Seasonality, Superfoods and Other Secrets of Japanese Cuisine

December 7, 2022
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Talks+ past event

Part of the Living Traditions Series
Live Webinar | Calculate your local time

Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 7-8 pm ET

Traditional Japanese cuisine is often associated with nutrition, longevity and wellness, in addition to a rich array of delicious flavors. What is it about Japanese cooking that makes it so good for us? This webinar explores that question, looking at the role of nutrient-packed superfoods in Japanese cooking, as well as the importance placed on the concept of seasonality. Yumi Komatsudaira discovered the potential of ocean vegetable superfoods while growing up around her family’s seaweed business. Nancy Singleton Hachisu has spent the past few decades living on an organic Japanese farm, gaining a deep understanding of the connection between food and the seasons. Together, they explore how traditional concepts in Japanese cuisine can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle today. The second event in our multi-part Living Traditions webinar series this season.

Event Handout (PDF)

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Yumi Komatsudaira, President of K-Seaweed and author of Japanese Superfoods: Learn the Secrets of Healthy Eating and Longevity – the Japanese Way!
Nancy Singleton Hachisu, author of Japanese Farm Food, Japan: The Cookbook, and other cookbooks

Akiko Katayama, food writer and host & producer of “JAPAN EATS!”

7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT)    Discussion and Q&A

Program Details
This is a free event, with advance registration required. The program will be live-streamed through YouTube, and registrants will receive the viewing link by email on the day before the event. Participants can submit questions through YouTube during the live stream.

About the Speakers

Nancy Singleton Hachisu is a native Californian, Stanford graduate who has lived with her Japa-nese farmer husband in rural Saitama since 1988. Author of five cookbooks: Japanese Farm Food (Andrews McMeel, Sept. 2012), Preserving the Japanese Way (Andrews McMeel, Aug. 2015), Ja-pan: The Cookbook (Phaidon, April 2018), Food Artisans of Japan (Hardie Grant, Nov. 2019), and Japan: The Vegetarian Cookbook (Phaidon, May 2023). Hachisu’s work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese. Hachisu appears frequently in Japanese media, documenting her preserving and farm food life as well as visits to artisanal producers in more remote areas of Japan to advocate for Japan’s disappearing food tradi-tions. Recipient of a James Beard award, she has written for The Art of Eating, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, National Geo-graphic Food, BBC Travel, and Fool Magazine. Hachisu also assisted on and appeared in the Salt episode of Netflix’s runaway hit: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Yumi Komatsudaira is the president of K-Seaweed, a leading ocean greens provider since the 1960’s and an author, recipe developer, food stylist and food photographer for her latest cookbook, Japanese Superfoods: Learn the Secrets of Healthy Eating and Longevity: The Japanese Way! by Tuttle Publishing. (Release date: January 3rd, 2023). She is also a Japanese culinary instructor in the NYC public school system, children’s museums and hospitals, and private cooking clas-ses. She grew up outside Tokyo, playing–and snack-ing–in her family’s seaweed factory. Now based in New York, she travels to Japan often promoting sea vegetables and its health benefits. Instagram: @k_seaweed. 

Akiko Katayama is a food writer and columnist based in New York City, and the host and producer of JAPAN EATS!, a weekly radio show/podcast on Heritage Radio Network, which introduces Japanese food culture to a global audi-ence. She is a board member of Heritage Radio Network as the Host Representative. She is also a director of the non-profit organization The New York Japanese Culinary Academy, which promotes a deeper understanding of Japanese cuisine in the US. She also has appeared as a culinary judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America regularly and on Netflix Original The Final Table. She is the au-thor of A Complete Guide to Japanese Cuisine. She holds an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business, an MSc from London School of Economics & Political Science, and a Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Advanced Certifi-cate with Distinction. 

About the Living Traditions Series
Many of today’s most popular and newest trends are rooted in ancient Japanese tradition going back centuries, if not millennia. Through multiple distinct, single-topic webinars, the Living Traditions series unravels the historical journeys of some of the most iconic facets of Japanese culture through conversations between thought-provoking experts and cultural stewards on how they maintain deep-rooted traditions in the present day. Seasonality, Superfoods and Other Secrets of Japanese Cuisine is the second event this season of the multi-part Living Traditions series. Upcoming programming will continue to be announced. Previous lectures focused on topics including Japanese gardens, Zen and spiritual practices, manga and anime and architecture.

Image © Yumi Komatsudaira.

Living Traditions webinar series is co-presented with the Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden and supported by the Government of Japan.

The Food Talk Series is sponsored by Kikkoman Corporation.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and Shiseido Americas. Additional support for cultural programs is provided by an anonymous donor and the Sandy Heck Lecture Fund.

  • Wednesday, December 7, 2022
  • 7:00 pm
  • Online
  • Registration