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Secrets of Washoku - It's Alive: Benefits of Fermentation

  • Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan 1150 18th Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20036 United States (map)

Understand why Japanese Washoku cuisine is both healthy and delicious with soy sauce maker Takashi Sato and local ramen and sushi restaurant owner, Daisuke Utagawa, as they explain fermentation as the secret of Japanese flavor!

Fermentation is a process in which sugars are broken down into simpler compounds through the use of probiotic microorganisms. Throughout Japan’s long history, fermentation has been an important process in preserving food, creating new flavors, and improving the health of Japanese citizens.

Join us for an exciting lecture about the manufacturing process of soy sauce with Takashi Sato followed by the surprising realization of how prevalent fermentation is in well-known, and some not so well-known, Japanese foods with Daisuke Utagawa.

Takashi Sato

Takashi Sato was born in Tokyo. After graduating from Keio University in 1995, he spent six years in the sales division of Ajinomoto. In 2001, he entered the family business San-J and came to America. Sato is an eighth generation member of the founding family and works to expand Tamari soy sauce in America.


Daisuke Utagawa

Born in Tokyo, Daisuke Utagawa first came to Washington, DC with his father in 1969 where he attended school in Bethesda, Maryland. Utagawa returned to Japan in 1972 to finishing his education, and began an apprenticeship in 1980 where he learned the art of traditional Japanese culinary technique from a master chef. In 1983, Utagawa returned to DC and started working as a sushi chef at the original Sushiko before purchasing the restaurant in 1988. Utagawa has since spent many years studying the “Cuisine of Subtraction” and, as the creative director, applies what he’s learned to Sushiko’s entire experience. Now a US citizen, Utagawa lives in DC with his wife and children and continues his work as a renowned restauranteur with Sushiko and his recently opened ramen shop and izakaya, Daikaya.

It's Alive: Benefits of Fermentation is the second of two introductory events to better understand the Secrets of Washoku cuisine that will be held at the JICC.


This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for security purposes. Check-in begins at 6:00PM; event begins at 6:30PM. No admission or re-entry will be permitted after doors close at 7:00PM or when seating is filled, whichever occurs first. Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive early as seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat.

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