Juiced for a citrus winter

| Jan 14, 2014

Juiced for a citrus winter

by Makiko Itoh

One of my favorite winter pastimes growing up was to snuggle under the futon covering a kotatsu (heated table), doing my homework or watching TV, as I methodically worked my way through a big bowl of Satsuma mikan, the little oval-shaped oranges that are ...

Demand booming for artisanal rice

| Nov 21, 2013

Demand booming for artisanal rice

by Makiko Itoh

Rice farmers in Japan are under siege. Heavily protected on various levels by the central government for decades, they’ve seen the market for their precious crop eroded by cheaper imported rice, and the administration of Shinzo Abe is proposing ending production-rationing and subsidies. It ...

<em>Katsuo</em>, Japan's ubiquitous tuna

| Apr 26, 2013

Katsuo, Japan's ubiquitous tuna

by Makiko Itoh

In the world of sushi and sashimi, maguro (tuna, especially bluefin tuna) currently reigns supreme. It's so popular that large specimens of the fish fetch ridiculous, headline-grabbing prices at the Tsukiji wholesale market in Tokyo, and the species is in danger of extinction due ...