About fifteen hundred years ago the Japanese imported many aspects of Chinese culture: the writing system, political institutions, and perhaps most important, Buddhism. Buddhist priests were expected to eat only vegetables, and tofu, /made from the soybean/, was a very important food in their diet. When Buddhism was introduced from China, tofu was also brought to Japan.
Tofu developed in different ways in China and Japan. While the Chinese often changed the taste of tofu by mixing it with strongly-flavored vegetables or meat, the Japanese preferred to eat it using only a simple sauce *1 . Even now, traditional Japanese cooking preserves the original delicacy of tofu, though the way (it is served) may change from season to season *2. In summer, for example, it is simply served cold, while in winter it is often eaten as part of a hot dish.
The soybean was introduced to the West in the eighteenth century, but little interest was taken in it; only scientists recognized its high food value. During the Second World War, when meat was in short supply, the U. S. government encouraged the American people to eat soybean products *3. However, they never became very popular and, after the war, interest in them dropped off as the supply of meat became plentiful again.
In recent years, people in the West have become increasingly aware of the dangers of eating too much animal fat, and as a result, they have turned more and more to soybean products. This is mainly because the soybean provides almost the same food value as meat, and /in addition/ is a lot more healthful. Much of the margarine, salad oil, and cooking oil in daily use is now produced from soybean oil. Tofu, /a representative soybean product and originally one of the main foods in the diet of Chinese priests/, is considered to be one of the healthiest foods available to man.
Tofu came to Japan together with Buddhism, because | 42 |
1) Buddhist priests ate tofu rather than vegetables. *4
2) it was a very important food in the diet of Buddhist priests.
3) the religion came to Japan together with political institutions.
4) the religion was the most important aspect of Chinese culture.
Japanese tofu dishes differ from Chinese tofu dishes in that | 43 | ((in that ...「...という点で、...ということにおいて」
1) the original taste of tofu is preserved in Japanese dishes.
2) they are served the same way throughout the year.
3) they have a better taste than Chinese tofu dishes.
4) they have a greater variety than Chinese tofu dishes.
During the Second World War the United States government encouraged the American people to eat soybean products because | 44 |
1) Americans recognized their high food value.
2) little interest was taken in the soybean.
3) meat was less available than before.
4) they were found to taste very good.
The reason people in the West have become more and more interested in tofu and other soybean products is that | 45 |
1) eating too much animal fat is considered unhealthy.
2) meat has become too expensive to buy.
3) these products are more readily available.
4) they have become tired of eating meat.