This historical comic salutes Bill Fujimoto, a Japanese American produce retailer who was one of the earliest suppliers to Chez Panisse and other restaurants that were key the development of the California cuisine revolution in the 1970s.
Nakahira, an MFA candidate at the Center for Cartoon Studies, uses interviews she conducted with Fujimoto to tell his story and through him to highlight the role that Japanese farmers played in supporting and demonstrating the importance of farming with emphasis on the very best quality produce: "these Japanese Americans were all ahead of their time, fostering farm-to-table, seasonal ways of eating and growing food before it became a movement in America."
This legacy is all the more remarkable considering the disruptions and losses Japanese families experienced while interned in camps during WWII. But in just 96 pages, and using simple, precise drawing techniques, Nakahira brings one man and the little-known history of an era to life.
Paperback. Line drawings throughout.