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Science, Social Science, and Pseudoscience of Diet/Culture Thesis

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:50 pm Print
Eminent food historian Rachel Laudan alerted me recently to the existence of new scholarship, cultural psychology, giving support to the idea that different basic grains gave rise to different cultures which have measurable effects at the individual level: "Large-Scale Psychological Differences Within China Explained by Rice Versus Wheat Agriculture." The research is intriguing for its attempted rigor: From a quantitative social science perspective, they did everything right.
Cross-cultural psychologists have mostly contrasted East Asia with the West. However, this study shows that there are major psychological differences within China. We propose that a history of farming rice makes cultures more interdependent, whereas farming wheat makes cultures more independent, and these agricultural legacies continue to affect people in the modern world. We tested 1162 Han Chinese participants in six sites and found that rice-growing southern China is more interdependent and holistic-thinking than the wheat-growing north. To control for confounds like climate, we tested people from neighboring counties along the rice-wheat border and found differences that were just as large. We also find that modernization and pathogen prevalence theories do not fit the data.
There's a problem here, though, that scientists and statisticians refer to as "prior plausibility": it's not enough that you can create an experiment to test for a difference, but there has to be a good reason to create the experiment in the first place. If there isn't, then the concept of "statistically significant correlation" becomes meaningless. This is Bayesian statistics, as I understand it. As Rachel Laudan and her commenters point out, there are good historical reasons to believe that many wheat-cultivating cultures were at least as collective-minded as rice-growing cultures are presumed to be; similarly, there's plenty of research pointing out the individualistic and profit-oriented elements of early modern Japanese and Chinese peasant societies. The upside of this is that it finally spurred me to pick up Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, Rice as Self: Japanese Identities Through Time which is often cited in these discussions. As I said on twitter, I've been reluctant largely because citations to it seemed mostly to be used to bolster arguments like those above: that something fundamental about rice cultivation -- usually the collectivist village, as imagined in modernity -- is the heart or essence of Japanese Civilization since forever, etc. What I found, as most of you know, is a fairly satisfying and subtle discussion of the way in which symbols work in cultures, with a "side dish" of historical skepticism about the actual role of rice and of agriculture. The way in which the discourse of Japan as made up of rice cultivating rural communities has obscured many elements of change over time, including the diversity of rural production, hunter-gatherer traditions, non-agricultural commoners, and the value of mobility and urbanization in modernity. (( I'll admit, anthropological semiotics still feels very circular to me: the chicken-egg problem of cultural re/production, activity/agency never feels quite resolved or quite grounded. )) In fact, it seems like most of the citations to Rice as Self that I've seen over the last ten years have been very weak ones: Ohnuki-Tierney doesn't support the "rice creates culture" argument (at least not here; this is 20-year old scholarship, and she's been busy since then) and I strongly suspect that the evidence doesn't, either.


Triamterene For Sale

The Japan Times article on Japan's application to UNESCO to have 和食 [washoku Triamterene For Sale, , Japanese cuisine] declared an internationally recognized "intangible cultural asset" is a fantastic display of modern cultural discourses. The combination of bad food history, Triamterene interactions, Triamterene use, the distortions of modernism, and abject credentialism is really quite disturbing, cheap Triamterene. Fast shipping Triamterene, The attempt to leverage international affirmation into economic and cultural power is striking.

  • "If washoku gets UNESCO heritage status, real brand Triamterene online, Purchase Triamterene online no prescription, it will motivate Japanese chefs across the globe — and also enhance the quality of chefs in this country."
  • "Exports of Japanese agricultural and marine products were hit hard by radiation concerns, so international endorsement of washoku would be seen as a big plus."
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Japanese cuisine has been immensely influential in the world -- attested to by the number of Chinese buffet places in my own little corner of the midwest with sushi bars, discount Triamterene, Triamterene gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, not to mention three Japanese restaurants in neighboring Joplin, Missouri -- and Japanese cuisine in Japan already has an immense amount of respect and power, is Triamterene safe. Triamterene treatment, But it's not enough, apparently, Triamterene no rx.

