The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) might soon recognize ‘Washoku’, which is a traditional Japanese cuisine.


A UNESCO body has made a recommendation that Washoku – the traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese – should get the status. However, the final decision will be made by an intergovernmental panel and the decision on listing the Japanese food culture will be made at a meeting in Azerbaijan at the beginning of December 2013. At present, the 21 Japanese assets are on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

All of the 21 Japanese assets have been recognized as important cultural assets by the government. Washoku will be the first Japanese asset related to food to make the list. The Japanese cuisine was proposed for the list in March 2012, due being closely related to an essential spirit of respect for nature.

The government said that Washoku has been developed as part of the daily life, but with a connection to annual events like New Year’s celebration. Every time it is recreated in order to respond to changes in human relationships with natural and social environment. It was also stressed by the government that Washoku is nutritionally well-balanced, promotes long life and prevents obesity.

Photo Credits: UNESCO