The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

ERIC C. RATH
Reevaluating Rikyū: Kaiseki and the Origins of Japanese Cuisine

Current historiography recognizes that modern Japanese cuisine is an expression of national identity and traces its origin to tea cuisine (kaiseki) said to have been perfected by Sen no Rikyū (152291). Yet, Rikyūs contributions to the development of kaiseki are not substantiated in the historical records. This article aims to clarify the role of Rikyū in the development of tea cuisine and to call for a broader investigation of the history of tea cuisine to consider more diffuse and diverse practices involving multiple actors over time rather than attribute foundational principles in national culture to individual genius.

Volume 39, Number 1 (Winter 2013)
2013 Society for Japanese Studies


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