For the past five years, food writer and former “Iron Chef America” judge Akiko Katayama has been updating a global audience about Japanese cuisine through a series of weekly conversations she has with chefs, sake brewers, rice farmers, home cooks, potters and many, many others on her podcast, “Japan Eats!,” presented from New York.

Katayama’s new book, “A Complete Guide to Japanese Cuisine,” is a logical extension to the show. It manages to be comprehensive in the ground it covers, taking in everything from Japan’s regional cuisines to kissaten (old-school coffee houses) and bento (boxed lunches), and even why you should slurp your noodles while devouring them. It’s also a concise book, helpfully illustrated both with photos and diagrams, as well as interesting facts and statistics — if you were wondering, curry bread was first introduced to Japan in 1927!

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