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Court Food versus Common Food

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Chapter Summary

While the transmission of Buddhism to Japan brought new technology and food traditions, early Japan also preserved the rituals of Shinto, its pre- Buddhist native belief system. Noodles and noodle technology did proliferate; in fact, the author would argue that noodles and the dishes that featured them began to dominate Japanese cuisine precisely because of this lack of appetizing competition. The technology to make noodles in zesty sauces entered Japan from China on the back of Buddhist study and, it seemed, at the right time. In this chapter, the author says that to investigate regional soy sauce production and unlock the mysteries behind regional taste differences, he journeyed to Tatsuno City to interview staff at the Kamigata Soy Sauce Museum. The Japanese were producing miso and had developed an offshoot, soy sauce, which expanded their repertoire of tastes and increased the desire to eat better.

Keywords:Buddhism; Japan; Kamigata Soy Sauce Museum; miso; noodles; Shinto; soy sauce



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