As with all cultures, Japanese cuisine is heavily influenced by its culture, traditions and ingredients that are indigenous to the land. In previous articles we have talked about the different ingredients that are staples to the Japanese diet, how to make sushi at home and also some of their quirky fun, like their first ever hot tub amusement park. Before we dive more into Japanese cuisine we thought we would share a little bit more on the Japanese culture.
Getting To Know The Japanese Culture
- The country of Japan is made up of 6,900 islands
- 73% of the country is actually made up of mountains, although the majority of people reside along the coastlines
- It is deemed one of the most densely populated countries in its region
- The Japanese language is comprised of 3 different alphabets: Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana
- The earlier culture of Japan was heavily influenced by China, however over the years Western culture has began to influence lifestyle, food and art
- There are 2 main religions in Japan that are followed: Buddhism and Shinto
- The biggest holiday celebrated is New Years, although during summer & spring months celebrations of the god Matsuri take place
- Sports are huge in Japan and mainly center around Sumo, Judo and Karate, although baseball, rugby and soccer have shown influence over the years as well
- Japanese are primarily fish eaters although they do enjoy other meats as well
- Japan is the #1 fish importer in the world!
- Japanese don’t believe tipping is customary when dining out, riding in cabs etc.
- Japanese believe in taking their shoes off before they their home or others homes. If there is a tatami mat or other type of mat near the door that generally means that shoes should be removed before entering.
- Slurping your noodles is considered part of the Japanese custom and shows that you are enjoying your food
- It’s important that you use chopsticks the RIGHT way and with proper etiquette
Often times we are so used to the culture we ourselves live in that we don’t necessarily recognize the importance different things or ways play in another culture. Taking time to understand a culture that is different than are own can not only be fascinating and exciting it can also teach us a lot about different parts of the world. Just like we enjoy the cuisine of other cultures we should open our minds and hearts to enjoying the vulture as a whole.