A lot of eastern national cuisines are represented by vegetarian food. The Japanese cuisine is not an exception. Certainly as many cultural and traditional streams vegetarian experience was borrowed from
As for Indian cuisine (that became a basis of Japanese cuisine) its basis is presented mere with traditional Indian vegetarian dishes the history of which can be traced to far away the 5th century of B.C. Historical facts show that own vegetarian traditions Indian cuisine gained in the ancient civilization (the commonest examples are Mohenjodaro or Harappa). The certain data are still under discussion as the main scripts were not unlocked.
In spite of these uncertain facts that Aryans people, came to Northern Indian region, were representatives of meat cuisine. During the time of their territory controlling (Aryan Vedic term) meat was greeted much and consumed rather often. But, emergence of Buddhism and Jainism that changed significantly history itself influenced the line of Indian cuisine development in a crucial way.
The basis of these religious philosophical streams is presented by eternal principle of non-violence one of the main ahimsa rules. While development of ancient Indian civilizations many Indian kings put restrictions on animal food (meat eating was considered to be the sin against ancestors. Kings, as examples of vegetarian food partisans, influenced people psychology and changed many minds.
Although the Japanese cuisine was influenced much by vegetarian variant of Indian and Chinese food the vegetarian way of its development was the only possible variant for Japanese cuisine progress taking into accounts its difficult location and natural sources. As most of country area is occupied by volcanic mountains, lush forests or rock spots it is physically rather difficult to grow animals and use them as essential basic food. This is one of the explanations of rice devotion, that Japanese nation borrowed from Chinese and Korean people.
In the 3rd century B.C. this plat came to separated islands and changed their life forever. The rice was used as food as well as paper and wine ingredient, as building material or food for animals.
The new stage of Japan-China cooperation discovered for the Japanese nation soy, tea and some crucial nutrition rules. Certainly, the theoretical base of total vegetarian acceptance was supported by Buddhism ideology. With the gaining of official level of Confucian in the 6th century meat as a table dish got a strict prohibition for next 12 centuries.
In the 20th century Japanese cuisine was significantly impacted by western countries influences and eventually passed through partial loss of vegetarian individuality.
Nevertheless, the first items of Japanese national cuisine are Japanese vegetarian dishes and vegetable sushi. Many scientists consider that centuries-old Japanese vegetarian tradition is the secret of the longest life interval all over the world.