Shojin Ryori is a type of Buddhist cuisine that exists all over Asia. While the name—and the specific foods on offer—varies by country, the Buddhist belief of ahimsa, or non-violence toward living things, including killing animals, is a shared one across cultures. And with it, comes a type of dining that adheres to this strict way of dining.
While Buddhist practices and the subsequent diet were brought to Japan in the 6th century from India and China, the concept of Shojin Ryori as a particular way of eating spread across the country in the 13th century with the rise of Zen Buddhism. One thing that makes the Japanese name for this vegetable-based cuisine special is the meaning of shojin ryori (精進料理). While many countries simply call this type of food "vegetarian" in their native tongue, Shojin Ryori's literal meaning is "devotion food" and is called so as a form of respect to the tenets of Buddhism. As early practitioners received the natural bounty of the land and sea, they made sure to thank nature for those gifts.