63 The Truth About "Washoku": Addressing Japanese Cuisine and Washoku's UNESCO Classification (Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka)

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On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka stops by to discuss what exactly washoku (Japanese cuisine) is and how the term was redefined in an effort to get it registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

About Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka

Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka is Chair of Modern Japan Studies at Leiden University. She is an expert on food history of modern Japan and Korea. Dr. Cwiertka's latest book is titled Branding Japanese Food: From Meibutsu to Washoku (University of Hawaii Press, 2021).

Topics Discussed

  • Washoku's (Japanese cuisine) classification as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2013
  • What exactly Intangible Cultural Heritage is according to UNESCO
  • The application process washoku went through in order to be designated Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO
  • How washoku was defined in the UNESCO application
  • The original UNESCO application for washoku that Dr. Cwiertka found online
  • How the committee behind the UNESCO application for washiku was originally trying to get kaiseki designated as Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Washoku vs nihon ryōri
  • The meaning and usage of washoku throughout history
  • The both vague and all-encompassing paradoxical nature of washoku's UNESCO characterization
  • Edo era tourism and marketing
  • And much more!
Links, Videos, Etc.

To pick up a copy of Branding Japanese Food: From Meibutsu to Washoku, please consider using the Amazon affiliate link below. It will support the show and it won't cost you anything extra.

You can learn more about Dr. Cwiertka and her work via her website.

To pick up a copy of Branding Japanese Food: From Meibutsu to Washoku, please consider using the Amazon affiliate link below. It will support the show and it won't cost you anything extra.

To learn more about Dr. Cwiertka and her work,visit her website.

To listen to the latest episode of Ichimon Japan, use the link below.

If you would like to support the show by picking up some merchandise, make sure to visit KimitoDesigns.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi) To listen to more of Yunomi's music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Dr. Katarzyna Cwiertka

Featured image: Courtesy of Katarzyna Cwiertka

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Full Show Notes

76 episodes