While in Japan, you will be able to find a variety of curries served in restaurants. According to Japanese records, the first mention of curry was during the end of the Edo era but the dish only became available for consumption by the masses during the early days of the Meiji era. It’s been said that Japanese curry originated from British-style curry adopted by the British from India before it was rearranged to become the Japanese style of today.
In the past, curry was something you could only eat at Western-style restaurants, but with the successful development of curry powder in the form of easy-to-prepare curry roux and retort bags, it allowed Japanese families to cook this dish at home easily, thus further fueling its domestic popularity. This dish is also a familiar sight overseas thanks to the proliferation of Japanese restaurants overseas and easy-to-use prepacked curry sauces people can import from Japan. If you are a keen lover of curry, why not consider attending Curry Daigaku, or Curry College, to further your knowledge and pick up some useful skills?
Curry Daigaku is a school which offers multiple courses relating to curry so as to cater to students with varying needs. Be it a curry lover just interested in getting to know more about this dish for the purpose of self-enrichment, or someone who needs to gain in-depth knowledge for work reasons such as those working in product development, opening of restaurants, research, media, or teaching, you will be able to find a course which will suit your needs.
According to the college’s website, the curriculum includes topics such as:
- The definition of curry
- Basic knowledge of spices
- Types of curry
- Consumption trends of curry in Japan
- Trends and the history of Indian and Japanese curry
- How curry is used in town rejuvenation efforts and successful examples to date
- Signature local curries in Japan
- How to make Indian curries
- How to make European curries
- All about curry roux packs
- All about curry retort bags
- Basics and strategies to embark on a curry sampling tour
For those who want to learn more about curry for self-enrichment, the undergraduate course should suit you just fine. Depending on your preference, you can choose to attend the lessons in the comfort of your home via the internet or in the classroom.
As there are six lectures in the course, those taking the web option will have to complete the lessons within a month while those in the classroom will take five hours of lessons per study day. The web option is slightly cheaper at 20,000 yen (exclusive of tax) compared to the classroom option at 35,000 yen (exclusive of tax) and should be more suitable for those who cannot spare the time to go for classes or prefer to have some flexibility in their learning schedule.
In the event that you need more time to complete the course, there is an option which allows you to extend the learning period to a maximum of three months but this will come at an additional cost. Lastly, the classroom sessions are held in Tokyo and Osaka only so those living far from these cities may prefer the web option for practicality reasons.
Upon completion of the lessons, there is an option to take the certification test at 5,000 yen (exclusive of tax) where candidates have to answer 50 multiple choice questions. If you get at least 40 questions correct, meaning 80 marks out of 100, you will be issued with the Curry Evangelist diploma. In addition, if you pay another 5,000 yen to join the Curry Daigaku OB Club, you will be given freebies and access to resources such as invitations to curry tasting sessions, discounts at certified curry restaurants, the bi-annual newsletter, samples of the latest curry products twice a year, and entry qualification into the graduate school of Curry Daigaku.
For those who are keen to take their pursuit of knowledge in this field further, there is also a graduate school which allows you to aim for two qualifications: curry producer or curry instructor. The curry producer route is more for people who aim to become specialists in curry-related business positions such as the development and enhancement of curry products and organising of curry-related events. On the other hand, people who wish to impart the knowledge of cooking curry, such as those working as instructors in cooking schools, may be more interested in the curry instructor qualification. There is an entrance exam which you need to go through and the cost for this course is 200,000 yen (exclusive of tax).
Unlike the undergraduate course, the lessons in the graduate school are all classroom-based and are only run twice a year. There will be seven lessons touching on the following topics and you would need to attend classes for five hours each day on five different days.
- Self-branding of your own curry
- In-depth research into the history of curry
- Knowledge of the curry business
- Fieldwork at a curry restaurant
- Hands-on curry cooking
- Skills acquisition from the Curry Daigaku lecturers
At the top of the spectrum will be the curry professor intern course which allows you to get a curry professor qualification. This is a one-to-one programme lasting for a year where your grades are assessed based on your real-life experience with relation to curry and the research thesis. For your thesis to be graded, you will need to pay 50,000 yen (exclusive of tax).
Likewise, for the graduate school, you need to pass an entrance exam before starting this course. The target audience for this course is those who want to take their research of curry to the next level or want to work as a researcher at the Curry General Research Facility, which has its research results featured regularly in the media.
The location of their school varies per semester, so check their website (Japanese only) for the location. Now that you’ve learnt so much about this unique college dedicated to the study of curry, how about learning more about and exploring the depths of this fascinating dish of unlimited variations while you are in Japan?
Curry Daigaku website *Japanese only