Here below are the typical materials of DASHI. DASHI is a synergy combination of UMAMI (one of the basic tastes)
1. Inosine - KATSUOBUSHI (Dried bonito), NIBOSHI (Dried sardine)
2. Glutamine - KONBU (Dried kelp)
3. Guanylic - HOSHI SHIITAKE (Dried mushroom)
It is easy and fast to make at home, so if you are interested in delicious food I'll recommend to try. Not only using for Japanese cuisines, you can also try with your familiar cuisines. One of a good example is Ramen. The origin is China, but a lot of Japanese Ramen modified with DASHI and came a world wide popular cuisine.
Hope you have fun with Japanese food!