Wow, I am truely extremely excited to start my blog in such a memorable way!
A long-awaited hands-on koji book, “Koji for Life” is to be published on 26 March. Yes, very soon! The author is Mr. Nakaji, one of the most respected figure in koji making community in Japan (Even Noma seeks consultation from him when they start new experiment!). His has extensive knowledge on koji backed by his brewery experience (He was once a head of brewer at Terada Honke, charismatic presence in natural sake making in Japan. The brewery’s sake is being served at Noma). I was lucky enough to study with him last two years in his Koji Academy. He has always been so generous to share his vast knowledge, experience and inspiration which I owe so much.
Don’t be disappointed by the fact the book is published in Japan as everything is explained in both Japanese and English!
The reason why I have been rather quiet last few months, not being able to host any koji workshops is that I have been heavily involved in the translation of this book (I can’t be more grateful to my three daughters, Juri, Emi and Saki to do the preliminary check and my fellow translator and sake specialist, Arline Lyons to throughly proofread my text. Coincidentally, Arline attended my koji workshop in December, just before I asked her to proofread my English. So, we were an ideal team! The team members put so much effort to transform my primitive English into beautiful & fluent text. Without them, there was no way I accomplished the translation. I can’t thank them more.
Talking about the book itself, it is not just a book describing the detailed koji making with lots of photos and illustrations in reader friendly way (links to Youtube clips are also provided). It is far more than that! It explains koji’s biological nature (the reason behind each steps of the traditional koji making all make sense when you know the koji’s biological behavior), deep cultural and historical insight, strong connection between koji and Japanese spirituality as well as many recipes for various koji based ferments (miso, sake, amazake, shio-koji etc). How generous is that!
This is a fabulously amazing book, nothing like any other existing koji book! It required Nakaji-san to spend whole two years to plan, research, verify and write. I am so grateful and proud of being involved in making of such a wonderful book.
You can purchase this from Amazon Japan. I should also be able to get hold of some copies, so contact me if you are interested!