Menus for the Soul
Changing Food Landscapes in Contemporary Japan
As Nancy K. Stalker (2018) points out, in recent years food in Japan has established itself as a fundamental feature of national and local identity and became one of Japan's most influential cultural brands. An intriguing example is the B-kyū gurume boom, the celebration of creative versions of typical comfort food, intertwined with the obsession for local traditions. Such processes are reflected in representations of food in media and arts: contemporary culture plays a fundamental role in shaping but also in connoting food culture with new meanings. The aim of this paper is to analyze the construction and narration of contemporary Japanese food culture in one of the most recent and successful franchises, Shin’ya Shokudō, the popular manga by Abe Yarō, which inspired the Netflix series that enjoyed unexpected international success in 2017.