Dashi & Shōyu: Essence of Japan | Sennen no hitoshizuku - dashi, shōyu
directed by: Shibata Shōhei | 2014 | 100 min
Have you ever imagined that the mould, which facilitates the birth of Japanese sake or soya sauce, looks as a crystal chandelier when magnified? Have you ever seen how the shiitake mushrooms penetrate the bark of the breeding tree? The artistic documentary Essence of Japan produced in Japanese-French coproduction is a charming and discovering examination of the sources of Japanese cuisine, as well as the Japanese soul. Old women collecting seaweed at the detached shores of Hokkaidō, Zen monastery novices who feed the hungry ghosts, the famous chefs from the Gion quarter in Kyōto, and the old families who use the attics of their wooden houses as fermentation spaces for soya beans – they all should be recorded as UNESCO world’s heritage together with Japanese cuisine, as without them the word "washoku" would be only a void concept...