UNESCO Recognition Reinforced the Relationship between Kyoto and Japanese Food through Japanese Newspaper Articles


  • Isami Omori Mukogawa Women’s University




trust, diaspora, capital, reconciliation, definitions


This research discusses the influence of the registration of Japanese food (Washoku) on UNESCO’s transnational list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013 in terms of the image of place associated with Japanese food. We examine the reaction of the Japanese public’s concern about Japanese food in relation to this transnational recognition. Using content analysis of three nationally distributed Japanese newspapers, we evaluated the ratings of 47 place names in Japan and 50 keywords in newspaper articles containing the words for Japanese food published from December 1, 2009, to November 30, 2016. The results demonstrated that the appearance of place names in these articles was geographically limited. The growth ratio of appearance of Kyoto exceeded 50% in 2009 and 2016, higher than that of Tokyo and Osaka. The results suggest that UNESCO recognition enhanced the appeal of and interest to Japanese food linked to place and memory. As a result, further value was added to the image of Kyoto combining historical image and the taste following the UNESCO recognition.


Agency for Cultural Affairs (2018). Kokuhou Jyuyobunkazai Todoufukenbetsu Shiteikensu. Available at: http://www.bunka.go.jp/seisaku/bunkazai/shokai/pdf/r1392247_01.pdf (accessed September 5 2018).

Anderson, L. (2009). "Cooking up the Nation in Fin-de-Siècle Spanish Cookery Books and Culinary Treatises". Romance Studies 27(2):121-132.


Appadurai, A. (1981) "Gastro-politics in Hindu South Asia". American Ethnologist 8(3):494-511.


Aiba, T., Nagaoka K., Tomita K., Minamide T. and Ohtani K. (2004). "Modern Kyo-ryori (traditional Japanese dishes of Kyoto) through image analysis". Journal of Cookery Science of Japan 37(2): 189-197.

Ashworth, Gregory J. (2009). "The Instruments of Pace Branding: How is It Done?". European Spatial Research and Policy 16(1): 9-22.


City of Kyoto (2017). Kyoto Kanko Sougo Chosa 2016. Available at: http://www.city.kyoto.lg.jp/sankan/cmsfiles/contents/0000222/222031/kyoto.pdf (accessed September 5 2018).

Cwiertka, K. (2006) Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power and National Identity. London: Reaktion Book.

Dentsu (2016). Information media trend in Japan: 2016 information white paper. Available at: http://www.dentsu.com/knowledgeanddata/publications/pdf/information_media_trends_in_japan_2016.pdf (accessed September 5 2018).

Doğan,E.(2016). Image of Istanbul: Impact of ECOC 2010 on The City Image. London: Transnational Press London.

Japan Travel Bureau Foundation (2014). 2014 Annual report on the tourism trends survey. Available at: https://www.jtb.or.jp/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/nenpo2014p12-31.pdf (accessed September 12 2018).

Harada, N. (2005). Washoku to Nihonbunka: Nihonryori no Syakaishi. Tokyo: Shogakukan.

Higuchi, K. (2011). "Contemporary national newspapers and social consciousness: Efficiency and limitations of newspaper content analysis". Kodo Keiryogaku 74: 1-12.


Hall, C.M. and Piggin, R. (2003). "World Heritage Sites: Managing the Brand" in A.Fyall, B.Garrod and A. Leask (eds.), Managing Visitor Attractions: New Directions, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Hanna, S. and Rowley, J. (2012). "Practitioners views on the essence of place brand management". Place Branding and Public Diplomacy:1-8


Japan Audit Bureau of Circulations (2016). Newspaper penetration rate report 2016. Tokyo: Japan Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Kanemitsu, J.(2014). "Exploring Kyoto city brand from a perspective of sociology of tourism". Kyoto Sangyo University Sougo Gakujyutsu Kenkyusyo Syoho 9: 33-55.

Kumakura, I. (2002). Nihonryori Bunkashi: Kaiseki wo Chushin ni. Kyoto: Jimbun Shoin.

