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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Global Oriental (2012)

Ramen, Japan's noodle soup, is a microcosm of Japan and its historical relations with China. The long evolution of ramen helps us enter the history of cuisine in Japan, charting how food and politics combined as a force within Sino-Japan relations. Cuisine in East Asia plays a significant political role, at times also philosophical, economic, and social.

Ramen is a symbol of the relationship between the two major forces in East Asia - what started as a Chinese food product ended up almost 1,000 years later as the emblem of modern Japanese cuisine.

This book explains that history - from myths about food in ancient East Asia to the transfer of medieval food technology to Japan, to today's ramen "popular culture."

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