Japanese Culture and Traditions: The Secrets of Japanese Food to Enrich Your Daily Meal


Make life happy without money

Do you believe money can’t buy you love? I may be too old to believe in such a naïve world as the Beatles song went. According to Daniel Kahneman, a genius winning a Nobel Prize in 2002, money can buy you happiness. No rush. I didn’t mean like “Hey look! There’s nothing more to life than money!” His point is nothing like that. His words continued, “as long as your annual income is less than 75,000 dollars.” He raised a serious problem for us. The more we get paid, the more likely we are to lose an ability to enjoy life. Money is not omnipotent. Let’s learn from the wisdom of our ancestors to make life happy without relation to money.

Another image of Japanese traditional meal. A small table for each person. Three bowls and a cup on it.

Simple food on well-thought-out dishes

Before the COVID pandemic, I flew around the world. The business trips taught me many unique points of Japan. Most impressing me is difference in tableware. It’s not about design, by the way. In Japan, it’s rare to serve various food in one plate/bowl all together. Different types of food are not mixed. We serve each of them in a different plate/bowl. Tableware is carefully selected depending on the color of food, the seasons, etc. I imagine our ancestors might create this habit to enjoy life independently of money. During Edo period (1603 – 1868), the daily meal of common people was so frugal—only rice, vegetable pickles, and miso soup for almost 365 days a year. Imagine if pickles were just put on rice. I’m sure many people would have lost all their hopes and died in despair.

A dining table made of four pieces of wood planks. Some tea cups and bread are on it.

I don’t know exactly how and why such a habit began in Japan, but my imagination would not be largely wrong. One thing for sure is it is essential to make such small efforts to get our lives free from the spell of money. Even if you’re fed up with the contents of every day meal, you can raise you up by paying attention to dining goods. Now, we’ve finally got to the punch line of this article. Why don’t you get our dining furniture to enrich your daily meal?

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.