The introduction to the 10th Anniversary Edition of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone contains the following passage on page 4 (emphasis added):

Vegetarians have often used the phrase "I don't eat anything with a face on it," to describe their food choices as plant-based. But there is another interpretation of that phrase "food with a face." The Japanese have a word for it, teikkai, which refers to the provenance of a food―where it comes from, how it was raised, who grew it. It is the opposite of "general foods," those faceless foods that come to us anonymously from a vague source: foods without soul.

Never having heard of teikkai, I tried to look it up in a dictionary - and of course, I found nothing. Searching for "teikkai" in Latin script gives only one relevant result, which is by some other reader of the same book and provides no further insight. My best guess would be that the author meant tekkai or teikai, but then again, none of 撤回・鉄拐 nor 低回・停会 mean anything remotely related.

Is there a word that resembles teikkai in Japanese that has something to do with "the provenance of a food"?

(Structurally-similar question from some time back: What is a word for "participation" that resembles "kameseru"?)

  • 4
    「[提携]{ていけい}」とかですかね・・・??? 「産消提携」とかの・・・
    – chocolate
    Sep 4, 2015 at 5:07
  • 3
    Would contacting the original author deborahmadison.com be a good solution? It's apparently beyond my poor Japanese vocabulary...😁 Sep 8, 2015 at 19:06
  • 2
    Contacting the author is probably the best idea. I'm not sure whether or not this question can be answered without doing so.
    – user1478
    Dec 9, 2015 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


I believe chocolate-san is right and I have the website of the Japan Organic Agriculture Association in Japanese and English to prove it.

It turns out this "teikei" 「提携」 (lit. "cooperation") has been around since 1978. The longer names are 産消提携{さんしょうていけい} and 生消提携{せいしょうていけい}.

It seems the problem, aside from getting the transliteration wrong, was that the author thought it was a common word. Or more precisely, that the definition she gave was the main meaning of the word. In actuality, the JOAA started a movement and named it teikei. (See section 3 of the English website).

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