The papers in this online collection are the outcome of the symposium on "Globalization, food and social identities in the Pacific region" held at Sophia University on Feb. 21-22, 2009. Although the globalization of food production and consumption is a phenomenon as old as agriculture itself, the increased speed and scale of transnational flows of food products, foodways and food producers has resulted in a greater interaction among cultures and increased cross-border dependencies for supplies.
Recent anthropological studies on foodways have highlighted the globalization of local foodways as well as the localization of foreign foodways in various countries, reminding us that foodways are simultaneously local and global in terms of production, manufacturing, and marketing.
Cheung, Sidney C. H. is Professor and Chairperson, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include visual anthropology, anthropology of tourism, heritage studies, indigenous cultures, food and identity.
A basic reconstruction is made of the origin and diffusion of fermented fish products in East Asia by combining information on the history of human migrations, cultural borrowing and ethno-linguistics.
Kenneth Ruddle received a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Manchester, in 1964, and a PhD from the University of California, in 1970. At present he is a Professor in the School of Policy Studies of Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan.
Naomichi Ishige: Director-General of National Museum of Ethnology from 1997-2003, Professor Ishige Naomichi is a cultural anthropologist specialized in food culture. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Oceania, Africa and Southeast and Northeast Asia.
The global market for dried sea cucumber expanded in the late 1980s and this has created serious problems worldwide. One notorious example comes from the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, which is known as “sea cucumber war.”
Akamine Jun is Associate Professor at School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nagoya City University and has been engaging in research on "sea cucumber foodways" more than a decade.
Maize has long been the main basic food in Mexico, especially among the peasants and poorer segments of urban dwellers. The Mexican Revolution, which partially was an upheaval of peasants and rural workers seeking land to exploit, and the successive governments which followed it, raised the peasants as the key actors in the post-Revolutionary society.
Tani Hiroyuki is Professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies of Sophia University specializing in studies of the Latin American economy. His current research interests include Mexican agriculture under the trade liberalization process, focusing on fresh vegetable exports (especially of tomatoes) and recent policy changes on maize production and distribution.
This study examines the relationship between local and global identities associated with Japanese saké as reconfigured in the processes of globalization. Methodology includes visual analysis of saké labels and websites as touchstones to the renewal of cultural identity.
Patricia Yarrow has enthusiastically lived in Japan on and off for over ten years, largely in Tokyo. She currently inhabits Ryogoku. Her areas of research careen between exploring the world of saké, including the business and the brewers, the qualities of “shitamachi” old-fashioned living, and “Engrish”, the weirdly misapplied English found in Japan on written surfaces.
Ethnic, foreign, soul, etc. are a few ways in which American journalists writing on food have tried to capture difference within the national imaginary. These categories often have divergent connotation of difference from a presumed mainstream.
Krishnendu Ray is the author of The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households (Temple University Press, 2004). He has taught for a decade at the Culinary Institute of America.
This paper looks at two citizen movements in Japan that address the country's low self-sufficiency rate of merely 40% and the issue of food safety. Recently, a series of food scandals that also involved imported food products has alarmed Japan, such as the incident of Chinese dumplings that were tainted with pesticides (gyôza jiken) at the beginning of 2008.
Stephanie Assmann is associate professor for Comparative Culture and German Language at Akita University, Japan. She holds a PhD in Japanese Studies from the University of Hamburg, Germany.
A new global culinary geography of high cuisine has developed centered on global cities. This essay traces this development by focusing on the interaction between transnational flows of people and resources and local cultural politics in two of Asia’s global cities, Shanghai and Tokyo. Although investments and increased wealth create the conditions for development of international restaurant scenes in cities, the advent of a cosmopolitan and lively urban food culture is not an inevitable outcome of economic globalization.
James Farrer is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and the Director of the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University. His research has involved qualitative and ethnographic studies of youth sexuality, sexual politics, intercultural marriage, nightlife, urban spaces, expatriate subcultures, and now foodways.
