22 Oct 2006


filed under: site news

How to get in touch with me

You can:

  • email me at maki dot the name of this site
  • My Twitter handle is makiwi
  • I'm also makiwi on Instagram
  • I am on Facebook but I hate Messenger and rarely look at it. My personal page is here and my "public" page is here.
  • I do not use Snapchat, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, etc. etc. I am on Line but it's reserved for family and people I know in real life.

About me

(Last updated August 2019.)

My name is Makiko Itoh (伊藤牧子). Since 2009 I've been a full time writer. My main focus is Japanese culture and food, and the history of food and cooking in general. Prior to that I was a developer/designer of web and PDF related technologies.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, I've lived in numerous places for several years each - Japan, the U.S., England, Switzerland and France. I've actually lived in the US (the NYC area plus Long Island) the longest so far, so I do know how things work there. (I even know how the Electoral College works.) I've lived in all the places listed - Japan, England, the US, Switzerland, France - for at least several years each. It started very early, when my parents moved to England when I was 5. I guess I am a nomad to the bone. I've been in France for about 8 years now, but who knows where I'll be in 5 year's time. I currently divide my time between Yokohama, Japan and France - er, Switerland, maybe. Its complicated.

I have native level fluency in English and Japanese; my French and German are considerably worse. I do get by in French on an everyday basis. My German has deteriorated unfortunately since moving away from Switzerland in 2009, but I may need to pick it up again. Bother.

I have recently started a new site about Japanese culture and society and so on, called Just My Japan.

I also write about food at Just Hungry, a food blog that's mostly about Japanese home cooking as well as Just Bento, a site dedicated to the bento meal-in-a-box. I post quite frequently on my Facebook Page, and a bit less frequently on Twitter.

I also have a monthly column in the Japan Times called Japanese Kitchen, and on occasion I write other articles for the same paper.

I have written two cookbooks: The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go, and its sequel, The Just Bento Cookbook 2: Make-Ahead, Easy, Healthy Lunches To Go. Both have done very well so far. (I've also written a book about JavaScript and CSS, which is out of print and way out of date of course.)

My other interests include: travel, languages, design, art, reading, history (especially the Sengoku and Edo periods in Japan, and the European Medieval period), and various handcrafts, especially tatting (the lace kind, not the ink kind).

Fandom wise, I am a big fan of Funassyi, the sumo yokozuna (grand champion) Hakuho, and (unfortunately) the New York Mets. I don't really favor any particular genre of fiction - I just like great writing. I seem to be reading a lot more non-fiction, especially about history, these days.

In 2011-2012 I had endometrial cancer, which was beaten down after multiple surgeries, radiation therapy etc. Then in mid 2016 I developed a humongous and very rare malignant sarcoma in my small intestines which had rapidly metastasized. I'm still dealing with that one. Apparently the two cancers are unrelated. In early 2019 I had back surgery for a hernia gone very bad; as a result the nerves in my left foot are still kind of dead, so I have to walk with a cane. My health issues have forced me to curtail a lot of my writing, but hopefully I can crank it up again.

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