Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project
The Restaurant of Many Orders
Thursday May 19 8:00pm
Friday May 20 9:30pm
Duration: 75 minutes
Tickets: General Admission
$20 in advance, $25 at door
Funded in part by a TourWest grant from the Western Arts Federation supported by the National Endowment for the Arts
Ayako Araki, Tetsuro Koyana,
Festival Opening Night Post Show Reception
Thursday May 19, 9:30pm - 10:30pm
Cowell Theater Lobby: Japanese Sake and Fermented Vegetarian Food Reception
The US Debut of Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project in San Francisco is the result of a confluence of events, ideas and individuals. Our opening night reception similarly draws on some of these elements to welcome the artists participating in this year’s Festival.
One of the latest trends in the culinary world is fermented food. Chefs and foodies have been rigorously exploring the various fermented ingredients of different cultures. The health benefits, depth and complexity of the taste from fermentation are becoming well known. The process for creating miso and koji are among the practices that have been gaining great popularity in this context as well.
But our connections go deeper than that. Between 1981 and 2000, Mariko Grady, the founder and chef of AEDAN, performed as a lead actress and voice artist with the Japanese performance group, Pappa Tarahumara, which was founded by Hiroshi Koike, the director of The Restaurant of Many Orders.
Hiroshi dissolved Pappa in 2011 after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami devastated the Tohoku region of Japan on March 11th (hence known as 3.11) to start Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project.
The disaster coincided with Koike’s feelings in regards to the growing stagnation toward the Japanese societal system in which he was making art. Dissolving the established scheme and starting again was Koike’s way of shock-treating himself into addressing the new landscape. With renewed commitment to raise individual awareness of the physical body as well as one’s environment, he founded “Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project” with a mission to rebuild connections between body and mind among different people, different cultures and times, and the relationship between man and nature.
Serendipitously at about the same time in the Bay Area, Mariko started to make and sell miso, which detoxifies radiation and other harmful elements from the body, as a way to fundraise for people in Tohoku affected by the natural disaster the threat of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plants.
The SFIAF opening reception is an honoring of the separate-but-related efforts of these two kindred spirits as we urge our respective governments to move to a post-nuclear age.
It is also an opportunity to honor the original author of The Restaurant of Many Orders, Kenji Miyazawa, a dedicated Buddhist and a vegetarian. Kenji was born in Iwate Prefecture in Tohoku region between two big earthquakes about a century ago. In this famous short story for children, he is provocatively questioning the relationship between humankind and nature.
For Opening Night we invite our audience to join the quest of these three thought leaders, local and international artists by sampling miso and koji appetizers. And of course, Japanese celebration is not complete without sake, which is also made from rice and koji.
We hope that you will join us to holistically experience the world of The Restaurant of Many Orders with prayers for the victims of earthquakes past and recent in Japan and the world and a desire for a non-nuclear world.
Following her successful career with Pappa Tarahumara, Mariko Ogawa married Kevin Grady in 2002 and moved to San Francisco. In 2011 after the devastating Tsunami struck Japan Mariko sold natural fermented products to friends as a way to fundraise for victims of the disaster. The popularity of Mariko’s delicious fermented foods spread quickly by word-of-mouth in the Japanese American community. After volunteering to support the Tsunami victims for over a year Mariko started to write AEDAN’s weekly newsletters to share information on fermented foods and her wisdom on leading a happy and healthy life. In May 2012 she joined the incubator kitchen program at La Cocina in San Francisco and since then has worked to develop her AEDAN fermented food product line. She organizes miso making workshops, healthy Japanese bento box classes, fermented pop up dinners with Aeden team members. Now you can find AEDAN products at Rainbow Grocery, Bi-Rite Market, Good Eggs and other popular markets!
Thanks to our friends N.A. Sales, AEDAN Japanese Fermented Food and Mima's Catering. Through their generosity we will enjoy sake and special appetizers made organically with fermented miso and Koji.