Discover Nikkei Logo

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1130/

Bento menu for hostage incident (Japanese)

(Japanese) Back when Ambassador Aoki was in the embassy, when he went outside for...I mean, when he had food catered, it was expensive to order from a hotel, so whenever possible they wanted to make the food at the ambassador’s residence. But you couldn’t really do much in that kitchen, so they wanted to remodel the kitchen and I designed it. They used my design plans to remodel, and that occasion of the Emperor’s birthday was the first time we used the new kitchen. Of course I went as host. So I ended up getting caught up in that event, but in my case, I was only there for a week.

I was let go on December 22, and on January 3, I got a letter from Ambassador Aoki. From inside the residence. He said, given the circumstances, the people inside couldn’t keep holding on, so why don’t I put it all together and decide the menu. Naturally, other types of food were included. There was Chinese food, Peruvian cuisine etc. But there were 58 hostages and what most of them ate was the Japanese food. If you ask why, it’s because there was never a single accident. Not one case of food poisoning.

I started going from that January 4 until April 22. Absolutely no one had any problems with their health. But we never knew when our bento boxes would be brought in. We didn’t know when we would be stopped. So just like Swiss flour (where people use the older flour first), the people would always start with something from the previous bento box. Like Swiss flour. So we’d always put one extra thing inside the bento, something they could put aside to eat later. For example, grilled rice balls. And the hostages knew it. It was obvious. We didn’t say anything, but they knew. I know that because after everyone got out, I asked someone and they said everyone was doing it. So they didn’t eat that one thing until the next bento box came in. That’s the way it was.

So what that means is that the way of making bento boxes that I learned in Japan, that’s extremely well-accepted internationally…it’s not strange at all. I recently met the Foreign Minister at the time, Francisco Tudela. Bottom line is, if you eat Japanese food, your body doesn’t get sick. The nutritional balance was also good. It’s been really praised in a variety of books. I’ve been asked to write a book about the recipes from that incident. I still have the menus I wrote.


1990s Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis, Peru, 1996-1997 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)

Art Shibayama
en
ja
es
pt
Art Shibayama

Activities growing up in Peru

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

en
ja
es
pt
Art Shibayama
en
ja
es
pt
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.

en
ja
es
pt
Art Shibayama
en
ja
es
pt
Art Shibayama

Denied redress as a Japanese Peruvian

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

en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato
en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato

Japanese vs. Peruvian identity (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato
en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato

Peru Shimpo for the Nikkei community (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato
en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato

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

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato
en
ja
es
pt
Alfredo Kato

Post-war experiences in Lima (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

We go to America (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Memories of my infancy: Japanese 1, Japanese 2… (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Mistreating the Japanese community (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Prejudice in Japanese school (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Hiding out to avoid the concentration camps (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Help from fellow Japanese (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Education Japanese style (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki
en
ja
es
pt
Venancio Shinki

Closing the Japanese school and deportation (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

en
ja
es
pt

Discover Nikkei Updates

NIKKEI CHRONICLES #13
Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?
What’s in a name? Share the story of your name with our community. Submissions now open!
NIMA VOICES
Episode 16
June 25 (US) | June 26 (Japan)
Featured Nima:
Stan Kirk
Guest Host:
Masumi Izumi
PROJECT UPDATES
NEW SITE DESIGN
See exciting new changes to Discover Nikkei. Find out what’s new and what’s coming soon!