Proceedings of the 20 th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Department of Folklore and Ethnology, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Łodź, Poland, 3–6 September 2014
Communication of Food Information by Means of the Internet in Contemporary Japan: Naoto Minami
Communication of Food Information by Means of the Internet in Contemporary Japan
For thousands of years humankind has collected and exchanged information about food and cooking and communicated it to the next generation, both orally and in writing. In the past, such information was essential for survival because most people suffered from chronic nutritional deficiency. While the medium of information exchange among the lower classes of society was mainly oral, various cookery books were written for the upper classes who were in a position to enjoy good meals. In modern times, however, the differential between the food-related information available to the lower and upper classes in society has gradually decreased. In the twentieth century, the democratisation of information was advanced by the proliferation of food magazines, and restaurant guides such as the Michelin Guide and the Zagat Survey; in the twenty-first century, this process is being globally accelerated by means of the Internet.
This paper identifies some fields of investigation arising from the discussion of the advancement of communication about food by means of the Internet. It focuses on information about restaurants and eating out, as well as on home cooking. Communication regarding the former is mostly carried out via commercial websites, while communication with regard to the latter is based both on commercial websites and on social and personal networks. This article examines some examples of the online communication of information about food and cooking in contemporary Japan, on both commercial...
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