Eric C. Rath is Professor of Japanese History at the University of Kansas and a leading expert on Japanese food culture.
"Rath's Japan's Cuisines is an examination of the ideology
of a nation's food and it ties to cultural identity. Rath does an
exceptional job exposing the realities of contemporary Japanese
foodways versus national Japanese cuisine, and the conceptual
evolution of what constitutes Japanese food. This is a revelatory
book if sushi and tea ceremony foods are the definition of Japanese
food for the reader. . . . This is an enlightening and engaging
read that will alter widely held ideas of Japanese food. Highly
"This wise and richly documented study provides an important corrective to the many misconceptions about Japanese food culture. Rath moves skillfully between high cuisine and the great diversity of local foodways to reveal how class cultures, national institutions, and economic change have shaped what Japanese eat and what most people think of as typical Japanese cuisine."
--Jordan Sand, Georgetown University
"In Japan's Cuisines, Rath argues that, by focusing on ceremonial and festival foods, and the typical white-rice dinners of today's middle class and the past's elite, Japanese culinary history is inaccurately portrayed. The food of the rural and lower classes is unfairly omitted."--Times Literary Supplement
"Offers a well-informed and lucid critique of the government-led addition of the 'traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese (washoku)' to the UNESCO list."--Huffington Post
"Japan's Cuisines is a fascinating look at the ideological underpinnings of washoku in its various historical and contemporary forms. Rath draws on history, folklore, and literature to emphasize his arguments. . . . He has written a much needed book on Japan's food culture. . . . Japan's Cuisines is comprehensive, well written, and informative."--New Books Asia