JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.95

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Washoku - Japanese Cuisine -

Washoku - Japanese Cuisine -
Washoku - Japanese Cuisine -

Japan is surrounded by ocean and geographically extends a long distance north to south. This gives rise to four distinct seasons and rich nature, which produce various ingredients.

Washoku is the term used to describe traditional cuisine that utilizes and draws out the unique flavors of foods grown and harvested throughout Japan.

Seasonal foods are prepared for their nutritional value and delicious taste, as well as to enjoy their colorful visual look. Japan’s culture also involves deepening ties with family and the community through having meals together.

Japan’s traditional food customs that respect nature were inscribed in 2013 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as “Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese.”

Washoku is acclaimed for its healthiness and nutritional balance of foods including rice, barley, fish, vegetables, seaweed and edible wild vegetables. Since high-quality proteins such as fish form the core of Washoku, it uses less animal oil and fats, and helps to extend life expectancy and prevent obesity.

Various forms of Washoku taking advantage of locally grown ingredients are served at the JSDF bases located throughout Japan. For example, Kochi Prefecture, where the JGSDF Camp Kouchi is located, is known for its bounty of seafood because most part of the prefecture faces the Pacific Ocean. One of the most well known foods in Kochi is called katsuo-no-tataki, which is broiled skipjack tuna. Kochi's one of the most popular dishes called tosadon features katsuo-no-tataki served atop a bed of rice. Tosadon is served at JGSDF Camp Kouchi.

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