A number of people who lives in Japan like Western-style fast food. Young students often drop at fast food shop after school, a normal business man eats it at lunch and even if an old couple usually can be seen, surprisingly. Why that big fashion is came and continued even now? There are many reasons that fast food has great popularity for example the speed, cheap and good taste. However, this big wave of fast food may have a danger of declining or breaking Japanese traditional food, health and even if economy. There is never an only merit by spreading fast food boom.
First, fast food is not a Japanese traditional food, of course. The basement of that boom is the increasing an interest of “Pan,” the word for bread and the decreasing consumption of rice and tofu etc… According to Hirashika Koji, the Japanese health ministry “It’s cheap, it’s fast, and I like the taste,” he says, though he – and the Heallth Ministry – worried about how fatty some of the food is “Young people don’t eat much tofu, seafood, or green vegetables anymore.” (More hambaagaa, Less Sushi 2) Those foods which he gave examples are essential to cook Japanese traditional food. By the effect of strong fashion of fast food, those foods and a Japanese restaurant are certainly damaged. If fast food popularity grew bigger and bigger, someday the Japanese traditional food will be able to mean that fast food.
Furthermore, a fast food has changed our Japanese body and health. The fact which a fast food is not good for human’s health is well known among Japanese. However, how our body changed by the generally spread of it? Dan Hilton argued that Japanese obesity percentage increased by more than 10 percent for recently twenty years and obese children percentage are very increased by five to nine percent from 1980 to 2004. (Japan’s Junk-Food Obsession 2) The data clearly shows that a fast food affects to Japanese body and that the effect is not good, absolutely. Moreover, there are some problems other than it for example excessive nutrition and indigestion. Because of the long history of Japanese healthy food, Japanese standard proportion is lean. Does a fast food change even lots of people’s bodies?
There is one more surprising aspect with those bad impressions in the boom of a fast food. Recently, Japanese self-sustenance problem seemed deep and has to be improved, and one cause of this problem is too much fast foods. No.1 fast food shop McDonald’s is the representative example; most of its raw are from other countries and the only raw being from Japan is an egg. JoAnn Trygestad explained about the greatness of this very big franchise that the number of it is so increasing almost 3000 shops from the debut year 1971 to 1999. McDonald’s made revolution in the both of Japanese eating style and family and cultural values. (Mcdonald’s A Japanese Phenomenon 1) The popularity of McDonald’s in Japan is enormous, so it is natural that McDonald’s certainly affects to Japanese import and export. It is not too much to say that McDonald’s promotes Japanese self-sustenance lower. Of course, its hamburger is cheap, convenient and delicious, so it must be popular, but Japanese have to rethink the effect to eat it.
To sum up, though so many people in Japan love a Western-style fast food, looking into the detail of a fast food proves so many bad aspects. A fast food threatens the position of Japanese traditional food and the food culture. It also has a danger that our body and health worse by eating it excessively without considering. Moreover, if that boom becomes bigger and wide, someday it weakens the own power of Japan, certainly. Though a fast food is very attractive for many people, we have to rethink the way to get along with it.
Dan, Hilton “Japan’s Junk-Food Obsession” CBC.CA 01 Sept. 2006 http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_hilton/20060705.html
JoAnn, Trygestad “McDonald’s: A Japanese Phenomenon” National Council for the Social Studies http://static.ncss.org/mcdonalds.html