Author Nancy Singleton Hachisu will share with us an insider’s look into life on a Japanese farm, and how food, love, community and life come together in rural Japan.
A native of California, Nancy moved to Japan in 1988, with the intention to stay for a year, learn Japanese, and return to the United States. Instead, she fell in love with a farmer, the culture, and the food, and has made the country her home. She has lived with her Japanese farmer husband and three sons in their 85-year-old traditional farmhouse for the last 29 years in rural Saitama Prefecture.
In this talk, Nancy will share with us the rhythms of Japanese farm life, and the challenges involved in fusing two cultures under one roof in order to preserve the cultural heart of Japanese country living, while maintaining one’s own essential identity. She’ll give us a virtual tour of her farmhouse kitchen, a place of wood posts and beams, filled with her collection of 100-year-old baskets and bowls. She’ll go over the basics for a Japanese pantry, and her recommendations for choosing them. And Nancy will also share some of her favorite recipes as well as her philosophy of cooking, such as “Touching vegetables while they are living is something every cook should do. You have to accept them, not force your will on them.”
Native Californian Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s debut book Japanese Farm Food was widely regarded as one of the top cookbooks of the year when it was published in 2012. Her second book, Preserving the Japanese Way, was nominated for the 2016 James Beard Award in the International Cookbook category, and she is currently at work on her third book, Japan the Cookbook for Phaidon. Nancy was active in Slow Food Japan for over a decade, taught cooking classes for nearly 20 years, and also runs a children’s English immersion program that prepares home-cooked meals with local ingredients. And TBS and Fuji TV have been documenting Hachisu’s preserving and farm food life in rural Saitama as well as her visits to artisanal producers in more remote areas of Japan.