K. Bird – Week 6 – Cultural Boundaries or Consequences of Globalization

Prompt 1:

I am half Japanese and half American, so I see a lot of cultural adoptions from one culture to the other. American cars inspired the Japanese automotive industry, which then came to America to compete. Japanese cartoons, or anime, reaches adult audiences which helped American cartoons gain traction past just being Saturday morning children’s entertainment. But food is one of my favorite forms of cultural adoption and one of the most interesting ones to me. With food, you can see where the base dish originates from, the culture from the preparation and ingredients, though you can also tell how the dish changes and is adopted into the new country’s culture. Adding an ingredient here or using a technique primarily used somewhere else influences the dish and can display multiple cultures.

A huge adoption in food would be sushi. All across America now, sushi restaurants have been trending. Sushi, the type being adopted, is originally from Japan. When sushi was adopted, it was modified to fit more with American tastes. For example, California rolls were an American adaptation of Japanese maki (roll) sushi. These rolls, after coming to America, used ingredients typically not found in Japanese sushi, like avocado. Even more interesting is that now, Japan has readopted this American style of sushi and you can also find California rolls in Japan.

A more odd Japanese adoption of an American classic is pizza. In America, when you think of pizza it is usually dough topped with a tomato sauce, a healthy amount of cheese, and then meat toppings like pepperoni, maybe a few vegetables (pineapple if you are adventurous). In Japan, a personal pizza will cost over the equivalent of $10-15 and come with sauces like Alfredo or mayonnaise. Popular toppings are shrimp and octopus, with cheese optional.

Just like with sushi coming to America, pizza was adapted to suit Japanese taste buds, while still keeping the central idea alive. The chefs who brought their nation’s classical dishes to another country helped their culture move across those borders through these adaptions.

4 thoughts on “K. Bird – Week 6 – Cultural Boundaries or Consequences of Globalization

  1. Dear K. Bird,
    I wanted to first start off by saying that I thought you did a wonderful job on your blog post. I liked how you made the compare and contrasts between Japan and America. Not only were they solid points but also they were cultural boundaries that we don’t see in our everyday lives. The obvious first one that you made was the cultural boundaries of food between them. Though pizza I feel like is a pretty generic food group known around the world, sushi is also an up and coming food as far as popularity. Over the last few years, at least what I noticed, more and more business owners are starting sushi restaurants. This is due to the health benefits as well the growing oriental population establishing itself in the United States. Another cultural boundary point that I thought you made that was very key was the automotive example. This showed that though America was the start of the automobile, since then, many countries have adopted these industries and in turn had much success with them as well. Great job on your post.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog post! Having the opportunity to live in two different countries gave a very unique and interesting perspective on cultural adoption because you have been able to experience and witness this first hand. I do find it interesting what you stated about sushi and how the new “trend” in the United States is eating more sushi by taking a traditional dish and modifying it to appeal to a broader audience. I would not have suspected other countries, as you mentioned about pizza in Japan, did this same practice as well. I also enjoyed your perspective on anime cartoons and how it has become more than just a Saturday morning activity but a whole phenomenon here in the United States. My only fear with that is because cultural adoption, at least what we see in the United States, involves not only adopting but modifying different cultures food, music, traditions, etc. that it takes away the beauty from it by doing so. Overall, excellent post and great perspective on the topic!

  3. I also wrote about food and how it is a very easy way to see how globalization has changed the world in a cultural way. Someone can see a dish in one country and bring the recipe back to their home country and change it or tweak it to make it to their liking. I thought it was interesting how you mentioned pizza in Japan, I had never heard about how it is different in Japan and would have never thought of having mayonnaise as a sauce, or octopus as a topping. That is an example of taking a recipe and making it your own in your own country, a very interesting one if you ask me. Another thing I mentioned was baseball in America and Japan, it started in America but is a fairly popular sport in Japan as well. While the rules might be slightly different (I believe you are still able to end in a tie game in Japan, I could be wrong) the game is generally the same and is changed slightly to fit the culture.

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. The point you made about sushi was also mentioned in the lecture (lecture 6.1, slide 12). One point that there has been much cultural diffusion between United States of America and Japan. You relate a lot because you’re half American and half Japanese. This helps you see the cultural difference between the two countries like food. That pizza is America and now its in japan but they add there own different kind of toppings like octopus. I would like to go to Japan and taste there own version of pizza. Also I had no idea that America sushi they added avocado and called it California rolls. The other things is amine and I’ve noticed that a lot of college students watch it. Amine has become a big part in America that we wait to watch it in subtitles or english dubbed. It seems like every country takes something and makes it their own.

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