There's also a powerful conservative impulse on display, pushing back against changing times

  • "help Japanese people recognize the splendor of their culture as a whole and encourage more people to work in the traditional food industry."
  • "The Westernization of food in Japan is not necessarily a bad thing, but the move (toward an UNESCO listing) will be an opportunity to urge Japanese not to let their food culture fade."
  • "If washoku gets UNESCO heritage status, it will motivate Japanese chefs across the globe — and also enhance the quality of chefs in this country."
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  • "A government online survey shows .., Triamterene For Sale. Triamterene maximum dosage, nearly 100 percent said they want to see the washoku tradition passed down to succeeding generations."
Okonomiyaki Shop in the food court at Ala Moana MallI don't put a lot of stock in online government surveys, mind you, buy Triamterene no prescription, Triamterene over the counter, but there's a very common dynamic at work there: everyone wants to preserve what's special about the past, about the tradition, ordering Triamterene online, Order Triamterene from United States pharmacy, but there's a shrinking number of people who want to actually live and work under traditional strictures or limit themselves to traditional artistry, and a shrinking number of people willing to pay enough for culinary or cultural artifacts to make strictly traditional methods economically viable, what is Triamterene. Get Triamterene, The predictable reiteration of cliches about distinct values and habits of Japanese food culture is probably what attracted the attention of celebrity chefs, though their claim that "Washoku is 'respect for nature' and serving to strengthen the bonds of family and community" actually goes beyond the original article, Triamterene without prescription. Herbal Triamterene, There we see a hash (so to speak) of claims about aesthetics -- almost as many mentions of appearance as flavor -- and healthfulness. I think my favorite, Triamterene from canada, Where can i buy cheapest Triamterene online, because of how much it reminds me of living in Japan, talking to Japanese about their own culture is
Makoto Osawa, where to buy Triamterene, Canada, mexico, india, director of policy planning of the agriculture ministry, said, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, Triamterene description, "Japan, thanks to its shifting seasons, Triamterene brand name, Generic Triamterene, has a rich variety of food ingredients, while cooking methods vary depending on local conditions." As an example of the diversity found in Japanese cuisine, Triamterene price, Triamterene from mexico, the ministry cites "nabe" pot cooking from the Tohoku region, which developed out of the cold winters and active fishery industry.

NIC - Soba ShopThe implication that other societies don't have shifting seasons, australia, uk, us, usa, Triamterene photos, cold winters, active fishing traditions, Triamterene schedule, Order Triamterene online overnight delivery no prescription, or seasonal foods like the Japanese takes me back to our year in Yamaguchi, where nobody would believe that Americans from the mid-Atlantic and MidWest could have experienced anything like the heat or humidity of a Japanese summer, buy Triamterene online cod. Washoku Triamterene For Sale, in this regard is an interesting mix of real regional traditions and an elite aesthetic heavily influenced by poetic aspiration. Online Triamterene without a prescription, (( I just got a book announcement for Haruo Shirane's Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons that argues for "the central role of waka in constructing a vision of nature that influenced all the arts." blurb credited to Andrew M. Watsky, Triamterene duration, Effects of Triamterene, Princeton University )) Of course, Japanese consumers are full participants in a globalized industry of constant food production and availability -- or they would be if their government didn't continue to practice some fairly extreme forms of food security protectionism, Triamterene pictures. Where can i buy Triamterene online, Foods like eel which are now available year-round still have strong seasonal associations, and possibly even a seasonal consumption shift, but it's unclear whether the Japanese are "locavores" in any meaningful sense.

And the claims of healthfulness are interesting as well. Life expectancy and obesity rates compare favorably to the US, of course, but that's not the highest standard in the world at the moment, Triamterene For Sale. Japan's longevity has a great deal to do with their system of socialized medicine. Japan's lack of obesity has a great deal to do with other factors as well, including low rates of automobile use and a mid-century rationing/famine that lasted over a decade. Food patterns matter, of course, and it's certainly true that Japanese food patterns seem to persist longer than some other cultures (( e.g. Susan B. Triamterene For Sale, Hanley. Everyday Things in Premodern Japan: The Hidden Legacy of Material Culture (1997) )) but it's also true that Japan's "traditional" food cultures are heavily shaped by deprivation and isolation rather than aesthetics or conscious healthful choices. (( ibid, plus WW Farris, Japan To 1600: A Social and Economic History )) Humans have eaten seasonally and locally for thousands of years, though Japan's early modern isolation extended the patterns.

Kyoto 1 - Fish Sweet Bean Treats detailDon't get me wrong, I think Japanese cuisine is great food, a worthy addition to global food culture, and the idea of a more seasonal, localized agriculture is economically and environmentally sound. But the modernist institutionalization of Japanese food culture as a traditional repository of modern virtues rests on a shaky intellectual foundation.


