This chapter refines the notion of Japanese cuisine by exploring the important interplay of seasons and food culture, and the centrality of soup, around which meals are constructed. Certain staples help give a food culture its identity, such as rice and tea for Japan, but other Asian cultures also share these very same foods. The particular topography of Japan gives it an expansive aquaculture and a vast agriculture. Furthermore, a true defining trait unique to Japan is the propensity for eating raw foods. So, it is not only a particular food that makes a unique cuisine, but its preparation and presentation.