Japanese Cuisine


Bestor, Theodore. Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2004. An ethnology of Tsukiji, the world's largest fish market in Tokyo. The book examines Tsukiji in terms of its role both in Japanese culture and the global fish industry, focusing on topics from fish auctions to globalization and the endangerment of blue fin tuna to the complex social and economic interactions within the marketplace itself.

Ivan Ramen

Orkin, Ivan with Chris Ying. Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint. Berkely, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2013. Recipes and musings from Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen, the popular ramen restaurant in Tokyo run by a gaijin (foreigner) and with a new branch in New York City. Orkin describes his journey from Staten Island to the heart of the ramen scene in Tokyo, providing the only English-language glimpse into the world of ramen in Japan.

Rice as Self

Ohunki-Tierney, Emiko. Rice as Self: Japanese Identities through Time. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993. An exploration of food and identity through the lens of the cultural and historical significance of rice to the Japanese, and how this staple food has been used as a metaphor for the construction of a national identity, particularly in opposition to other peoples.

Coffee Life in Japan

White, Merry. Coffee Life in Japan. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2012. Ethnography-cum-memoir of Japanese café culture over the course of 130 years, exploring issues of gender, public spaces, urbanism, and modernity.

Japanese Farm Food

Singleton Hachisu, Nancy. Japanese Farm Food. Kansas City, Sydney, London: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2012. A beautiful farm-to-table cookbook from an American expat living, farming, and cooking in northern Japan. Includes an encyclopedic array of traditional recipes as well as a glossary and resources for finding Japanese ingredients abroad.

Oishinbo Manga Series

Kariya, Testsu. Japanese Cuisine. Illus. Akira Hanasaki. Trans. Tesuichiro Miyaki. San Francisco: VIZ Media, LLC, 2009. Print. Oishinbo: A la Carte, 1. The first in a 100+ volume manga series originally published in Japanese starting in 1983, chronicling the efforts of journalist Yamaoka Shiro to discover dishes for an “Ultimate Menu” to be published by the Tozai Shimbun newspaper. Each volume focuses on a theme (such as rice or ramen) and includes a related recipe at the beginning of the story. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

My Japanese Table

Samuels, Debra. My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family. Foreword by Roy Yamaguchi. Photography by Heath Robbins. Tokyo, Rutland, Singapore: Tuttle Publishing. 2011. Cookbook with traditional and original Japanese recipes adapted for American kitchens and designed as an unintimidating introduction to cooking Japanese food. Includes anecdotes from the author’s ten years spent in Japan.

The Just Bento Cookbook

Itoh, Makiko. The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go. New York: Kodansha USA, Inc., 2010. Cookbook from the popular bento blog with recipes and tips for attractive and nutritious boxed lunches.


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