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Buy Antabuse Without Prescription

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 1:46 am Print

Buy Antabuse Without Prescription, A grad student from Kanagawa University may have cracked the great riddle of Asian cuisine: the origin of the Fortune Cookie. As the NY Times reports, Antabuse australia, uk, us, usa, My Antabuse experience, the original fortune cookies may have been produced by Kyoto-area confectioners in the late 1800s. (( I'm immediately reminded of the rickshaw, Antabuse without prescription, Antabuse samples, which everyone associates with China but which was actually invented as the jinrikisha in Japan at the opening of the Meiji era. There is evidence in the Times article going back to the early 1800s, order Antabuse no prescription, Antabuse pics, though. )) The practice -- and the distinctive iron grills used to make the sembei crackers, Antabuse maximum dosage, Antabuse pictures, which are part of the historical puzzle -- spread to Japanese-owned Chop Suey houses in San Francisco. (( Japanese in North America were much more likely to be from Kansai than Japanese in Hawai'i )) From there, Chinese-owned restaurants began to offer them, and Chinese-owned bakeries supplied them, Buy Antabuse Without Prescription.

Then came WWII, Antabuse natural, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, which changed everything.

Ms, Antabuse mg. Is Antabuse addictive, Nakamachi is still unsure how exactly fortune cookies made the jump to Chinese restaurants. But during the 1920s and 1930s, purchase Antabuse, Discount Antabuse, many Japanese immigrants in California owned chop suey restaurants, which served Americanized Chinese cuisine, no prescription Antabuse online. Buy Antabuse Without Prescription, The Umeya bakery distributed fortune cookies to well over 100 such restaurants in southern and central California. Get Antabuse, ...
Early on, buy Antabuse online no prescription, Antabuse price, Chinese-owned restaurants discovered the cookies, too, Antabuse from canada. Cheap Antabuse no rx, Ms. Nakamachi speculates that Chinese-owned manufacturers began to take over fortune cookie production during World War II, Antabuse photos, Antabuse dosage, when Japanese bakeries all over the West Coast closed as Japanese-Americans were rounded up and sent to internment camps.

Mr, Buy Antabuse Without Prescription. Wong pointed out: “The Japanese may have invented the fortune cookie, online buy Antabuse without a prescription. Rx free Antabuse, But the Chinese people really explored the potential of the fortune cookie. It’s Chinese-American culture, Antabuse no prescription. Antabuse use, It only happens here, not in China.”

The war also served to popularize the fortune cookie

they were encountered by military personnel on the way back from the Pacific Theater, where can i buy cheapest Antabuse online. Buy Antabuse Without Prescription, When these veterans returned home, they would ask their local Chinese restaurants why they didn’t serve fortune cookies as the San Francisco restaurants did. Canada, mexico, india, The cookies rapidly spread across the country. By the late 1950s, is Antabuse safe, Online Antabuse without a prescription, an estimated 250 million fortune cookies were being produced each year by dozens of small Chinese bakeries and fortune cookie companies. One of the larger outfits was Lotus Fortune in San Francisco, Antabuse reviews, Antabuse treatment, whose founder, Edward Louie, ordering Antabuse online, Antabuse long term, invented an automatic fortune cookie machine. By 1960, low dose Antabuse, Antabuse trusted pharmacy reviews, fortune cookies had become such a mainstay of American culture that they were used in two presidential campaigns: Adlai Stevenson’s and Stuart Symington’s.

It's such an American tale. It's all there: entrepreneurship, Antabuse pics, Where can i find Antabuse online, food, racism, buy Antabuse online cod, Buy cheap Antabuse no rx, migration, war, marketing, invention, industrialization and orientalism. (( Also the obsession with national origins, Japanese-Chinese competition, the value of open archives, the historiography of food culture and the power of media to shape a historical finding. )) I can't wait to tell my students.

(Crossposted, of course).

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Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 4:06 am Print

The New York Times Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription, has been on a Japanese culture kick this week which I just couldn't let pass without note. Where can i order Hydrochlorothiazide without prescription, There have been not one, but two articles in praise of Sushi, buy Hydrochlorothiazide no prescription, Is Hydrochlorothiazide safe, and an appreciation for a Roots Kabuki troupe on tour in the US.

