The Japanese Rule of Five

In Japan, the number five is a very important one.  The next time you dine at our Lynnwood Japanese restaurant, take a good look at the venue and the food that you are served.  If you look carefully, you might notice how the tradition of five is brought out in five different ways in an authentic Japanese meal.

  • The Five Senses: You don’t just experience a meal with your tongue and your nose.  Your food should be presented well to be pleasing to the eye.  Your utensils and dishes should feel good to the touch.  The restaurant should have a pleasing sound and ambiance.  When all five senses are happy, you’re enjoying an excellent meal.

  • The Five Colors: White, black, green, red, and yellow are Japan’s five elemental colors, Just like artists and architects have aspired to feature in balance of these colors within their work, chefs try to work all five into a perfect meal.  This also lends itself to a healthy balance of nutrition.

  • The Five Tastes: We all know bitter, sour, salt, and sweet as the four taste sensations.  Japan adds to this something they call umami, which might be translated to “savory”.

  • The Five Preparations: Raw, simmered, fried, steamed, and roasted or grilled are the five common ways Japanese food is prepared.  Working your way through a complete dining experience in this way is a great way to add complexity and nuance to your dining experience.

  • The Five Attitudes: Buddhist tradition provides Japan with a philosophical approach to eating, which comes in the form of these five phrases:

    • I reflect on the work that went into producing this food for me.

    • I reflect on my flaws, and ponder whether or not I deserve this food.

    • Allow my mind to be free from all prejudices and greed.

    • I take this food to maintain good bodily health.

    • I accept this food to further my pursuit of enlightenment.