Highlights from The Riches of Japan

Our most recent Language of Food event went beyond anything we’ve done before both in terms of attendance and in the scope of the performances and collaborations that made the evening so unforgettable.  Over 100 guests and participants filled the Cultural Center’s hall last Saturday, spilling out onto the terrace as the sun finally came out from behind the clouds.

Chef Kotaro Kumita of Shiro’s Sushi outdid himself in preparing sushi for the masses as well as delicious salmon namban, spinach with sesame, pickles, and more.

Before the meal, Chef Kotaro led our cooking class participants in a demonstration, offering tips like how to properly cool sushi rice and why scallions should be washed after cutting.

Guests tried on kimonos with the Seattle-Kobe Sister City/Hyogo Business and Cultural Center Yukata Collection, discussed quilting and textiles with the group of fiber artists visiting us from Japan, and were treated to a slate of performances that truly explored the richness of this ancient country’s traditions.

We’d like to thank Mary Ohno and the Kabuki Academy for their gorgeous performance of Kabuki dance, the Sound Singers Japanese Chorus for encouraging us to find unity through song, and Genchoku Patrick Johnson on shakuhachi, Shiho Kurachi on shamisen, and Yasuko Honju Harris on shinobue for their inspiring music.

Our thanks go out too to the One World Taiko drummers, whose rousing performance, we were told, could be heard all the way down the road in Langley!

Last but not least, we offer our sincere gratitude to all of the wonderful staff and volunteers without which none of this would be possible: thanks to Pat Brennan, Bruce Dobson, Dick and Julie Jactus, Kate Scott, Shirley Hauck, Kim McJury, Maureen Freehill, Darcey Monagas, Corey Hess, Jessica Leon, Tom Giffen, Garr Kuhl, Everett Winsberg, Paula Sherwatt, Sam Hendrix, Danielle Hendrix, Jacob Dubail, Jess Dowdell, Sarah Birgen, Dylan Scoles, Nicole, Tamara & John, Melissa Dowd, Michaela Marx, and Rob Kovacevic for all of their tireless work!

See more photos from the event on our Flickr page!