TSUDOI 集 means “get-together” in Japanese… it is the opposite of social distancing.
Here in Japan, the mandate for social distancing is worded differently. We are cautioned to avoid MITSU no MITSU (三つの密) or 3 kinds of situations (that begin with the same calligraphy, MI ) : MIPPEI (密閉）– poorly ventilated spaces, MISSHU（密集）– crowds of people, and MISSETSU （密接）– close physical contact. But social media platforms such as Facebook Groups allow large numbers of people to gather at no risk for corona virus transfer.
Toward the end of February, in response to growing concerns of pandemic spread of COVID-19, I suspended all programs at A Taste of Culture. In March, I reached out to a few (globally scattered) students to explore the creation of an inter-active, online community for those who wanted to continue to learn about Japan’s best kitchen practices… and to apply that wisdom to their own daily routines. The Facebook group TSUDOI Project was created to facilitate that. I am grateful to the original Founding Members of the group for their thoughtful suggestions and enthusiastic participation: Jessica, Martha, Amy, Leanne, Brad, Melissa, Carol Ann, David, Kathleen, Raylee, Steve, and Kathryn… Taihen osewa ni natte orimasu.
We began our Tsudoi Project with the theme “using food fully,” a driving force in the Japanese kitchen. I chose CARROTS as the sub-theme because no matter what state of lock-down members were in, I was sure they would have a carrot or two on hand.
During our trial period we embarked upon a new project every week and cyber-communicated incessantly — a pace that none of us could sustain for very long. To keep interaction stimulating and rewarding, but not exhausting or too demanding, we decided that themed projects should be posted twice a month. I have just uploaded our next project: SALT.
TSUDOI Project is a cyber forum for sharing ideas and kitchen projects related to Japan’s culinary culture.
You don’t need to be Japanese, or live in Japan, to enjoy and benefit from Japan’s kitchen wisdom. The TSUDOI Project encourages and supports all those who want to explore and practice washoku and kansha in their own kitchens. A full description of our Goals & Guidelines can be found on the group page. Please, join us!
I’m looking forward to your comments on the items I post to my Facebook page!
I do hope you like it!
A Taste of Culture
Culinary Arts Program
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-0095, Japan