Japanese Page

Japanese food is rich in variety ranging from extravagant party dishes to simple everyday meals.

I'd like to explain Kaiseki-ryori, a Japanese meal of several courses which is served when entertaining guests with sake (rice wine).

The following diagrams show both the order in which the dishes are served and give an example of how they might be arranged on the table.

@ sakitsuke (hors d'oeuvre)
A zensai (appetizer)
B suimono (clear soup)
C sashimi (slices of raw fish)
D nimono (stewed seafood and vegetables)
E yakimono (broiled fish)
F agemono (deep-fried seafood and vegetables)
G sunomono (vinegared seafood and vegetables)
H gohan (cooked rice)
I tomewan (miso soup)
J konomono (pickled vegetables)
K kudamono or mizugashi (fruit)

1)Hold the bowl in your left hand, and grasp the top of the lid with your right hand.
2)Remove the lid with your right hand.
3)Return the liquid which has accumulated in the lid of the bowl, to the bowl.
4)Put the lid down, face up, on the right hand side of the tray.

The toast is held at the beginning of the meal, when all of the participants are present. It is held only once, and you are expected to at least pretend to take a sip, even if you don't drink.

Oshibori is a small wet cloth provided at the beginning of the meal. It is usually heated before it is given to the guest.
Kaishi is used in almost the same way as a paper napkin. It can be used in a number of different ways. One example is when it is used to blot impurities from around the rim of the tea cup. It is also used as a small plate on which Japanese sweets are placed during the tea ceremony.

In general, sencha (green tea) is served before the meal. During and after the meal, hojicha (roasted tea) is served.

These points are just the beginning. Table manners are important, but don't forget to enjoy your meal! As I learned, I found that I wanted to improve my manners.