On the eating side of things, Hydrochlorothiazide from canada, Hydrochlorothiazide reviews, Trevor Corson (yes, that Trevor Corson) argues that if you're going to eat sushi, buy Hydrochlorothiazide without prescription, Hydrochlorothiazide no prescription, eat it like a Japanese, or at least like Japanese used to:

When I lived in Tokyo, low dose Hydrochlorothiazide, Order Hydrochlorothiazide from mexican pharmacy, eating sushi generally involved a trip to a tiny neighborhood sushi bar. The chef, Hydrochlorothiazide canada, mexico, india, Where to buy Hydrochlorothiazide, like a good bartender, knew everyone by name and bantered with his customers while he worked, Hydrochlorothiazide description. Hydrochlorothiazide reviews, Instead of tables and menus, people sat at the bar and asked what was seasonal and most flavorful, purchase Hydrochlorothiazide online. The chef delivered a delightful variety — unpretentious little fish with great character, crunchy clams, surprisingly tender octopus, Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription. My Hydrochlorothiazide experience, When sushi took root in the United States in the 1970s, a few Japanese chefs tried to educate Americans about the variety of seafood eaten in traditional sushi, discount Hydrochlorothiazide, Where can i order Hydrochlorothiazide without prescription, and a few made the effort to recreate the neighborhood sushi bar, with its cheerful chatter, no prescription Hydrochlorothiazide online, Hydrochlorothiazide from canada, trusting relationships, lack of menus and reasonable prices, where can i buy cheapest Hydrochlorothiazide online. Hydrochlorothiazide results, But the dirty little secret of American sushi is that from the beginning, many Japanese chefs assumed that we could never appreciate the wide-ranging experience the way their Japanese customers did, buy cheap Hydrochlorothiazide, Get Hydrochlorothiazide, so they didn’t bother to educate us. Simple sushi took over, Hydrochlorothiazide samples, Buy cheap Hydrochlorothiazide no rx, featuring the usual suspects: tuna, salmon, herbal Hydrochlorothiazide, Low dose Hydrochlorothiazide, boiled shrimp.

Today, Hydrochlorothiazide no rx, Hydrochlorothiazide blogs, most Americans remain wary of the stern-faced sushi chef, and dare not sit at the bar — we wouldn’t know how to order or to control the bill, generic Hydrochlorothiazide. Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription, Many chefs, in turn, tell me that they’re fed up with the way we Americans mishandle our sushi, so they don’t bother to serve us the fun, flavorful and more peculiar toppings. Buy Hydrochlorothiazide from mexico, So Americans are stuck between chef-driven omakase meals at elite restaurants that cost a fortune and the cheap, predictable fare at our neighborhood places, what is Hydrochlorothiazide. Where can i buy Hydrochlorothiazide online, Both extremes have deepened our dependence on tuna — at the high end, on super-fatty cuts of rare bluefin; and at the low end, buying Hydrochlorothiazide online over the counter, Hydrochlorothiazide steet value, on tasteless red flesh that has often been frozen for months and treated with chemicals to preserve its color.

The dirty little secret of Japanese sushi is that a lot of Japanese eat sushi the same way that Americans do: ordering set plates, even take-out sushi that depends on fatty and salty flavors to drive business, Hydrochlorothiazide dose. Rx free Hydrochlorothiazide, The second dirty little secret is that the supposedly wide-ranging palates of Japanese sushi consumers have been trained since childhood to eat everything they're given without showing favor; perfect for the Japanese restaraunt business in which the customer determines how much they want to pay, their status, Hydrochlorothiazide gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Hydrochlorothiazide canada, mexico, india, instead of what they want to eat.

Corson is backed up by Steven Shaw, Hydrochlorothiazide photos, who argues that Japanese public health advice is better and that the conventional US warnings about pregnant women consuming raw fish are unwarranted. Most of the danger, he says, comes from raw shellfish, and if you avoid that -- and go easy on potentially mercury-heavy fatty fish -- then sushi is good for you, Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription. It's nice to know that we didn't take any excessive risks when my wife was pregnant, though you never feel good about ignoring "best practice" advice. (( though, as anyone who's read a guide to pregnancy lately can tell you, there's a lot of goofiness masquerading as "best practices" and it's very hard to take it all seriously after a while ))

Continuing the "I knew that, doesn't everyone?" theme comes a review of the Heisei Nakamura-za troupe -- led by Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII -- which is trying to revive the flagging fortunes of Kabuki

But as the scion of a theatrical dynasty that goes back to the 17th century — the numeral behind his name indicates his place in an unbroken line of masters — he feels the lure of Kabuki as it was in its rough-and-tumble early days, when its very name meant off-kilter, out of the box, strange and new. It was a rowdy, plebeian entertainment then, not some cultural treasure. In 2000 Mr. Kanzaburo [sic Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription, ] founded the troupe Heisei Nakamura-za to strike the old spark.

