You may wonder why Japanese dishes look so appealing, with genuine uniqueness that can amazingly rouse your appetite; the secret lies within the “5-Taste-5-Color” concept, considered one of the fundamental requirements of Japanese cuisine and it is best to include all five tastes and colors in every meal.

Actually, the 5-Taste-5-Color idea was originally developed from the Chinese Yin-Yang theory, explaining the importance of the five elements including wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. This Chinese notion has later been applied into Japanese cooking culture.

Five tastes consist of sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami or savory taste.

In addition, the five colors include white, yellow, red, green, and black.


According to the animation series titled “Edomae no Shun”, also known as “The Sushi Boy” in English, the 5-Taste-5-Color concept is variously depicted in the main character’s saying

“the sweetness of salt-water eel, egg roll, and Kampyo, together with the sourness and saltiness of Kohada, the bitterness of red-fleshed fish and zuke, and the umami taste of Hirame and cockles”, “the red color of red-fleshed fish and cockles, the yellow color of egg roll, the green color of Kohada, the white color of Hirame, and the black color of Kampyo”, and “Kampyo is the happiness of the mountain, egg roll is the delight of the beautiful garden, and fish is the pleasure of the sea”.

Admittedly, it can be said that traditional Japanese menus are always influenced by the uniquely beneficial concept, while the mentioning of the mountain, garden, and sea also reflects Japanese people’s sincerity in cherishing natural beauty. Hence, Japanese food is not just something to reduce your hunger, but it can also ensure your eating satisfaction inspired by the attractiveness of culinary culture.

The 5-Taste-5-Color concept is not only useful to professional chefs, but it also provides health benefits to eaters at large. Basically, as a delicious menu is served, it is common for you to suddenly get a glimpse of its tidy preparation and exquisite aroma. You can also find your meal more tasteful and relaxing with typical Japanese green tea, while indulging yourself in the ambience of soft Japanese instrumental music.

Similarly, if you are aware of your daily meals, you will realize that each of them is not only made to satisfy your appetite, but, more importantly, it can reflect several aspects of happiness and pleasure of your life, especially when you are enjoying a special meal with your loved ones.

It is bad enough to know that we are inevitably living our daily lives in a hurry. Being too busy everyday makes us forget about the significance of the above-mentioned facts. Consequently, you are recommended to make use of your five senses in a more efficient and delightful way and you will see that happiness is just one step away.