Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan

Front Cover
University of California Press, Dec 2, 2010 - History - 258 pages
How did one dine with a shogun? Or make solid gold soup, sculpt with a fish, or turn seaweed into a symbol of happiness? In this fresh look at Japanese culinary history, Eric C. Rath delves into the writings of medieval and early modern Japanese chefs to answer these and other provocative questions, and to trace the development of Japanese cuisine from 1400 to 1868. Rath shows how medieval "fantasy food" rituals—where food was revered as symbol rather than consumed—were continued by early modern writers. The book offers the first extensive introduction to Japanese cookbooks, recipe collections, and gastronomic writings of the period and traces the origins of dishes like tempura, sushi, and sashimi while documenting Japanese cooking styles and dining customs.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Japanese Cuisine a Backward Journey
11
Cutting Ceremonies and Cuisine
38
3 Ceremonial Banquets
52
4 The Barbarians Cookbook
85
5 Food and Fantasy in Culinary Books
112
6 Menus for the Imagination
121
7 Deep Thought Wheat Gluten and Other Fantasy Foods
166
After the Fantasies
182
The Southern Barbarians Cookbook Nanban ryorisho
189
Notes
197
Bibliography
227
Index
239
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Eric C. Rath is Associate Professor of Japanese History at the University of Kansas and the author of The Ethos of Noh: Actors and their Art.

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