Japan is experiencing a sake boom, more precisely, the growing popularity of premium sake. It is the result of a dramatic reform of the Japanese sake industry over the past few decades. In this article, I argue that, from a cultural perspective, wine culture is being adopted as a cultural frame to facilitate the revival and rebranding of Japan's national drink. This adoption is a “culinary translation” of Japanese sake through the globally familiar language of wine. In this process, the Japaneseness of sake is by no means challenged, but made “legible” through the more familiar discourse and practices prevalent in the culture of wine.
Old Sake in New Glasses: Reframing Japan's National Drink through Global Wine Culture
Chuanfei Wang received her PhD in Global Studies from Sophia University Japan in 2017, where she is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Comparative Culture. Her PhD dissertation covers wine culture in Japan, focusing on how Japanese wine producers, consumers, and cultural intermediaries have incorporated Japan into the global wine world from a sociology of culture perspective. She is currently conducting two research projects: Japan's wine tourism from a global studies perspective (principal investigator) and the globalization of Japanese cuisine (collaborative investigator). She has conducted fieldwork in Japan, China, Italy, France, Australia, and Britain.
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Chuanfei Wang; Old Sake in New Glasses: Reframing Japan's National Drink through Global Wine Culture. Gastronomica 1 February 2019; 19 (1): 79–90. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2019.19.1.79
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