MAKING FOOD MATTER
This is a documentary about food education in Japan. More than a story of classrooms and government policies, it is a story of patience and persistence; how consistent effort can teach children and adults alike how we are all connected. We're connected through what we eat, who grows our food, and how it becomes nourishment for the body and soul.
Nourishing Japan will introduce Japanese food education to a wider audience. What is food education? How does it succeed? Who helps to make it possible? Why do Japanese people believe that learning about food is important?
Food education in Japan could not exist without a dedicated and diverse group of Japanese people who work together for a better future. Comprised of interviews with farmers, nutritionists, teachers, principals, magazine editors, restaurateurs, lawmakers, and more, this documentary will help share the importance of food in our daily lives.
In 2005, Japan introduced the Basic Law on Food Education (Shokuiku Kihonho) which enacted national food education programs in the majority of public elementary and middle schools. Food education (shokuiku) was developed as an interdisciplinary form of education helping children to learn about their lives and the lives of others through the cycle of food creation and consumption. At its heart, food education is a cooperative process that engages Japanese society to support one another and understand our interdependence.
WHY TELL THIS STORY?
Food is more than fuel for our bodies. Food is a connection to society and the world – a connection that is often taken for granted or overlooked. This documentary hopes to contribute to the dialogue we have about food and food education through examining an example of one country. By learning how other cultures address the issue of providing healthy meals, we can reexamine our own methods and bring change for the better. Our actions - even what we eat - matter. By funding this project, you are helping to share this message.
In Cooperation With:
ALEXIS AGLIANO SANBORN -PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
A Japan specialist, writer, film maker, community organizer, and award-winning artist - Alexis approaches Nourishing Japan through the lens which she strives to see life through: "To find the extraordinary in the everyday." Nourishing Japan is her second documentary, her first telling the story of the Miyazaki Bathhouse, the only restored and operational Japanese-style public bath in the United States. Learn more about here.
KEVIN SENZAKI - ADVISOR/EDITOR
A graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts, some of Kevin's other sound credits include the award-winning short film Tsuyako, the E3 trailer for Mass Effect 3, and numerous YouTube videos for channels like Corridor Digital, Epic Meal Time, and Pwnisher. Highlights of Kevin's other illustrious accomplishments include performing metal scream vocals, illustrating a wildly unsuccessful web comic, and an ill-conceived novel about cyberpunk whaling.
ADAM HACKER - ADVISOR
Adam develops multi–platform media projects with clients and collaborators from all over the world. His credits include works for Nikon, PBS, Adaptive Studios, Hertz Car Rental, JapanTravel, YouTuber sWooZie, Persistent Productions, Ben Taylor Music, Brickfish Digital Ad Agency, and more. Adam is a member of the Television Academy, an award–winning photographer, director, and producer.
HIROKO- TRANSLATOR/JAPAN LIASON
Hiroko is a fashion designer, businesswoman, and translator who spends her time working between New York and Nagoya, Japan. She supports Nourishing Japan in the capacity of translator and Japan liaison.
JOSHUA WHITTAKER - TECHNICAL ADVISOR
Independent film maker and producer, Joshua Whittaker is currently in post-production for his third feature-length film. His works have been featured in New York City's Independent Film Festival.
TAMIKI - JAPAN LIAISON/TRANSLATOR
Tamiki formerly worked for the U.S. Government State Department. He lived and worked in the U.S. and Mexico as the chief executive of a Japanese ceramic manufacturing and sales company. He is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors and also the Board of Trustees of Nagoya International School.
HIROAKI SATO - TRANSLATION SUPPORT
Hiroaki Sato is a Japanese poet and prolific translator who writes frequently for The Japan Times. He has been called"perhaps the finest translator of contemporary Japanese poetry into American English".
CHRIS WHITTAKER - COMPOSER
Composer, conductor, pianist Chris Whittaker’s musical language of classical, jazz, and gospel music melds genres and brings people together. His compositions have been performed and broadcast throughout the United States.
JUNE 2017 FILMING
In June 2017, we traveled to Nagoya, the nearby town of Seto, and Tokyo for preliminary filming and interviews.
In June 2017, the team spent a week in Japan filming, interviewing, and gathering initial footage for the documentary in Nagoya, Seto, and Tokyo. Our time in the field, hearing the stories of dedication was truly inspiring. However, in order to conduct in-depth interviews and informative footage, more time is needed.
Interviewing the owner of "School Lunch Lady" restaraunt in Adachi Ward, Tokyo.
Students during class.
Nagoya City helped to support this film! Above, the staff members who made it possible.
Interviewing at the Clinical and Functional Nutrion Center in Tokyo.
Joan Elementary School students at lunch time!
Mr. Yano the eggplant farmer in Seto City.
An elementary school in Tokyo, with the principal inspecting their school rice paddy.
Joan Elementary School cooking staff preparing for lunch.