In the US, it is common when visiting someone’s house for example, to compliment the host and hostess on a delicious dinner and ask the hostess for the recipe. This is a compliment in the US.
In Japan, asking the host or hostess for the recipe is very bad manners and is considered quite rude as it insinuates that all that is needed to make the delicious dish is the recipe. It insinuates that anyone with the recipe can make this delicious dish and achieve the same results and that the talent and experience and heart of the host does not matter. In Japan cooking is a DO just like Aikido, Budo, Chado, etc. The spirit and heart and path is as intrinsic to the creation as any recipe.
The Spirit and the Path
An excerpt from a longer article on the Nippon Kan website.