The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Sam Boulton

Over the years, the sake scene in the UK has got stronger, with most activity concentrated in London. This progress is gradually expanding out from the capital and Sam Boulton is one of the key movers.

The owner of Birmingham sake bar, Shibuya Underground, Boulton is keen to bring more awareness to nihonshu, shochu and awamori to UK consumers. He’s also a man after my own heart by being interested in a variety of obscure drinks that deserve more recognition.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Johnny Pawlik

As an industry, marketing is huge in the west and is the foundation for which popular culture and products are built on. I’ve always been curious how it’s perceived in Japan and it was great to have all my questions answered by Johnny Pawlik.

Co-founder of Mantra Media, Pawlik have worked on many international marketing campaigns centred on Japan and infuses Japanese philosophy into his view of marketing. 

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Kyoko Nagano

The sake industry is filled with people who’re passionate about keeping Japan’s native drink alive domestically and overseas. Kyoko Nagano is one of those champions and works with small sake breweries all over Japan to spread the good word of nihonshu.

It was a pleasure to speak to Kyoko about her sake experiences and she’s got a lot of great information to share.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Tracey Delaney

Travelling to Japan can have a transformative effect, inspiring people to start careers firmly rooted in their love of The Land Of The Rising Sun. For Tracey Delaney, the opportunity to represent her school and go to Japan sparked a life-long appreciation for the country.

Since then she’s become a global ambassador, a sake sommelier and provided support to the UK’s first sparkling sake brewery. Read on to find out more about Tracey’s story.

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Giulia Maglio

The sake industry is filled with a passionate community of folks who love spreading the good word of nihonshu. Being a part of it has put me in touch with so many great people and it’s been a pleasure to chat to Giulia Maglio, AKA Jiji Sake. 

Giulia is a sake sommelier, writer and podcast host dedicated to spreading the love of sake throughout Italy, Japan and beyond. In this interview, we talk about her experiences in Japan, her latest projects and where she sees the sake industry going. 

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Yota And Noriko Suzuki

When it comes to Japanese ingredients, koji is one of the most versatile and misunderstood food products out there. I like to think of it as the Batman of the fermentation world because it’s the hero mould we need and deserve. It elevates everything it comes into contact with and makes food and drink more delicious.

So, it’s always great to see more brands spreading the koji love and that’s the case with Koji Soupe. I caught up with owners Yota and Noriko Suzuki, who are on a mission to bring more koji awareness to Montreal.

Read on to learn more about the business, what got them interested in fermentation and where they see the future of Koji Soupe. 

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Scott Haas

People feel connected to Japan in different ways and in the case of Scott Haas it started when he was thirteen years old. From there, his passion grew and he went on to write about his appreciation for Japanese culture for audiences across the world.

Having recently published a new book called Why Be Happy?, Scott has explored psychology and acceptance through the lens of Japanese culture. Learn more about the book, his backstory and what he’s got planned for the future. 

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Alice Ngan

Ecila Choco.

It’s a known fact that Japanese sake goes well with pretty much anything, especially chocolate! Alice Ngan has explored this combination with Ecila Sake Chocolates, a brand that uses sake and sake kasu to create premium chocolate products.

Yamato Magazine presents an interview with Alice that covers her experience in sake, opening up a chocolate business in Toronto and exploring the local nihonshu scene. Remember that stressed is dessert spelt backwards, so grab your favourite sweet treat and enjoy reading this interview at your leisure. 

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The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Lillian Hanako Rowlatt

The Kokoro Files shares the stories of people who’re connected to Japan through heritage, food, culture and travel experience. The word ‘Kokoro’ is Japanese for heart, but it’s more than the physical organ. Kokoro is passion, love and connection all at once and Lillian Hanako Rowlatt channels that sentiment with Kokoro Care Packages.

Yamato Magazine caught up with Lillian about the story of her brand, her love of Japanese cuisine and her desire to help local farmers share their produce with a worldwide audience. 

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Japanese Cuisine · The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Akiko Katayama

From chefs to bartenders, Japanese food and drink has touched the lives of many people. It’s been a catalyst for changing lives and bringing new conversations to culinary communities across the globe. 

For Akiko Katayama, promoting Japanese cuisine has become a life-long pursuit and Yamato Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing her about her experiences. A tenured food writer, host of the Japan Eats! Podcast and representative of the New York Culinary Academy, Akiko is a leading expert in the world of Japanese food and beverages.

Read on to learn about how she became a food journalist, what it means to judge top-ranking chefs and how the story of Japanese cuisine continues to evolve. 

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