The Fermented Soybean Has a Fan Club in Hawai‘i!

Jackie Kojima
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa begins each morning with a cup of hot home-roasted coffee, two pieces of homemade toast drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a most unlikely topping: a heaping scoop of freshly made nattō — yes, those pungent fermented soybeans!

Eien is a musician, composer and educator based in Portland, Ore. He performs drumset, taiko, percussion and shinobue (Japanese side-blown flute). While working on his master’s degree in music with an emphasis on percussion performance at the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa in 2003, he performed with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble and taught classes at the Taiko Center of the Pacific. Eien now performs with the contemporary taiko quartet, On Ensemble, and studies traditional forms of Japanese music with master musician and dancer Kyosuke Suzuki. He also leads workshops around the country on a variety of topics.

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