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The Global Japanese Restaurant: Mobilities, Imaginaries and Politics

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Global Food Project Book Launch

July 11, 2023, 18:30-20:00 (Japan time)

In person: Room 10-301, Sophia Yotsuya Campus

On Zoom: register here (

Served in over 150,000 restaurants outside Japan—from simple eateries to fine dining temples—Japanese cuisine has become truly global. These Japanese restaurants have proliferated via the transnational mobilities of people, foods, ideas, and infrastructure, spreading out from culinary global cities to their hinterlands around the world. Through their menus, décors and performative service, these establishments purvey imaginaries of Japan continuously reinvented by restaurateurs, cooks, and servers of multiple ethnicities and races. In the contexts of colonial empire, world wars, and neoliberal capitalism, their spread has been entangled in politics of authenticity, race, nationalism, and immigration. The Global Japanese Restaurant (University of Hawai’i Press 2023) narrates this process over one hundred and fifty years and six continents. Drawing on untapped primary sources and interviews in seventeen languages, it extends the story beyond Japanese cuisine’s reception in the “West” to illuminate the activities of Japanese and non-Japanese restaurateurs, chefs, and corporations in producing various forms of global Japanese restaurants in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australasia, and the Americas. This book launch talk will review highlights of the research together with photos and other images not included in the published volume. 

Authors: This book is a collaborative effort of six scholars, all affiliated with the Global Food Project of the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University:  

  • James Farrer, Sophia University, Japan 

  • David L. Wank, Sophia University (emeritus) and Tōyō Bunko, Japan 

  • Christian A. Hess, Sophia University, Japan 

  • Mônica R. de Carvalho, SKEMA Business School, Brazil 

  • Lenka Vyletalova, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic 

  • Chuanfei Wang, Hosei University, Japan 

This event is organized by James Farrer (Professor of Sociology, Sophia University) for the ICC Collaborative Research Unit Sophia Food Studies.

You can also register from here:


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