• ISSN: 2010-3646
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Social. Scienc. Humanit.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly (2011-2014); Monthly (2015-2018); Quarterly (Since 2019)
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJSSH
    • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Paul Sudnik
    • Executive Editor: Mr. Ron C. Wu
    • Abstracting/ Indexing: Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Crossref, Electronic Journals Library
    • E-mail: ijssh@ejournal.net
IJSSH 2017 Vol.7(12): 729-734 ISSN: 2010-3646
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2017.V7.916

The Redefinition of Washoku as National Cuisine: Food Politics and National Identity in Japan

Isami Omori
Abstract—This study investigates the process of nominating Japanese cuisine (washoku) for inscription on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. It discusses the process by which washoku was redefined and restructured as the Japanese national cuisine and the role of globalization in that process. First, research literature regarding the birth and evolution of washoku is reviewed. Second, how washoku emerged as the leading national cuisine and was redefined between 2011 and 2012 in discussions in Japanese governmental committees is explained. Third, a content analysis of articles from Japanese newspapers is employed. The role of the print news media was examined by an evaluation of newspaper article content during the crucial period when the decision regarding inscription was being made. The results suggest that washoku has been socially reconstructed to fit the modern global context by newspaper articles focusing on the meaning of washoku for the clarification of Japanese national identity.

Index Terms—Japanese cuisine, UNESCO, identity, national cuisine.

I. Omori is with Mukogawa Women’s University, Nishinomiya, Japan (e-mail: omori_i@mukogawa-u.ac.jp).


Cite: Isami Omori, "The Redefinition of Washoku as National Cuisine: Food Politics and National Identity in Japan," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 7, no. 12, pp. 729-734, 2017.

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