No Asians Working Here:’ Racialized Otherness and Authenticity in Gastronomical Orientalism
The authenticity of cultural dining experiences, particularly involving Japanese and Chinese food, are often based on how restaurants best fit the “Orientalist narrative.” However, the authentication of this identity is only measured by each consumer’s own personal cultural competence and experience. For consumers, ethnic food is a way to experience an unknown identity; however, as a result…
“Ethnic food is dis-embedded from its original cultural practices and meaning and transplanted and transformed instead into someone else’s cultural capital” (Hirose and Pih 2011:1484).
In this article, we see how foodies in the United States believe they can decipher authentic cuisine from the inauthentic.
Hirose, Akihiko and Kay Hei-Ho Pih. 2011. ‘”No Asians Working Here:’ Racialized Otherness and Authenticity in Gastronomical Orientalism.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 34(9):1482-1501.
The Kimono Wednesday’ Protests: How the Kimono Became More Than Japanese
The Kimono, usually worn by Japanese women on religious and ceremonial occasions, is a universal marker of the Japanese culture. The kimono is often used as a marketing ploy to attract domestic and foreign tourists and, as a result, has led to a rise in the kimono as a fashion trend throughout the word. This article specifically addresses Claude Monet’s painting La Japonaise, featuring his wife dressed in a kimono. Many believe Monet began adopted Asian themes in his art, such as the one in this piece, in order to sell his work to the French who were known for their fascination with Japanese art. While showcasing La Japonaise, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts hosted an event entitled “Kimono Wednesdays,” in which they allowed museum visitors to try on a kimono like the one in the photo. A group of Asian American protestors protested the event, leading to much controversy. The protest against Kimono Wednesday sparks debate over cultural symbols and appropriation, and who has the right to commodify them.
Valk, Julie. 2015. ‘“The Kimono Wednesday’ Protests: How the Kimono Became More Than Japanese.” Asian Ethnology 74(2):379-99.
At the Feet of the Master: Three Stages in the Appropriation of Okinawan Karate Into Anglo-American Culture
Movies removing karate from its historical and cultural context in order to sell films gave rise to the practice in the United States. With this media, came America’s first karate dojos, which introduced uniforms, ranking systems, and rules, Americanizing the practice, so it would be more accepted. Karate has grown to encompass tournaments, schools, media, and clothing, thus transforming a traditional practice into a money-making sport.
“Once the sign of legitimacy is acquired, karate itself can be transformed into a commodity and its method of diffusion sold through franchise, complete with door-knocking proselytes and incentive programs for recruitment” (Krug 2001:404).
Krug, Gary J. 2001. “At the Feet of the Master: Three Stages in the Appropriation of Okinawan Karate Into Anglo-American Culture.” Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies 1(4):395-410.