food

Japan wants cuisine listed as UNESCO heritage

38 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2012 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
Login to comment

The government said washoku was characterized by respect for nature and the importance placed on the way in which dishes are served as well as the quality of ingredients used.

I think the important word here is WAS... certainly modern Japan doesn't respect the oceans anymore, no doubt thanks to massive fishing fleets and a voracious appetite for tuna (among others)

7 ( +10 / -3 )

yes, well deserved: japanese food is the best in the world, way above second best

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

It's funny, this seems like an extension of the logic of ESL lessons I taught in Japan. Target topic for the lesson - Giving Advice. Tamarama "What can you recommend I do in Wakayama? I'm thinking of going there for a holiday". Garden Gnome "You can eat many delicious oranges" Tamarama "Mmm, I probably wouldn't travel to Wakayama just to eat Oranges. What else can I do?" Garden Gnome "Mmmmm..............you can eat many delicious seafoods" Tamarama "OK, look. When I travel, I don't really travel somewhere because of the food. I want to see things, do things, meet chicks, you know.....you get it. But food is secondary. So let's start again with say, Shikoku." Garden Gnome "Mmmmmm....mm....mmmm...In Shikoku you can eat great Soba" Tamarama (Thinking to himself) "Is thing guy taking the piss out of me? I can even partially answer this question and I've never even been to Shikoku. Tamarama "Mate, listen to me. I'm not interested in the food specialty of Shikoku, or Wakayama or anywhere really for that matter. I want to DO and SEE things there. Food will not weigh into this decision. In conversations with foreigners I think this is probably generally a good rule of thumb. Now, let's try again, this time with Kyushu. And see that window there? If you mention food to me, you will be heading out of it" Garden Gnome "Ehhhh.....mmmmm....ehhh....mm...in Kyushu you can eat very good Udon...." True story. The convoluted point is...I think their motivations are a bit wierd here. As a prospective traveller to Japan I'm not seriously worried about the food. And certainly the popularity of Japanese food in the rest of the world won't suffer. Oh, wait, that's not REAL Japanese food. This is more a reflection of how Japan sees the world thatn how the world sees Japan. Or food, for that matter.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Food should be exempt from UNESCO coverage. Every culture has its own unique food.

11 ( +14 / -2 )

Food should be exempt from UNESCO coverage. Every culture has its own unique food.

British cuisine is unique, but I would never even think of praising it. As much as I love my roast beef and yorkshire pud, toad in the hole, etc, it just doesn't match the quality of Japanese cuisine.

-3 ( +2 / -6 )

As a prospective traveller to Japan I'm not seriously worried about the food. And certainly the popularity of Japanese food in the rest of the world won't suffer. Oh, wait, that's not REAL Japanese food. This is more a reflection of how Japan sees the world thatn how the world sees Japan. Or food, for that matter.

The food is delicious, nothing to be worried about as you will definitely find something you like. The non-Japanese cuisine is also very good. If you like meat try Korean barbecue, the Italian restaurants are good too, but too many pizza oriented places!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese food was not affected by "rumors", it was contaminated by radiation.

10 ( +13 / -4 )

The government said washoku was characterized by respect for nature

The accident sent poisonous radioactive particles into the air and water

These two seem to be mutually exclusive.

4 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan said Friday it was applying to UNESCO to have its cuisine listed as a global cultural treasure as part of a bid to restore global confidence in its food after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Gee, why would UNESCO even think of rejecting that line of reasoning?

Perhaps the Japanese will offer half-off contaminated seafood to sweeten the deal?

2 ( +5 / -4 )

Explain that one. How a cuisine that originated centuries before nuclear energy has any connection with your argument? You are aware that during the edo-period the sushi chef sat on a chair and the customers stood at his rear-car.

This is like saying that Chicken Kiev or Beef Stroganoff is the same as eating Chernobyl radiated food.

-1 ( +3 / -5 )

The nation also “needs to restore confidence in Japanese food, which has been adversely affected by rumours due to the nuclear accident” at Fukushima, the government said.

Rumours? It's a fact, whether the Japanese pretend it isn't or not. They might be able to fool their own people, but the rest of the world isn't going to buy it - or the food!

3 ( +5 / -3 )

British cuisine is unique, but I would never even think of praising it. As much as I love my roast beef and yorkshire pud, toad in the hole, etc, it just doesn't match the quality of Japanese cuisine.

It does now!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Oh, this is really pathetic.

Japan: "In my country we eat some food. Please tell us that this is unique, so that we can continue to pretend we are unique".

UNESCO: "No. Every country has its unique food culture."

Japan: "Why do you hate Japan?'

The government said washoku was characterized by respect for nature

Please. Listen to yourselves.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

The real question is what DOESN'T Japan want listed as a 'world heritage (site)'? It seems every year you here about town A and town B applying to UNESCO because they believe their town is worthy of selection.

