Healthy Hakko: The Fermented Culinary Arts of Japan, Part 1 – DASHI & SHOYU

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

January 15th, 2021 @ 9:00 am - January 17th, 2021 @ 9:00 pm EST

Cost: Free
Details »    Click here to register »

Healthy Hakko: The Fermented Culinary Arts of Japan, Part 1 FILM

Dashi, Essence of Japan 

Shoyu and the Secrets of Japanese Cuisine

What are the foundations of Japanese cuisine? What are the underlying flavours that you can find in virtually all the recipes – from mom’s home cooking to the Michelin star restaurant in Fukuoka? Find out their sources and the key role fermentation has in many of these flavours, including an examination on a microscopic level and discover the synergy when they are combined.

  • This documentary will be screened online in Canada only. The two films will be shown consecutively as one. Register below to receive a private link to view the films during the event dates.

Dashi, Essence of Japan
Directed by Shohei Shibata
2014, 49 minutes

For centuries, the Japanese have learned to draw from the treasures of nature; their cuisine distills the very best from the country’s oceans, mountains and forests. ‘Dashi’ is the bedrock of Japanese cuisine. Deceptively simple, master chefs have jealously guarded its secrets for centuries. Its development came about as a result of a historical event that triggered a “food revolution”: Buddhism arrived in Japan 1500 years ago, prohibiting the consumption of meat. The Japanese quickly sought other sources of ‘umami’ taste and found it in Dashi.

Please note: The two documentaries will be shown consecutively as one.

Shoyu and the Secrets of Japanese Cuisine
Directed by Shohei Shibata
2014, 49 minutes

The Japanese discovered that a humble mould spore could transform soya beans into ‘Shoyu’, the soy sauce that is a pillar of Japanese cuisine. Sprinkle it on rice and the rice changes into sake… This mould is a tiny organism called ‘Aspergillus oryzae’ and mysteriously, it exists only in Japan! We travel to the imperial city of Kyoto, where the ancient craft of brewing Shoyu is preserved. This delicate process begins in spring and requires a whole year to mature the soy sauce. The Shoyu brewer knows it is all a question of balance and harmony…

©NHK-Asia documentary Productions-Point du Jour-2014

We love to hear your impressions of the films! Please give us feed back here > Feedback

Trailer >


Shohei Shibata is an independent film maker who graduated from graduated from University of Tokyo and joined NHK in 1988. After an initial three-year assignment as a TV director at the NHK Okinawa Station, he was transferred to the News Department at the NHK Broadcasting Center in Tokyo. From 1992 to 1995, he worked for the Center for Ethnological Visual Documentation. He then became an independent TV director. In 1997, he established ASIA Documentary Productions Company in Tokyo, serving as its president and as a TV producer and director. in Japan. He primarily makes documentary films mainly for NHK golden time slot, feature length documentary for theaters, and recently making international co-operation for worldwide channels.


HEALTHY HAKKO Talks and Discussions

Jan. 15-17 > Dr. Eric Rath (premodern dietary culture) and Dr. Greg de St. Maurice (cultural heritage and food)

Jan. 22-24 > Dr. Victoria Lee (fermentation science in modern Japan) and Dr. Stephen Lyman (Epidemiologist and Shochu expert)

Jan. 22-24 > Kaori Ishii (director of the film The Genealogy of Sake) and Michael Tremblay (Sake Samurai, Sake sommelier)

Jan. 29-31 > Sandor Katz (fermentation revivalist, author and educator) and Shiori Kajiwara (koji specialist, Koji Flowers, Hidamari)


HEALTHY HAKKO Documentary Films

Jan. 15-17 > Dashi, Essence of Japan & Shoyu, the Secrets of Japanese Cuisine Directed by Shohei Shibata

Jan. 22-24 > The Genealogy of Sake Directed by Kaori Ishii

Jan. 29-31 > Katsuo-Bushi Directed by Yu Nakajima

Jan. 29-31 > Fermented Directed by Jonathan Cianfrani


January 15th, 2021 @ 9:00 am
January 17th, 2021 @ 9:00 pm
Event Category:
Japanese with English Subtitles


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
View Organizer Website