Long-Time English Journal in Asia Explores the Meaning and Value of FOOD

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The 8th digital issue and 83rd issue of Kyoto Journal, the non-profit Kyoto-based magazine founded in 1987, explores the meaning of food in all its aspects in FOOD!

Food pervades every area of our existence. It sustains us, inspires us, enslaves us, educates us. Sharing it is a joy and binds families and communities together. There are rules for what we eat, and how.

What a natural topic for discussion, discourse, eulogy, outrage, comedy, reflection, prayer, ire, poetry, love. Food defies time. It exists in the memory and the here and now. It is simultaneously universal and particular, literal and metaphoric, indelibly bound with meaning on an infinite variety of levels. Yet let’s not forget, it is also life-affirming, edible, incredible fun, a celebration of life itself. And so many of its greatest exponents and proponents live here in Asia.

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

The issue, which features an international cast of writers and photographers, is being released on August 14th and will be available on Newsstand and Magzter by the end of the month.

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. Volume one, the “Introduction to Japanese Cuisine: Nature, History and Culture,” to be published worldwide in English in August 2015, is in itself a seminal tome, with essays on the culture and science of Food, featuring beautifully illustrated recipes from highly regarded Kyoto-based restaurants.
  • John Ashburne interviews world-class chefs Rene Redzepi (owner/chef of restaurant Noma 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, Shima Yoshida 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 (in the USA, there are 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 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. And we visit an Ainu restaurant in Tokyo and a nomadic cafe in Kyoto that uses discarded vegetables. Plus, a special feature: the unmissable Food Alphabet, an A-Z directory.

Ita dakimasu —let’s eat!

For sample articles and excerpts,
photographs, cover images, link exchanges, and other info contact:
John Einarsen: feedback(at)kyotojournal(dot)org
Lucinda Cowing: editors(at)kyotojournal(dot)org
Instagram: @kjfood @kyotojournal
Kyoto Journal FB (150,000+)

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