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The Way of Choju: Consuming Longevity in a Rural Japanese Town

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Item Summary

Title: The Way of Choju: Consuming Longevity in a Rural Japanese Town
Authors: Busch, Jessica
Advisor: Etkin, Nina
Issue Date: Dec 2002
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: This thesis reviews the literature on the anthropology and biology of aging, Japanese health cosmology, and self-medication and analyzes the findings from a study investigating the perceptions on diet, health, and longevity of rural Japanese elderly living in southwestern Japan. A biocultural theoretical perspective is used to understand the relationship between culture, identity, tradition, and longevity. To rural elderly Japanese, health is a matter of maintaining balance through diet and lifestyle, while disease is diagnosed and treated by physicians and biomedical pharmaceuticals. Traditional Japanese foods have been shown to be longevity-enhancing, although Okinawans, who have the greatest life expectancy of Japanese, do not eat a traditional Japanese diet. This disparity is reconciled by the adopted of a number of foods from Okinawa, such as nigagori. The bioscientific literature on some foods listed by informants as good for longevity is analyzed and linked to the literature on cultural identity and nationalism. Consuming traditional Japanese foods for longevity allows Japanese to participate in their cultural identity while at the same time, eating the biologically best foods for health and longevity.
Description: viii, 163 leaves
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Anthropology
Anthropology Masters Theses

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