I had the extremely good fortune to be invited to speak at Tokyo’s first annual Fermentation Future Forum (F3) in January. The forum was organized by cultural luminary Teruo Kurosaki and his bright and creative staff. Kurosaki-san is a world renowned designer, former owner of Idee, founder of the Tokyo United Nations University Farmers Market, publisher-owner of Media Surf, owner-founder of Midori co-working spaces, Freedom University and much, much more. I have had the pleasure of getting to know him the past several months through a project that I am editing for Hawthorne Books — the English edition of True Portland — which comes out this summer.
Pretty soon after Kurosaki-san and I met he was interested in the annual Portland Fermentation Festival which I co-founded with my dear friends George Winborn and David Barber in 2009. Some folks close to him attended this year’s late October festival and the next thing you know I had an invite to come speak at his first annual Fermentation Future Forum. Kurosaki-san works fast!
There is much to share about F3, which was held at the United Nations University and Kurosaki’s UNU Farmers Market there — and I think that photos do the best job. They give you an eye into just how special and inspiring the weekend was. The audio of my talk is embedded below you want to have a listen. The translated talk (translated by Mai Oyama and moderated by my friend Etsuyo Okajima of Freedom University) took place in the main hall at the United Nations University where the forum took place.
The talk right before mine featured super rad hip hop DJ Misoshiru (making fermented food and other Japanese traditional foods and cooking hip in Japan through her music) along with Seiichiro Tsuji, a specialist of Japanese fermented foods from 6,000 years ago during Japan’s Jomon period. This sort of program coupling gives you just a bit of an idea of what a diverse feed the mind and feed the belly festival F3 was. Thousands attended and it was a huge success. There was also the outdoor part of the fermented food festival that took place during the indoor talks (also free and open to the public) where fest attendees sampled all sorts of sakes, misos, cured meats and more from the makers themselves. Chef Shinobu Namae of two-star Michelin restaurant L’Effervescence was there serving up one of the best ramens I’ve ever tasted, Yoshida Brewery (of the film Birth of Sake) was there sampling sakes and many, many others were there from throughout Japan serving up delicious and creative ferments.
Again, I am so honored that I got to be a part of Tokyo’s first annual fermentation festival and I hope that we have many years of colorful, creative and inspiring collaboration ahead between the Fermentation Future Forum and the Portland Fermentation Festival.
Fermentation Future Forum — F3 fermentationfutureforum.org
Listen to my talk at F3:
Thank you for reading this. Now go figure out how you can visit Tokyo soon!!