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Food is “the most basic form of diplomacy” for cooking adviser Reiko Yamada. With this philosophy in mind, “Wagohan: The ABCs of Japanese Cuisine” aims to bridge cultures and present the “versatility and beauty of Japanese cuisine.”

The slim volume of 101 essential items of Japanese food is a helpful introduction to everyday meals and customs. It contains only four pages of recipes, but includes guides to basic dishes and beverages with straightforward, instructive photographs. The Japanese and English text is unfussy with cultural anecdotes and details.

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