Dashi Culture Project
The Dashi Culture Project produces videos based on interviews and case studies of various people, in the hopes of examining and passing on the dietary culture of the Kansai region as well as the “dashi culture,” the foundation of Japanese dietary culture.
Japanese cuisine is not only about relishing delicious food, but encompasses wisdom, ingenuity, and customs related to the diet nurtured by the Japanese who respect nature. Furthermore, the Kansai region, where the “dashi culture” has been handed down in daily life, still retains its own “culture of hospitality.”
Summarized in the word “dashi” are producers who produce the ingredients, sellers who supply the dashi, chefs who use the ingredients to prepare dishes, and tasters who relish the dashi. Our videos will provide you with such people’s ideas, wisdom, and ways of using dashi that suit the current lifestyle.
In addition, the “dashi culture” at home has not been noticed nor systematized until now. However, in view of the fact that the concept of “mottainai (a sense of regret over waste),” ingrained in our daily lives, has been transmitted to the international society along with the original Japanese concept, we believe the home is the very place where we find the culture of everyday life that should be archived and preserved.
Therefore, we strive to disseminate the “dashi culture,” the foundation of the dietary culture of Kansai. We also deliver, in the respectful way possible, not only the traditions of “dashi culture,” but also a multifaceted allure of dashi by exploring it from a fresh perspective of domestic culture. We hope you enjoy your stay at our website.
This project is run as a collaborative project with the Agency for Cultural Affairs and Yamamoto Noh Theatre to reconstitute, archive, and preserve the value of Kansai’s dashi culture for the next generation.
Dashi is a type of stock full of umami (a strong, savory taste, often referred to as the fifth taste) and scents derived from boiling fish, meat, vegetables, and vegetable waste. In Japanese cuisine, dashi is extracted mainly from dried foods such as kombu (kelp), dried bonito, niboshi (dried sardines), and dried shiitake mushrooms. Dashi is used in most Japanese dishes, including simmered food, soups, seasoned food, and rice cooked with other ingredients. Therefore, we may call dashi the foundation of Japanese cuisine. There are cases where the type of dashi is changed to suit a dish, and the flavor of dashi may differ completely depending on the way it is prepared. A synergistic effect of umami may be achieved by changing the ingredients themselves or the combination thereof.