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JAPAN CULTURE: TRADITIONAL FOOD, DRINKS & ARTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

People have always been captivated by Japan’s culture & traditions. And we thought we’d share some of its interesting food, drinks, and arts here!



a shot of japan downtown with japan map

The Land of the Rising Sun is an archipelago and strings of islands; Japan is a country brimming with wonders. When Japan opened its International Trade to the world in 1853, visitors couldn’t get enough of this country. Japan is an ever-changing country with mind-blowing innovative technology making them one of the most advanced countries, pop culture, adhering to values and traditions, and abundant gastronomical creations of food and arts never stop leaving us astonished. If you’re a fan of Japan, you’re at the right place!


One word: Umami

For people who love to eat, Japan is your paradise on earth. Japanese people are meticulous about the food they consume and create. Traditional Japanese cuisine emphasizes its ingredients, methods, elements, and cooking procedures. In Japanese cooking, a sixth flavor was introduced to our palates, the magical flavor of “umami.” And the best part about Japanese food is the way they are presented– coherent to a work of art.


1. Sushi

assorted sushi on a plate with rose fermented ginger, soy sauce, wasabi, and chopsticks

Sushi is a food icon in Japan and even in the world. It is said that the Japanese back in the day were looking for ways to preserve raw fish by storing them in fermented rice. From there, Sushi was born. This dish is traditionally prepared with vinegared rice, sometimes with sugar and salt, and other ingredients. There are several types of Sushi, two of which are Urumaki and Temaki. A lot may think Sushi-making is hard, but we guarantee you, it’s far from what’s expected. Keep reading to find out!



2. Wagyu

slices of beef wagyu garnished with chives, lemon, mushroom, and parsely on top of banana leaves

We assume you’ve already heard Wagyu before, but what is Wagyu? Wagyu is a breed from four Japanese cattle breeds: Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, Japanese Black, and Japanese Shorthorn. The term wagyu refers to the marbling of the beef– the fat layers you may see in the meat, making it tender, juicier, and surprisingly flavorful.



3. Miso Soup

a bwl of miso soup with tofu and green veggies

Miso Soup is a Japanese staple paired with many meals in Japan. It is traditionally made with miso paste as its crucial ingredient, dashi, vegetables, tofu, abura-age, seafood, fish, and a whole lot more ingredients to add according to preference. Did you know miso soup is also best served with sushi? Absolutely!



Kampai!

Truth be told, Japanese people love to drink. Drinking is a part of their culture to cope and build connections. Japanese people enjoyed alcohol even in the 16th century when sake was first enjoyed, followed by beer consumption in the 17th century. The Japanese drinking culture also observes etiquette, such as serving one another and replenishing your friend’s glass before it is empty. And if you’re the type to drink before a party starts, that’s a no-no in the culture.


1. Sake


sake poured to a small porcelain glass and rice in the background

Also referred to as “nihonshu,” Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine known worldwide. It is brewed and fermented using Japanese rice, water, and Koji mold as three crucial ingredients to this infamous alcohol. Sake is sweet, non-carbonated, and light in color.



2. Matcha

fine matcha powder in a cocktail spoon beside a glass of matcha drink with green straw and a matcha bamboo stirrer

As a part of Japanese tea culture, Matcha had its roots in the 12 centuries. It is traditionally used in tea ceremonies in Japan. However, not all match leaves are used to create this gem. Only the most premium quality matcha leaves are processed through drying and milling before they are grounded to a fine powder. Matcha has become one of the most requested flavors, especially in Bubble Tea Making and mixology.



3. Bamboo

Bamboo is a vintage Japanese cocktail from the 1900s that features Sherry, dry vermouth, fino or oloroso wine, and bitters. This cocktail is usually served and enjoyed as an aperitif.



Japanese Art Treasures

Japanese arts and crafts are one of the world’s greatest gifts. Every Japanese art is influenced by history, heritage, traditions, and cultures. It is a facade of various art forms that are applaudable and eccentric. Apart from ceramics and sculptures, Japanese art comprises different styles and media.



1. Suminagashi

Suminagashi, or “ink floating,” is a traditional Japanese art of marbling. Japanese people have used Suminagashi for centuries, and it was used as a meditative practice to find peace by calming and focusing one’s mind. This art form is a therapeutic activity that is done by adding ink one drop at a time to a basin of water. Unique patterns are created by carefully blowing air, using a brush, straw, and hair to create movement in it gently. The patterns produced are then carefully transferred to paper or cloth.



2. Origami

bird origami creations using patterned paper

Origami is an ancient Japanese art of paper folding. It was first discovered in Japan during ancient times and has continued to be practiced by the Japanese until today. Origami figures are inspired by life-like images ranging from birds to more complex folding techniques. Because of how amusingly it is done, Origami has developed enthusiasts that push the boundaries of paper folding. Thus, using Origami to solve innovative and technical problems.



3. Kintsugi

According to art historians, the discovery of Kintsugi was an accident when a shogun broke his tea bowl. After an attempt to repair his bowl, local artisans tried to put it back together, used gold lacquer, and gave it a new unique look. Since then, the art of Kintsugi was from the perspective of “mottonai” and “mushin”-- the feelings of regret and acceptance. Kintsugi teaches people a very important life lesson that stays forever. Acceptance, resilience, and persistence are key to a meaningful, fruitful life.


Experience Japanese Culture

three kits by food craft experiences of suminagashi, sushi rolling, and kintsugi with DIY kits

There’s a lot to love about Japan’s culture and traditions. The country, the people, their efficiency, the cleanliness and the quiet, and most especially, the food, drinks, and arts. Japan is a moment, and we need to experience it. As a team passionate about celebrating cultures and traditions, we want to create lasting moments with you. Celebrate and dive deeper into Japan’s culture and pride in our virtual and in-person experiences inspired by Suminagashi, Kintsugi, and Sushi Rolling. Brace yourself for an authentic experience that you’re bound to witness!



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2 comentarios


Interesting thread. Curious about bamboo and Kintsugi

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fulfillment113
fulfillment113
04 oct 2022

I love Suminagashi!

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