Essay Japanese Restaurant
Sometimes, it is fine to just pop in to your local sushi shop for a few bites and a chat with an old friend.
Below are some photos of my recent dinner at An: a good, low-key sushiya in San Francisco's Japantown.
I also believe this is the reason the Japanese emphasize “naturalness” and “purity” in their culinary culture as well as in their traditional culture.
The concept of “naturalness” and “purity” is an integral part of Japanese life.
Although nearly 70% of the Japanese land area is mountainous, the Japanese did not attempt to change nature to utilize it, rather they chose to live with it.
However, it is true that city dwellers at present are surrounded not by nature but by artificial buildings, and cities seem to be so called concrete jungles.
As the Japanese have led their lives surrounded by relatively natural environments since ancient times, nature has been an object of worship and blessing, not an object of confrontation.As the Japanese have lived surrounded by a natural environment which provides almost all kinds of fish and shellfish from the sea, crops and vegetables and many other plants from the mountains, the Japanese have regarded nature as an object of worship since ancient times.This is why the indigenous Japanese religion “Shinto” developed from nature.That is, the Japanese tend to appreciate the “naturalness” and “purity” of food so they try to eat food as fresh and pure as possible.For example, people like to sample raw fish known as “sashimi” before they cook it. Rice, which is the Japanese staple food, is cooked, but it isn’t usually turned into other forms of food.In the same way, the Japanese attitude toward food is said to be the same as their attitude toward nature.People cherish the Japanese word “shun” meaning “in season.” In each season, they look forward to getting a taste of fish, fruits and vegetables “in season”.So the Japanese attitude toward traditional food is closely associated with Japanese culture which values “naturalness” and “purity”.The reason the Japanese have stuck to “naturalness” in almost every field of their lives since ancient times has, I believe, much to do with its geography, topography, and climate.This shows that the Japanese want to take nature into their lives and harmonize and live with nature.People here want to accept nature rather than change it and make it look artificial.