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History and hybridity of East Asian food culture

Asian foodways today are as diverse and multifaceted as the complex political, ecological, institutional, and socio-cultural transformations the region underwent throughout its modern history. Extensive inter-cultural exchanges in food culture in Asia occurred on the occasions of colonization, wars of various scales, and, more recently, globalization. These changes made at macro-political levels often introduce new factors to the local food practices, influencing and enriching the ways of preparing and consuming food at the everyday level.

In this issue of News from Northeast Asia, we have three articles each capturing key aspects of the history of Asian foodways: the article by Seejae Lee examines acculturation in the formation of Western-Japanese fusion cuisine in modern Japan that began with the Meiji Restoration in late 19th century; Young-ha Joo writes about the history of the instant ramen industry in Korea, Japan and Taiwan, which reflects the exchanges and hybridization of food in colonial and post-colonial East Asia; and the article by Zhao Rongguang illuminates Chinese national culinary culture, focusing on philosophical, historical and cultural dimensions.


KIM Chong Min, Regional Editor of ‘News from Northeast Asia’; Research Fellow, Seoul National University Asia Centre (snuac_eds@snu.ac.kr).

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