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Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  609 ratings  ·  116 reviews
What if there were a land where people lived longer than anywhere else on earth, the obesity rate was the lowest in the developed world, and women in their forties still looked like they were in their twenties? Wouldn't you want to know their extraordinary secret?
Japanese-born Naomi Moriyama reveals the secret to her own high-energy, successful lifestyle-and the key to th
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Paperback, 274 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Delta (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,432)
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chynna
I've covered half the book. So far i've reestablished that americans are fat. Not entirely caused by fast food as an american staple, but because we dont do that recommended 10,000 steps...Especially in california, our asses drive everywhere. Need to go to the post office? drive there. Need to buy groceries? Drive there. Need to go to your neighbors house? I know your ass is going to drive there if its hot outside. In Japan, people walk or ride a bicycle; even if they have three bags of grocerie ...more
Carol
Japanese women don’t get fat!

Why?

Naomi Moriyama grew up in Japan, and later moved to Chicago and then New York. When she first moved to the U.S., she was surprised and even shocked by the first item she was served in the U.S.

A giant glass of orange juice.

How can anyone drink this, she thought. It’s way too big.

Quickly, however, she Americanized herself, eating larger portions, filling up on quick foods, hamburgers, ice cream and lots of dairy. She gained a lot of weight in a short time, so that
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Kathy
I really enjoyed French Women don't get fat and I love Japanese food, so there was very litte chance I wouldn't love this book. I don't think there are any diet secrets in here, just cook more at home and go out less, eat smaller portions, enjoy you food. It's the usual diet advice. But it is a very nice introduction to Japanese cooking. I love how once you get a few ingredients you can make most of the recipes. I've made some and find the Japanese Country Power Breakfast to be very good and pre ...more
Gail
I liked copying the recipes and vocabulary down. I don't know when these might come in handy.
Good to know the different varieties of green tea, and how to properly brew and serve them. And also the different types of tofu, and how to handle them. The strength of this book is in the little details in how to serve, how to handle or how to choose ingredients.

I wished there were pictures to go along with the recipes, though.
Amanda
This book was a huge inspiration to me, inspiring a new passion for food and changing the way I eat dramatically. This was not as some people labeled it, a dangerous diet fad endorced by Victoria Beckham that would turn its followers into celery-obcessed stick insects afraid of going out in a strong wind. Moriyama presents a food culture common to Japan's older generation that is fast becoming as alien to Japan's youth as it is to the west. Delving into her childhood, Moriyama takes us back to h ...more
Emily
What an interesting book. I don't know if I'm extra hungry lately or what, but I have been more and more interested in books involving recipes. Especially from cuisine I'm less familiar with. This was a good book, and not nearly as ....diet-oriented as the title may suggest. It touts the traditional Japanese diet as a solution to weight gain and live longer, citing many studies. She is rather even-handed in mentioning criticisms that have been made of elements of the diet: soy, white rice and su ...more
Nikki
Dec 17, 2012 Nikki rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to eat well and not become isolated to delicious meal
Shelves: favorites
For me, this book was more like a recipe book. I love cooking authentic (not the Take out versions) Japanese and Chinese meals... any kind of international meal really. And being the daughter of a nutritionist that only follows the real facts-like how Canola Oil is really not the best thing in the world, yet people recommend it in Healthy recipe books-I wanted to help people eat delicious food and yet live a healthy life. I find it a shame that people need to eat such bland foods in order to los ...more
Anne
I don't particularly like the title of this book, but it appeared to be about a Japanese woman in America who returned to Japan to learn to cook from her mother - in the hopes of regaining her health. The book is about the Japanese love of food - but their ability to enjoy the best and freshest ingredients, appease their hunger, remain thin, and live long and happy lives. Moriyama was a bit repetitive in her writing - using the same phrases and anecdotes multiple times throughout the book, but I ...more
Janet
This book was charming and delightful and I loved the stories about Naomi's mother Chizuko. I now understand my own mom's obsession with food, freshness and umami. The typical Japanese child is well-fed and develops a very discriminating palate. Growing up, my mom never served rolls or bread with meals, but there was always a variety of vegetables -- no heavy sauces or gravy masking the fresh taste of the food. Sweets for dessert were unheard of and yet I never missed it. We always had fresh fru ...more
Mackenzie Roebuck-walsh
Jun 01, 2008 Mackenzie Roebuck-walsh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mackenzie by: Sian Bowman
Some great recipes and tips- eat small portions, truly do eat your fruits and vegetables, make fruit your dessert, use a wok to cook veggies at a high heat which will let them keep their color ect.

