Lecture Thursday, March 31, 2011 | 7:30 PM

From Race Cars to Rice Wine: Inside Japanese Style with WSJ Weekend

Weill Recital Hall
This event features leading Wall Street Journal columnists in a two-part discussion about Japanese style. Dan Neil explores automotive and industrial design in Japan and its connection to Japanese aesthetics and culture, old and new. Lettie Teague and Rick Smith, proprietor of New York City’s only all-sake store, engage in a lively discussion about the parallels between great wine and great sake with a sake-tasting to follow.


  • Dan Neil, Wall Street Journal auto columnist
    Lettie Teague, Wall Street Journal wine columnist
    Rick Smith, Proprietor of Sakaya


  • Dan Neil

    Dan Neil is the author of the "Rumble Seat" column that runs each Saturday in The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Neil was previously the auto columnist for the Los Angeles Times from 2003 to 2010. He also wrote the column "800 Words" about pop culture that was syndicated by Tribune media in 2005 and ran until 2008.

    Mr. Neil began his professional writing career with the Spectator, a local free weekly, and began working for The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, as a copy editor in 1989. In 1991, he began the paper's weekly automotive advertising section. Several years later, he was recruited by AutoWeek magazine as a senior contributing editor. He was a New York Times contributor from 1995 to 2003, before becoming a contributing editor at Car and Driver.

    In 2004, Mr. Neil won the Pulitzer Prize-the only car columnist ever to win a Pulitzer. In awarding Mr. Neil, the Pulitzer board praised his "one-of-a-kind reviews of automobiles, blending technical expertise with offbeat humor and astute cultural criticism." He also won the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism from the International Motor Press Association in 2001. The following year, he was selected for Houghton Mifflin's Best American Sports Writing.

    Mr. Neil received a bachelor's degree in creative writing from East Carolina University and a master's degree in English literature from North Carolina State University. He is married and has twin daughters and a son.

    Lettie Teague

    Lettie Teague is a wine columnist and staff writer for The Wall Street Journal. Her column appears on alternate Saturdays in the Weekend Edition and debuted April 2010. She joined The Wall Street Journal after 12 years as the wine editor and columnist at Food & Wine magazine. Her popular monthly column, "Wine Matters," won the 2003 James Beard MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award and the 2005 James Beard Award for Magazine Columns.

    Ms. Teague is the author of Educating Peter, an introduction to wine (Scribner's), and co-author of Fear of Wine (Bantam). Her work can also be found in the 2009 Best of Food Writing (DaCapo).

    Ms. Teague splits her time between New York City and the North Fork of Long Island-also known as "wine country." She loves most wines of the world except Pinotage-she has never had a good Pinotage.

    Rick Smith

    Rick Smith and his wife Hiroko Furukawa are the founding owners of SAKAYA, New York City's first and only shop that specializes in premium sake. Since opening in December 2007, SAKAYA's mission has been to focus on acquainting, educating, and familiarizing patrons with the pleasures of drinking premium sake and pairing it with food. Located in the East Village, the shop's aim is to offer a learning experience through which understanding and enjoyment of sake serves as a bridge to appreciation of the Japanese culture from which it originates.

    Both Mr. Smith and Ms. Furukawa are recent graduates of renowned sake educator and expert John Gauntner's Sake Professionals Course in Tokyo, in addition to being Sake Education Council-certified sake specialists. In March 2009, Mr. Smith completed the Mukune International Sake Brewing Program at the Daimon Sake Brewery in Osaka, a weeklong experience in all aspects of the sake-brewing process. He also received the Sake Service Institute's Honorary Sake Sommelier Award in Tokyo.

    Prior to starting SAKAYA, Mr. Smith had a 30-year career as a New York advertising agency and magazine publishing executive, most recently as a vice president and associate publisher of Food & Wine from 1994 to 2005.
    More Info

JapanNYC Lead Sponsors are Epson Corporation; Mizuho Securities USA Inc.; Nomura Holding America Inc. and Nomura America Foundation; Kotaro ONO, The Chairman of The ONO Group; ROHM Co., Ltd. and Rohm Music Foundation; Sony Corporation; and Yoko Nagae Ceschina.

Supporting Sponsors are Deloitte LLP; Mitsubishi International Corporation; Suntory Holdings Limited and Suntory Hall; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Toshiba Corporation; and Toyota.

With additional funding from Aladdin Capital Holdings LLC; Asian Cultural Council; The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.; GWFF USA Inc.; ITOCHU International Inc.; J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York; Kawasaki Good Times Foundation; The NY Mets Foundation; Nihon Unisys, Ltd.; Nippon Express Foundation, Inc.; Nippon Life Insurance Company; Hiroko Onoyama and Ken Sugawara; Seiko Instruments Inc.; Subaru of America, Inc.; and Sumitomo Corporation of America Foundation.

With special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan; Japan Tourism Agency; Japan National Tourism Organization; the Japan Foundation; and the Consulate-General of Japan in New York.

Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with the Wall Street Journal.
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