If we look for Good quality and Nice cuisine, one of the categories that we can never miss is “Shojin Ryori” which are more known as “Buddism Cuisine” in Japan.
Even though you are meat or fish lovers, Buddism Cuisine is still worth experiencing to learn about core culture of Foods, and recommended to keep Buddism Cuisine in your eating/cooking portfolio.
Today Good Eating had a special interview with most known Buddism Cuisine instructor Mrs Mari Fujii from KAMAKURA FUSHIKIAN Buddism Cuisine school. GE asked what is the real thing about Buddism foods.
Not only in Japan, Buddism Cuisine is very popular in daily eating style in Taiwan area, where are having many Buddism cafes and Buddism restaurants in city of Taipei, which are loved by citizens who likes to eat vegetarian foods. Though in Japan, there is a respected evangelist, Mari FUJII Sensei (hearin after Mari Sensei).
Mari Sensei is friendly and elegant lady, very popular with thousands of students, through TV media, books, and the workshop, having 35 years of career specialized in Buddism Cuisine.
Good Eating learnt that this Buddism Cuisine had a long story…
Once upon a time a Japanese high priest monk Dogen wanted to study on deep concept of Buddism, therefore Dogen visited Ningbo city in China for learning in the local temples.
Dogen learnt the food cultures as Buddist directly from Chinese high priests, afterwards Dogen brought back what he learnt to Japan to spread out the real concept of Buddism Cuisine over most of temples in Japan.
Nowadays, Chinese high priests come to visit some of the well-known Japanese temples like Koyasan, to learn and re-import those old-time Buddism Cuisines.
Real Buddism avoids taking away the lives from any living creatures, not only animals but also vegetables which makes noise when it was taken (spring onions, etc…).
In order to make Miso Soup, normally Japanese cooking recipe follows Bonito fish soup base. But Buddism recipe uses Shiitake Mushroom for soup base!
Such tips of different cooking approach can make big change in taste and flavor.
Nowadays this type of cuisine is called Vegan foods worldwide.
Some people eat Vegan foods only, because of their religious belief.
Understanding (and respecting) of the concept and their belief, I couldn’t hep asking own questions to Mari Sensei, because I myself is a purely meat and fish lover.
Mari sensei friendly and kindly answered.
GE “Is it really that No monks eat any meat? and Seriously you never eat fish?”
Mari “Buddism Cuisine is one of Concepts of the cuisines. In the real temples, monks cannot eat but Buddism Cuisine”
(Out of the temples, it depends on people whether to eat other category of foods or not.)
Mari “If I was offered with fish dishes, firstly I appreciate for the (sacrificed) life of fish, then I start to eat!”
GE “I think Vegan eaters should not be able to intake all necessary nutrition. No concerns for health consequence?”
Mari “My student is a specialist of medicals, it’s said Vitamin B13 shall be lacking in Vegan foods. These people who only eats Vegan foods are recommended to intake B13 supplements, I heard”
(We human beings are having necessary Vitamins from meat protein, that’s true.)
GE “In a short word, what is the Buddism Cuisine?”
Mari “Yes, It’s like a Satisfaction in life, Lifestyle of Philosophy. If we recognize the importance of foods, if we all know our life is composed of what we eat, we can face to foods and eating habits more sincerely.”
As Good Eating’s conclusion, Buddism Cuisine sounds interesting to people who loves eating and who loves cooking.
“Zen” is well known worldwide as Buddhism concept of peaceful mind.
As similar to traditional Tea culture (Cha) in Japan, there is a Buddism Cuisine with a long history of about 1200 years.
Because the variation of cooking styles and raw materials come from different viewpoints, compared to other meat/fish main dishes.
I am sure we will experience new finding of eating style at Mari Sensei’s workshop.
The Workshop is open frequently to anyone.
If you have opportunity to go to Tokyo, just take a train for one hour to visit the workshop.
Further queries of workshop and contact, feel free to ask to Good Eating.
LINK of FUSHIKIAN @Kamakura, Kanagwa pref.
LINK of KOMAKI-SHOKUDO, Recommended Buddism Cuisine restaurant in Akihabara, Tokyo