I disagree with her on some points- just like her I gained 20 lbs- but it was moving to Japan from America- it is not the country that is the problem but what you choose to eat in that country. If you eat nothing but pizza and treats you will get fat. If you are not used to eating mountains of rice at
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Ashley
I won't say this book was wonderfully written, but it was very informative for someone like me that has no experience with Japanese cooking. At times I found it a little too shallow - there wasn't much depth to it, but I've been eating more Japanese food since and am really paranoid about the American diet lately, so I'm happy I read it and would recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a Japanese friend that they can get recipes or information from.
Rose
I enjoyed this book, although the repetition of some information is rather annoying. The opening part of the book was rather predictive of this genre and unless you are a complete novice to nutrition or Japanese culture can be skimmed or skipped entirely to get into the actual cooking. I use recipes more as guides than exact, but I would say these are a good starting point.
Joy Corkery
Review originally posted on: https://joyfullantidotes.wordpress.co...

When I think back, I see that it was not quite clear to me what exactly I was expecting from this book. Most likely it was some tips I could incorporate to further improve my health and well-being. Instead, what I found was suggestions which I already knew deep down inside.

The book begins by discussing obesity rates in the world and basically comparing Japan to some other, let’s say less healthy, countries. The United States is
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Marie
Naomi Moriyama grew up in Tokyo with a typical Japanese mom provided attractive, nourishing food for her daughter.,.on the strict orders of Naomi's school!

(On the first day of school, a teacher made a speech: "We request that every mother make lunch for your daughter every day. Our main theme at this school is to help our students learn how to be giving and loving. One of the ways your daughter learns this is from your love-packed lunch box.") Can you imagine hearing this kind of a message in an
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Ames
Absolutely lovely. A study of the healthful Japanese diet and a guide to creating your own Tokyo kitchen, as well as anecdotal stories from the author's life, liberally sprinkled with some delicious-sounding and simple, approachable recipes. A fun and enlightening read, and definitely hunger-inducing!
BooksAndTea
Eh....Read on Amazon that this was riding off of the "French Women Don't Get Fat' craze and I would agree. I thought this might have some interesting tidbits of information, but I'd say this was only interesting if you have had little to no exposure to Japanese food.

The author discusses her experiences going to college in the States, and discovering new foods in large quantities. She changes her relationship with food and shares recipes with the readers. The problem is that these recipes seem to
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Lucia
Apr 16, 2007 Lucia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in losing weight via the Japanese diet.
Shelves: booksreadinjapan
The food descriptions in this book made me want to go out and start cooking more Japanese food. So I did! The recipes in this book are easy to prepare, and you can learn a lot about Japanese home cooked food -- not restaurant food, that`s definitely not healthy! (Shocking I know.)
guiltlessreader
Love this book! Japanese women live longest and have the lowest obesity rate on earth ... why and how is this possible? read my full review on my blog Guiltless Reading.
Anna
An interesting book about Japanese food. Japanese women don't get fat... because of the food portions and the food they eat, and also because they walk a lot, and have a healthy lifestyle overall. This book has a good selection of simple Japanese home cooked meal recipes - perfect whether you're trying to downsize your waist a bit, or just enjoy some Japanese home cooking. (I.e. not sushi - which is of course nice, but expensive, and very time and labor intensive). Not very many recipes, but all ...more
Peg
Full of herself, but not charming. Recipes were good.
Lucie Fuentes
While I was browsing at the library, I came across this book with its funny name and topic.
Accustomed to Asian cuisine and quite a fan of Japanese food, I've been tempted by the cover. After all there is no harm to learn some secrets …

It's true that Asians are often very thin and it is difficult to often guess their age. So, I immersed myself in the story of Naomi Moritama with a great curiosity. The young woman shares her story with nostalgic details of her youth in Japan and then, to her hecti
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Sophia Sun P.
Nov 12, 2011 Sophia Sun P. rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Someone who is really opposed to eating anything that isn't wrapped in tinfoil.
Shelves: diet
Found it at a garage sale, thank baby Jesus since I would have kicked myself in my none-but-I-wish-it-was-JLo behind. We know North Americans are fat, and fast food is available and abundant. We also know that Asians are of a smaller build, and may/may not have held a better diet.

