An International Symposium on
Travelling Cuisines: Culinary Politics and Transnational Foodways in and out of Asia

Japanese Cooks in Italy : The Institutionalization of Overseas Training during the 1980s and 1990s

Keiichi Sawaguchi, Taisho University

This paper aims to examine the institutionalization of the overseas training in Japan’s Italian restaurant business. It has developed quite rapidly both in quality and quantity since 1980s. One of the factors which effected the qualitative development is the spread of overseas training in Italy. Many Japanese cooks have stayed in Italy more than 12 months because they think that the overseas training is an inevitable experience for their career attainment. The overseas training for Japanese cooks have institutionalized with the development of the reciprocal relationship between Italian restaurant business and Japanese cooks. The transformation of the overseas training is a path-dependent process. It has reflected the context of the Italian society and the field of Japanese cooks.

Keiichi Sawaguchi is Professor in the Department of Human Studies of Taisho University. He has an MA of Literature from Waseda University. He is interested in the sociology of family, profession and life course. His research interests focus on the change of career structure in specific industry and the social context. His current research issue is the history of Japan's Italian restaurant industry and the life history of cooks. He wrote an article in 2012 titled "An Introductory Essay on history of Italian Restaurant Industry in Japan and the Life Histories of Cooks"(Published in Japanese).