Lichrou, M.,Patterson, M., O'Malley, L. and O'Leary, K.(2017). "Place Branding and Place Narratives". in A. Campelo (ed.), Handbook on Place Branding and Marketing. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp.160-177.


Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (n.d.) Washoku ga UNESCO Mukei Bunka Isan ni Toroku saremaseta. Available at: http://www.maff.go.jp/j/keikaku/syokubunka/ich/ (accessed August 18 2017).

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2017). Heisei 28 nen Jyouhou Tsushin media no Riyoujikan to Jyohokodo nikansuru Tyousa. Available at: http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000492877.pdf http (accessed September 5 2018).

Mizukoshi, S.(2011). 21 Seiki Media-ron. Tokyo: Hosodaigaku Kyouiku Shinkokai.

Noda, H. (2005). "Kyoto Image no Koteika Seidoka no Process". in K. Iguchi, J. Ueda, H.Noda and Y.Souda (eds), Kyoto Kankogaku no Susume, 1st ed. Kyoto: Jinbunsyoin, pp.108-133.

Ohnuki-Tierney, E. (1995). Rice as self: Japanese identities through time. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Ooi, C. and Stöber, B.(2010). "Authenticity and Place Branding: The Arts and Culture in Berlin and Singapore". in B.T. Knudsen and A. M. Waade(eds), Re-Investing Authenticity: Tourism. Place and Emotions, Bristol: Channel View Publications, pp.66-79.

Omori, I.(2018) "The Impact of UNESCO Heritage Status on Japanese Food Discourse in Japan". in E. Olmedo and R.C. Suet Kay (eds.), Food and Society in Asia Pacific: Taste, Culture and Society, Selangor: The National University of Malaysia, pp.285-303.

Richards, G. and Wilson, J. (2004). "The Impact of Cultural Events on City Image: Rotterdam, Cultural Capital of Europe 2001". Urban Studies 41(10):1931-1951.


Souda, Y. (2005). "Ima Kyoto no Machi de Okotteirukoto". in K. Iguchi, J.Ueda, H.Noda and Y. Souda (eds) Kyoto Kankogaku no Susume, 1st ed. Kyoto: Jinbunsyoin, pp.14-43.

Sutton, D. (2006). "Cooking Skills, the Senses, and Memory: The Fate of Practical Knowledge". in E. Edwards, C. Gosden and R.B. Phillips (eds.), Sensible objects: colonialism, museums, and material culture. Oxford: Berg. pp.87-120.

Sutton, D. (2010). "Food and the Senses." Annual Review of Anthropology 39(1), 209-223. doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.104957.


Study finds free care used more. 5 March, 2004. Mainichi Shimbun, 12.

Study finds free care used more. 29 April, 2005. Yomiuri Shimbun, 25.

Study finds free care used more. 5 December, 2013. Asahi Shimbun, 11, 38.

Study finds free care used more. 5 December, 2013. Mainichi Shimbun, 28.

Study finds free care used more. 6 December, 2013. Yomiuri Shimbun, 33.

Study finds free care used more. 23 December, 2013. Yomiuri Shimbun, 17.

Trubek, A. (2000). Haute Cuisine: How the French Invented the Culinary Profession. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

UNESCO (n.d.) Washoku, Traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year. Available at: https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/washoku-traditional-dietary-cultures-of-the-japanese-notably-for-the-celebration-of-new-year-00869 (accessed September 5 2018).

Wilk, R. (1999). "Real Belizean Food: Building Local Identity in the Transnational Caribbean". American Anthropologist 101(2):244-255.


Zenker, S. and Braun, E. (2010) Branding a city -A conceptual approach for place branding and place brand management . Paper presented at the 39th European Marketing Academy Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark



How to Cite

Omori, I. (2019). UNESCO Recognition Reinforced the Relationship between Kyoto and Japanese Food through Japanese Newspaper Articles. Transnational Marketing Journal, 7(1), 3-28. https://doi.org/10.33182/tmj.v7i1.766