Japanese Eating Rituals and Washoku with Kana Hattori

Japanese Eating Rituals and Washoku with Kana Hattori


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Washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine, is written in kanji characters as 和食. The first character 和 (wa) means Japan or Japanese, and it also means harmony, and the second character 食 (shoku) means food or to eat. Wa (harmony) is the most important value in Japanese culture -- harmony among people as well as harmony between people and nature is important, and in cooking, harmony among ingredients as well as harmony between food and nature/season is important. In this seminar, we will look at the philosophy running behind Washoku, Japanese cooking and eating rituals including Japanese table manners, the importance of "dashi" (Japanese consommé ) including tips to make good dashi, and how to find good sake to go with food.

Japanese two major religions, namely Shinto and Buddhism, both emphasize that humans are just a tiny part of the big nature and the vast universe, and they deeply influence how Japanese cooking and eating styles are. Much emphasis is placed on the season in Washoku. Ingredients and presentations showing the season are very much appreciated. And when we eat, there are words we say to remind ourselves that we are thankfully receiving precious life from nature. Washoku revolves around respect for a blessing from nature and preparing it in a way that maximizes the natural flavor of the ingredients as much as possible.

Led by a Japanese Tea Ceremony Master, Kana Hattori, this interactive seminar will focus on the philosophy and rituals in Japanese traditional cooking and eating, which is also a part of formal four-hour tea ceremonies. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with increased passion and knowledge about Washoku to further enjoy it with an even deeper appreciation.

Kana is a qualified tea master of Urasenke Tea Ceremony School and is an experienced national-licensed guide. She holds a BA in English from Doshisha University, Kyoto, and another BA in Japanese Classical and Traditional Arts from Kyoto University of Arts and Design. She enjoys playing the shamisen, a 3-stringed traditional music instrument that geisha ladies also play, and also performing Noh, 650-year-old Japanese classical theater. She is passionate about cooking and eating -- we are what we eat and what we eat is a blessing from nature.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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