The Hot Dog of the Sea? Surimi and Kamaboko in Historical and Environmental Perspective

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Join us for the academic lecture entitled "Surimi and Kamaboko in Historical and Environmental Perspective" by Dr. William M Tsutsui, Edwin O. Reischauer Distinguished Professor of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. This virtual event is part of a series of Japanese cultural and educational programs presented by the Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA).

Surimi (fish paste) and the products made from it (including kamaboko, hanpen, naruto, and chikuwa) have a long history in Japan, but the transformation of surimi into an industrial commodity, processed in global supply chains, and consumed internationally as “imitation crab” is a more recent development. This talk will explore how the Japanese culture of fish paste, the rise of “engineered seafood,” and the postwar decline of the Japanese fishing industry were woven into complex global histories of technological innovation, dietary        change, and over-exploitation of the ocean’s resources.                

Date/Time:  May 4, 2021 (Tue) @6:00pm, CDT/ @1:00pm, HDT,  May 5 @8:00am, Japan

                Watch Cooking Demo            Watch Lecture Video

Bill Tsutsui is a specialist in the economic, environmental, and cultural history of modern Japan. Educated at Harvard, Oxford, and Princeton Universities. He is the author or editor of eight books, including Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan, Banking Policy in Japan, and Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization.  His 2004 book Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters was called a “cult classic” by the New York Times and a Japanese translation was published by Chūkō Sōsho [中公叢書].  He has received Fulbright, ACLS, and Marshall Fellowships, and was awarded the John Whitney Hall Prize of the Association for Asian Studies in 2000. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Association for Asian Studies and the US-Japan Council, and was appointed to the Japan-United States Friendship Commission in 2020. 
Tsutsui taught for seventeen years at the University of Kansas before becoming Dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University in 2010.  From 2014 to 2019 he served as President of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He is currently the Edwin O. Reischauer Distinguished Professor of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. Dr. William M. (Bill) Tsutsui has been selected to serve as University President and CEO at Kansas-based Ottawa University, effective July 1, 2021. Congratulations!


(Moderator:) Nancy Kinue Stalker, PhD is a Professor & Sen Sōshitsu Distinguished Chair Japan (20th century, Cultural and Gender) at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She received MA and PhD n East Asian Studies at Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at UH, Professor Stalker taught at The University of Texas at Austin.

Her work centers on twentieth century culture in Japan, especially the commodification of practices and beliefs associated with traditional Japanese culture and the interpenetration of ideology, material culture, and the marketplace. In this vein, she has written articles in fields as diverse as popular religion, traditional arts and dietary regimes that examine how these areas intersect with larger constructs of historical modernity, including nationalism, imperialism, capitalism, and feminism.

She is the author of Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto and the Rise of a New Religion in Imperial Japan (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2008, translated into Japanese as Deguchi Onisaburō teikoku jidai no karisuma, Hara Shobo, 2009) and Japan: History and Culture from Classical to Cool (University of California Press, 2018). She edited the forthcoming Devouring Japan: Global Perspectives on Japanese Culinary Identity (Oxford University Press, 2018). Professor Stalker is currently working a monograph on the growth and globalization of ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) in the twentieth century entitled Budding Fortunes: Ikebana as Art, Industry, and Cold War Culture.

Kazu Fukumoto is a Chef and Owner of Fukumoto Sushi & Yakitori Izakaya. He was born in Fukuoka, Japan on the northern shore of Kyushu Island.  In 1999, He began his culinary career starting as a dishwasher at Musashino Sushi Dokoro in Austin and worked his way up to become a sushi chef under the apprenticeship of the Owner and Chef Smokey Fuse. He continued to hone his skills for 10 years as Head Sushi Chef at Musashino. After departing from Musashino, Kazu traveled back to Japan to study traditional yakitori at Hiroya Yakitori in Tokyo.

In September 2015, all his hard work paid off when he opened Fukumoto: Sushi & Yakitori Izakaya, serving up traditional Japanese cuisine in a casual gastropub setting. He loves to share his passion for food with everyone around him and continues to do so with his evolving menu. 

He will demonstrate a cooking using surimi hanpen especially for Children and family meal at Children's Day on May 5th in Japan.

Open to the public and Free.  Register now, and you will receive a longin code.

This program is presented in cooperation with:
Kinokuniya Austin, Fukumoto Sushi & Yakitori, and Kibun Foods USA.