In this Book

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How did one dine with a shogun? Or make solid gold soup, sculpt with a fish, or turn seaweed into a symbol of happiness? In this fresh look at Japanese culinary history, Eric C. Rath delves into the writings of medieval and early modern Japanese chefs to answer these and other provocative questions, and to trace the development of Japanese cuisine from 1400 to 1868. Rath shows how medieval "fantasy food" rituals—where food was revered as symbol rather than consumed—were continued by early modern writers. The book offers the first extensive introduction to Japanese cookbooks, recipe collections, and gastronomic writings of the period and traces the origins of dishes like tempura, sushi, and sashimi while documenting Japanese cooking styles and dining customs.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
  2. p. 1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Illustrations and Tables
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 1. Japanese Cuisine, a Backward Journey
  2. pp. 11-37
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  1. 2. Of Knives and Men: Cutting Ceremonies and Cuisine
  2. pp. 38-51
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  1. 3. Ceremonial Banquets
  2. pp. 52-84
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  1. 4. The Barbarians’ Cookbook
  2. pp. 85-111
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  1. 5. Food and Fantasy in Culinary Books
  2. pp. 112-120
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  1. 6. Menus for the Imagination
  2. pp. 121-165
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  1. 7. Deep Thought Wheat Gluten and Other Fantasy Foods
  2. pp. 166-181
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  1. Conclusion: After the Fantasies
  2. pp. 182-188
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  1. Appendix: The Southern Barbarians’ Cookbook (Nanban ryōrisho)
  2. pp. 189-196
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 197-226
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 227-238
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 239-242
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