the continuation of the Heian period which was influenced by the Nara period. Eric Hath in Honzen Dining, explains that the early period Japanese meals were highly structured with a hierarchical structure for those who dined. How many trays of meal depends on the diner’s status. The “way” to go about eating the Japanese meals became highly stylized, similar to flower arranging, tea ceremony, etc. In Modern Japanese Cuisine, the author discusses at length the beginning of Western influence on the Japanese diet. Professor Yamashita spoke of Portuguese (tempura) and Dutch influences. What do modern Japanese people think about their food as cultural heritage? I am curious to know the common person's thoughts on the popularity of Japanese food around the world.
The history of ramen was an interesting portion of professor Yamashita's presentation, and I think that I can use excerpted portions of The Untold Story of Ramen in a mini-unit regarding food. I will need to find other texts about ramen, video, poetry, etc. I do think that food, and the history of food can be adapted into a unit at the high school level.
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7/27/2016 9:49:32 AM

mhagiwara
mhagiwara
Posts: 32
Subject: Kaiseki Ryori
I have been lucky enough to have traveled throughout Japan and experienced the food culture there. Japan has a very rich food culture with various types of foods depending on the region. The northern most island, Hokkaido, has great seafood along the coast but also has horse meat dishes inland; they also are known for their dairy. In Tokyo you can find an international array of foods. Osaka has a phrase, "kuidaore" that literally translates to eat until you drop. Osaka's is known for their variety of restaurants that showcase everything from traditional Japanese foods to Japanese fastfoods like "takoyaki." Kyoto has a rich tradition and it shows in its food. Kaiseki ryouri, which is elaborately prepared using only in-season ingredients, is a unique experience that will make you appreciate the preparation that goes into the multiple-course meal. When I teach about diversity in my AVID classes, for example, I want to teach it through different ways. One way I am able to do this is is through food. Most students think of Asian foods as being Chinese food. I want to teach them that each culture is different and, although they may have simiiar pasts, is unique.
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7/27/2016 3:10:48 PM

cgonzalez
cgonzalez
Posts: 59
Subject: Origin of RAmen
I think you guys will appreciate this video on the origins of Ramen. Pretty cool anime video about it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbb9qixsRQ
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7/28/2016 8:46:42 PM

gmora
gmora
Posts: 23
Subject: Andrew Zimmern visits a ramen factory in the U.S. - Bizarre Foods America
A couple weeks ago I caught a glimpse of Andrew Zimmern visiting a ramen factory. After hearing about the history of ramen and its significance, its safe to assume that the fascination and love of ramen continues. According to the article, Sun Factory in New Jersey, provides high quality ramen to top restaurants in both the U.S and Europe. Here is an article addressing this particular espisode of Bizarre Foods America. (http://www.northjersey.com/food-and-dining-news/bizarre-new-jersey-from-exotic-to-just-weird-1.588587)

I would use this info in the context of globalization. We see the first evidence of globalization when corn, potatoes and sugarcane spread across the world. Within our modern time frame we have various food products, like ramen, that have mass appeal. Students can map the spread of food items, consider the scope and reach, and also consider their impacts.
edited by gmora on 8/1/2016
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8/3/2016 3:32:35 PM

nramon
nramon
Posts: 90
Subject: Japanese Food
  • As I heard Professor Yamashita’s lecture on Japanese food I had two thoughts. First, I wished I had heard this lecture before I visited Japan this summer, and second, the tradition and spoke about resonated with a lot of my understandings of what I saw in Japan. While I was in Japan, I had the opportunity to sample a lot of Japanese cuisine, and as an open-minded diner, I was very excited to try what Japan has to offer. Part of being introduced to new cuisine however, was that from time to time, I had no idea what I was eating. What was nice about hearing this lecture was that a lot of what I ate was explained and I had the opportunity to appreciate a lot of what was offered to me despite the fact that I had already experienced. While I was in Japan, I also noticed that Japan tends to operate in a very orderly manner and they tend to have a lot of rituals and specific ways to doing things. In hearing professor Yamashita’s lecture, this was very evident in the way food trays are organized and in they way meals are consumed. Coming from an American perspective, I also noticed that Japanese food tends to be much healthier than American food, and this was particularly interesting within the context of instant noodles. My students are frequent consumers of instant noodles, however, the stigma attached to this food is that it’s unhealthy. I am curious to know of instant noodles are seen in the same light in Asia.

