Beautiful Japanese Lacquerware


Lacquerware is made by coating and recoating materials like bamboo and wood with the sap of the lacquer tree, a tall deciduous tree in the cashew family. Lacquer is the material of a traditional Japanese craft that is centuries old. Lacquer is known to have as much protective strength as paint, and when made properly is resistant […]

Amazing Miso


Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans with the fungus kōjikin (Aspergillus oryzae), salt, and other ingredients like barley and rice. The outcome of the fermentation process is usually a thick paste used for sauces and spreads for traditional Japanese culinary fare. It is a delicious Japanese staple that is fast catching […]

Izumo: “The Land of the Gods”


Izumo‘s long history dates back to the beginnings of Japan. Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, the Land of the Gods, is a famous place for reliving old Japanese myths. According to Shinto myths, there was a time in history when the islands of Japan were controlled from Izumo, hence the name. Izumo is also known for soba noodles […]

Scrumptious Udon


Udon (饂飩) is the thickest of Japanese noodles. White in color and made from wheat, they can be served either hot or chilled with dipping sauces, in broth, or in an array of other hot dishes. Udon is usually topped with various ingredients like mixed tempura fritters (kakiage), deep fried tofu pockets (aburaage), tempura, or prawn. Some […]

The Multifaceted Nō-men


Noh, Japan’s oldest traditional form of musical drama, has bee performed since the 1300s. Noh performances can last all day.  Usually they consist of five plays and a shorter comical version (kyōgen).  Noh acts combine drama, dance, poetry, and music; performers are mostly males donning expressive masks called nō-men.   Noh actors with masks. | Jim Epler Nō-men (能面) […]

KCP Spring 2016 Students at Cooking Session


Every term, KCP students whip up yummy Japanese meals to be consumed with gusto after all the chopping, slicing, and boiling. Spring 2016 class is no exception. Check out our photos! KCP Flickr. KCP Flickr. KCP Flickr. KCP Flickr. KCP Flickr. KCP Flickr.   For more photos of the cooking session, visit our KCP Flickr set.

Tofu: The Super Food

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Tofu is made in a process similar to making cheese, except instead of cow’s milk, it’s curdled soy milk that is pressed into blocks. Tofu is a popular staple in Japanese cuisine and, used in numerous Japanese dishes. It is a rich source of protein and an important ingredient in vegetarian Buddhist cuisine (shojin ryori) […]

Exciting Summer in Japan!


Summer in Japan is full of excitement: it is a season of fireworks and festivals all around the country.  Almost every night, firework displays color the evening skies. The Sumida River Fireworks Festival, celebrated in late July, is one of the most anticipated fireworks festivals in Tokyo.  Several traditional festivals are celebrated with pomp and pageantry […]

KCP Fall 2015 Students Visit Yamanashi Winery


Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture, with all its rich, cultural, and historical aspects, is also responsible for 40% of domestic wine making production. Hokkaido in Miyazaki Prefecture also cultivates grapes and produces wine although in more limited quantities. Japan has a wide range of grape varieties. However, most are for table consumption and only a small percentage […]

A Brief History of Japanese Wines


Viticulture is the science, production, and study of grapes. The native territories of the common grape vine are from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea. But grape vines have proven to show adaptability to new environments, promoting the popularity and spread of viticulture in every continent except Antarctica. Grape growing in Japan […]