<April 10 – 23, 2015>
Near two-hour long documentary film about Japanese cuisine will be screened in Pasadena from April 10 – 16. “WA-SHOKU ~Beyond Sushi ~” (107 min) will be shown at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena at 1:50 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:20 pm, and 10:00 pm. The film is spoken in Japanese language with English subtitle.
“WA-SHOKU” also will be available on iTune from April 10.
The film begins with a story of sushi and evolves into the whole world of Japanese cuisine. The documentary also features renowned restaurateurs in Kyoto, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Texas and other places worldwide.
Among many passionate persons who spread Japanese cuisine to the world, the film allocates enough time to depict the life history of Mr. Noritoshi Kanani, 91-year-old, chairman of major Japanese food wholesaler Mutual Trading Co., including his daily morning exercise and his World War II experiences in Myanmar.
Kanai was the first business person who started supplying equipment and foodstuff to sushi restaurants in Los Angeles 50-year ago. The film dubbed Kanani as Sushi Missionary to the U.S.
The other prominent restaurateur who made his efforts to introduce Japanese cuisine to overseas is Mr. Yoshihiro Murata, chef/owner of Kyoto Kikunoi restaurant. Although the film did not mention his role, Murata was the driving force of Japan’s national efforts to register the Japanese cuisine as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Japan just followed the path of France government which registered French cuisine as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage to promote its agricultural products to export.
Other people in the film who draws Los Angeles viewers’ attention are Mr. Nobu Matsuhisa, chef/owner of Nobu restaurants in Beverly Hills and worldwide; Katsuya Uechi, chef/owner of Katsu-ya restaurant group in Los Angeles; and Mr. Andy Matsuda, head instructor/owner of Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles which has trained over 1000 sushi chefs so far.
“WA-SHOKU” is produced by the United Television Broadcasting System in Hollywood, and directed by Mr. Junichi Suzuki who made triptych films of the war time Japanese American stories.
New York screening of “WA-SHOKU” will start April 24 and run through April 30 at Cinema Village. Screening schedules are 1:00 pm, 3:05 pm, 5:10 pm, 7:15 pm, and 9:15 pm.