“Please don’t misunderstand,” Mr. Kanzaburo [sic] said recently from Tokyo, through a translator. “It’s not that I dislike the classical Kabuki. I love the classics, and they are important. Also, I don’t believe you can be a Kabuki actor unless you have mastered the classics, Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription. I don’t want to aspire to new directions by denying the classics.”

This is Mr. Nakamura's second US tour, and he's been tweaking things to engage US audiences -- showing whole plays instead of excerpts, inserting English dialogue, encouraging crowd commentary -- in both his tours. The work he's showing seem quite classical -- well, late classical -- in tone, including sex, violence, disguise and SWAT teams....

Update: The troupe's presentation of a kabuki comedy got a great review, too.

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Someone’s class project….

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 5:29 am Print
Apparently, some English class at a Japanese university is exploring the Anglophone Blogosphere in search of pen pals and practice. (This is the closest thing to a meme you're probably ever going to get on this blog.) This was mine:
Dear Jonathan Dresner

Hello! My name is N.M. I'm a Japanese student. I'm going to school to K. University in Japan. I found your e-mail address in your blog ( Now, I'm researching about Japanese food in foreign country. I thought you might be able to help me. I want to ask you three questions about Japanese Food. I'm sure you're very busy, but could I ask you questions? It won't take long.

1. What Japanese foods do you like?
2. What image do you have of Japanese foods?
3. Why and how has Japanese Food Boom occurred in foreign countries? If you know, please tell me.

I hope to hear from you.

N. M.

And here's what I wrote back:

Dear Naoki,

I've lived in Japan for over three years, altogether, and I just took my family out for sushi tonight, here in Hilo. Hawai'i has a large Japanese immigrant population, and lots of Japanese tourists, so there is lots of great Japanese food here.

1. What Japanese foods do you like?

Sushi, obviously. Our favorite sushi shop here has a spiced tuna roll with macadamia nuts which is excellent, and lots of rolls with avocado, which grows here. I'm also very, very fond of unagi.

I'm also a great fan of okonomiyaki, but there's only one okonomiyaki restaraunt that I know of in the United States. Fortunately, it's in Honolulu, so I've gotten to eat it recently.

I never turn down tempura, or katsu, and we make Japanese-style curry rice at home about once a month. Here in Hawai'i, we combine a kind of futomaki O-nigiri with Spam to make "musubi." I miss umeboshi onigiri, though.

2. What image do you have of Japanese foods?

Lots. I've been in dirty little noodle shops and shiny yakitori bars and beautiful tempura places and chanko-nabe restaraunts with tegata on the walls. I've eaten satsumaimo from a cart and roast corn at a local festival, and Mosburgers. I've eaten fish fresh from the ocean in ryokan and cool tofu at Kiyomizudera.

3. Why and how has Japanese Food Boom occurred in foreign countries?

People like variety. New foods are fun! Japanese food has some very new and different tastes. Some foods, like Sushi and tempura, are very adaptable, very easy to enjoy. I'm still hoping for an okonomiyaki boom, though.

Best of luck with your English class!

I'm not sure if that was the kind of response he was looking for....


Israeli Sushi

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 9:44 pm Print
Japanese food is, as I've said before, one of the great contributions to world food culture. But nothing remains "pure," even if it was in some sense pure to begin with. Our favorite sushi place here in Hilo features lots of avocado-filled futomaki, poké (marinated sashimi, basically, available in a wide variety of styles and flavors, and destined to become Hawai'i's most distinctive contribution to world food) as a side dish and in sushi (the rice-side-out poké sushi rolled in crushed macadamia nuts is my wife's top pick) and one of my personal favorites is the Green Bay roll, with smoked salmon, cream cheese and asparagus. Nothing brings out creativity like food. And nothing drives creativity in food like the restaraunt market, in which responding to local tastes frequently trumps purity of spirit or style (though "purity" is often a valuable market niche as well). So it was with little surprise that I learned that Israeli sushi [gracious half-bow to Jonathan Edelstein] is moving in its own directions.

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