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Author: Heritage Radio Network

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What is Japanese food? Sushi? Ramen? Kaiseki? What about Izakaya? What exactly are they? Akiko Katayama, a Japanese native, New York-based food writer and director of the New York Japanese Culinary Academy, will tell you all about the real Japanese food and food culture. Her guests will range from a sake producer whose family has centuries of sake-making history, to a great American chef who pushes the envelope of Japanese cuisine. Japanese cuisine is demystified here!
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What Is Yakitori?

What Is Yakitori?

2021-06-2248:36

Our guest is Michael Gerard who is the founder and president of Wildwood Ovens & BBQ (Instagram) based in California.  Michael manufactures various wood-fired cooking equipment including yakitori grills.  Yakitori is grilled chicken on skewers and its simplicity demands tremendous skills and experience of the cook, not to mention great equipment.  Michael is one of the very few yakitori grill manufacturers in the U.S. In this episode, we will discuss how Michael got into producing wood-fired cooking equipment, where his passion for high quality food comes from, what exactly yakitori is, a unique and powerful fuel used to make yakitori called binchotan and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Our guest is Jon Broida who is the owner of Japanese Knife Imports based in California.  Before Jon founded Japanese Knife Imports in 2010, he had a successful career as a fine-dining chef and great knives were essential for his job.  He got so into Japanese knives that eventually he started the company and now offers outstanding products along with essential services such as knife sharpening and repairs.  In this episode, we will discuss how the American chef became interested in Japanese knives, how Japanese knives are different from western-style knives, Jon’s unique relationships with Japanese knife craftsmen, what Japanese knives you should have and much, much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Our guest is Philip Harper, the brewmaster and managing director of Kinoshita Shuzo in Kyoto, which was founded in 1842. Philip has been working in the sake industry for the last 30 years.  In 2007, he became the very first non-Japanese brewmaster at Kinoshita Shuzo.  Nowadays there are more non-Japanese workers in the sake industry but back then, it was a shockingly novel event! Philip has proven his remarkable talent and his outstanding products have won many awards.  Also, he has been inspiring the sake industry with refreshing new ideas like sake that is made to be drunk on the rocks. In this episode, we will discuss how Philip ended up living in Japan and eventually becoming a brewmaster, his unique style of sake making, the future of the sake industry and much, much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Don Mei who is the Director of Mei Leaf, an awesome tea company based in London.  Don also has a wonderful YouTube Channel called “Mei Leaf”, which has 80,000 subscribers.  His videos are extremely educational and uniquely fun based on his extensive knowledge of both Chinese and Japanese tea.  His global and analytical perspective helps viewers to appreciate tea even more.  In this episode, we will discuss various aspects of Japanese tea such as production, flavor and terroir in comparison with Chinese tea, Don’s intriguing path to become a tea specialist and much, much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast. 
Our guest is Kazumasa Nishikawa who is the 4th generation head master of the Nishikawa school of Japanese dancing, which has a history of 170 years. He is a dancer, producer, and director, creating numerous performances, teaching at 4 colleges. He is also a manager of the Nihon Odori Sports Science, a health program from the perspective of Japanese dance.Kaz is based in Aichi Prefecture, which is known for its distinctive food culture. Located between Tokyo and Osaka, its capital Nagoya may sound familiar to some of our listeners, but Aichi has not been discovered enough by most of us. In this episode, we will discuss Kaz’s interesting international background, why Japanese dance is good for your health, Aichi’s fascinating food products such as umami-rich miso and soy sauce, popular free breakfast programs in Nagoya and much, much more!!! Here is the link to Kaz's fascinating dance performance: https://youtu.be/nM50bfdICgk Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast. 
Eating Wild in Japan

