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Tastes for blubber: diversity and locality of whale meat foodways in Japan

Tastes for blubber: diversity and locality of whale meat foodways in Japan This paper aims to discuss how whale meat foodways in Japan is a local practice, contrary to the prevailing political belief that it is national, and to examine two local whale meat foodways in Japan by focusing on the usage of blubber. To understand complexity of whaling issue, one needs to be careful of species rather than general “whale.”Design/methodology/approachBy investigating two kinds of recipe books, one published in the early 19th century and the other the early 20th century on whale meat dish, the paper clarifies blubber has been widely consumed rather than lean meat, and blubber was more important than lean meat as whale meat.FindingsThe western part of Japan has rich whale meat foodways compared to other parts of Japan. It is because of their history of whaling since the 17th century. They have inherited rich whale meat foodways.Originality/valueAlthough whale sashimi and deep-fried lean meat are popular nationwide regardless of their communities' history, former whaling communities in the western part of Japan developed a preference for blubber, skin, tongue and offal over lean meat. Whale meat foodways in Japan, therefore, is a local heritage. This fact should be the starting point for analyzing Japanese whaling and whale meat foodways. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Education and Development Studies Emerald Publishing

Tastes for blubber: diversity and locality of whale meat foodways in Japan

Asian Education and Development Studies , Volume 10 (1): 10 – Dec 23, 2020

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2046-3162
DOI
10.1108/aeds-02-2020-0027
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to discuss how whale meat foodways in Japan is a local practice, contrary to the prevailing political belief that it is national, and to examine two local whale meat foodways in Japan by focusing on the usage of blubber. To understand complexity of whaling issue, one needs to be careful of species rather than general “whale.”Design/methodology/approachBy investigating two kinds of recipe books, one published in the early 19th century and the other the early 20th century on whale meat dish, the paper clarifies blubber has been widely consumed rather than lean meat, and blubber was more important than lean meat as whale meat.FindingsThe western part of Japan has rich whale meat foodways compared to other parts of Japan. It is because of their history of whaling since the 17th century. They have inherited rich whale meat foodways.Originality/valueAlthough whale sashimi and deep-fried lean meat are popular nationwide regardless of their communities' history, former whaling communities in the western part of Japan developed a preference for blubber, skin, tongue and offal over lean meat. Whale meat foodways in Japan, therefore, is a local heritage. This fact should be the starting point for analyzing Japanese whaling and whale meat foodways.

Journal

Asian Education and Development StudiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 23, 2020

Keywords: Cold chains; Coastal whaling; Rapid economic growth; Super whale; Whaling industry

References