Food, Language, and Society: Communication in Japanese Foodways examines the language of food in Japanese through the lens of cognitive science and cultural studies to explore intriguing ways in which language, food, and culture interact in the fabric of Japanese society. The questions of how, where, and by whom food and food experiences are described provide abundant opportunities for investigating relationships between language and culture from multi-disciplinary perspectives. Linguistic analysis of the language of food enables us to understand cognitive information that motivates and influences people’s rhetorical choices on foodways. Detailed discussions reveal that loanwords, mimetics, cooking terms, and metaphors serve as lynchpins to enrich the expressive power of the language of food. Food discourse situated in broader social and cultural contexts also reflect social norms and cultural practices deeply embedded within and beyond our gustatory and culinary life. Food narratives as in cookbooks and advertisements are an informative means for virtual interpersonal communication where individual and group identity is indexed, providing a platform for reexamination of gender and other social norms as response to changes in society. Examined from the interaction of linguistic and sociocultural perspectives, Food, Language, and Society illuminates the form, use, and social meaning of the language of food.
Natsuko Tsujimura is professor emerita in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and adjunct professor emerita in the Department of Linguistics at Indiana University Bloomington.
Chapter 1 Introduction to Food, Language, and Society
Part I: Language of Food from within
Chapter 2 Loanwords
Chapter 3 Mimetics
Chapter 4 The Vocabulary of Food Preparation – Concept and Lexical Process
Chapter 5 Metaphors
Part II: Language of Food in Society
Chapter 6 Recipes and Cookbooks
Chapter 7 Construction of Gendered Images in Foodways
Language can have a colorful relationship with food. This informative, well-researched book offers an in-depth examination of how language characterizes and fosters modern Japanese food culture. Drawing on her extensive experience in research and teaching the Japanese language, Tsujimura investigates the relationship between food and language in a variety of ways. She divides the book into two sections, "Language of Food from Within" and "Language of Food in Society," offering illuminating examples of Japanese vocabularies and phrases used to present food, describing the cooking experience, and explaining recipes and cookbooks…. Though the book seems technical and narrow, it is widely applicable and an interesting and enlightening read. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.
This book makes an invaluable contribution to the study of the language of food in Japanese, adding an engaging array of topics, from the vocabulary of food preparation to the significance of changing social and gender identity reflected in the language use by cookbook authors. Food, Language, and Society is an informative and insightful read for researchers, educators, and students, including L2-Japanese learners.
Drawing from sources like menus and cookbooks, Tsujimura is the first to explain the language of Japanese cooking. Readers of food studies and Japan will be enriched by this engrossing study that blends linguistic and sociocultural approaches to unpack the power of culinary terms for a society that loves food.
In this detailed study of Japanese, Prof. Tsujimura presents insights into our personal and social experiences of food and our cultural assumptions and expectations about food, taste, and culinary practices. Through careful linguistic analysis she uncovers how language provides and creates resources to describe food and our experience of both taste and preparation. She also shows how attitudes toward food and cooking have changed over time and vary across cultures.
A rich and engaging account of how the experience of preparing, consuming, and marketing food in Japanese society shapes and is shaped by the Japanese language, a work at once rigorous in its theoretical understanding of language and vividly personal in its depiction of the lived experience of food and language by Japanese today and in the past, and across differences in age, gender, and geographic identity.