I started this blog when I first moved to Japan because I felt I had encountered the most complete food system in the world: economical, local, spiritual, nutritious, interesting and satisfyingly delicious. But despite Japan’s potential for a full blown food system revolution, the country is actually in the midst of a major food dilemma*—and this was before the recent earthquake/tusnami/nucelar crisis.
My food life in inaka Japan proved to be more revealing and enlightening than I first assumed. The food system I experienced in Japan from planting rice with my friend, Kazu (an 8th generation rice farmer), to foraging for my own sansai in the Spring is a system that is barely recognizable to many urban Japanese children who have become accustomed to a food system dependent on foreign imports.
The spiritual and cultural significance of food in Japan does not compare to anything in the United States. There is simply a great deal of historic food veneration in Japan and because of this a food system has been passed down through centuries of households and kitchens presenting a refreshingly intact approach to food and nutrition in the modern world.
When I left my home in Japan I was a bit lost for words as well as culinary experiences to continue progressing in this blog. But I have renewed dedication to practice the principles I learned in the Japanese kitchen, and to find new ways to adapt these principles to life in… wherever I am.
Tomorrow is a new day—I’ve programmed my rice cooker to finish cooking my brown rice at 6am, the frozen natto from the Berkeley bowl is unthawing in the fridge, and the yukari is waiting next to my rice bowl.
stay tuned for new recipes and food exploration!
*I just listened to this podcast today (thus my renewed dedication to this blog)—an insightful and interesting contribution from the BBC on the Japanese food system.