Art, Nature, Food & Drink in Hokkaido, Japan

Asia Society Northern California's Second Country Spotlight

On February 28, 2018, Asia Society Northern California hosted its second "Country Spotlight" event. In partnership with the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, the event focused on Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido. The event commenced with ASNC's Executive Director N. Bruce Pickering's opening remarks, followed by Deputy Consulate General Shoichi Nagayoshi's welcoming remarks.

The panelists included a dynamic group of women on a variety of topics related to art, nature, food, and drink in Hokkaido. Cerell Rivera started off the presentations with a fun and engaging slide show about snow festivals in Hokkaido, including the famous Yuki Matsuri in Hokkaido's capital, Sapporo. Rivera was on the JET Program for three years and lived in Asahikawa for five years. Aoi Yamaguchi is a famous Japanese calligrapher who lives in Berkeley yet grew up in Hokkaido. She gave a beautiful presentation about art and nature in Hokkaido which included stunning pictures from places where she grew up, outdoor sculpture parks in various parts of Hokkaido, and her performance at an ice hotel in Tobestu, Hokkaido. Yamaguchi talked about how this time was truly inspirational for her.

Next was Masaki Kihara Shultz of Sapporo U.S.A. who gave an an excellent and informative presentation about Sapporo Brewing's history and market expansion into the U.S. It was the first beer company founded in Japan (1876) and its founder Seibei Nakagawa was trained in Germany. Last, Kaori Becker of Kaori's Kitchen spoke briefly about being a female entrepreneur as she started her own ramen and mochi cooking classes plus catering business. She even demonstrated how to make mochi and fold it properly. After some questions from the audience, the panelists and audience members mingled over drinks and food at the reception. 

Asia Society Northern California would like to the Consulate General of Japan - San Francisco and Sapporo U.S.A. for their support of this event. Thank you to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association of Northern California