Joining the Global Wine World: Japan’s Winemaking Industry
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Japan is not only a country of sake and tea but also a country of wine. This chapter traces Japan’s history of wine production as a process of state-led cultural globalization. It argues that national and regional governments have been the key actors in developing and promoting Japan’s winemaking culture. However, governments are not the only important actors. As this chapter will show, Japan’s wine culture is constructed by a collaborative network of actors including governments, private companies, individual winemakers, research institutes and consumers. Among all these actors, national and regional governments play the key role in initiating and organizing the whole project of promoting Japanese wine culture inside and outside Japan. Wine culture is used as an important local resource for regional food culture promotion to ultimately facilitate local economic and agricultural revival. The state-industry collaboration in developing Japan’s winemaking culture thus represents another case of culinary politics in Japan. In both the Meiji period and the present era wine production has been a national project: first geared to modernization now to globalization.
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