Japanese Food and Culture
Satoka Kimpara came and talked to our class about Japanese foods and culture. Her speaking was very upbeat and fun to listen to, but at times I found it hard to understand what she was saying. She moved here to continue her studying from being a middle school teacher. Teachers in Japan make the same salary whether they are male or female, and there is no glass ceiling for teachers.
The landmass of Japan is 26 times smaller than that of the United States. In this small area there is half the population that makes up the United States, or about 140 million. Only about 15% of the island lands are arable. There are over 1400 small islands, but 4 main ones where most people live. So they must use the land very wisely.
The Japanese eat many pickled foods. This was originally because refrigeration was hard to come by and is now a way of life. There are also many dried foods for the same reason. The staple foods are similar to those of many other eastern island cultures, being mainly rice, soybeans, fish and vegetables. The only way to eat is with chopsticks.
Like all cultures Japan has its own set of manners that may offend others if done in a different culture. When drinking soup or eating noodles it is polite to slurp them rather than to be a quiet eater. Burping is however considered bad, which raises the question foe me: where does all the air go? Before the meal it is customary to say Itadakimasu or I will receive. After the meal is over it is common to hear gochiso sama deshita or thank you for the feast.
When drinking beer or sake it is impolite to fill your own cup, rather it is better to have another fill it for you. If the people around you are not filling your cup you can tip it to them in an attempt to try and bring your lack of drink to their attention.
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