Japanese love their own food very much such as other people from other countries. Japan has big food industries, too, so the biggest problem for Japanese people who live in another country is absolutely food. They miss not only traditional and authentic dishes but also B-grade cuisine such as Ramen, Curry, Okonomiyaki, and Gyudon.
*Japanese people categorize reasonable price’ food like Ramen and Curry as B-grade cuisine (B級グルメ).
Let me talk about B-grade cuisine a little. Japan imported various cuisines from many countries old time and converted them to the local food that has a taste Japanese prefer without changing concepts of the cuisines. Also, they created original flavors so that Japan has a lot of Ramen flavors such as Soy (Shoyu), Miso, Pork (Tonkotsu), Pork-Soy (Tonkotsu-Shoyu), Chicken and styles such as Hakata-ramen, Kumamoto-ramen, Iekei-ramen, Sapporo-ramen that China, the country originally created ramen, doesn’t have.
Basically, flavors of B-grade cuisine are usually thick. On the other hand, Japanese traditional dishes bring out the best in the ingredients used to make it.
Japanese food is very important to mention Japanese culture, so it is not surprising that Netflix has made dramas about Japanese food along with other famous cuisines. Subtlety, elaboration, skillfulness, and accuracy of Japanese food are well-expressed in the dramas of Netflix.
Netflix has one documentary film and three dramas related to Japanese cuisines as of now. The film is famous for spreading a recognition of a beautiful and responsible craftsmanship of a Sushi chef. The chef has pursued making an elaborate Sushi for his history.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The dramas depict ordinary lives for general people. In “Midnight Diner”, various stories are taken place in small Japanese pub, Izakaya. The episodes are nostalgic, humorous and heart-warming.
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories
“Samurai Gourmet” is a story of a man who retired from a company and started enjoying moments that he didn’t experience in a life of a businessman. In this drama, Samurai is appearing and influencing an attitude of the unconfident man through eating. (Sounds interesting, isn’t it? ) That would be the point that attracts viewers.
“Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman” focuses on only desserts and has full of comical expressions. The actor who plays a protagonist is a Kabuki actor. Kabuki is a traditional play since the beginning of Edo era. He hasn’t acted a lot in dramas and movies and opened a new front as a comedy actor. His facial performances are incredibly funny.
Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman
Japan has a lot of food comics, and you can see them even on TV dramas, animations, and movies.
These are the famous food comics: “Iron Chef/料理の鉄人”, “Shota no Sushi/将太の寿司”, “Cooking Dady/クッキングパパ”, “Oishinbo/おいしんぼ”, “No.1 of Chinese Food/中華一番”, “Lonely Gourmet/孤独のグルメ” more and more…
These comics represent abundant food cultures of Japan.
In the Netflix dramas, the protagonists and people surround him meet wonderful moments through dishes. I always feel our life is same with them. Eating is our main element which illustrates ourselves, and we can add new stories to our life by eating.
*Sources of all photos are belonging to Netflix.