New Publication on vegan and vegetarian variations of Japanese food in Berlin

Another publication related to the “Berlin’s Japanese Foodscapes” project just came out in the journal Food, Culture and Society. Please check it out online:

Cornelia Reiher (2022): Negotiating authenticity: Berlin’s Japanese food producers and the vegan/vegetarian consumer, Food, Culture & Society (online first)


This paper introduces “feelings of authenticity” as an analytical category in the scholarship on culinary globalization and ethnic food producers to understand changes in cosmopolitan foodscapes by transcending economic conceptualizations of authenticity. It discusses how Japanese food entrepreneurs, chefs and food workers making and selling Japanese food in Berlin feel about and negotiate consumer demands for vegan and vegetarian variations of Japanese cuisine. Why are some Japanese food producers in Berlin more flexible in adjusting their menus to customer demands than others? This paper argues that different responses are related to food producers’ feelings of authenticity informed by different personal standards of what authentic Japanese food is and should be. These standards emerge from their personal biographies, professional backgrounds and values. Based on six years of fieldwork, this paper introduces three groups of Japanese food producers who perceive authentic Japanese food differently and shows how ethnic food producers’ perceptions and feelings of authenticity affect negotiations between food producers and consumers.

NEW PUBLICATION: Berlin’s Japanese foodscapes during the COVID-19 crisis: Restaurateurs’ experiences and practices during the spring 2020 shutdown

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Reiher published a new paper in Berliner Blätter 86/2022 on the experience of Japanese restaurateurs in Berlin during the shutdown from March to May 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Berlin. It asks whether and how they continued selling food during the shutdown, compares their experiences and points out similarities and differences that are based on the type of eateries, the restaurateurs’ personal migration histories and the degree of their local embeddedness in Berlin


The long wait is over! Studying Japan: Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods is out now

On December 18, 2020, the long-awaited Studying Japan Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods edited by Nora Kottmann and Cornelia Reiher will finally be published. It emerged from the method courses taught by both editors at FUB and HHU Düsseldorf including this project on „Japanese foodscapes in Berlin“.

Studying Japan is the first comprehensive guide on qualitative methods, research designs and fieldwork in social science research on Japan. More than 70 Japan scholars from around the world provide an easy-to-read overview on qualitative methods used in research on Japan’s society, politics, culture and history. The book covers the entire research process from the outset to the completion of a thesis, a paper, or a book.

The authors provide basic introductions to individual methods, discuss their experiences when applying these methods and highlight current trends in research on Japan. The book serves as a foundation for a course on qualitative research methods and can also be used as a reference for all researchers in Japanese Studies, the Social Sciences and Area Studies. It is an essential reading for students and researchers with an interest in Japan!

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Flyer with table of content:

Forthcoming (late 2020): Methods Handbook

Handbook Studying Japan: Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods
Nora Kottmann and Cornelia Reiher (eds.) (forthcoming 2020), Baden Baden: Nomos.

Japanese Studies is an interdisciplinary field. Research focusing on Japan’s society, politics, culture and history draws on a wide variety of theories and methods from various disciplines. This textbook responds to the increasing demand for systematic and transparent research practices in Japanese Studies and Area Studies communities. Weiterlesen

ASIEN: Japanese Foodscapes in Berlin: Teaching Research Methods Through Food

As the third anniversary of this blog and project went by quietly, the creative effort students, guests and the instructor have put into the method lessons and seminars time and time again bears its fruit in forms beyond the posts here; it is introduced in issue no. 149 „Fieldwork in Japan: New Trends and Challenges“ of ASIEN The German Journal of Contemporary Asia (2018, edited by Cornelia Reiher) setting an example as to how method education in Japanese Studies can be accomplished through the study of food. The abstract reads: Weiterlesen