KJ 83 cover


Here is an update on Kyoto Journal’s next offering, from Writers in Kyoto member Ken Rodgers, one of the founders of KJ and managing editor since 1993.


Food pervades every area of our existence.

It sustains us. It inspires us. It enslaves us.

It educates us. It may kill us.

It allows us to communicate with the Gods.

Your Food is not mine, nor mine yours, but we may share it,

and in so doing, what joy.

Few remain silent on Food. And why would one?

What a natural topic for discussion, discourse, eulogy, outrage, comedy, reflection, prayer, ire, poetry, love…

Food is simultaneously universal and particular, literal and metaphoric.

It is edible, in­credible fun, a celebration of life itself.

And so many of its greatest exponents and propo­nents live here in Asia.


The all-volunteer-produced Kyoto Journal s 8th digital issue and 83rd issue—FOOD!—exploring the essence of what we eat, in all of the above as­pects, will be released on August 3rd, 2015 (downloadable from Newsstand, and KJ’s website, www.kyotojournal.org/).

Guest Editor John F. Ashburne, long-time Kyoto resident, has written for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Japan Times, Louis Vuitton City Guide Kyoto Nara 2011 and Wall Street Journal Asia, and authored the Lonely Planet Food Guide Japan.

On the FOOD! menu:

  • An exclusive preview of the first volume in a series of books that will be the most signif­icant work on Japanese Cuisine ever to be published, the Japanese Culinary Academy’s Complete Japanese Cuisine.

Its first volume, the “Introduction to Japanese Cuisine: Na­ture, History and Culture,” to be published worldwide in English in August 2015, is a seminal tome featuring essays on the culture and science of Food, and beautifully illustrated recipes from highly-regarded Kyoto-based restaurants.Redzepi

  • Interviews with world-class chefs Rene Redzepi (owner/chef of restaurantNoma in Copenhagen, Denmark, voted “the best restaurant in the world” four times in the San Pellegrino Awards); Murata Yoshihiro, the Doyen of Japanese Cuisine, founder of the Japan Culinary Association and owner/chef at Kyoto’s famed Kikunoi kaiseki ryori restaurant; and Michelin award-winning chefs Kenichi Hashimoto and Hajime Yoneda. Also interviewed, former Jain monk, pilgrim, writer and educator Satish Ku­mar, expounding on food in relation to non-violence, mindfulness, restraint, grati­tude and fasting. Meanwhile Martin Frid, of the Consumer’s Union of Japan, discusses present-day food safety and food security—vital issues in a country that imports around 60% of its food.
  • The Milk of Paradise: Mother, Mantra, and Our First Food, by James N. Powell, explores our deepest and earliest connections with “nature”—and the divine—through mother’s milk. In Food from Beyond the Bridge of Dreams anthropologist Kaori O’Connor deconstructs Japan’s national cuisine, tracing its historical and cultural roots back into Heian times and Japanese mythology. Once to Feast in the Northern Capital, by Douglas Penick, reconstructs the imperial inauguration of Beijing’s Forbidden City, in 1421. Days of Eating Earth, by Minakami Tsutomu, is a firsthand description of a priest’s rigorous dedication to eking out shojin ryori, Buddhist cuisine, from minimal ingredients, never before translated into English.
  • Other writers including Wendy Jones-Nakanishi, Karen Ma, Gene Nakano, ShimaYoshida and Suvendrini Kakuchi evoke treasured memories of family occasions and home cooking. In Tibetan Butter Tea and Pink Gin: Life in Old Darjeeling, Ann Tashi Slater weaves a fascinating tale of her Tibetan grandmother in Raj-era India.
  • My Dinner with Paul Reps is a meditation on the ancient tradition of food offerings to Buddhist practitioners, by the author of Sleeping in Caves, Marilyn Stablein. The Great Wave Has Broken, by Bill Clements, investigates the astonishing worldwide downturn in the numbers of farmers—the people actually producing the world’s essential staple food stocks (the USA has more prison inmates than full-time farmers…). Geof­frey Gunn revisits The Great Vietnamese Famine of 1944-45, and full circle from moth­ers’ milk, Jason Danely explores foodcare for the terminally ill.
  • KJ Rambler-at-large Robert Brady (soon to publish his long-awaited collection The Big Elsewhere) contributes conflicting human and simian perspec­tives on foraging, in Free Lunch with Onions, while culinary perspectives also collide in Rosti, by Allen Koshewa, set in Koh Samui. We also visit an Ainu restaurant in Tokyo and a nomadic cafe in Kyoto that uses otherwise-discarded “mis-shapen” vegetables. Plus, a special feature: the unmissable Food Alphabet, an A-Z directory.

Our FOOD! celebration party (a potluck, naturally) will be on Saturday July 25th at Impact HUB Kyoto, from 5:30pm (map here: www.kyotojournal.org/events/kyohaku-in-map/). All welcome, bring a friend!


Brady poems