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shōjin ryōri

Type of vegetarian cooking introduced into Japan together with Buddhism in the 6th century. Shōjin is a Buddhist term that refers to asceticism in pursuit of enlightenment, and ryōri means "cooking." Foods derived from soybeans -- including tofu --- and vegetable oils -- including sesame, walnut, and rapeseed -- were popularized in Japan as a result of their use in shōjin ryōri. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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