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It's like we're told that bakeries are unfit for Japanese culture. I feel offended. Baker and patissier rank high among professions that elementary school girls want to become when they grow up. I won


Junichi Nakamine, an executive director of the Japan Baking Industry Association comprised of 21 major bread manufacturers. Bakeries have objected after a textbook publisher changed "a bakery" that appears in an elementary school ethics textbook to "a Japanese-style wagashi confectioner" in response to suggestions the education ministry made in light of the "respect for tradition and culture" requirement under a curriculum for ethics classes. (Mainichi Shimbun)

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It's like we're told that bakeries are unfit for Japanese culture.

Judging by the line at my local melon pan shop, that may not be the opinion held by the public

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Pfff, lets all shush up and let Anpanman settle this one.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They're just playing silly buggers aren't they. Japanese bakeries really do have baked goods which are very specific to this country - and what's wrong with that?

Bakeries and hairdressers - you'll never have to walk far before you find one of either, and while you're looking you'll pass at least two convenience stores.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The changing of bakery to wagashi is laughably idiotic, and will only serve to make the textbook seem dated and out-of-touch to the students. This is what happens when spoiled and stubborn old men run the country.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Another fine example of the mindset of the reformers. Absolutely ridiculous. Laughable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a silly decision! Completely agree with Nakamine-san and even think bakery and 'patisserie' is now very much part of Japanese culture, which is great.

Tell these folks that cultures do evolve over time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Outside my station we got DonQ, little mermaid, kobeya kitchen, mini one, beard papa, a swedish bakery and a bakery or two inside Ito Yokado.

No lack of bakeries here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

More nihonjinron "uniquely unique" bs. Japanese bakeries aren't just a part of Japanese culture, but they're a bigger part of everyday live than bakeries in my American hometown.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just grant the bakeries in Japan UNESCO World Heritage Status, and then watch how quickly these dinosaurs down at the ministry of education change their tune.

I never understand people shackled to tradition. Japanese sweets weren't on the table since day one. At one point in time these traditions weren't traditions; they were new innovations. These oyajis are so enslaved to the past, that they stifle innovation, growth, and prosperity. They're obsessively in love with cultural relics from the past for which they had no participation, but they think, simply by virtue of their blood, they have full rights to the royalties of the inventions of past innovators.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Maria: And also three dry cleaners and four dentist offices.

I love Japanese bakeries. I wish I could not read Japanese though as that would make it so much more fun.

I never translate for relatives and friends visiting. I love to see their faces when they think they are buying something as simple as a cinnamon doughnut only to find it is that really dry wheat powder stuff and no sugar at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@goldorak I agree. Japanese bakeries are making some pretty good bread these days. 20 years ago...not so much, but as you said, cultures evolve.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I don't eat bread, but I do enjoy wandering around bakeries and looking at their offerings. They are a huge and important part of life in Japan, and just about everyone here has their favourite bakery or cake shop. I like looking at Japanese wagashi sweets, too. Why can't the two co-exist side by side?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it's hilarious, frankly, because most of them have no right to be called "bakeries" to begin with, and, sorry, but they are admitting that with the new name -- I just don't think they're doing it in the way they no doubt intended. I would trade every single 'bakery' in Japan for ONE good one with pumpernickel, fresh rye, multi-grain, REAL brioche, focaccia, FRESH baguettes (not pre-baked and frozen for heating), ciabatta, sour dough, ezekiel, etc., instead of just lathering everything up with mayonnaise, tuna, and the always-present triple corn.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I think it's hilarious, frankly, because most of them have no right to be called "bakeries" to begin with

Apparently you live in the one part of Japan that hasn't changed in 25 years, because what you describe is something from 1990. The bread here used to be bad, but now it's easier to buy good bread in Japan than it is in North America.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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