English education, Canada, study abroad, domestic/overseas internship, Taiwan, Uganda, Washoku, Koshien baseball, English song, seminar excursion to Kirishima, Ibusuki
Hi guys. Welcome to the graduate's page.
My name is Yuta Kawamura. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2016. Then, I went to the IUK graduate school. I'm now second year of MA Intercultural studies. I also work as a teaching assistant (TA) supervised by Professor McMurray in English class and overseas internship program in Taipei for undergraduate.
I'm studying at the Taipei Chingshih University of Science and Technology (TPCU) in Taipei, Taiwan as an exchange student from February, 2017. The reason why I'm studying there is because I wanted to cultivate my skill in cooking and learn business management. In my lessons in cooking, I learn the wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets with Taiwanese students. It sounds like strange that Japanese learn wagashi in Taiwan. However, here at this university, we learn very professional, traditional and scrumptious wagashi. I hope I get to share with you about my wagashi making and my days in Taipei on this page.
Contact: LINE y.kwcity
I went to train on internship programs in Kaohsiung and Taipei, Taiwan three times and also volunteered with an NPO program in Uganda, Africa. While interning in 2016 at a Japanese food style restaurant in Taipei, came up with a new research idea about exporting Washoku culture (a UNESCO intangible world heritage that was recognized in 2013 as the way Japanese food is made and presented). In addition to developing my culinary skill, I research what Japanese words are needed by foreigners to understand the concept of washoku.
春雨の 降るは涙か 桜花
As for spring rainfall
thoughts of people becoming
the tears of sorrow
--the 88th waka poem listed in the “Kokin Wakashu” penned in 10th century Japan
On seeing cherry blossoms fall, some deep hidden thought will surely come to mind. Travelers in time, we must all must soon realize the spring season is coming to an end. After the ephemeral cherry blossoms have faded and fallen, which seasonal event can we look forward to next? For me, it is the season of shincha (first picked tea of the year).
Shincha season lasts from late April until early May in Japan. In Chiran, Kagoshima located far to the south of Japan, my grandmother used to go with neighbors to a tea plantation. She assisted in pinching off buds of green tea leaves. I recall carrying a huge tea leaf basket on my back and following in the footsteps of my grandmother.
Footpath down the hill
she knows each step of the way
picking the first tea
Sencha is the most popular green tea in Japan that is produced in many regions. Its leaves are raised outdoors and immediately steamed after harvesting to stop fermentation. They are then rolled to finish. (The Japan education center for the hotel industry, 2015). A blissful moment can be spent enjoying the flavor of sencha with wagashi such as yokan (sweet jellied bean paste), daihuku (sweet rice cake). You can also enjoy fresh green tea flavor from wagashi itself.
We have made matcha an yaki (Baked matcha flavor cake). You might have already heard the word matcha and enjoyed its tart flavor. Both matcha and sencha are categorized as green tea, but they are completely different teas. At first, the tea production process is different from sencha, as it is unique in the way of drying without rolling. The second, the cultivation methods are different as the tea leaves are covered to shut out the sunlight before harvesting young leaves. These tea leaves are called tencha. Matcha is made by grinding tencha in a stone mill.
Matcha an yaki 28 pcs
White bean paste 100g
Matcha powder 5g
Boiled water 23g
Cake flour 6.5g
Jyouyou powder 3g
Separate the egg into yolk and white.
Mix cake flour with Jyouyou powder: A
1. Preheat oven to 302 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. Dissolve matcha in a bowl of boiling water and sieve it out.
3. Put white bean paste in a pan, then stir in the matcha with a silicon spatula.
4. Mix yolk with 10g sugar in the bowl and add in matcha and mix well.
5. In another bowl, add 14g sugar to white in batches and whip.
6. Add the whipped sugar to the bowl of matcha.
7. Drop 20g of the mixture onto a ungreased pan.
8. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven, until the cupcakes spring back to the touch.
When staying away from home over an extended period of time, we soon crave for home-cooking. A bowl of rice and Taiwanese local cuisine caused me to have an incredible urge for Japanese miso sou.
A roommate from Malaysia also favors miso soup. Miso is an important staple in Japanese cuisine and is loved in many countries for its taste and health benefits. While traveling outside of Japan I seem to have nurtured an innate love for sharing washoku culture.
Not all miso soup is the same. Each region of Japan has its own miso. It comes in different tastes and colors and is even seasonal. The world of miso may appear to be simple but in fact it’s intricate.
Miso is a Japanese traditional paste made from steamed soybeans mixed with malt (koji) and salt. It is categorized depending upon the kind of malt (koji) used, the flavors such as salty or sweet, the color such as white, red, light colors. (The Japan Education center for the Hotel Industry, 2015) As with many different kinds of miso, there might be a simple indicator that you can distinguish among them by color. It might be a good start to explain from shiro miso, white miso. It looks golden-yellow to medium brown. It is milder than other kinds of miso, with a slight sweetness. When miso is dark reddish-brown in color, it is aka miso, red miso. It is usually more salty and assertive in taste than white miso. Awase miso, blended miso, combines two or more different kinds of miso.
The longer a miso is aged, the deeper its flavor gets. It is something akin to haiku.
second bowl of rice
aged rice ladle
Through my study of food in Taipei, I hope to improve my haiku and culinary skills to reveal my inner cravings for good taste.
Shiro miso 160g
Egg’s white 200g
all-purpose flour 640g
baking powder 12g
Sieve flour and baking out.
Preheat oven to 356 degrees F (180 degrees C) (upper side) and 284 degrees F (140 degrees C)
1. Mix sugar with miso and add in water.
2. Mix sugar in egg’s white and whip up.
3. Stir in miso with a silicon spatula.
4. Add in flour.
5. Drop the dough onto an ungreased pan.
6. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven.
7. Spread sesame onto the dough.
8. Having let it rest for 10 minutes, cut into rectangles.
Shiratamako (glutinous rice flour) 286g
Granulated sugar 46g
~Sweet soy sauce~
Granulated sugar 150g
Soy sauce 60g
Potato starch 18g
Water (for dissolving the potato starch)
1. Combine water and granulated sugar in a pot, and add soy sauce and mirin, and bring it to a boil.
2. Mix potato starch with water and add in the sauce, and dissolve well.
3. Having the sauce thickened, turn off the heat. (sweet soy sauce)
4. Combine shiratamako (glutinous rice flour) and granulated sugar in a bowl.
5. Stir in water a little bit at a time and knead until the dough become smooth.
6. Divide the dough into each 15g sized ball.
7. Gently place dango in the large pot of boiling water.
8. When they start floating on the surface, cook for 1 min. Remove from pot and transfer into ice water.
9. Drain well and put three pieces into a bamboo skewer.
10. On the stove top, place the skewered dango on the grill on direct heat over medium high rotate slowly to sear.
11. Using a brush, coat with sweet soy sauce on dango.
This looks so delicious. I look forward to eating on July 5 at your Welcome Party!
Comment from Shota Kamimae: "Actually I am interested in going to graduate school too." I asked Mack what did he major in at graduate school in Canada? My question to Yuta Kawamura TA is "How many lectures per semester do you have to take? I want to be a curator who can speak in English. Which lectures did you take from Mack that helped you to improve your cooking in English skills?"
The above photo of Mack Seminar students was taken years ago at Sengenen. There are students from Japan, the UK, US, and Taiwan in the photograph. Two graduates went on to graduate school at Masters and one went to Doctor level, other seminar members have found jobs in Kagoshima and Kumamoto.