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Early in 2011, I was exploring how food can create new relationships through knowledge-sharing and found the perfect catalyst in sourdough. I asked people to send me some of their sourdough starter alongside their stories and recipes. This became the start of the sourdough collection called ’Levande Arkivet’ (The Living Archive).
Once collected, I dried the starter which keeps the sourdough lactobacilli bacteria at rest until its woken up to bake with. Since then, the collection has grown, travelled the world and been activated through exhibitions and events, providing many people with the possibility to receive packages of dried sourdough starters from the collection. 


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Ikuko Sato


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Mihoko Makino


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Ikebe Sumi


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Sayo Koshikawa


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Amika Moriyama


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Asami Kira


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Takayo Yasumatsu


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Chi Ariga


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Miho Satoh


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Akiko Ogawa


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Ogukimo — ありま けんた

“Media only provides us with information on how to choose what is best for you. People often say that to make a sourdough takes too long, or that it’s very difficult to take care of, but that criticism derives from being compared to bread that you can buy. My homemade sourdough bread tastes very different from store bought bread. Next year, I plan to cultivate my own wheat plant, which is easy to grow, and to make a new sourdough from it. I bake bread on

weekends, thinking about things like this.”



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Emiko Chida


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Jens H. Jensen — イェンス H・イェンセン

“Sourdough or natural yeasts tell something unique about a certain place at a certain time. Much like the scientists who dig up 10.000 year old snow in Greenland and from the sample can read how the climate was. e sourdough in this glass will say something about the climate, environment and bacteria in Kamakura June 2014. In that sense, all sourdoughs are unique and of high cultural value.”

「サワードウや天然酵母は、ある時点で特定な場所のユニークさを伝える。グリーンランドの 10000 年前から積もる雪を掘り起こし、採取したサンプルから当時の気候を推測する科学者の様に、瓶に入ったサワードウは 2014年6月、鎌倉の気候、環境や酵母菌について語る。そういったことから、全てのサワードウはユニークで、高い文化的価値があると言えるだろう」


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Yoshikazu Tojyo — 東條吉和

“My husband’s official title is ‘Café Tojo Owner / Sourdough Caretaker’ and mine is ‘Sourdough Observer’. Since 2003, we have been growing and naming our sourdoughs. Th is one was started with cherry blossoms from Yamanashi and is called ‘Seishiro, 1 month’. It is not a powerful one, but very gorgeous. I bake sweets with it, because of its aroma. I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows in the future.”

「私達夫婦にはそれぞれカフェ・トホ店主酵母菌飼育係(夫)、と酵母菌観察係(私)の肩書きがあります。2003 年以来、酵母菌に名前を付けて育てています。今回送ったものは、山梨の桜から起こした花酵母『セイシロウ・1ヶ月』です。あまり勢いのある酵母ではありませんが、静かに、でもとても華やかに息づいている酵母です。香りを生かして焼き菓子を焼いています。これからどんな酵母に育って行くのか楽しみです」


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Maho Ito — 伊藤 真穂

“I love to eat my sourdough bread with a jam that has been made from the same ingredient as the dough has. It could be Watson pomelo, plum or banana.”



The Archive Posted on 2014-10-21 03:18

Youko Kasukabe — 春日部 陽子

“The bread I bake, I usually share with my family and friends. Sometimes I barter them for rice balls and curry. This exchange becomes like a communication tool, letting me connect with the people around me. Something I find very important.”



The Archive Posted on 2014-10-21 03:16

Teruyo Kimura — 木村 照世

“My father, who improved his cooking skills after my mother passed away, inspired me and I started to take cooking lessons. There, I encountered a sourdough that was made with apples from Aomori, and was soon fascinated by the taste of it.”



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Reiko Matsuno


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Nana Honda


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Noriko Yokoi — 横井 範子

“At home we use different types of natural yeasts according to the season and they have become necessities for our meals. When making miso and other soups, using a yeast made from seaweed is perfect and for salad dressings a raison or citrus yeast is great. I talk to the yeasts everyday and treat it like a family member. Depending on its condition it can either make me very pleased or make me angry. I give the yeasts the opportunity to live, but I also feel like I live through the yeasts.”

