- Food in Japan is influenced by China and Korea.
- Rice was introduced from Korea in 400 B.C.
- Religion plays a major role in Japan’s culinary development.
- Buddhism became the official religion in the 6th Century.
- They prohibited meat and fish early on.
- Eventually, when it could be preserved, the island nation included fish.
- Daifuku was originally called Habutai mochi (腹太餅) (belly thick rice cake) because of its filling nature.
- Later, the name was changed to Daifuku mochi(大腹餅) (big belly rice cake).
- Since the pronunciations of Fuku (腹) (belly) and Fuku (福) (luck) are the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi (大福餅) (great luck rice cake), a bringer of good luck.
- By the end of the 18th century, Daifuku were gaining popularity and people began eating them toasted. They were also used for gifts in ceremonial occasions.
Tables and Seating
- Some restaurants in Japan have low tables and cushions on tatami floor instead of (or in addition to) Western style chairs and tables.
- Shoes and slippers have to be removed before stepping on tatami.
- Avoid stepping onto cushions other than your own. See the sitting page for more details about sitting techniques and rules.
- Wet towels (oshibori) are provided at most restaurant to clean your hands before eating.
- After ordering, it is common to wait for everyone's order and then to start the meal with the phrase "itadakimasu" ("I gratefully receive"). If a dish is better eaten right away but others at the table have not been served yet, the phrases "osaki ni dōzo" ("please go ahead") or "osaki ni itadakimasu" ("allow me to start before you") can be useful.
Listen & Practice!
- When eating from small bowls, it is correct manner to pick up the bowl with your hand and lead it close to your mouth when eating from it; however, larger types of dishes should generally not be picked up.
- When eating from shared dishes (as it is commonly done at some restaurants such asizakaya), it is polite to use the opposite end of your chopsticks or dedicated serving chopsticks for moving food.
- Blowing your nose at the table, burping and audible munching are considered bad manners in Japan.
- On the other hand, it is considered good style to empty your dishes to the last grain of rice.
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Video adapted from original = https://youtu.be/IbtHl8kaLWg