Malaysian cuisine represents a culinary diversity originating from Malaysia’s multiethnic society: Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, Eurasian, and so on. There are many Malaysian favourites such as nasi lemak, beef rendang, bak but teh, char kway teow, curry laksa, roti canai, nasi goreng, nasi dagang, and so forth.
Kosaku Yoshino is Professor of Sociology at Sophia University. His areas of specialization are nationalism and globalization in Japan and Southeast Asia. His best-known books include Cultural Nationalism in Contemporary Japan (Routledge) and Consuming Ethnicity and Nationalism: Asian Experiences (editor) (Curzon Press).
In the mid-1990s a local dish 地方菜 boom emerged in China’s restaurant industry. Restaurants ranging from family-style to luxury establishments started serving local dishes that are self-consciously represented as the foods eaten by the common people of a specific locale in China. Their menus feature coarse grains and wild greens while their décor evokes the culture and history of a locale.
David Wank is Professor of Sociology, Sophia University, Tokyo. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University (1993). His research on numerous topics in China combines theoretical concerns of economic and political sociology with ethnographic field methodology.
This research explores in which aspects Como agua para chocolate (Alfonso Arau, 1992) can be seen as a food film, and in which aspects the film surpasses this definition. Being the first Mexican film centered on Mexican food it prompted a reinterpretation on the relation between food, family ties and gender in Mexico.
Mauro Neves is a professor at the Luso-Brazilian Studies Department at Sophia University in Tokyo. He holds a M.A. in Japanese History from the Buddhist University in Kyoto.
Consisting of 17,000 islands Indonesia has more than 400 ethnic groups. The image of “Indonesian cuisine” is diverse, depending on where it is discussed or on what kind of food. The term “Indonesian cuisine” is not familiar to the Indonesian people and is rarely used among them.
Kubo Michiko graduated from the MA course in Asian Studies at Sophia University. She worked for 10 years at a school offering classes in Southeast Asian languages, cooking and dancing. She supported the lecturers as an assistant, was involved in planning for the cooking courses, devised the recipes and took charge of food shopping.
This paper draws on ethnographic research with elite chefs in New York City and San Francisco to present an analysis of the socio-cognitive and organizational foundations of culinary creation. I examine the cognitive schema upon which chefs rely in creating dishes and seeking legitimation, and the organizational factors that constrain them in their choices.
Vanina Leschziner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her primary research interests are in the sociology of culture, culture and cognition, organizations, theory, and qualitative methods./p>
This paper recalls (imperfectly, I suspect) a comment from the British television cooking series, Two Fat Ladies. “Add some chilli to the fish,” says one Fat Lady to the other, “That’s very Australian.” This begs the question: how did the taste of chilli become “very Australian”?
Jean Duruz is a Senior Lecturer in cultural studies in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. She has an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Birmingham and her PhD is from the Flinders University of South Australia.
According to the Italian restaurant guide of Japan, published in 2006 by the Italian Trade Commission, there are 3974 restaurants serving Italian cuisine, or at least dishes inspired by Italian cuisine, all over the Japanese archipelago. Pizza is among the most popular dishes.
Rossella Ceccarini joined Sophia University's Global Studies PhD program in 2006. Her present research focuses on the reception of Italian food in Japan.
In my paper, focusing on the case of Japanese Chef Matsuhisa Nobuyuki (Nobu), I outline the cultural and social impacts of the worldwide popularity of Japanese food in contemporary society. In analyzing the whole phenomenon of Nobu, world city theory as proposed by geographers seems effective and insightful.
Imai Shoko is a graduate student in Area Studies Department of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at University of Tokyo. Currently she is working on her PhD thesis about the popularity of Japanese food in the world and globalization.
As editor of this collection, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Secretary of the Institute of Comparative Culture Ms. Miwa Higashiura, without whose efforts this conference and the resulting collection would never have been possible. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the designer, Ms. Mie Shimizu, copyediting by Prof. Bruce Hird, and also the editorial assistance of Dr. N. Frances Hioki. We would also like to thank anonymous reviewers for each paper.