「我が家では四季折々様々な酵母を育てていて、日々の食事には欠かせないものです。味噌汁やスープをつくるときは昆布からとった酵母が欠かせませんし、ドレッシングにはレーズンや柑橘系の酵母が欠かせません。日々酵母に話しかけ、酵母の状態に一喜一憂し、まるで家族のような存在。 酵母を活かすのも人であり、酵母に生かされているのもまた人なんだなと感じます」


The Archive Posted on 2014-10-21 03:08

Hidefumi Kubota

“When I was training to become a baker, it was always difficult to get the fermenting process perfect, and it felt like the sourdough was controlling me rather than being able to control it. It was always one step ahead of me. When I travelled to Los Angeles to support the start up of a bakery, I brought 20g of the sourdough starter that was given to me during my training. Since then, after returning to Japan, opening my own bakery and working as a salary man for a few years, I have kept this sourdough alive. Many times it almost died, because I didn’t take enough care of it, but somehow it has managed to survive.”

「パン職人として修行をしていたころ、丁度いい発酵の加減がとても難しく、コントロールしていたというよりは種にいつも振り回されてばっかり。僕にとっては先を見通せる思考をもつ先輩のような存在に感じたことを覚えている。次の仕事でロサンゼルスのベーカリーを立ち上げに参加したときも前のお店に分けていただいた 20g 程度のこの種と一緒に海を渡った。その後も帰国してから開業まで、数年のサラリーマンをしたときもごく少量のこの種を家で更新して持ち続けた。何度も面倒くさくなり種が死にかけたこともあったが、そのつど我慢強く持ち直してくれた」


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Kiyomi Sasaki — 佐々木 京美

“I’m currently taking a break, but I used bake bread in a stone oven, collect firewood and adjust the amount to get the perfect temperature. The sourdough plays a big part in the process. It has no monetary value. I have encountered astonishing results with this sourdough, so I consider it a real treasure that has brought joy to my life.”



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Kopami Yoko


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Akane Kusafuka


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Wakako Saito (Ahiru Store) — 齊藤 和歌子(アヒルストア)̶

“I work as a baker and have since 6 years been baking with sourdough. It’s always an exciting moment to see the sourdough starter bubble and grow inside the jar. It changes everyday, so it’s interesting to bake with. I’m pretty sure I would get bored if I only baked with ready made yeasts from the market. They are completely different. Thank you, natural sourdough!”



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Y to A


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Tsugumi Awasawa — 浅川 つぐみ ̶


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Megumi Etoba


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Yu Kobayashi — 小林 悠 ̶

“I am not sure if it has any monetary value, since I just fill jars with plants I find in my garden or in the mountains and leave them to ferment. I use this sourdough starter in the bread that I sell, and this might sound strange, but I consider it as an employee or co-worker. I feed the dough with the starter, let it breathe, and then it works on its own to help ferment the bread. Therefore, I think the starter deserves some kind of ‘salary’, but since a monetary exchange

is difficult I sometimes pay it by feeding it with luxurious honey.”



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Miyuki Hara


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Daisuke Tsubota — 坪田 大佑 ̶

“In 2012, Alex taught me how to start and grow sourdough. He is a mysterious guy that holds several bread workshops, while working as a designer… Ever since he taught me how to make sourdough, it has become an important part of my everyday life. Something heterogeneous that has settled and spread its roots. I remember Alex saying that a sourdough is like a ‘Tamagocchi’. I feel like it is a new type of pet – one that you raise, form and eventually eat.”

「2012 年、アレックスに酵母菌のつくり方と育て方を教えてもらった。彼はロンドンでデザイナーをやりながら、パンを使ったワークショップを開いている不思議な人だ。彼に教わって以来、酵母を育てるのが僕の習慣になった。何か異質なものが僕の生活に入ってきて、腰を下ろし、根をはった。そう言えば、アレックスは酵母菌を『たまごっち』のようなものだと言っていた。育て、自分の手で造形し、食べることのできる、新感覚のペットみたいなものなのかもしれない」


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Tsugumi Awasawa — 浅川 つぐみ ̶

“This sourdough was started from the oranges that had been organically grown by my friend’s father in Odawara. He started his orange farming after his retirement and I’m sure he had a lot of difficulties in the beginning. I believe that his generation of men focused on work until retirement and only then felt free to explore other things. It’s difficult to put a price on the sourdough considering all the hardships in his life and his devotion to the oranges.”




The Archive Posted on 2014-10-21 02:41

Kei Uchida — 内田 圭

“With a hope to make one that can succeed for 10, 20 years, I started this sourdough with cherry blossom leaves and brown sugar from my grandmother’s house in the mountains.”

「10 年、20 年と丁寧に継いでいく酵母をつくりたいと想い、故郷に帰省したとき、山中に建つ祖母の家の桜若葉と黒砂糖でこの酵母をつくりました」