Japanese and other Asia cultures developed a persistent quality in foods that the west is missing. They understand the basics, i.e. color and taste without any fault in presentation.
If you look @ the history of Japanese foods you can easily understand that as island people they were likely frugal, careful and courageous all at the same time. Surrounded by sea and mountains, the earth rumbles with force. Their foods were born out of nature, and the people are tough, persistent and much more creative than we think.
Even before social castes in Japan formally divided people into formal groups, women had specific roles. The different castes prevalent throughout the era of the samurai, drew women ever more towards the home. During World War Two they were called upon to be “good wives and wise mothers.”
Although laws changed throughout the years, generally land was passed from father to son, which lead to decisions being made ever more by the male family members. Since women did not have land then, they became ever more expensive since dowries were often required to marry them off.
The role of women are not underestimated in the east and in the west, it is a matter of social disgrace if she is just a house wife. When it comes to mother earth, it is a women who connects with nature, bears children and has the capacity – more than men.
I suppose most food innovation (in the kitchen) evolved by women. It isn’t to say that men were not involved before but it is apparent that women controlled the output and men the input. The physical labor (hunting and fishing) was man’s work, and the thinking at home was done by women. It hasn’t changed much today in Japan, although, in the west a lot changed. Many would argue for the better but through time, many cultures underestimate the importance of “feeding your soul”, a women’s role.