= Meat was banned for the Japanese masses =

The more solemn the banquet among the Japanese, and also in China, the greater number of different broths and shiru provided for each guest. Each of these is made from different things; some are made from high-quality fish, others from meat of birds which they prize, such as the crane, which ranks in the first place, the swan in the second, and wild duck in the third. This is still true even today, for on no account will they use anything but wild game and never the domestic animals and birds which they rear.

They will not eat the latter and in this they differ from the Chinese, who esteem the flesh of the ass more than that of the horse, the latter more than the cow; they have an even higher regard for pork, lard and bacon, as well as domestic duck, hens and geese, while lowly persons eat dogmeat and other things. In keeping with their customs the Japanese abominate all this, for on no account whatsoever will they eat ass, horse, or cow, much less pig (except boars), duck, or hens, and they are naturally averse to lard.

They eat only wild game at banquets and their ordinary meals, for they regard a householder who slaughters an animal reared in his house as cruel and unclean; on the other hand they do not show this compassion toward human beings because they kill them with greater ease and enjoyment than they would an animal.

This is despite the fact that some people, especially the traders who have had dealings with the Portuguese since their arrival in Japan, now eat cow, pig and hens, but such things are not eaten at solemn banquets or, for that matter, anywhere in the entire kingdom.



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