Hall Center For The Humanities

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Eric Rath
History

"Food and Culinary Fantasy in Early Modern Japan"
Seminars : Resident Fellows Seminar

Tue., Apr. 11, 2006, 11:30am - 1:00pm
Location: Hall Center Conference Hall
A box lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Jeanie Wulfkuhle, jeaniew@ku.edu by noon on March 31, 2006.

Eric Rath will take a semester to analyze several boxes of primary sources he has already collected for his project The Eggplant and the Crane: The Development of Cuisine in Early Modern Japan. His proposed book will trace the development of Japanese cuisine in a four-part approach. It will follow the transition from medieval to modern cuisine from the standpoint of the production and consumption of foodstuffs, namely vegetables and sweets. He will also consider the development of an intellectual discourse on food as seen in secret writing on medieval cuisine and early-modern cookbooks. Kyoto is the central stage for this study since it was the capital from 794 to 1868 and home to the court and specialist schools of medieval cuisine. The proposed book extends a concern in his prior research to trace the evolution of major currents of traditional Japanese culture from the premodern period to the modern era to understand how political, social and technological factors shape the way authenticity and authority within a tradition are determined by both producers and consumers of tradition. His uninterrupted time at the Hall Center will allow Rath to study the most difficult primary sources that remain.
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