Welcome to Kyoto
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Gavin received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and came to Kyoto in 2001 to take his current position as a tenured university professor of history, religious studies, and American Studies. Since 2016, he is also a Fellow at Harvard's Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. His teaching and research revolve around Japan's cultural encounters with the West, particularly during the Edo, Meiji, Taisho and early Showa periods (1600-1940), and he has published on the history of foreign tourism and of Protestant missionaries in Japan. To further explore Japan's global cultural encounters, he is currently writing a book on the history of Japanese menswear from the 1600s through the early 20th century. He is also an expert on Kyoto geisha culture and a frequent participant in geisha entertainment. He enjoys reading, spending time with his family, and exploring with clients Kyoto's endlessly fascinating culture and history.
Daniel is a Ph.D. candidate at Kyoto University studying the Sociology of Tourism. A continuation of his master's thesis, which he also completed in Kyoto, Daniel's Ph.D. studies examine how touristic ideas of Japan have evolved from the 19th century to contemporary times, and what historical events, artistic, intellectual and consumeristic movements have played a role in shaping ideas of Japan. Beyond looking at tourism through a critical lens, he also teaches about the problems of intercultural communication at Doshisha Women's College, as well as being active in organizing Japanese cultural events for international students in Kyoto. A nine-year Kyoto resident, Daniel is hugely interested in food culture both in his native Melbourne and in Japan, and is studying the latter by going to food seminars and eating out as much as possible. He has studied Japanese tea ceremony for nine years and has been learning <i>aikido</i> for eight; both practices have taught him much about Japan's spiritual side.
During his first foray to a Kyoto food market, Tad was so excited and intrigued by the beautiful displays of strange ingredients that he vowed to learn to cook Japanese food. He poured over photo-illustrated cookbooks and magazines, learning to read Japanese characters from the pictures. Whenever he encountered a new dish, he hunted down the recipe, searching for cookbooks in old bookshops and at the book fairs of Shimogamo Shrine and Chion-ji Temple. With his Japanese “family,” he spent hours at the dining table and in the kitchen absorbing the flavors and cooking methods of kyobanzai home cooking. He bantered for advice from fishmongers, vegetable sellers and tofu makers. At kaiseki restaurants he trained his eye: from kappo restaurant chefs he stole snatches of technique, from a Zen monk he learned the importance of respecting ingredients just as they are. He cooked and cooked and cooked. Today, over twenty years since his first visit, he loves to share his knowledge and enthusiasm about the many delicacies of Nishiki Market.
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