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The “Japanese Turn” in the Art, Architecture and Cuisine of Europe and the United States, 1860–2020 (Oct. 21, 2023)

Session(s) date

Session(s) date: 
Saturday, October 21, 2023 - 9:00am

Join us for this free online workshop with distinguished historian Sam Yamashita. Over the last forty years, Japanese cuisine has had an oversized influence on fine dining in the United States. Chefs cooking at celebrated American restaurants are now freely using Japanese ingredients, condiments, culinary techniques, and concepts, and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, the leading culinary school in the country, now offers a concentration in Japanese cuisine. This lecture will describe in some detail this “Japanese turn” and argue that this contemporary culinary movement toward Japan is comparable to the Japanese influence on European and American art and architecture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and may be another important Japanese moment in American cultural history. The first 50 educators register for the workshop will receive a "Taste of Japan (Japanese snacks)" ($25) package by mail. 

Participants who fully attend the workshop and submit the survey feedback are eligible to apply for the certificate issued by the U.S.-China Institute with the contact hours listed. 

All participating educators will receive background readings and select primary sources. Participants are encouraged to share ideas and raise questions prior to and after the workshop via our online forum. The live session on October 21 will also include time to brainstorm on how to best bring this remarkable period alive for your students.

Samuel H. Yamashita is Henry E. Sheffield Professor of History at Pomona College. He’s long been one of the most popular instructors in our programs for teachers and co-led two of our study tours to East Asia. A Confucian specialist with mastery of both classical Chinese and classical Japanese, Samuel Yamashita has written extensively about early modern and modern Japanese intellectual and cultural history, focusing most recently on Japan during World War II and Japanese and fusion cuisine. Among his most influential works is Leaves from an Autumn of Emergencies: Selections from the Wartime Diaries of Ordinary Japanese (2005). This collection of diary excerpts from a wide variety of Japanese challenges the prevailing view of a unified and patriotic Japanese citizenry and raise questions about the way the war ended with the dropping of two atomic bombs. His other books include Daily Life in Wartime Japan, 1940-1945 (2015), Master Sorai's Responsals: An Annotated Translation of "Sorai Sensei Tomonsho" (1994) and Hawai'i Regional Cuisine: The Food Movement That Changed the Way Hawaii Eats (2019). Professor Yamashita’s been featured on NPR and CSPAN.

This workshop is sponsored by the Japan Society and the USC U.S.-China Institute. It's offered in partnership with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia and with support from the Freeman Foundation.

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