edited by nramon on 8/3/2016
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8/4/2016 9:33:50 PM

gmora
gmora
Posts: 23
Subject: Common Comfort Foods
Some time ago NPR ran a story on dumplings and reported that many cultures around the world have a variation of this type of food. According to the story, China has at least 300 varieties of dumpling. The fact that it can be found in so many variations and varieties around the world shows the universality of this particular food. I believe ramen noodles can be in the same category as dumplings. Many cultures have some varation of the noodle and for many people it feels like a comfort food reminding them of their childhood.

Here is the link to the story: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/08/23/214869226/our-quest-to-build-a-great-global-dumpling-list
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8/6/2016 3:44:20 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1911
Subject: How Japan Copied American Culture and Made it Better
Some may have been interested in Japanese fine-tuning of "American" products and processes. Check out this article:
Tom Downey, Smithsonian Magazine, April 2014
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/how-japan-copied-american-culture-and-made-it-better-180950189/?no-ist

the best in bourbon, burgers, and denim....
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8/6/2016 3:59:24 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1911
Subject: postcards from japan (and other places)
Our National Consortium for Teaching about Asia colleagues have produced a podcast series introducing Japanese and other Asian customs and trends. Many are outstanding. This might be a good site for someone to review. William Tsutsui did most of the Japanese ones. There are more than 300 of these one minute pieces. Perhaps they could launch discussions?

https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/handle/1808/12861

And - a piece from NPR on how Japan came to love jazz: http://www.npr.org/sections/ablogsupreme/2014/04/30/308275726/how-japan-came-to-love-jazz

There is a virtually impossible to find documentary that we featured years ago at our summer institute: Tokyo Blues. Craig McTurk made the film. It was narrated by KJazz super DJ the late Chuck Niles. There is one part focusing on a superstar kid harmonica player. He'll have you dancing. http://www.worldcat.org/title/tokyo-blues-jazz-blues-in-japan/oclc/797005891

http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.jots.200023786/default.html

Craig now teaches in Singapore: http://www.np.edu.sg/fms/aboutus/staff/Pages/mcb.aspx
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8/11/2016 11:54:26 AM

nminassian
nminassian
Posts: 23
Subject: Heian-era Cuisine
I was surprised to find that in Japanese culture mentioning of foods or scenes of eating in literature were considered vulgar and were extremely rare. It was interesting that describing drinking parties were perfectly fine. I have learned that Heian-era cuisine was a continuation of Nara-period culinary customs, and they are still recognizable as the basic tenets of Japanese cuisine today. I also have learned that the term for "chef" was hochonin or "knife welder" that usually prepared raw fish in front of guests who could enjoy his skills. It is interesting to learn that the meats (fish) has to be served separately from all sauces and flavorings.
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8/12/2016 8:49:10 AM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject: Yamashita presentation on Japanese food and Ramen
Very interesting presentation and leaves much "food for thought" pun intended of course Great opportunities for children here with comparative studies in social sciences with food. Some ideas I have for my fourth and fifth grade classes could involve both the use of Tea vs. Coffee in a colonial trade context. The lucrative trade in East India Tea taken over by the British monopoly from the Dutch could lead to some interesting learning. Students will instinctively research how tea is grown and why it was so lucrative. Many ideas with ramen to show how new foods are developed and how they can travel internationally today. This could lead to some interesting conversations pertaining to compare and contrast the expansion of ramen today with tea in the 18th century.
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8/12/2016 8:53:25 AM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject:
Excellent "food for thought" from Mr. Yamashita's presentation. Many lesson ideas for my fourth and fifth grade students. Food is always a great way to hook children into academic study and exploration. It would be interesting for students to learn about the 18th century tea trade taken over by the British from the Dutch in the 18th century and then to compare and contrast this with the current development and global expansion of ramen. Interesting immigrant thread in the Taiwanese birth of such an influential personality on modern living in Japan.
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