To all my fans

by

My special way of understanding others.

Cooking and eating food from all around the world is my own special way to understand others with my soul.

It was in 1995 when I started to get interested in cooking, I got a girlfriend and worried that I needed something good and charmy for her as a boyfriend.

At that time, Korean publishers brought Japanese cooking manga to Korea.

I started reading them simply as a manga genre that I enjoyed but then it became a way to understand human history, cultures and society through cooking. I started cooking with the recipes from those books.

The cooking and food culture researches I started back then became an important part of my life. Before that, I was only interested in science, religion and mythology.

A bit of red chili pepper and a cod fish on the cooking board taught me about the life of human and their past. To me, they show Human history, Culture, Economy, Politics and Ecosystem of the arts.

Like that, it became a small but happy thing to share with my assistants.

When I started to be a mangaka, my income was roughly 5~10% from today’s. I’m still not earning much but I was making way less money back then.

For me, cooking was to be shared with my friends and assistants. And I was very pleased about it.

While I was aiming to enter the Japanese Manga circles, cooking became a tool to understand Japanese culture.

I believed that to understand the readers from another culture, I had to study about them while I was eating their food, such as ikura (Salmon roe) and natto.

Back in 2007, I had an idea that I should “understand the readers who’ll read my manga”! So I decided to move to Japan. Cooking and experiencing various food became a big part of my understanding of their life and culture.

The best way to understand Japanese culture and lifestyle is to be adopted into a Japanese family and fully become one of them. That and joining a Japanese middle or high school but that one would be way too much.

Next one is to make a japanese girlfriend and a japanese sake-friends (beer buddy, potman). Many people recommend this.

But I’m a married person. I have a wife so I can’t make a Japanese girlfriend and I don’t speak Japanese so it is very hard to make some Japanese sake-friends.

No, basically, I have no time for social life.

Because I’m a mangaka.

The most important thing for mangaka is drawing manga and studying manga.

Creating the ideas for every chapter’s stories, researching for works, finding the materials, drawing the storyboards, meeting with the editors and finally drawing the manga for the deadline.

I must to put every effort I can for these. Thankfully I’m able to do it all and can live as a mangaka in Japan while fans love my works.

It’s important to understand Japanese culture, but what’s even more important is that I have to try harder to be a better mangaka.

Of course, Japanese readers and manga editors don’t need a foreigner mangaka who speak Japanese well nor have the skills to date Japanese girls. They need a talented mangaka who can draw manga.

But even so, three times a day I can have something in common with Japanese people. They are the daily meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).

So to me, cooking and eatings are the tools to understand other cultures and readers. And I decided to take this opportunity.

But it doesn’t mean I know Japanese cuisine and culture that well.

The Japanese food culture is not so simple that I can easily explain it only because I lived in Japan for 10 years. Of course, other food cultures around the world are the same.

But one thing I can understand is that Japanese cuisine is a world of artisan’s spirit.

And that artisan’s spirit involves the spiritism of Buddhism while being connected with the Bushido.

It is the spirit that craftsmanship and drawing manga have in common.

In other words, exploring the common way shared by Japanese cooking masters and mangaka.

From the beginning, when I started cooking it was only a shy boy wanting to show off to his girlfriend. It became my way to understand Japanese reader and now it turns to be even more. It is my tool to understand and explore what is manga.

Now, I’m going to tell about my cooking stories here on Boichi.com.

Firstly I believe you all already know but I love Japanese cuisine and its food culture.

Do you like Sushi and Ramen? I like them too. That’s why I’d like to share and exchange around what we have in common.

Mostly I will talk about Japanese cuisine and their food culture but from time to time I’ll talk about other food from around the world.

I also like to talk about food from my home country, Korea.

Talking about delicious food is great and fun, isn’t it?

Second reason is to share what I learned about Japanese readers through cooking.

If you want to be a mangaka and work in Japan, then you will need to understand your readers and their culture.

This is a task you’ll have to solve with your fans and it’s also my task as a mangaka.

You must first approach and get close to your readers.

Of course I do not know much yet, but I want to tell some little tips which I learned in Japan first.

Cooking and drawing manga have in common the ideas and spirit of arts.

And I have the chance to tell the stories that took place in the process of drawing manga.

For instance, It will be the opportunity to tell you about my work <Terra Formars Asimov>. I was lucky enough to eat Russian food as to create this manga, understand Russian culture and show it to the readers.

With these ideas, I will write a Food Adventure column once a week here.

I hope you’ll like it and I ask for your warm supports

I also give my thanks to my friends in Canada and France, Steve and Lucas.

Me, Lucas and Steve, all members of Boichi.com will do as best as we can.

There is also a corner called “Ask to Boichi” taking place on Thursday for Food and Tuesday for Manga. If you have any questions about Japanese cuisine and food culture then please don’t hesitate to ask me.

Of course I’m just a humble mangaka, I make mistakes too and I don’t have an all powerful experience or knowledge.

This space is simply where we share stories and ideas about what we love.

Send me a questions and I’ll answer what I think but you don’t have to send only questions.

You can send to me the great thing about food and cultures where you live, and of course you can send me the points where I made mistake.

You can send me the photo about your favorite food too.

Send me Anything, plz.

For me, food, cooking, and cuisine around the world are the connection to understand each others. I believe it’s now time we share and connect to each other by talking about food what we love.

I hope this topic can help us to understand and connect with each others.

It may be a small start but it’s very great and meaningful.

Thanks you so much!

– Boichi

Read Boichi’s other Food Adventures

Share the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •