Kerry Yo Nakagawa, author, filmmaker and producer of the film “American Pastime,” is proud to announce his five-part video series entitled “Ancient Food Treasures.”

DVD Set-1“My mom and obaachan used to make these delicious tsukemonos,” said Nakagawa. “Eaten over rice with genmai-cha tea, I called it  ‘cha cha mama.’ The adults call it ochazuke and it is a staple ‘soul’ and comfort food for our families.

“Before these sacred recipes are lost forever, I sought out my mom’s Nisei friend. Betty Mayebo is the undisputed ‘Queen of Tsukemono’ in our farm town in Fowler, Calif. At 92 she grows her own organic vegetables for canning annually.

“In 2012, Betty allowed me to film her making these ‘ancient food treasures,’ which go back thousands of years in our culture. These delicious and healthy recipes are now preserved for current and future diverse ‘foodies.’

“I hope you enjoy our step-by-step process for your own healthy and delicious canning for generations to come. Health, spirit and aloha from our family to yours.”

The five recipes are as follows:

• Ume: Pickled plum flavored the samurai’s rice and vegetables and purified his water and food. It also helped prevent battle fatigue and stomach aliments.

• Shiso: Immune system booster, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants and allergy-fighting properties.

• Fukujinzuke: High in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper and maganese. Sacred blend of daikon, Armenian cucumbers, eggplant, renkon and ginger. “This delicious combination of vegetables is like edible ‘gold’ in our household,” said Nakagawa.

• Uri no Kasuzuke: Nara-zuke dates back 1,200 years. It was made by Buddhist monks and used by samurai as imperishable battle food. Uri is a cross between and melon and cucumber.

• Takuan: Named after Zen master Takuan Soho (1573-1645), who invented this pickled dish to aid in digestion. High in vitamin C and used in cancer prevention and weight loss.

• Hoshigaki Kaki: Hachiya persimmon. High in fiber, calcium, iron, manganese, vitamin C and beta carotene.

All proceeds go to the non-profit Nisei Baseball Research Project (, whose mission is to bring awareness and education about the World War II concentration camps through the prism of baseball and multimedia projects.

Each “Ancient Food Treasures” furoshiki-wrapped four-DVD set costs $75, shipping included. To see a promotional video, go to To order, email

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