Eating Wild in Japan

2021-04-1201:04:57

Our guest is Winifred Bird who is a writer, translator, lifelong cook, and lover of plants, based in northern Illinois.  Winnie recently published a fabulous book called “Eating Wild Japan - Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, with a Guide to Plants and Recipes” from Stone Bridge Press.    When we talk about Japanese cuisine, we tend to think of dishes like sushi, ramen and kaiseki without considering enough about native ingredients that play a significant role in Japanese food culture.  One of the most important ingredients is sansai or edible wild plants.  Since two-thirds of Japan’s total land area is forested, you can find amazing seasonal edible plants throughout Japan.  Winnie is one of the very few people who discovered the charm of sansai and wrote a book about it in English, based on her experience of living in Japan for 9 years.  In this episode, we will discuss Winnie’s eventful life in Japan, what sansai is, why sansai is so important in Japanese food culture, delicious sansai dishes that you should not miss at Japanese restaurants or in Japan and  much, much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Yarrow Lazer-Smith, a.k.a. Yarrow Slaps who is a visual artist and hip-hop musician as well as the co-director of SWIM Gallery in San Francisco.    Yarrow recently published “Ramen Forever – An Artist’s Guide to Ramen”.  There are many ramen-themed books, but this is definitely one the most intriguing and cool ones you can find.  It is packed with inspiring interviews with ramen-lover artists, tons of fun illustrations, amusing photos and novel recipes.  The book is a proof of how ramen has become universally popular.  20 years ago, who would have expected that such a casual, accessible form of Japanese cuisine will appeal to a global audience!In this episode, we will discuss Yarrow’s unique life perspective as an artist, how the cool painter and hip-hop musician got into ramen, what is common between art and ramen and much, much more!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Hannah Kirshner who is the author of “WATER, WOOD, AND WILD THINGS”, which just came out on March 23, 2021 from Viking.Hannah has a lot of intriguing experiences in Japan. For example, she has worked as a bartender and as well as a kurabito, or sake brewer’s assistant, in the beautiful rural area of Ishikawa Prefecture called Yamanaka.  Now she calls it her second home.In her new book, Hannah insightfully describes Japanese traditional culture as well as how it is being revised by artisans in Yamanaka.In this episode, we will discuss how Hannah got into Japanese culture and ended up living in Japan, the charm of rural Japan like Yamanaka, the area's inspirational artisans she has worked with and much, much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast. 
Our guest is Brian Ashcraft who is a senior writer for the video gaming site Kotaku and a columnist for The Japan Times.  He is also the author of the 6 fascinating books including: The Japanese Sake Bible, Japanese Whisky, Japanese Tattoos and Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool.  Brian has lived in Osaka since 2001.  Throughout the two decades, he has insightfully observed and reported the uniqueness of Japanese culture to the world in English.  In this episode, we will discuss how Brian ended up becoming a prolific writer and journalist specialized in Japanese culture, his insight into various aspects of Japanese culture including sake, whisky, tattoos, schoolgirls and much much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Coffee Life in Japan

