One of the economic terms that is beginning to attract attention all over Japan is ‘Japan Pride’, a term for enjoying the cultural values that Japan has to offer. This article provides an overview of Japan Pride and what characteristics it has with the theme of Japanese food culture.
So what is this ‘Japan Pride’? Japan Pride is the idea of enriching people's lives by "rediscovering" and "discovering anew" the unique culture that Japan has created. One of the current social problems in Japan is that there are fewer and fewer opportunities to experience traditional Japanese culture, and as a result there is no one to continue these traditions and they are beginning to die out. Conversely, the fact that Japanese people are being overwhelmed by foreign cultures and are losing confidence in their own heritage is becoming a problem too. Therefore, when thinking about what to do to regain confidence, especially in the younger generations, it is important to once again spread the beauty of the Japanese culture of the past and present.
Emphasis on the authentic and raw feeling of food through the use of the highest quality ingredients In order the spread the greatness of Japanese culture to the younger generations, it is important to emphasise the realness and rawness of food with the highest quality ingredients. In the past, right after the collapse of the bubble economy, the food industry spread the use of non-natural additives such as pesticides and preservatives in their food products in order to make them cheaper. As a result, not only are there fewer opportunities to experience traditional local cuisine, but environmental pollution and consumer health problems are on the rise as well. With the growing awareness that the future of the industry is in jeopardy, the government and the food industry are working together to re-examine and start rectifying this problem. As part of this effort, locally produced ingredients are being used more and more in order to assist in the survival of local cuisines.
Although foreign ingredients are inexpensive, there are concerns about their safety due to the use of preservatives during importation. On the other hand, by using locally produced ingredients there is no need to worry about the use of preservatives during transportation which makes them safer, and there are no distribution costs which makes them less expensive. In addition, by purchasing locally produced food you are helping support the farming industry which produces these ingredients.
There is a growing need among consumers for their children to eat safe and tasty foods, and even if the prices are a little higher the growing preference for authentic ingredients has created the foundation for people to want to purchase these products. In fact, not only are there an increasing number of high-end bakeries all over Japan making bread from only local ingredients with no preservatives, but the spread of locally produced ingredients is also turning people's attention back to traditional dishes.
An extreme and evolved form that emphasizes the difference Another important element in Japan Pride is the ultimate and evolving form that emphasizes the difference from others. Take the traditional dish of funa-zushi for example. This dish is made by first pickling funa (crucian carp) in salt and then fermenting it using koji mould and rice. Although it is a preserved food, it has a unique aroma and many people do not like it. However, once you get used to the peculiar aroma and taste, you will find it delicious and want to keep eating it.
Japan Pride is about enjoying the past and the present Japan Pride is about enjoying the Japanese culture that has been created in the past and in the present. If we can learn to enjoy Japanese culture more, we will be able to show not only Japan but the whole world about its beauty with confidence.