What is WASHOKU?


What is WASHOKU?

WASHOKU is not simply a term to describe a food.
It is a broad concept that includes Japanese culture.
To understand WASHOKU, one must understand Japanese culture.

An example would be Kaiseki cuisine, which includes the concept of Zen.
In Zen, meat eating is forbidden.
Therefore, many foods that imitate meat are used.
The food called ganmodoki was conceived as a protein supplement for monks who were forbidden to eat meat.
Tofu and miso are also used in kaiseki cuisine.
Tofu and miso have become popular around the world as low-calorie, high-protein foods.

Many Japanese are not always aware of the culture behind WASHOKU. By eating WASHOKU, Japanese people are subconsciously in touch with Japanese culture.

For example, Japanese people say “Itadakimasu,” a word of gratitude to nature, before each meal. Itadakimasu” is an expression of gratitude to the animals that provide food for us and to the farmers who grow our grains. These words reflect the Buddhist and Shinto beliefs that value gratitude to others.