April 21, 2016

Event Recap: Tohoku Springs Back!

by Kayoko Akabori

I’m happy to report that we had a successful fundraising event for Tohoku last month. This was our first collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies, and we’d all agree that it was awesome. Despite the massive rain that poured down on downtown Berkeley on the night of March 12, we had about 100 […]

March 30, 2015

Japanify: Tuna Toast

by Yoko Kumano

It’s no secret that I don’t like any breakfast/lunch egg dishes. So whenever I go out for brunch, I have to scour the menu for non-egg items. I usually have to order a hodge-podge of side dishes: two breakfast sausages, toast and hash browns. It’s the same in Japan – omelettes and egg-dishes dominate coffee shop […]

March 19, 2015

Japanify: Shisomaki

by Yoko Kumano

Every time I go to Japan, I am exposed to new foods, new regions and new friends. Even though I lived there for five years and visit every year, there is still so much to discover. Sometimes I think about how I want to travel to other countries and discover new cultures and lands, but […]

March 9, 2015

Tsuchi-yu Onsen Town in Fukushima

by Kayoko Akabori

Japan is a country full of people who work hard and play hard. Many put in 60+ hours into the work week, not including the after hours drinking they are forced to join with their colleagues. But I’m happy to report that they rest hard too. Usually there is a ryokan, aka Japanese-style hotel or inn, […]

March 2, 2015

An Afternoon in Fukushima City

by Kayoko Akabori

If you try Googling “Fukushima” you’ll get pages and pages of links with words like, “tragedy” “disaster” and “fear” in the title. This is simply fact. On March 11, 2011, Fukushima prefecture was home to an earthquake, then tsunami so devastating that it caused a massive nuclear meltdown on the coast. Thousands of people were forced […]

June 12, 2012

Kinpou Sake from Fukushima

by UM Guest

By Shizuka Wakashita One day I had to run errands near a local wine shop and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this shop has some jizake (sake produced by smaller breweries, or as with beer, “micro breweries”). If they are passionate about wines they must be for sake as well, at least to […]

April 26, 2011


by Kayoko Akabori

Our good friend and talented videographer Joe Stillwater (of Bright Spectrum) joined us on April 5th for our GIFT OF FOOD benefit in San Francisco. We raised over $10,000 that night for Second Harvest Japan, a food bank that has been providing direct support to the victims of the 2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami. This […]