Kentetsu Ko hails from Osaka Prefecture. Through television appearances, magazine articles, lectures and a multitude of other ways, Ko seeks to provide people with easy, healthy meal options that are made from seasonal ingredients. In his private life he is a father of three who deals with the daily struggles of raising children. He is committed to fostering parent-child food education, encouraging men to be more involved in domestic life and child-rearing, and promoting mealtime as a tool for communication.
He has written a number of books, including Oyatsu-meshi (Crayon House), Bento (Kodansha), Kokentetsu no Oyako Shokudo (Hakusensha) and Kokentetsu no Dakeben (Fusosha). https://www.instagram.com/kohkentetsu/?hl=ja
Since I come from Fukushima Ward in Osaka City, I have, of course, had many opportunities to interact with our neighboring prefecture, Wakayama, and I have been in love with its history, culture and nature since I was a little boy. For me, Wakayama is synonymous with elementary school trips and family outings. And out of all the places I visited as a child in Wakayama, I can clearly remember that awe and amazement I felt when I encountered Koyasan and Kumano's overwhelming beauty and cultural landscape.
Fast-forward to 2018 when I took part in the Whale Kitchen Project sponsored by the four Shingu City, Nachikatsuura Town, Taiji Town and Kushimoto Town, all of which are registered as part of the “Living with Whales” Japan Heritage Program. This project attempts to make traditional whaling culture more fun and accessible by offering up new ideas for whale-based dishes.
We remain firmly rooted in tradition while at the same time putting a new spin on whale cuisine. As Koyasan and Kumano mark fifteen years since registration as World Heritages, this fantastic project has given me a sense of how these regions will grow and flourish in the years to come.
Koyasan and Kumano are part of the “cuisine kingdom” of Wakayama. And as a culinary professional, I am both grateful and overjoyed to be connected with them!