Journal of Religious Studies
Online ISSN : 2435-9416
Print ISSN : 0387-3323
The Relation between Buddhism and Food in Books of the Edo Era
Takayuki TOKUNO
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2018 Volume 2018 Issue 37 Pages 3-26


This thesis investigates the establishment of shojin ryori by particularly focusing on vegetarian meals in cookbooks, which were published in the early modern period. In recent years, washoku and Japanese cuisine have come to occupy the spotlight. In December 2013, washoku was the twentysecond Japanese asset listed on the UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritages. Japanese food has also played an important role in the program— Cool Japan—adopted by the Japanese government and the country’s economic activity. Shojin ryori is a type of cuisine like that of washoku and other general Japanese cuisine. It developed under the influence of the Zen Sect, which arrived in Japan in the medieval period. However, no evidence of the term shojin ryori can be found in Buddhist texts (tenseki). Thus, it must be concluded that the term was created by people in the secular world to name Buddhist food. In other words, shojin ryori is an image of Buddhist cuisine from the point of view of the secular world. Shojin ryori began to be used by cooks in the secular world in early modern times as the commercialization of Buddhist food progressed. As a result, vegetarian meals were redefined as shojin ryori, an implicitly religious term, thanks to the word shojin. Further, analysis of the construction of the term of shojin ryori by cooks in early modern time will show that it is related to the development of the jidan system.

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© 2018 Komazawa Religious Study Institute
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