"The government said washoku was characterized by respect for nature and the importance placed on the way in which dishes are served as well as the quality of ingredients used."

'Respect for nature'?? And, ahem, tell us again why Japan is applying to UNESCO for its food to be listed? Ah, that's right, to boost consumer confidence and sales that have dropped because of the ongoing ecological disaster at the Fukushima plant.

I love Japanese food, and believe it is among (not at the top) of the world's best foods, but it doesn't deserve any special recognition and more than others do.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Japanese food is pretty good. So is Thai and Indian. And Greek. Let's just put all the cuisines of the world on the list. Ah, but the Japanese might be offended by doing that.

10 ( +11 / -2 )

That is plain stupid and I hope it is refused. Damage control over contaminated food and the only confidence other countries will have is when they can see that only food with zero rads is being sold, and even then it'll take several years to repair the damage.

All foods of all countries is unique. Many Japanese dishes started out as Chinese.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

We still roast chicken in "Wood fire" and its been done for more than 1000 yrs. Where can we get application for UNESCO "heritage"?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's pretty ironic that the whole "sushi" craze in Japan (which didn't even start in Japan) was spread out largely because of an Earthquake in 1923. Before that it was a fairly localized food.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sushi

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Food should be exempt from UNESCO coverage. Every culture has its own unique food.

I agree! I will say that I have eaten Japanese food in LA that tasted better than what I had in Tokyo!

1 ( +4 / -4 )

I agree in listing it if it makes them happy. But please exclude Ikura, Natto and Uni. I hate them.

-1 ( +5 / -5 )

Yes, the reasoning is wrong ... "Japan said Friday it was applying to UNESCO to have its cuisine listed as a global cultural treasure as part of a bid to restore global confidence in its food after the Fukushima nuclear disaster."

Why not use a better reason in trying to gain UNESCO recognation: like, so that the rest of the world can discover the good taste and health values of Japanese food. Drop the nuclear disaster sympathy bit. That logic would scare me.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

Are there other cuisine that are already included in the UNESCO Heritage list?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I disagree Zichi-san. No real Japanese food started out as Chinese. It depends on what you want to call real Japanese food. Gyouza is not one of them.

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

Ok, thumbs down people....show me where Natto originated...sushi, soba, kusaiya...nandemo

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan wants cuisine listed as UNESCO heritage...............................if the Japanese Government and people are so passionate about whale eating ( cultural tradition and all ), then they should promote whale cuisine Japanese style to the world, like at trade shows etc ..............

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Many Japanese dishes started out as Chinese.

that includes tofu, ramen, gyoza, tea, shoyu, rice, nori

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I think this just the typical Jaapanese"we are better than averyone else" syndrome poking it's ugly head through. Ciuld it be anti-semitic in some way? I love Japan and have lived here for 17 years, but the idiosyncracies she brings about sometimes are simply ridiculous. Food is food, yes, Japanese food is good, but is it the best?? Is there a best amongst foods? Wsohku is great, healthy and some is quite delicious, but I really don't think any food is deserving of UNESCO calssification. If anything, make all foods from all over the world as world heritage. Let's go to a French restaurant and talk about best tasting. I also second Chicken Kiev.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Let's be honest, the best cuisine are Chinese and French. Japanese and Italian are up there among the second tier. The world should really organise a " Food Olympic Game " .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ridiculous

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Will it also include the cooking of whale flesh?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The world should really organise a " Food Olympic Game " .

Can I volunteer to be a judge?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan for petes sake put away the stupid ''Kawaiisoooooo!"" card, & stop making out like yr victim of something, frankly its embarassing.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Bintoro/bincho-maguro and negitoro should definitely be included in the global cultural treasure category, they are scrumptious!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

yeah until the tuna run out on account of the J-Love for eating nature out of house & home!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here's a simple idea. Japan is well known for the best " ist " award. Let the nation runs an annual best sushiist, ramenist, tempuraist etc from all food venders. Winners can run banners/advertisements as the best in their field of specialty. The tourist board can promote them internationally........good for business and before you know it japan will be known as foodies paradise. Sure beat sending out the AKB 48 ( not that I don't like the kawaii babes in school uniform )

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I say Japanese food is the best...but Japanese rice is the pits.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

i stand corrected after so many thumbs down, so here's my new opinion:

japanese food is truly and objectively the best of the best, and the second best is many miles behind

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I say Japanese food is the best...but Japanese rice is the pits.

What is the pits about Japanese rice? Yes rice from different locations has it's own flavor and each persons palate is different yet if you think Japanese food is the best, and seeing how rice is a MAJOR part of Japanese food, your logic seems flawed to me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites