Posted by Mike on September 2, 2012 at 10:25 AM CST
We've featured the fantastic veggie carvings of Okitsugu Kado for a number of years now. From characters to vehicles, Oki (as he's known for short) puts his artistic talent to work in order to demonstrate his love for Star Wars in his own unique way. I've had the pleasure of e-mailing back and forth with Oki since we started posting his creations. I was overjoyed when I saw that Oki landed a Star Wars Japanese Vegetable Carving panel on Thursday during the convention. Per our correspondences, I know he was excited and humbled by the honor. He's an all around nice guy and CVI marked the first time we got to meet each other in person. You gotta love how Star Wars brings people together!
Oki started his panel by introducing himself as a sushi chef who practices the Japanese cooking technique of mukimono. He's a member of the fan organization known as the Jedi Order Japan and his first creation 8 years ago (a little R2) was made for them. Oki then proceeded to display a wide variety of his Star Wars vegetable artwork on a projector. While he apologized for his limited English, Oki came across as funny and sweet and had the audience giggling throughout the panel.
From there, Oki moved on to a live demonstration of his talent by carving a couple astromech droids (an R5 & then an R4). Again, the projector was used so the audience could follow along in the process. At this point, the audience simply sat in amazement at Oki's patience and steady hand as he gradually carved and put together the droids. Finishing with a loud round of applause, Oki then completed the panel by fielding a few questions and meeting with some members of the audience.
Japanese Star Wars Vegetable Carving was a gem of a panel for those of us who made the trek down to Room #300. The room was packed and it seemed quite evident that all those who attended enjoyed themselves during this unique panel.
Below you will find images and videos from the panel, followed by some pictures from the booth of my new friends in the Jedi Order Japan and a refresher of some of Oki's past veggie creations. Click on any of the images for full views.
Oki, it was awesome finally getting to meet you in person my friend. I can't wait to see you again at CVII!