Skip to Content

Events - 09.02.2023

Food as Practice | Nurturing Healthy Mind, Body & Soul

An image of shojin ryori dishes

09.02.2023 (Sat.)


10:30 AM - 12:15 PM, 2:00 PM - 3:45 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



For centuries, the Japanese have incorporated shōjin ryōri – a type of cooking that embodies Buddhist principles from the choice of ingredients, to the methods of preparation, to the experience of eating itself – into their culinary practice. In shōjin ryōri, all dishes are vegetarian and emphasize simplicity, but also contain layers of philosophical meaning and nuanced flavor. In particular, tofu holds a significant role as a versatile and protein-rich ingredient that is used in subtly different ways. Shōjin ryōri encourages us to step back, examine food and our relationship to it, and gain a new perspective on our bodies, lives, and world.

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles launched this new mindful eating series in July, which was well received, and we're excited to offer the same program several more times to provide the opportunity for additional people to join the esteemed Soto Zen monk, Rev. Shumyo Kojima, to discover the essence of shōjin ryōri through an intimate lecture and tasting session. Guests will learn the foundational elements of this culinary tradition and its profound embodiment of Zen philosophy and aesthetics, illustrated by film clips showcasing traditional monastery life. The discussion of this culinary heritage will be followed by the chance to sample many dishes while experiencing the same quiet contemplation observed by monks in ascetic training. Let the flavors and textures transport you to a realm of introspection as you connect with the profound principles woven into every bite.

Program Schedule

  • Welcome
  • Explanation of Zen cuisine
  • Introduction to Tableware and Table manners
  • Tasting Experience
  • Q&A

*Program is subject to change
**Each seating is the same program. Note, this is a repeat of the July 22 program.
***All vegetarian cuisine. Allergens may include: soy, wheat, sesame. Substitutions and dietary accommodations are politely declined.

A container of shojin ryori food wrapped in furoshiki
An overview of the room from Mindful Eating program
An image from the Mindful Eating program
Rev. Shumyo Kojima during Mindful Eating program
An image from the Mindful Eating program
An image from the Mindful Eating program
Shojin ryori

About the Reverend

Rev. Shumyo Kojima is a Soto Zen monk, a head priest of Zenshuji Buddhist Temple which is the oldest Soto Zen Temple in North America. He grew up as a disciple of his father in their family temple in Saga prefecture., Japan. Upon graduating from Komazawa University where he studied Buddhist history and philosophy, he entered the Soto Institute for Buddhist Studies, education department.

Read more.

As a researcher from the institute of Soto Education Studies, he embarked to the U.S. to research American Zen, and temporarily join the staff at Zenshuji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, 1993. After he had practiced at Eiheiji Monastery, he returned to Zenshuji to become a full time minister where he has remained for 28 years. 

Back To Top