This chapter discusses the historical ramifications on Japanese food culture of the national isolation during the Edo period. People were not allowed to travel outside of the country, and international trade was highly restricted, favoring mainly China and Korea while excluding the West. Japan turned inward and perfected its crafts, including its cuisine. Workmanship stayed within families for generations, preserving and transmitting well-honed and tested techniques. Japan ended its global isolation following a government decree for modernization. As a result, Japanese society underwent rapid change, though still managing to hold on to its precious traditions. This juxtaposition of antiquity and modernity remains today, giving Japan a complex, layered identity. Thus, a definition of Japanese cuisine would not be complete if it only presented washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine, without including yōshoku, Western-influenced cuisine arriving after isolation.