What's funny is that the most chronic of all, disgustingly obsessed with being smaller then anyone else (anywhere!) are my Asian friends/relatives. They get a rice bowl, they cut it in half, they do drink miso because t
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Neha
I rather enjoyed this book very much. It is my first health book experience and it was rather enlightening. Moriyama lays out her tips and tricks in a very neat and organized manner making it easy to read. She offers recipes and personal experiences that make her suggestions more available to people who are attempting a lifestyle change.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about the book were the facts that she presented. She didn't base all of her material solely on experience, but included
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Anne
In the past couple months, my husband, mother, and I have vowed to start eating better. This new plan has also awakened in me my desire to cook more often. I've looked high and low for inspiration, and while browsing the cook books at the library, I came across this book. I don't particularly like the title, but it appeared to be about a Japanese woman in America who returned to Japan to learn to cook from her mother - in the hopes of regaining her health. The book is about the Japanese love of ...more
J
Aug 22, 2013 J added it
Why am I reading this book? I don't know. It makes me feel good about all the money I spend on seafood, I guess, since it will help me live forever. Now if only I had skin like a Japanese idol my life would be complete.

Also now I can make dashi, which I love and for which I have been meaning to look up the recipe for the last, oh, decade or so. Turns out there are like two ingredients plus water.

Anyway, I have a weird thing for ethnic diet books and personal finance books. I love them, but they
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Melynna
Jan 03, 2008 Melynna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in health or delicious food -- not dieting
Recommended to Melynna by: Lillian
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I probably would never have picked it up if a friend hadn't read it first, but it was engrossing. I've always believed that a good diet of well balanced foods and a little exercise every day could do a lot for a person's health, but this makes it sound not only easy, but delicious and fun, too.

Some of the writing was a little hokey, but for the most part I enjoyed the stories and information about the foods. I often found myself sali
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Erica
What a nice find straight from the clearance shelves of Half Price Books! I'm a sucker for Asian cooking and diet books, so of course I picked this one up. It was definitely worth the $2!

The cutesie title is misleading: it's an obvious reference to the bestselling French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, a marketing scheme to sell more books. Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat is less of a diet book and more of an exploration of the ties between food, family, culture, and
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Sue Abideen
A fan of Japanese Soba (from Secret Recipe), I took to the title and picked up the book from the shelf the first time I laid eyes on it. First, I flipped through the pages to have a look at the recipes cos if all the recipes looked like their French counterparts (French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure) I was so not going to buy it. But the recipes look soooo easy and simple; with very accessible ingredients that this book will definitely it if i ever uproot somewhere and h ...more
itsumoAoi
Naomi tidak saja membeberkan resep-resep rahasia ibunya, namun ia seperti menyeret pembaca ikut berada ditengah hiruk pikuk pasar sayur segar di Tokyo, bersama rombongan wanita Jepang yang lincah menyusuri pasar ikan, merasakan sehatnya gaya hidup (khususnya pola makan) orang-orang Jepang. Kuncinya : sayur dan ikan segar.

Buku ini cocok banget buat wanita yang ingin menerapkan pola sehat buat dirinya dan kelauarga, buku ini pas buat siapapun yang ingin sehat namun ogah repot memasak. buku ini jug
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Angelar
This book is a combination of American-kitchen-friendly adaptations of simple, seasonal Japanese recipes and loosely-thrown-around statistics implying that Japan's population is the healthiest in the world and that the United States' is well on its way to eating itself to death (which may well be true). I do enjoy how it extols people to eat more fresh-cooked and seasonal ingredients and smaller portions (because, really, who wouldn't benefit from that?), but despite the marketing director autho ...more
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