洋食 yōshoku

In Japanese cuisine, yōshoku (洋食 western food) refers to a style of Western-influenced cooking which originated during the Meiji Restoration. These are primarily Japanized forms of European dishes, often featuring Western names, and usually written in katakana. At the beginning of the Meiji Restoration (1868 to 1912), national seclusion was eliminated, and the Meiji Emperor…

Journeys in Japan : The Niyodo River

The Niyodo River in Shikoku is one of Japan’s most beautiful rivers. It is known for the clarity of its water, which has such a distinctive aquamarine color that it’s become known in Japan as “Niyodo Blue.” Sara Ariafar explores the river and the surrounding forests. She meets with people living in the area. And…

薩摩切子Satsuma kiriko

Satsuma kiriko (薩摩切子) is a type of cut glass from Japan. It was manufactured by the Satsuma clan from the final years of the Edo period to the beginning of the Meiji period (1868–1912). Today, faithful reproductions are produced. Shimazu Narioki (1791–1859), a feudal lord of the Edo period, invited glass craftsmen from Edo (now Tokyo)…

鍋物 Nabe

Nabemono (なべ物, nabe “cooking pot” + mono “thing or things, object, matter”) or simply nabe, is a variety of Japanese hot pot dishes, also known as one pot dishes and “things in a pot. Most nabemono are stews and soups served during the colder seasons. In modern Japan, nabemono are kept hot at the dining…

萩 Hagi: The Cradle of Modern Japan

Hagi is a former castle town off the major transport ways along the tranquil Sea of Japan coast in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It used to be the capital of the Mori Clan, one of the most powerful clans during the feudal age. Mori lords governed present Yamaguchi (then known as Choshu) for more than 250 years…

シルクSilk

For a long period of time Japan produced the best quality silks in the world, better than those produced in China. In the 19th century silkworm eggs from Japan that were resistant to the rare disease of tacherie, silkworm Nosema disease and flacheriem, as confirmed in a report by Louis Pasteur in 1865, saved the…

天ぷら Tempura

Tempura ( 天麩羅  is a classical Portuguese dish brought to and popularized by Japan, consisting of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. Japanese ancient deep-fried food was either simply fried without breading or batter, or fried with rice flour. However, toward the end of the 16th century, a method using flour and eggs…

下駄 Geta

Geta (下駄) are a form of traditional Japanese footwear that resemble both clogs and flip-flops. They are a kind of sandal with an elevated wooden base held onto the foot with a fabric thong to keep the foot well above the ground. They are worn with traditional Japanese clothing such as kimono or yukata, but (in…

そば – 蕎麦 Soba

Soba  is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It usually refers to thin noodles made from buckwheat flour, or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours (Nagano soba). They contrast to thick wheat noodles, called udon. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. In Japan,…

芸者 Geisha

Geisha (芸者) are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses. Their skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games, and conversation, traditionally to entertain male customers, but also female customers today. Geisha like all Japanese nouns, has no distinct singular or plural variants. The word consists of two kanji, 芸 (gei)…