A hands-on account of working through the winter brewing season at one of Japan’s last artisanal sake producers. Features on three seminal restaurants and their chefs in the Kanazawa area. Eating with sumo wrestlers. A day in the life of a ramen master. The latest issue of Fool Magazine (No. 8) delves deep into the recesses of Japan’s food culture.

Published in Sweden, written in English and spanning the world of contemporary and traditional cuisine, each eagerly awaited issue marries a vibrant mix of cutting-edge food writing with the striking photography and design values of founders/co-editors Lotta and Per-Anders Jorgensen.

Together with Thai culinary explorer and ardent Japanophile Poonperm Paitayawat, they spent a total of three months in 2019-20 crisscrossing Japan. The result is their fattest volume to date; at 240 ad- and filler-free pages, it’s so hefty they’ve adopted the Japanese parlance and dubbed it a “mook.” It’s also their first to profile a single country and its cuisine.

The cover of Fool Magazine volume 8, The Japanese Issue | COURTESY OF FOOL MAGAZINE
The cover of Fool Magazine volume 8, The Japanese Issue | COURTESY OF FOOL MAGAZINE

Besides the cover story on Terada Honke sake brewery by fermentation researcher Maya Hey, the features include a profile of chef Shinobu Namae of Tokyo restaurant L’Effervescence; a portrait of wild-food chef Akiyoshi Komura by longtime contributor to The Japan Times Nancy Singleton Hachisu; and Paitayawat’s personal homage to the late chef Kenichiro Nishi of the legendary restaurant Kyoaji.

It’s a deep, heady mix, and proved so popular that it sold out in a few short weeks after it was released last autumn. Thankfully, it has been given a second printing and is back in stock (for now). Essential new year reading for anyone with an interest in Japanese food.


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