The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Justin Potts

Justin Potts is a co-host of Sake on Air.

The Kokoro Files shares the stories of people and their connection to Japan. This connection takes many forms, and in the case of Justin Potts, it set him off on a life-long quest to learn all there is about nihonshu. A co-host of the amazing Sake on Air podcast, food and beverage entrepreneur and Master of Sake, Justin has plenty of stories to share about his love affair with sake.

Read on to learn about how his journey started, the genesis of Sake on Air and where he feels the industry is going.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Christopher Pellegrini

The Kokoro Files shares the stories of people and their connection to Japan, and this edition is particularly exciting for me because I had the opportunity to chat with one of the world’s leading authorities on shochu, Chris Pellegrini. A Japanese spirit evangelist, Chris is passionate about spreading the gospel of shochu and awamori. He definitely made a convert out of me!

From talking shochu 101, to clearing up the differences between shochu and Korean soju, we cover a lot of ground in this interview. Read on to discover the exciting world of Japan’s indigenous spirit. Who knows? By the time you’ve finished reading you might be ready to jump down the rabbit hole.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Stephanie Buttery

Taking inspiration from another culture can be a life-changing decision. When Stephanie Buttery travelled to Japan, she immersed herself in the local drinking culture and returned to the UK with a goal of starting her own business. As the founder of the premium soft drinks brand, Chu-Lo, Buttery has created a drink inspired by Japanese chuhai.

After meeting Buttery at the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester, I wanted to hear the Chu-Lo story and what motivated her to start her own business. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Stephanie Buttery”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Lucy Wilson

The Kokoro Files spotlights the stories of everyday people and their connection to Japan. For Lucy Wilson, Japan inspired her to enter the realm of sake production. Along with her husband, Tom, Lucy is the co-founder of Kanpai Brewery, the UK’s first sake brewery.

It was a pleasure to talk to Lucy about how Kanpai Brewery was created and what it’s like to enter sake into competitions. Read on to learn more about the types of nihonshu and experiences that the brewery offers. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Lucy Wilson”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Paul Nakayama

Japan has proud alcohol brewing traditions that go back centuries. Over the years, the techniques of sake makers have captivated people all over the world, especially with the production of shochu. For Paul Nakayama, his experience with shochu inspired him to create his own variety of Japan’s premiere craft spirit.

Along with his wife, Nakayama created Nankai shochu, a premium black sugar drink that’s available from their headquarters in Los Angeles. Nakayama is on a mission to make more people aware of shochu and Yamato Magazine is pleased to present his story. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Paul Nakayama”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Mike Garley

The Kokoro Files is a segment that tells the everyday stories of people who are connected to Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun has served as an inspiration for many writers, and EMMY-nominated author Mike Garley counts himself among that list.

The creator of horror comic Samurai Slasher, Garley took the time to chat with Yamato Magazine about why he chose to tell a story of an unkillable zombie samurai and what it means to mix horror and comedy together during the writing process. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Mike Garley”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Michael Graham

The Kokoro Files is a series that tells stories of everyday people and their connection to Japan. Some are drawn to the Land of the Rising Sun for the food, while others feel connected to the music. Michael Graham was inspired by Japanese music, to the point that he was compelled to learn how to play traditional instruments like the koto.

Michael was kind enough to share his musical experiences with Yamato Magazine and explain how he became part of a Taiko drum band. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Michael Graham”