『日葡辞書』が語る食の風景(1)  [in Japanese] The Japanese-Portuguese dictionary: food culture of 16th century Japan  [in Japanese]

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Abstract

This note presents a selection and organization of words related to food culture from The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary. The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary, the translation of VOCABVLARIO DA LINGOA DE IA PAM corn a declaracao em Portugues, was published in 1603 by the Society of Jesus for use by their missionnaries in the propagation of the Christian faith. These words are fragmented, ambiguous, and somewhat limited. Not all words in The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary were well known by everybody at that time, but most of words were practical and widely used, and thus helpful for the propagation of the Christian faith. Food is a mainstay of life, and plays a key role in forming our identities. What to eat and how to eat is not only a matter of individual taste, but also a part of culture that reflects time and geography. The observations of strangers from strange lands (Europe) gave structure and clarity to the everyday things taken for granted by people living in the visited country (Japan). For example, unexpected food for Europeans included unknown grasses, unusually fish, uncommon seaweed, salted fish guts, and above all fermented things, such as fermented soybeans. Based on actual experience, this selection is not in merely an enumeration of foods, but a reconstruction of food scenery at the end of the 16th Century in Japan. Some excerpts from The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary are as follows. Japanese at that time thought that food can be either power or poison. Thus, "Dokudachi (literally Poison cut-off)" indicates when a sick person fasts reduces food intake. A meal includes Ii (rice), Shiru (soup), and Sai (vegetables or fish or meat). Shiru, the soup was essential for every meal. Rice was graded by difficulty of polishing. Damage resistant red rice spread through the country, and came to be boiled in iron pots. The multi-faceted abilities to harvest, hunt, and produce were expanding, as can be seen from the specific names for rice gruels, rice cakes, noodles, beans, underground vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, shellfish, river fish, sea fish, game, wildfowl, fruits, and nuts. From root to seed, from meat to guts, they ate all parts, and invented ideas to preserve food such as drying and salting. One of the characteristic trends at that time was the entry of salt, vinegar, and soybeans to the dinner table. Soybeans were processed in many ways, such as tofu (bean curd), moyasi (sprouts), natto (fermented soybeans), miso (soybean paste), sudate (soy sauce). They frequently used the word "Anbai" to measure the taste. This meant that salt became a large component of food.

This note presents a selection and organization of words related to food culture from The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary. The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary, the translation of VOCABVLARIO DA LINGOA DE IA PAM corn a declaracao em Portugues, was published in 1603 by the Society of Jesus for use by their missionnaries in the propagation of the Christian faith. These words are fragmented, ambiguous, and somewhat limited. Not all words in The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary were well known by everybody at that time, but most of words were practical and widely used, and thus helpful for the propagation of the Christian faith. Food is a mainstay of life, and plays a key role in forming our identities. What to eat and how to eat is not only a matter of individual taste, but also a part of culture that reflects time and geography. The observations of strangers from strange lands (Europe) gave structure and clarity to the everyday things taken for granted by people living in the visited country (Japan). For example, unexpected food for Europeans included unknown grasses, unusually fish, uncommon seaweed, salted fish guts, and above all fermented things, such as fermented soybeans. Based on actual experience, this selection is not in merely an enumeration of foods, but a reconstruction of food scenery at the end of the 16th Century in Japan. Some excerpts from The Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary are as follows. Japanese at that time thought that food can be either power or poison. Thus, "Dokudachi (literally Poison cut-off)" indicates when a sick person fasts reduces food intake. A meal includes Ii (rice), Shiru (soup), and Sai (vegetables or fish or meat). Shiru, the soup was essential for every meal. Rice was graded by difficulty of polishing. Damage resistant red rice spread through the country, and came to be boiled in iron pots. The multi-faceted abilities to harvest, hunt, and produce were expanding, as can be seen from the specific names for rice gruels, rice cakes, noodles, beans, underground vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, shellfish, river fish, sea fish, game, wildfowl, fruits, and nuts. From root to seed, from meat to guts, they ate all parts, and invented ideas to preserve food such as drying and salting. One of the characteristic trends at that time was the entry of salt, vinegar, and soybeans to the dinner table. Soybeans were processed in many ways, such as tofu (bean curd), moyasi (sprouts), natto (fermented soybeans), miso (soybean paste), sudate (soy sauce). They frequently used the word "Anbai" to measure the taste. This meant that salt became a large component of food.

Journal

  • Essays and studies

    Essays and studies 58(2), 123-149, 2008-03

    Tokyo Woman's Christian University

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    110007172168
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AN00161550
  • Text Lang
    JPN
  • Article Type
    Departmental Bulletin Paper
  • Journal Type
    大学紀要
  • ISSN
    04934350
  • NDL Article ID
    9502388
  • NDL Source Classification
    ZV1(一般学術誌--一般学術誌・大学紀要)
  • NDL Call No.
    Z22-401
  • Data Source
    NDL  NII-ELS  IR 
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