| experiencing || historical parallel ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment


Luís Fróis (b. 1532, d.1597) was a Portuguese Jesuit Missionary who arrived in Japan in 1563 and documented the differences between European and Japanese habits at the time in a book entitle ‘Tratado das contradições e diferenças de costumes entre a Europa e o Japão’ (‘Treatise of the contradictions and differences of habits between Europe and Japan’). Although some of his writings have a rather humorous quality to them when read by someone from our times, others remain valid in these days.

A selection of some of his statements will be looked at and illustrated in parallel to Portuguese and Japanese cooking and eating habits in modern society.

i* Special stamp collection on the 400th anniversary of the Missionary’s death
Capítulo 6: Do modo de comer e beber dos Japões
Chapter 6: About the eating and drinking habits of the Japanese

1. Nós comemos todas as coisas com a mão; os Japões, homens e mulheres, desde crianças [que] comem com dois paus.
1. We eat everything with our hands; since they are little, the Japanese, men and women, eat with the sticks (chopsticks).

3. As nossas mesas estão antes que venha o comer postas; as suas [mesas] vêm juntamente com o comer da cozinha.
3. Our tables are set before the food comes; theirs come from the kitchen with the food.

4. As nossas mesas são altas e têm toalhas e guardanapos; as [mesas] dos Japões [têm] tabuleiros vruzados, quadrados, rasos, sem guardanapo nem toalha.
4. Our tables are tall and have tablecloth and napkins; the Japanese’s have square trays, flat, with neither a napkin nor a towel.  

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