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Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat: Delicious slimming and anti-ageing secrets

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  777 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
In Japan, people live longer than anywhere else on Earth; obesity is virtually unknown, and 40-year-old women look like they're 20. The secret: Japanese homestyle cooking, and an approach to eating that is not about self-deprivation, but about celebrating and savouring food.

Raised in Tokyo and on her grandparents' mountainside farm, author Naomi Moriyama first travelled to
Published May 3rd 2007 by Vermilion (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,868)
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Jan 26, 2008 chynna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 06, 2012 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Japanese women don’t get fat!


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
Mar 09, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: far-away-places, food
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
Mar 23, 2011 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kcls, non-fiction
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.
This is an interesting book for someone who grew up in the middle of nowhere with little exposure to Japanese food. The author is great at explaining the health benefits of Japanese food and also at selling the Japanese lifestyle (not that I needed much convincing, hehe). I definitely will be trying out many of the recipes, though it was discouraging to see how many required egg as I am allergic. Also, it is difficult to find a lot of the ingredients for even the most basic foods in the book in ...more
Sep 14, 2014 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, asia
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
Aug 26, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Sophia Sun P.
Nov 12, 2011 Sophia Sun P. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 10, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Dec 17, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to eat well and not become isolated to delicious meal
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
Jul 09, 2011 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 10, 2008 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Suzanne Taylor
Eh, there were some great bits and some boring bits. While the author is right that the Japanese diet has more balance tan the American one (in general), it seems to me that she has no idea what actual Americans actually eat. She claims to live here, but she's constantly harping on how we Americans are ALWAYS eating pizza and burgers, and that we don't understand what true Japanese cooking is since it is not just sushi and noodles. Well news flash: the American home cooked diet is very different ...more
Deborah Martinez
Apr 05, 2016 Deborah Martinez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Japanese people have the most years of healthy longevity among all nations. This book touches base on their culture, food, and exercise habits.

I picked-up a copy of this book as it includes Japanese recipes, and I enjoy trying cuisine I am less familiar with, but I really enjoyed the book overall, as it discussed how Japanese food habits may be contributing to the extraordinary health of Japanese people.

The author, originally from Japan moved to the United States for part of her college educat
Beverly McCall
Naomi Moriyama reminisces about her mother’s kitchen and cooking and has rooted some of the basic components with research as she formulates a theory as to why the women in Japan age gracefully and do not get fat. She posits that its is due to the Japanese cooking. Japanese cooking, in the traditional manner, is extremely healthy as it focuses on fresh produce, rice (grains) and fish. Soy products are frequent ingredients. The style of cooking is lighter. Portions in Japan are small. This book v ...more
May 03, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 02, 2013 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:

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
Apr 28, 2009 Ames rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
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!
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
Apr 16, 2007 Lucia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.)
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.
J.D. Holman
Mar 06, 2016 J.D. Holman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a culinary memoir, with some good recipes and a smattering of Japanese women's history thrown in. I particularly like the first and second dashi recipes; I used second dashi as a base for another miso soup recipe I had, and it turned out excellent. Also, the teriyaki fish recipe goes amazingly well with salmon. It was like a taste of heaven. I'll definitely be copying some recipes out of this before I return it to the library.
One drawback to this is not the book's fault. The Japanese di
Jan 13, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apl, 2014
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
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
The title of this book almost turned me off, but I am interested enough in Japanese culture and cuisine that I gave it a shot. And really, I'm glad I did. I enjoyed reading this book - I thought the author walked a good line between storytelling (her own past and present), history, culture, and cookbook. I liked several of the recipes enough that I jotted some of them down, though I will have to search out vegetarian/vegan versions since I cannot eat fish/seafood. And now I have a list of things ...more
Jul 30, 2009 Peg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Full of herself, but not charming. Recipes were good.
Lucie Paris
Apr 21, 2012 Lucie Paris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nek0 Neha
Jan 11, 2013 Nek0 Neha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jun 24, 2011 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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