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Hyeri Lee on Dining Tables and Edo Food Culture in Ukiyo-e
17 March, 2022
The author of this book, Ayano Hayashi, is a curator and art writer. She wrote many publications and columns about art and painters. Among her publications, there are special series that explains the historical background and food culture through famous painters paintings, such as Monet and Van Gogh. The book that I introduce here ‘Dining Tables and Edo Food Culture in Ukiyo-e’ is one of those series.
As you can understand from the title of this book, it is a book that explains the food culture of the time, focusing on the food drawn in the painting, using “Ukiyo-e” which is a typical painting of the Edo period. In chapter 1 and 2, she explains the story behind the birth of food and the eating style of that time by using Ukiyo-e, so that helps the reader who lives in present can image easily. Furthermore, by posting the recipes and the introduction of the restaurant where you can taste the taste of those time, you can feel that it is close to us, not the world in the history and paintings. Chapter 3 introduces Ukiyo-e artists such as Katsushika Hokusai and Hiroshige Utagawa, and telling the stories about the food they loved. Through the stories, readers can understand paintings and the lifestyle of that period more deeply and lively. At the end of the book, she introduces small stories around food such as soy sauce, sake and other further related references, it leaves future possibilities to readers.
Although it is a very casual book, it is a very beautiful and interesting publication which you can understand the food culture and art of the Edo period, as well as lifestyles and cityscapes.
※ Related website exploring the Delights of Ukiyo-e through Food