Hamburgers and French wine are beginning to replace rice and suki-yaki on Japanese tables. Since?
Hamburgers and French wine are beginning to replace rice and suki-yaki on Japanese tables. Since the end of the Second World War, eating habits have changed so greatly that Japanese supermarkets today resemble those found in London, New York or Paris. One of the greatest delights of modern Japan is steak--but cut into small cubes suitable for chopsticks. Much of the beef comes from the United States, new Zealand and Australia, while French wines are becoming increasingly popular. If the current trend continues, Japanese food may soon be indistinguishable from Western food--as VISNEWS TOKYO cameraman Kimiachi Tanaka found out when he took his camera into Japanese homes, restaurants and supermarkets.
SYNOPSIS: In Japan today, food supermarkets are almost indistinguishable from those in London, Paris, or New York. They reflect the great swing to Western food during the last 25 years, since the second world war ended. Today hamburgers and French wine are more likely to be found in the modern Japanese home than rice and suki yaki. The change is obviously greatly due to western--especially American--economic influence in the country. Other reasons are Japan's population explosion and industrial expansion--which have encroached on agricultural land. With a dwindling agricultural production-never very large anyway--Japan has therefore become a lucrative market for the food producing nations of the world.
The change is enormous. Even at the breakfast table ham and eggs have replaced rice and today's table also has chocolate, milk, bread and salad. The dietary advantages, too, are also greater and more balanced.
Restaurants specialising in Japanese food still do good business, but are rapidly being overtaken by those serving a Western-style menu. Japan, isolated from Western influences longer than other Asian countries, ate food like this fore centuries--raw fish; fried beef wrapped in seaweed; or sea-food fried in batter with rice soaked in vinegar. But as the years go by, the customers remain the same--the older generation. The great hamburger revolution will soon force restaurants like this one out of business.
Meanwhile, food researchers predict that the next ten years will bring even greater changes to Japan's diet, with the introduction of artificial meat and the production of artificial foods from oil. World-wide distribution of food could also be revolutionized by a new freeze-drying method--being experimented with by countries like Australia.
Particularly popular with the younger Japanese is steak--alongside hamburgers, hot-dogs and Italian pizza. In Tokyo today there are dozens of steak-houses and grills. Some serve it exactly in the Western manner, others serve it Japanese-style--sliced into cubes so that it can be eaten with chop-sticks. More often than not, it will be accompanied by wine--imported, and maybe even chilled in the correct manner. If the ???od continue, traditional Japanese food may one day only be found in specialist restaurants.