Ethnic Fermented Foods and Alcoholic Beverages of Japan

  • Yoshiaki Kitamura
  • Ken-Ichi Kusumoto
  • Tetsuya Oguma
  • Toshiro Nagai
  • Soichi Furukawa
  • Chise Suzuki
  • Masataka Satomi
  • Yukio Magariyama
  • Kazunori Takamine
  • Hisanori Tamaki


Japanese traditional fermented foods are centerpieces of taste of Washoku cuisine which was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2013. Miso is fermented soybean paste. It is used for every day’s miso soup and as a seasoning in many kinds of cooking. Shoyu – soy sauce – is a liquid-type seasoning made of soybeans, wheat, koji, and salt water. Natto is soybeans fermented with Bacillus, with sticky but tasty γ-polyglutamic acid. Su is a traditional vinegar of cereal or fruit. Rice vinegar which is usually made directly from rice and rice koji is the most popular in Japan. Tsukemono is pickled vegetables, of which the traditional one is fermented with lactic acid bacteria. Tsukemono is usually served daily as a side dish with boiled rice. A variety of fermented seafoods, salted type (gyoshyo, shiokara, kusaya), pickled type (nare-zushi, nuka-zuke), and molded type (fushi) are also developed. The last one “fushi” is an indispensable ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Two kinds of alcoholic beverages, famous sake (rice wine) and shochu (spirits), are also important gifts of fermentation. The outline, including information of microbes, preparation methods and functionality and health benefits, of these traditional fermented foods and beverages popular in Japan are introduced.


Lactic Acid Bacterium Rice Straw Rice Bran Crucian Carp Fish Sauce 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshiaki Kitamura
    • 1
  • Ken-Ichi Kusumoto
    • 1
  • Tetsuya Oguma
    • 2
  • Toshiro Nagai
    • 3
  • Soichi Furukawa
    • 4
  • Chise Suzuki
    • 5
  • Masataka Satomi
    • 6
  • Yukio Magariyama
    • 1
  • Kazunori Takamine
    • 7
  • Hisanori Tamaki
    • 7
  1. 1.Food Research InstituteNational Agriculture and Food Research OrganizationTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Japan Soy Sauce Technology CenterTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Genetic Resources CenterNational Agriculture and Food Research OrganizationTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.College of Bioresource ScienceNihon UniversityFujisawaJapan
  5. 5.Institute of Livestock and Grassland ScienceNational Agriculture and Food Research OrganizationTsukubaJapan
  6. 6.National Research Institute of Fisheries ScienceJapan Fisheries Research and Education AgencyYokohamaJapan
  7. 7.Education and Research Center for Fermentation Studies, Faculty of AgricultureKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan

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