Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Japan and the Sea

It is so often said that Japan is “a small island nation, poor in natural resources” one almost forgets the reality that Japan is an archipelago made up of thousands of islands. Japanese sometimes refer to their own national character as reflecting an “island nation mentality,” pointing toward the sense of being a self-contained society and culture isolated from others by the surrounding seas. Whether this is reflected in national character, it is certainly true that the sea plays an eno...

Feature Article

Cuisine and Identity in Contemporary Japan

Editor’s Note: Portions of this article appeared in Victoria Bestor and Theodore C. Bestor, with Akiko Yamagata, eds., Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society (New York: Routledge Publishers, 2011). Food is all around us, yet remarkably elusive for something seemingly so concrete and mundane. People grow it, buy it, prepare it, eat it, savor it (or not) every day, everywhere, often without much thought about food’s significance in larger social, cultural, or historical schemes. F...

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