Globalization,
Food and Social Identities in the Asia Pacific Region

Papers presented at the symposium, “Globalization, Food, and Social Identities in the Pacific Region,”
Feb. 21-22, 2009, Sophia University, Tokyo

Editor: James Farrer
Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture, Tokyo, Japan

Contents

Introduction: Food Studies and Global Studies
in the Asia Pacific James Farrer

 

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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. Continue...

Part I: The transnational lives of food products in the Asia-Pacific

The Social Life of American Crayfish in AsiaSidney C. H. Cheung

 

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Abstract

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.. Continue...

Bio

Cheung, Sidney C. H. is Professor and Chairperson, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Continue...

On the Origins, Diffusion and Cultural Context of Fermented Fish Products
in Southeast AsiaKenneth Ruddle and Naomichi Ishige

 

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Abstract

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. Continue...

Bio

Kenneth Ruddle received a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Manchester, in 1964, and a PhD from the University of California, in 1970. Continue...

Naomichi Ishige: Director-General of National Museum of Ethnology from 1997-2003, Professor Ishige Naomichi is a cultural anthropologist specialized in food culture. Continue...

Problems on Sea Cucumber ConservationJun Akamine

 

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Abstract

The global market for dried sea cucumber expanded in the late 1980s and this has created serious problems worldwide. Continue...

Bio

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. Continue...

From National Symbol to Economic Goods:
A Brief History of Maize Consumption in Post-revolutionary MexicoHiroyuki Tani

 

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Abstract

Maize has long been the main basic food in Mexico, especially among the peasants and poorer segments of urban dwellers. Continue...

Bio

Tani Hiroyuki is Professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies of Sophia University specializing in studies of the Latin American economy. Continue...

“Here’s Looking at You”:
Re-imaging Saké Locally and GloballyPatricia Yarrow

 

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Abstract

This study examines the relationship between local and global identities associated with Japanese saké as reconfigured in the processes of globalization. Continue...

Bio

Patricia Yarrow has enthusiastically lived in Japan on and off for over ten years, largely in Tokyo. Continue...

Part II: Cuisines, social identities and culinary politics

A Taste for Ethnic Difference: American Gustatory Imagination in a Globalizing WorldKrishnendu Ray

 

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Abstract

Ethnic, foreign, soul, etc. are a few ways in which American journalists writing on food have tried to capture difference within the national imaginary. Continue...

Bio

Krishnendu Ray is the author of The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households (Temple University Press, 2004). Continue...

Food Action Nippon and Slow Food Japan: The Role of Two Citizen Movements in the Rediscovery of Local Foodways Stephanie Assmann

 

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Abstract

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. Continue...

Bio

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.Continue...

Eating the West and Beating the Rest: Culinary Occidentalism and Urban Soft Power in Asia’s Global Food Cities James Farrer

 

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Abstract

A new global culinary geography of high cuisine has developed centered on global cities. Continue...

Bio

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. Continue...

Malaysian Cuisine: A Case of Neglected Culinary GlobalizationKosaku Yoshino

 

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Abstract

Malaysian cuisine represents a culinary diversity originating from Malaysia’s multiethnic society: Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, Eurasian, and so on. Continue...

Bio

Kosaku Yoshino is Professor of Sociology at Sophia University. His areas of specialization are nationalism and globalization in Japan and Southeast Asia. Continue...

Culinary Nostalgia and Chinese Neo-Liberalism: Local Dish Restaurants in Shanxi Province David Wank

 

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Abstract

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. Continue...

Bio

David Wank is Professor of Sociology, Sophia University, Tokyo. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University (1993). Continue...

Como agua para chocolate as a Food Film: Food, Family Ties and Emotion Mauro Neves

 

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Abstract

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. Continue...

Bio

Mauro Neves is a professor at the Luso-Brazilian Studies Department at Sophia University in Tokyo. Continue...

The Development of an Indonesian National Cuisine:
A Study of New Movement of Instant FoodsMichiko Kubo

 

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Abstract

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. Continue...

Bio

Kubo Michiko graduated from the MA course in Asian Studies at Sophia University. Continue...

Part III: Food producers as cultural creators and globalizing agents

Cooking Logics: Cognition and Reflexivity in the Culinary FieldVanina Leschziner

 

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Abstract

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. Continue...

Bio

Vanina Leschziner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Continue...

Four Dances of the Sea: Cooking “Asian” as Embedded CosmopolitanismJean Duruz

 

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Abstract

This paper recalls (imperfectly, I suspect) a comment from the British television cooking series, Two Fat Ladies. Continue...

Bio

Jean Duruz is a Senior Lecturer in cultural studies in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. Continue...

Food Workers as Individual Agents of Culinary Globalization: Pizza and Pizzaioli in JapanRossella Ceccarini

 

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Abstract

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. Continue...

Bio

Rossella Ceccarini joined Sophia University's Global Studies PhD program in 2006. Her present research focuses on the reception of Italian food in Japan. Continue...

Nobu and After: Westernized Japanese Food and GlobalizationShoko Imai

 

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Abstract

AIn 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. Continue...

Bio

Imai Shoko is a graduate student in Area Studies Department of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at University of Tokyo. Continue...

Acknowledgement

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.

This is a peer-reviewed online collection and each paper can be read alone or downloaded in any order. Paper abstracts and author biographies can be accessed by clicking on the links to the papers above.

Details about the Institute of Comparative Culture are available on our institute webpage.