The Mold Transforming Japanese Cuisine (Atlantic)

Koji is a fungus found in soy sauce, miso, and sake. The mold, known for its toxicity, was domesticated by humans about 9,000 years ago. Though its closest relatives can be deadly, koji is nontoxic.

Originally used for alcohol, the fungus has been implemented by Asian chefs for centuries. Read more in The Atlantic.

Christopher Hill ’74, H’14 on Rex Tillerson and Northeast Asia (Project Syndicate)

Christopher Hill ’74, H’14

Career diplomat Christopher Hill ’74, H’14 discusses US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent trip to Northeast Asia. The visit provided an opportunity for the Trump administration to determine its strategy in the region and address perhaps the biggest international challenge: North Korea’s push for deliverable nuclear weapons.

Though many have praised Tillerson’s visit for its smooth transition, Hill believes the administration must replace its policy of patience with a “coherent and comprehensive” plan. Read more in Project Syndicate.

Hill is dean of the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. He previously served a number of diplomatic roles, including that of Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia and Poland; U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia; U.S. special envoy for Kosovo; and negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords. Hill was also the chief U.S. negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009.

Hill returns to campus April 24, 2017, to deliver the talk, State of the World: America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Challenges.

‘Righting a Wrong’: A Commemoration of Japanese-American Internment (Smithsonian)

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II, a new exhibition at the National Museum of American History, commemorates the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 regarding the incarceration of Japanese-American citizens during World War II and comprises photographs, letters, and artifacts from the camps.

The curators hope the exhibition will remind Americans of their history and help them make sense of the present. Read more in Smithsonian Magazine.

Bowdoin Senior Follows 64-year-old Art History Trail to Hiroshima

Michael Amano ’17. Photo by Anna Aridome.

The four artists are all elderly now, all still living in Hiroshima. Last summer, a Bowdoin student visited them to talk about drawings they had made as children 64 years ago in 1952 — seven years after the US dropped nuclear bombs on their city.

Revisiting their childhood paintings prompted them to share difficult memories of the years following the carnage. They offered their reflections on war, struggle, peace, and survival. And, perhaps a bit surprisingly, they smiled a lot as they looked at their pictures.

Bowdoin’s Michael Amano ’17 had a Curatorial Fellowship from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art to spend last summer in Japan tracking down and interviewing some of the people who had participated in a 1952 art exchange between Japanese and US schoolchildren. Read the story.