New Additions to Language of Food Japan

We’re couldn’t be more excited about this Saturday’s Language of Food Japan! It promises to be a full evening of music, food, and culture.  Below are three new additions to the program.

Don’t have tickets yet? A few more are still available – call us today at 360-321-2101 or email [email protected] to register.  Don’t miss out!

Yukata tying with the Seattle-Kobe Sister City/Hyogo Business and Cultural Center Yukata Collection

NWLA is pleased to welcome Yuko Saika, of the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center, who will be on hand to teach us how to put on a yukata, or light summer kimono. A common sight during the hot summer months in Japan, yukata (Japanese for “bath clothes”) are wrapped and tied with an obi (sash) and worn with wooden sandals called geta.  Traditionally made from indigo-dyed cotton, they are now available in a variety of patterns and colors, and are worn by both men and women during the hanabi fireworks displays and bon-odori festivals, as well as at “ryokan” (Japanese inns) after bathing. Yuko will be bringing the large yukata collection maintained by HBCC and the Seattle-Kobe Sister City!  Come learn to wear one yourself!

Genchoku Patrick Johnson, Shakuhatchi

Genchoku Patrick Johnson is a student and teacher of the shakuhachi, the vertical bamboo flute of Japan. He is also an ordained Zen priest in the Rinzai tradition of Japanese Zen, and at his day job, he works as the Director of Behavioral Health for a local non-profit health plan headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The shakuhachi is the only musical instrument associated with formal Zen practice in Japan, and Patrick began his training in both Zen and shakuhachi at about the same time in the early 1990’s. He was ordained as a training priest under Genki Takabayashi Roshi in Seattle in 1996, at which time he was given the priest name Genchoku. He continues to study with Genki Roshi and has taught zazen to his own students since 2002, in Montana and western Washington. As a student of shakuhachi, Genchoku has studied with two fine American teachers, Peter Ross and Peter Hill. Since 2008 he has had the good fortune to be a regular student of Kakizakai Kaoru, one of the world’s foremost teachers and performers of traditional Shakuhachi repertoire. In 2011 he also began intermittent training with an American virtuoso, Larry Tyrell of Portland, Oregon. Genchoku currently teaches at Hakakumei Shakuhachi Dojo in Kenmore, Washington, just north of Seattle. He is available for teaching, lectures and demonstrations, and performing.

Shiho Kurachi, Koto

Shiho graduated from Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, with an emphasis on Eurhythmics. She worked as a music instructor at schools in Kyoto, Japan and studied koto with Akemi Tatemichi, a master at Sawai Sokyoku-in Koto School. Shiho taught music as a substitute instructor in Seattle Public Schools as well as at a private school in Seattle, and is currently the exclusive pianist at the Seattle Waldorf School. She also teaches beginning koto lessons privately. Shiho is also the composer and bass koto player in the group Silk Strings, with which she also plays a variety of flutes and harps. Silk Strings is renowned for their performances of both traditional and contemporary koto music. Visit their website here.