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June 6, 2017

Ushitora: Land of the Rising Suds

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Tokyo -- When Japan’s last shogun ceded control of the country in 1868 and a centuries-old closed-door policy was reversed, foreign influences on the country grew from a trickle to a steady stream. Foreign residents were confined to restricted living areas, one of the largest one being in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo.Read more
Tokyo -- When Japan’s last shogun ceded control of the country in 1868 and a centuries-old closed-door policy was reversed, foreign influences on the country grew from a trickle to a steady stream. Foreign residents were confined to restricted living areas, one of the largest one being in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo.

Capitalizing on their fellow expatriates’ homesickness, some enterprising Westerners began importing or even brewing beer. In fact, the brewery that would become Kirin, one of Japan’s most ubiquitous tipples, was founded by a Norwegian by way of America in 1869 or 1870.

As a domestic market for beer emerged, the Meiji government sent fledgling brewers to train in Germany and elsewhere, as well as brought in American advisors to help grow the industry. Read more
May 29, 2017

Suju Dining Rokkaku: Miso Central

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Tokyo -- Many people think of miso as the soup that gets tacked onto every Japanese meal. We can still remember our first experience of Japanese food in the West, when the waiter brought the soup at the end of the meal, and someone thought he’d forgotten to serve it at the beginning. Any self-respecting Japanese meal, just about anywhere in the world, will end with miso soup. Read more