The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Food Culture in Korea and Japan: the Tastes of NANUM and OMOTENASHI | exhibition

Exhibition Guide

Map of Food Culture in Korea and Japan 1F

Map of Food Culture in Korea and Japan 2F


Map of Food Culture in Korea and Japan 1F

World of Earthenware Pots

In Korea, there are arrays of earthenware pots. They are used not only for keeping food, storing grain, brewing seasonings and alcohol, keeping side dishes and water, and preparing meals by cooking and boiling, but also for rites to worship household gods and customs related to births and funerals, and everything in between.

Kyoto University of Art and Design, and Korea National University of Arts

Under the “Japan-Korea DNA Nurturing Project” of the Kyoto University of Art and Design and Korea National University of Arts, contemporary food lives in Japan and Korea are displayed artistically.

Changes in Korean Food over the Past 50 Years

During the 50 years since the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and Korea in 1965 until today, based on rapid economic growth, it can be understood how Japan and Korea have developed and interacted through the world of food.

Food and Philosophy

The philosophy of food in Korea focuses on eating “What Is Good for Physical Health.” This key concept is expressed by the “Yin and Yang Principles,” that “Medicine and Food Are of the Same Origin” and “You Are What You Eat.”

World of Kitchens

This is part of the kitchen of the Lee family introduced at the exhibition of “Seoul Style 2002.” Please visit the Videotheque for further information. A traditional kitchen is reproduced in the “Jumak” section of the Permanent Exhibition Site.

World of Kitchen Utensils

Japanese and Korean tableware, kitchen utensils, storage containers, and related articles are displayed, focusing on the 1960s and 1970s. You can review the food habits of that time.

Food and Ceremonies

These are materials for traditional ceremonies in life and modern annual event etiquette. Videos about Tol (a child’s first birthday), weddings, seasonal festivals, and New Year rites are available at the Videotheque.

Dietary Education & Information

Today, we are in an era of digesting “Information,” where “Food” is introduced through cookbooks, TV, and the internet. In Japan, projects for “Dietary Education” and “Fire Education” are being promoted.

World of Kimchi

Kimchi is an ethnic food of Koreans. Kimjang is a customary winter event. You can obtain a deep understanding of the culture of kimchi here.

Japanese Food in Korea & Korean Food in Japan

In Korea, Japanese pork cutlets and udon noodles are popular, and Korean-style grilled meat and kimchi are familiar to the Japanese. Japanese and Korean food cultures interact.

Osaka Institute of Technology

Students of the Osaka Institute of Technology involved in the “Virtual Museum Project” display the works that enable you to experience kimchi-making, New Year dishes, rice cake-making and games, among other things.

Fermented Condiments and Red Peppers

The results of research on Japanese and Korean fermented condiments and red peppers by Nami Fukutome, of Ochanomizu University, are shown. Please have a sniff.

Toilet in Jeju

You can experience a pig toilet in Jeju, which was displayed in the Children’s Museum of the National Folk Museum of Korea. Please visit the Permanent Exhibition Site (Culture of the Korean Peninsula, “Model of Private House in Jeju”).

Map of Food Culture in Korea and Japan 2F

Achievements of the Information Museum in Forum Style

The data on about 500 items of food related materials collected by Minpaku until 1988, and about 120 items of the materials introduced through “Korean Folk Historical Picture Book – Food Life” issued by the National Folk Museum of Korea.

Naomichi Ishige's Study of Dietary Culture

The achievements of Professor Emeritus Naomichi Ishige, a pioneer in the study of dietary culture in Japan, are introduced with the materials used for an exhibition held at the Ajinomoto Foundation for Dietary Culture.

Study of Dietary Culture in Korea

This focuses on the accomplishments of the professors closely related to Minpaku in particular among the researchers in dietary culture in Korea.

Asakura Research Laboratory

This is Professor Asakura’s research laboratory. He has been studying Korean society through food. Please feel free to ask him should you have any questions.

Food Museums in Japan and Korea

Based on the data presented at the international symposium entitled “Gastronomic Science and Food Museums of the World,” organized jointly with Ritsumeikan University, the research institutes and museums that cooperated with Minpaku are introduced.

Food Library

You can read Japanese and Korean comics on food for comparison in the rooms furnished with tatami mats and an ondol.

Korean and Japanese Foods in Pictures Drawn by Children

Pictures drawn by children are displayed. In Korea, they were drawn under the project entitled “Drawing your Memories of Delicious Food,” organized by the Korean food company, Sempio. In Japan, sixth-graders of the Shin-machi Elementary School, in Kyoto City drew pictures under the same title.