What is Shoujin Ryouri?

The Japanese people often see Shoujin Ryouri at temples and funerals. Here we are going to see what is Shoujin Ryouri like, forbidden foods and its origins.

What is Shoujin Ryouri?

It is cooked based on Buddhism rules that avoid killing animals, and stimulating the human’s Kleshas (the mental states of anxiety, jealousy, anger, sexual desire etc.) It is a an essential cuisine for Buddhist monks, so that many Japanese people have an image of Buddist monks when they think of Shoujin Ryouri.

It exists not only in Japan, but also in China and South-East Asia, and it is said that the origin is actually in China 1000 years before the start of Buddhism

Forbidden foods in Shoujin Ryouri

In Shoujin Ryouri, all the foods including animal protein like meat and fish is prohibited to use because it must avoid killing animals. Not only animal proteins but also certain vegetables that are called “Gokun” are forbidden to use in Shoujin Ryouri. These vegetables are garlic, chives, onion, rakkyo, and Welsh onion. It is said that these foods stimulate a person’s Kleshas, so they cannot be used in Shoujin Ryouri.

Also, eggs and milk are also not used. The ingredients used are different by different types of Buddhism. For example, some monks can eat even meat if it does not violate the ahmist law in Mahayana Buddhism. Therefore,, it is better to think that all animal products, including egg and milk are prohibited for use in Shoujin Ryouri only. Not all Buddhist cuisine.

Difference between vegetarianism and Shoujin Ryouri

People often confuse vegetarianism and Shoujin Ryouri, because they are similar. However, they are actually very different. Vegetarianism is based on the perspectives of being healthy and/or animal protection. On the other hand, Shouji Ryouri is a religious cuisine. Shoujin Ryouri is suitable for vegetarians, but they are not equal.


Shoujin Ryouri is a style of cuisine that doesn’t include animal proteins that is based on Buddhism and it is different from vegetarianism.

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