1st Edition

Itadakimasu! The Food Culture of Japan いただきます!

By Becky A. Brown Copyright 2021
    212 Pages 76 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    212 Pages 76 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Itadakimasu! The Food Culture of Japan is designed as a first- or second-year college course in Japanese culture for students who have little to no background in the Japanese language, culture, literature, or history. Unlike any other culture text, Itadakimasu! offers a unique approach to learning about culture through a country’s cuisine. This account takes students on an exciting journey into the world of Japanese food culture, both past and present, exploring themes such as regional specialties, annual festivals, traditional foodways, prominent tea masters, culinary expressions, restaurant menus, dining etiquette, mealtime customs, and culinary aesthetics. Itadakimasu! also addresses current events in the food industry and agribusiness, health and nutrition, dieting trends, fast food, and international and Western influences. Enhancing this wealth of cultural material are autobiographical essays written by guest contributors and varied literary excerpts featuring food themes across different genres in literature spanning many centuries. Each of the readings is supplemented by general comprehension questions followed by more probing queries calling on critical and analytical thinking to methodically guide students from a cursory understanding of a new culture to reflections on their own experiences and other world cultures. Resources also highlight food-centric films so that students can witness what they are learning about in an authentic cultural context. Furthermore, teachers and students alike can enjoy food tasting labs in the classroom, fostering yet another authentic experience for the students.

    With the intention of reaching a broad audience of students majoring or minoring in Japanese or Asian Studies, or students learning English as a Foreign Language or English for Specific Purposes, Itadakimasu! could also be useful for composition and conversation courses and the Writing Across the Curriculum series or as a supplement for 'Four Skills' Japanese language courses and introductory Japanese literature offerings. Above all, its multifaceted design with a broad spectrum of self-contained sections welcomes individual teaching styles and preferences.

    Itadakimasu! paints an appetizing image of Japan’s society with just a dash of culture, a pinch of language, and a taste of literature to tempt the palate of students new to the study of Japan. Meant to enhance the regular curriculum, this innovative approach to learning about Japan suggests that the culinary world can lend an insightful view into a country’s culture. Historical and contemporary foodways are universal elements common to all cultures, making the subject matter inherently relatable.

    An Instructors Manual containing sample syllabi, learning outcomes, handout templates, study guides, background content and more is available at www.routledge.com/9780367903572. 

    1. Sakizuke 先付 Appetizer 2. Wanmono 椀物 Soup 3. Mukōzuke 向付 Sashimi 4. Yakimono 焼き物 Grilled Dish 5. Nimono 煮物 Simmered Dish 6. Agemono 揚げ物 Fried Dish 7. Mushimono 蒸し物 Steamed Dish 8. Sunomono 酢の物 Salad 9. Shokuji 食事 Rice Dish 10. Mizugashi 水菓子 Dessert


    Becky A. Brown is Professor Emerita of Linguistics at Purdue University, USA, and author of À Table! The Food Culture of France. Her research centers on sociolinguistic analyses of Romance languages concerning code-switching, multilingualism, sociolects, heritage language, and methodologies in language learning. Her innovative pedagogical approaches, beginning with early iterations of technological applications in the classroom in the 1980s and spanning to her creative vision today, have been recognized with many respected teaching awards and honors.