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What Makes Japanese Cooking In Peru Interesting (Japanese)

(Japanese) To begin with, there was no true Japanese cuisine. That’s the first point.

The second point – and this surprised me when I came to Peru…if you ask why I’ve been here so long, it’s because I can do anything. Whatever I want. The thing about Peru is, you can get 90% of anything in the world at the small markets here. So there’s virtually nothing you can’t create. Plus, there’s 2,200 km (1,367 miles) of coastline, so there are plenty of varieties of fish and other sea life. And since many Japanese-Peruvians and Chinese people come here, there are plenty of Asian vegetables and things like that. On top of that, there are also a lot of interesting ingredients to work with.

I believe Mr. Matsuhisa also uses a lot of ingredients from here at his restaurant, “Nobu”. Bottom line is, it’s like people used to talk arrogantly about “discovering new continents”. People from so-called old continents come to new continents and discover many surprising crops. And talk about the abundance of different varieties…There are so many, I couldn’t even list them here. Take red peppers as just one example. In Japan, red peppers are just used to add a spicy kick.. But here, each variety of red pepper has a different flavor. And you can draw out each of those tastes. You can enjoy such a range with so-called fusion cuisine. Putting aside the question of whether you’ll make money or not as a business, for us cooks, there just so many interesting things here.


cooking cuisine food fusion cuisine Peru

Date: April 18, 2007

Location: Lima, Peru

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Toshiro Konishi was born on July 11, 1953, the fourth son of a long-established Japanese restaurant owner in Saito City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Having played in the kitchen from around the age of six, at 11-years-old, Konishi began helping out in the kitchen with other chef candidates. Then in 1971, at age 16, he headed to Tokyo and became a chef at the restaurant “Fumi”.

In 1974, he moved to Peru with Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, known in America, Japan, and elsewhere for his Japanese fusion cuisine at his restaurant, “Nobu”. After working at the Japanese restaurant “Matsuei” for ten years, he opened “Toshiro’s” and “Wako” in a Sheraton hotel in Lima. In 2002, he also became manager of “Sushi Bar Toshiro’s” in the San Isidro region.

Aside from running the restaurants, he taught at San Ignacio de Loyola University, participated in culinary festivals around the world, introduced innovative cuisine known as “Peruvian Fusion” (a mix of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines), and received numerous awards. In 2008 he became the first Japanese chef based in Latin America to receive the Japanese government’s Minister's Prize from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. (October 2009)

Jane Aiko Yamano
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Jane Aiko Yamano

New Year's food

(b.1964) California-born business woman in Japan. A successor of her late grandmother, who started a beauty business in Japan.

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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama
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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama

Food growing up

(b.1948) Nikkei from Southern California living in Japan.

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Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

Learning American cooking

(b.1909) Nisei from Washington. Incarcerated at Tule Lake and Minidoka during WWII. Resettled in Chicago after WWII

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Activities growing up in Peru

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Family's deportation from Peru to U.S. after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Denied redress as a Japanese Peruvian

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

Japanese vs. Peruvian identity (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

Peru Shimpo for the Nikkei community (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

Escaping to a small village in the mountains during the World War II (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

Post-war experiences in Lima (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Vince Ota
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Vince Ota

Little contact with Asians growing up on the east coast

Japanese American Creative designer living in Japan

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Margaret Oda
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Margaret Oda

Memories of family dinners

(1925 - 2018) Nisei educator from Hawai‘i

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Margaret Oda
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Margaret Oda

Symbolic New Year’s foods prepared from scratch

(1925 - 2018) Nisei educator from Hawai‘i

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Luis Yamada
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Luis Yamada

Suffering in World War II (Spanish)

(b. 1929) Nisei Argentinean

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

We go to America (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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