How did sushi become popular outside Japan?

“There is no doubt that the positive images of Japan’s cars and electronic appliances as high-quality and advanced have been helpful in spreading similar images about Japanese cultural commodities. If sushi were a delicacy of a country without industial might or sashimi a health food of a remote village in a technologically disadvantaged region, it is doubtful if the cultural diffusion of these foodstuffs around the world would have been possible”

This (from the otherwise very interesting Cambridge Companion to Modern Japanese Culture), sounds like complete crap to me. How do you  explain the spread of Thai food, then, just to give one example? And why sushi and sashimi rather than takoyaki and soba? Unfortunately, though, I don’t have a better answer to the question. The first thing that sprung to mind is the lucky chance of first becoming famous in the always influential area of California, but Korean food certainly hasn’t spread from there in the same way…

2 Comments

  1. prototype34 said,

    September 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Mind you I would love to see more Korean restaurants throughout the city but within a span of 2 blocks in my old neighbourhood there are 4 sushi restaurants. You would think market saturation might have crossed their minds.

  2. roaminsticka said,

    September 27, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I actually agree with this assessment. Yes, Thai food has spread but not prodigiously like sushi and sashimi. It also helps that most people in the west hold Japan out to be some sort of paragon of universal wisdom. “Japan knows all” and that sort of thing. “Heck, if they eat it we HAVE to eat it because Japanese people know more than us.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: