From Vegetarian to Meat-Loving in Japan
Reports say that in 1939 in Japan, the average Japanese eats just 0.1 ounce of meat a day. It was also the yearly average. These days, the Japanese meat consumption of the average person has gone up to 4.7 ounces and pork is the preferred meat. How could the Japanese diet changed so drastically when historically, the Japanese have always been notorious fish eaters. Seafood shaped their culture and described their lifestyle.
What ever did happen?
Japan in Medieval times were practically vegetarians. Devout followers of Buddhism and Shintoism, their religions prescribed eating only plant-based dishes. Besides, with lack of arable lands, the Japanese then couldn’t keep livestock thriving and so they resort only to non-meat food.
If they cultivate their animals, it will mean that there will not be enough land for efficient plant agriculture. Since too many animals are being killed for their flesh, the authorities decided to ban meat.
The first ban appeared in 675 BCE followed by more bans. But there was still wild game and the Japanese can still eat meat. However, as the population grew and forests were denuded to make way for planting crops, the animals disappeared from the Japanese diet. With the arrival of the meat-eating Dutch in the 18th century, the Japanese noted the tall and healthy physique of the
Europeans and decided that it must be due to their meat diet. It symbolized progress and a non-feudal society. By 1872, the Japanese started eating meat.
Still many Japanese prefer not to eat meat, perhaps due to cultural beliefs, religion or for health reasons. With educating the public in many ways, meat eating gradually spread throughout Japanese culture.
Love Our Meat Dishes in Bellevue
If you are into meats and still love Japanese, you will enjoy our steaks, chicken, ton katsus, bulgogis and more. At Sushi In Joy in Bellevue you can go vegetarian and still have your meats – without the guilt.