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April 13, 2010


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Brad Fisher

When living in Japan back in the 70s, I visited a few farms. I remember being a bit surprised that there actually were farms in Japan. With its dense population, its love for technology and its thousands of years of history, I'd half-expected Japan to have somehow evolved beyond farming. I'd been prepped for California-style agribusiness by 4-H and FFA, and had a whole different idea of how the whole thing should work. So of course I was struck by the small size of Japanese farms and their toy-like farm machinery. And their location! Around the corner from my flat in Kawasaki, between the apartment buildings and factories, there was a rice paddy smaller than my present yard in Pittsburgh. Looking back, of course, I was reacting to human scale and some form of sustainability, although I didn't understand any of that at the time. And I was surprised at the gambaru spirit of the activist farmers, who clashed with Godzilla-armored police at Narita to try to stop the mighty airport. Try, of course, when there was no hope whatsoever.

Brad Fisher

And shioyaki is one of my absolute favorite styles of cooking. Nothing better with a draft of Sapporo.


Mo e pie

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Brad: Sorry for dropping the ball. I agree about shioyaki also about the crazy Japanese zoning (or lack thereof). Near the school, we have car washes next to fields in a higgledy-piggledy fashion. Luckily we live in an old neighborhood now, but still there is the random animal vet & small mysterious shop fronts that operate as late-night secret drinking spots. You will be happy to hear that the farmers in this area were successful in fighting off an incinerator plant a few years ago. Tadaaki was quite active in that fight.

Brandon: Funny.


I totally hear you. I'm a city girl but I live in a small ruralish area in Austria (pretty far from NZ and Japan, where I'm from) for love, natch, and while I appreciate parts of it, I'm still always going to have those overwhelmed moments where I wish I didn't have to deal with it.


Hi Sasa: Sorry for never responding...I have been gone off and on this fall and cannot seem to stay on top of life here in Japan. I'm writing about that now...I did check out one of your uTube cooking videos. It was cute. I admire your verve. Nancy

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