Thursday, February 16, 2023

「Food Terrorism at Midnight: Changing Eating Patterns in Japan」@ Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference 2023 Virtual Sessions February 17/18, 2023

I am dedicating this presentation to Dr. Mark Hollstein, who passed away unexpectedly, suddenly and tragically on January 31, 2023. Mark was my friend and colleague for twenty years. We had many things in common - Japan, research, family life, politics, music and Star Trek. We talked almost every day. I was able to show Mark an early draft of this presentation and he gave me lots of good feedback. I miss him so much. Deepest condolences to his wife, son, family, friends and students. Rest in Peace.

See Mark's obituary here:
Food Terrorism at Midnight:
Changing Eating Patterns in Japan

Steven C. Fedorowicz
Asian Studies Program
Kansai Gaidai University

Abstract: In Japan, food and drink are prominent in cooking shows, travel shows, variety shows, dramas, manga, anime, books, magazines, blogs, Facebook and Instagram. The term “food porn” has been used to describe some media due to its sensual presentation intended to provide unattached pleasure or gratification for viewers. Since the 2010s, the Japanese term meshi tero (“food terrorism”) has been used with a meaning similar to “food porn.” However, food terrorism implies a deliberate attack or form of harassment that creates jealousy or resentment, causing victims to run to the kitchen or convenience store for snacks. Late-night food terror is especially insidious. Midnight has become a prime time for the television networks to air new food terrorism dramas. My research builds upon Stalker’s detailed history of the Japanese gourmet boom (2016) and Longcore’s discussion of “ethnographic culinary adventures... for the enjoyment, entertainment, and enlightenment of foodies and anthropologists alike” (2019). Food terrorism became more pronounced in 2020, when the Japanese government imposed restrictions on dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic. People now watch food terrorism with feelings of nostalgia, envy and/or hopefulness about being able to dine out again without concern. This paper examines food terrorism and changing eating patterns in Japan through multimodality (Collins et al. 2017) and sensory ethnographic methodologies (Pink 2009).

Keywords: visual anthropology, ethnographic photography, food porn, food terrorism, Japan

Session: V1-408
Contemporary Japanese and Korean Society
Friday, February 17, 2023, 8:00-9:30 PM (EST)
Saturday, February 18, 2023, 10:00-11:30 AM (Japan time)

For registration and information about the conference: