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May 4, Sun.*This program was first broadcast on May 10, 2012

Regional Fast Food

When you think of regional Japanese food with a long history, you might think high prices and refined presentation. But Japanese "regional fast food" is unique and inexpensive everyday fare, and it is now more popular than ever. Regional fast food is often called "local gourmet" or "B-grade gourmet". Most of these dishes were created between the 1950's and the 1970's, during Japan's post-WWII resurgence. In the 1990's, as the Internet became widespread, regional cuisines began attracting nationwide attention. In recent years, regional fast food has even launched the revival of towns and cities.

On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is regional fast food. We'll look at casual local dishes from around Japan and at the culture that created them.