Wa-shoku: Beyond Sushi
Directed by Junichi Suzuki
WA-SHOKU: Beyond Sushi is an in-depth journey into the origins of the traditional food of Japan, or Wa-Shoku, in America and explores the history, impact and fascination of all Japanese cuisine—not just Sushi—and its continuing global popularity. Included in the documentary is the story of Noritoshi Kanai, Chairman of Mutual Trading Co., the revolutionary man who introduced the US to Wa-Shoku with Sushi—a delicacy that would become a cultural phenomenon and still enjoys tremendous popularity to this day. Director Suzuki provides intimate behind-the-scenes stories of well-known chefs who express their passion for Wa-Shoku and how they have dedicated their lives to uphold the standard of excellence of Japan’s customary cultural cuisine.
This film features many noteworthy celebrity chefs including, Nobu Matsuhisa, chef/owner of Nobu restaurants, Katsuya Uechi, chef/owner of Katsu-ya group, Tyson Cole, chef/owner of Uchi restaurant, world-renown French chef Joel Robuchon, Yoshihiro Murata chef/owner of Kyoto Kikunoi, and more. The film is a view to the past and as well as the future possibilities of Wa-Shoku.
Live Shakuhachi Performance by Elliot Kallen – Shakuhachi
Pre-film Guest Performer: Elliot Kallen – Shakuhachi
Initially trained as a concert pianist, Elliot Kallen migrated into the world of Rock and Jazz, playing keyboards for many bands and on many stages. A chance encounter led him to the Japanese bamboo flute and, since 2004, he has been a student of David Kansuke Wheeler of Boulder, CO. Elliot also studies with Kansuke’s teacher, Junsuke Kawase III, the third-generation head of Chikuyusha, the largest shakuhachi teaching organization of its kind in Japan. Elliot plays shakuhachi in a wide variety of contexts, from traditional Japanese music with koto and shamisen, to the exploratory sounds of the avant guard. He is also a founding member of TenTen Taiko, performing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. He performs, teaches, and gives lectures on Japanese classical music and the shakuhachi from his home base in Northern California.