Coffee Life in Japan

2021-03-0901:05:56

Our guest is Merry White who is the author of Coffee Life in Japan, an absolutely insightful and fascinating book about Japanese coffee as well as unique Japanese culture and society.  Merry also teaches courses on various topics including Japan, food anthropology, and urban anthropology at Boston University.Japanese people started drinking coffee fairly recently compared to their centuries-old custom of tea drinking, but Japan is the number five importer of coffee beans as of 2021.  Also, over the last century Japan has developed a remarkably unique coffee shop culture.  For example, you may have heard the word Kissaten, which is a distinctive style of coffee shop.  In this episode, we will discuss why Merry got into Japanese coffee culture, how Japanese coffee culture differs from the rest of the world, what functions coffee shops perform uniquely in Japanese society, the concept of Kissaten and much, much more! Image courtesy of Standart Magazine.Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Danny Taing who is the founder of Bokksu.  Bokksu means box in Japanese.  His company Bokksu delivers to your door the experience of tasting authentic Japanese snacks, candies, and teas sourced directly from generations-old small family businesses.  If you visit Japan, you will instantly know that Japanese people are quite obsessed with both savory and sweet snacks.  Elaborately packaged products are ubiquitous and you can easily get addicted to them.  In this episode, we will discuss how Danny got into Japanese snacks, why he decided to start a business to deliver them to your door outside Japan, unique Japanese snacks, artisanal producers he works with and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Andrew Centofante who is the co-owner and head brewer of North American Sake Brewery in Charlottesville, Virgina, which opened in 2018.  It is Virginia’s first and only sake brewery.  Despite its short history, the brewery has won the silver and bronze medals at the 2020 World Sake Challenge for its classic-style sake.  But Andrew also makes highly imaginative sake as well.  In this episode, we will discuss how Andrew got into Japanese sake, challenges in opening a sake brewery in Virginia, his innovative philosophy of sake production and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast. 
Our guest today is Ian Chun who is the owner of Japanese online tea shop and community Yunomi.life.  The website is not just selling tea but highly inspirational and educational about Japanese tea and the underlying unique Japanese culture.  For example, you can meet tea producers on the designated webpage, which tells you each vendor’s detailed history, tea fields and manufacturing philosophy with beautiful images and videos.  In this episode, we will discuss how Ian got into Japanese tea, his philosophy of connecting people through tea, benefits of drinking Japanese tea, how to enjoy Japanese tea at home and much, much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our my guests are Marc Matsumoto & Maki Ogawa.  Marc and Maki host a popular English cooking show called BENTO EXPO produced by NHK, the national public broadcaster of Japan.  They teach a global audience how to make great bento boxes.  The show is so popular that it is now in the fifth season.  Also, Marc and Maki recently published a fascinating cookbook about Japanese-style bento called “Ultimate Bento – Healthy, Delicious and Affordable 85 mix-and-match Bento Box Recipes.”  In addition to 85 recipes, there are useful tips about how to pack a bento box with step-by-step images, food safety, useful gadgets et cetera.  In this episode, we will discuss why Japanese bento is unique, why Bento so is important in Japanese culture, how to make delicious and nutritious bento boxes and much, much more! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Atsushi Numata who is the chef and owner of Ni Japanese Deli at the Essex Market in the Lower East Side, Manhattan.  Ni Japanese Deli is unique because all the food he sells is very healthy and allergen-free.  He opened the deli in 2012 inspired by his newborn baby who suffered from a lot of allergies.  In this episode, we will discuss Atsushi’s intriguing childhood of growing up in a restaurant family, how his music career shifted to cooking, how he makes delicious allergen-free dishes and much, much more! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast. 
Our guest is Sachiko Nakamichi who is the co-owner of Beniya Mukayu in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture.  Beniya Mukayu is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the famous hot spring area Yamashiro.  There are many hotels in the area but Mukayu is truly distinctive.  It has earned multiple accolades including the member status of Relais & Châteaux, which is regarded as the best of the best in the world of hospitality.  Not only that Mukayu was awarded the welcome trophy by Relais & Châteaux for its outstanding level of service.  But the success did not happen overnight.  When Sachiko joined the hotel in 1988, it was a mediocre, mass market-oriented place to stay.  In this episode, we will discuss why Sachiko got involved in the hotel business, how she miraculously transformed the unremarkable hotel to the world class house of hospitality, the concept of the Japanese style hospitality ""Omotenashi""  and much, much more!!!  Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Marcus Consolini who is the CEO of Daimon Shuzo, a sake brewery in Osaka that was founded in 1826.  It is extremely rare to find non-Japanese management at a traditional sake brewery like Daimon.  In this episode, we will discuss Marcus' unique background, why and how he decided to manage the authentic sake brewery, what changes he has made at the brewery, what is special about sake and Japanese culture to him and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
"Our guest is Lucy Seligman who is the author of the fabulous cookbook “The Wonderful World of Osechi: Japanese New Year’s Recipes”.New Year is a huge deal for Japanese people.   It is foremost the biggest holiday of the year, which is an equivalent of Thanksgiving and Christmas combined in terms of the cultural importance.  There are many kinds of special food involved in the Japanese New Year celebration and each has interesting cultural implications.  In this episode, we will discuss all about Japanese New Year’s feast along with Lucy’s very intriguing life in Japan as a restaurant critic and writer!"Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guests are Shuso Imada, general manager of the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center and Sebastien Lemoine, co-host of the fantastic podcast Sake On Air.  The Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center and Sake On Air jointly organized the fascinating online event Sake Future Summit 2020, which was held on Saturday, November 21st and Sunday November 22nd.  Since the program ran in Japanese Standard Time, many of us who have a massive time difference to Japan may have missed the event.  Shuso and Sebastien will share with us the takeaway points from the summit.Japanese sake has a history of 2000 years and it is truly a precious, soulful beverage.  However, the consumption of Japanese sake has been steadily declining over the last decades.  On the other hand, sake is becoming increasingly popular outside Japan.  In this episode, we will discuss what is happening in the Japanese sake industry and its future based on the takeaway points from the first-ever global sake summit!  We will also discuss the shochu industry, a traditional Japanese spirits that is as important as sake.  Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
Our guest is Joshua Schlachet who is the Assistant Professor of Japanese History at The University of Arizona.  Josh is a historian of early modern and modern Japan, specializing in the cultural history of food and nourishment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which was the era of powerful Shoguns and the subsequent westernization.  But the scope of his work is way beyond it sounds!  His research includes global and comparative food studies and histories of science and health, which we can practically apply to our modern (and often problematic)  lifestyle.  By the way, Josh joined us on Episode 98 as an instructor of the Wa-Shokuiku program, which teaches elementary and middle school students in the U.S. about Japanese food and foodways through hands-on cooking and learning activities.  In this episode, we will discuss the flourishing Japanese food culture in the 18th and 19th centuries, which also gave birth to our favorite Japanese foods including sushi, the unique healthy diet philosophies back then, how we can apply them to our life and much, much more!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.  
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