Water, Wood, & Wild Things
Learning Craft and Cultivation in a Japanese Mountain Town
YCAPS-ICAS Community Webinar (via Zoom) -- 1900-2000 (JST) 14 April 2021
YCAPS will host writer, artist, and food stylist, Hannah Kirshner, to discuss her latest book, Water, Wood & Wild Things, on “learning craft and cultivation in a Japanese mountain town.” Based in Yamanaka, in the Ishikawa prefecture, Hannah shares her adventurous tale off-the-beaten-path into rural Japan’s lesser-known treasures and cultural experiences.
“One night, Brooklyn-based artist and food writer Hannah Kirshner received a life-changing invitation to apprentice with a ‘saké evangelist’ in a misty Japanese mountain town called Yamanaka. In a rapidly modernizing Japan, the region—a stronghold of the country’s old-fashioned ways—was quickly becoming a destination for chefs and artisans looking to learn about the traditions that have long shaped Japanese culture. Kirshner put on a vest and ties and took her place behind the saké bar. Before long, she met a community of craftspeople, farmers, and foragers—master woodturners, hunters, a paper artist, and a man making charcoal in his nearly abandoned village on the outskirts of town. Kirshner not only found that each craftsperson exhibited extraordinary dedication to their work, but that their distinct skills contributed to the fabric of local culture. Inspired by these experts, she devoted herself to learning how they work and live. Taking readers deep into evergreen forests, terraced rice fields, and smoke-filled workshops, Kirshner captures the centuries-old traditions still alive in Yamanaka. Water, Wood, and Wild Things invites readers to see what goes into making a fine bowl, a cup of tea, or a harvest of rice and introduces the masters who dedicate their lives to this work. Part travelogue, part meditation on the meaning of work, and full of her own beautiful drawings and recipes, Kirshner’s refreshing book is an ode to a place and its people, as well as a profound examination of what it means to sustain traditions and find purpose in cultivation and craft.”
Join us for a candid conversation with the author, and learn from her experiences in writing, cuisine, and venturing off-the-beaten-path in rural Japan.
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Hannah Kirshner is a writer, artist, and food stylist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, Saveur, Taste, Food52, Roads & Kingdoms, and Atlas Obscura, among others. Trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, Kirshner grew up on a small farm outside Seattle and divides her time between Brooklyn and rural Japan. Follow Kirshner on Twitter and Instagram @sweetsnbitters. For more information, please visit: https://hannahkirshner.com/
Format: This event will be off-the-record.
Moderator: Kelly Langley, YCAPS Director for Public Relations
Webinar Cost: Free of charge