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Actress Rei Dan appointed 'washoku' ambassador

21 Comments

Japanese actress Rei Dan has been appointed an international goodwill ambassador for Japanese cuisine ("washoku"). Her mission is to spread appreciation for the many charms of "washoku," the agriculture ministry said.

After receiving her certificate from Agriculture Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Feb 27, Dan said, "It is my honor to have been appointed as ambassador and I look forward to spreading appreciation for true Japanese cuisine to the entire world," Sports Nippon reported.

To promote the campaign, the ministry has designed posters with the phrase "Washoku - Savor the taste of the Japanese spirit." The PR posters (photo below) have been printed in six languages including English, Chinese and French, and will be distributed to Japanese restaurants overseas.

The ministry also appointed 13 other individuals along with Dan, including Japanese chefs and other cultural figures to assist with the campaign.

"Through the efforts of Rei-san and the other goodwill ambassadors, our ministry hopes to create a great deal of hype at this year's Milan Expo as we introduce the world to the beautifully refined and modest nature of the Japanese style," Hayashi said.

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21 Comments
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Let's not get to angry if washouku changes a bit in other countries. Mayo corn pizza anyone?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It would seem that Ajinomoto and other food giants should be paying for this promotion, not Taro taxpayer.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Savor the taste of the Japanese spirit." doesn't really seem like a slogan that maps to the wonders of Japanese food.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@warispeace, you beat me to it with MSG Inc.

Can MAFF spread some appreciation for true unadulterated Japanese cuisine domestically, too?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does she speak any foreign languages or will she have an interpreter?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Savor the taste of the Japanese spirit - If I do, will I be possessed by some Japanese spirit?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rei Dan? shame, I wish it was Mitsu Dan instead.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why should I a taxpayer pay someone peddling the food giants product when the food giants have a lot more yen than I do? I want to see my yen spent on programs that help people here in the country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ho, hum. Yawn.

There is nothing "special" about washoku except the presentation. Nobody beats Japan when it comes to presentation.

Compared to Middle Eastern food, Indian food, Italian food, Greek food...oh, the list goes on, washoku offers nothing in comparison (oh, except that presentation).

As for the "food" itself, far too much reliance on seafood, contributing substantially to the demise of the world's oceans. No ocean, no planet. No planet, no future.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

HM7769, You had me until you mentioned seafood. That's more of a problem to do with the self-restraint of fishermen, businesses, and consumers of particular fish, not really washoku itself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Aren't people who go to Japanese restaurants already interested in Japanese food? Do they need a poster in their language to tell them to go eat Japanese food when they're already In a Japanese restaurant? Of course, McDonald's worldwide probably won't let them put a poster up in their stores but surely some place other than a Japanese restaurant to promote Japanese food to people who don't know/like/appreciate Japanese food?

Maybe a couple of international hotels, airports, upscale shopping malls, the street_

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Actress Rei Dan appointed 'washoku' ambassador

I see she's with Hayashi, one of those die-hard whaling advocates. (And we all know whale meat has been disappearing from Japanese plates for a few decades now) Couldn't someone more appropriate have given her the certificate? The emperor or crown prince perhaps?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Magnus Roe. Great point-

I wanted to say that. Please say this gal can speak enough English rather than have some 2-bit interpreter to force others to say, "Oishi! Oishi!" -like they friggn' do all the time on Japanese TV. Pathetic.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am so tired of this whole washoku hype. Sure, nothing wrong with Japanese food, but do we need these endless self-congratulatinos?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I absolutely agree. If Japanese food is so great, why do we keep having to fork out on expensive campaigns to get people to eat it? It really is quite pathetic, like a plain girl asking you over and over again if you think she's pretty.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The "if ___ is so great" argument is lame. Why do companies promote their products, ever?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kickboard - when companies promote their products, they do it with their own money. This little junket is coming out of your pocket and mine.

And like borscht so wisely points out above, this campaign will be carried out in Japanese restaurants worldwide, wherein we can assume the diners have already decided to eat Japanese food. The whole thing is a navel-gazing, pointless waste of tax revenue which would be far better spent on the Tohoku recovery.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You make a good point Harold. However, as a taxpayer living in Japan, if this plan results in more visitors coming to Japan and dropping cash, I'm a happy camper.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@kickboard

+1

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Great Food", sells itself. Dont need any cultural / PR hype to sell it everywhere. Especially, @ the expence mr&mrs. Sato-

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I look forward to spreading appreciation for true Japanese cuisine to the entire world,” Sports Nippon reported.

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That means they will visit USA. Dpn't need to learn more English. USA people know English. Hope they don't skip Vegas. There are many different kind of Japanese restaurants. Very popular. Differemt kind of sushi and sashimi. No whale or pork. Ever since Japanese people live longer news came out, Japanese rice based washoku are very popular in USA. Hashi, they use better than I do in restaurants and buffets.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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