Ryukyu Gastronomy

The appeal of “Ryukyu gastronomy,” a result of a unique food culture (Okinawa prefecture)

Okinawa Prefecture is made up of a chain of islands in southern Japan and is famous as one of Japan’s famed resort destinations.

During the Ryukyu Kingdom period (1429 to 1879 )—when Okinawa was an independent country, separate from Japan—the kingdom successfully traded with not only Japan but also China, Southeast Asia, and other regions, giving rise to its own traditions and culture. In particular, a unique food culture, including court cuisine, developed, which has evolved into “Ryukyu gastronomy” today, a style that is more accessible today while respecting tradition.

When Chinese envoys from overseas visited the area during the Ryukyu Kingdom period, they were welcomed with various kinds of “Omotenashi (hospitality).” In particular, “Ryukyu cuisine,” which developed as the local food culture so indispensable to daily life, consists of not only local ingredients and cooking techniques but also the type of “Omotenashi” the warm, friendly Okinawan people are known for.

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