10 years.

Ten years ago, I was working as a web designer and developer, and was rather burned out. While I had been blogging for a few years already, my personal blog was mostly about things like web development and tech things and the like. So on a whim, I decided I was going to start a blog about one of the main obsessions in my life, food.

I had a discount coupon for a blogging service called Typepad. I opened a generic looking site, with the domain name of maki.typepad.com and wrote this post. I didn't even get around to registering the domain justhungry.com until a bit later.

Ten years have passed since then. A lot has happened, personally and professionally.

I'm now a full time writer.

I have a bestselling cookbook under my belt.

My husband (The Guy) and I have had a lot of ups and downs, even a separation, but we are together.

We moved from the suburbs of Zürich, Switzerland to a sleepy village in Provence, France. Along the way we were homeless for about a year and a half.

There was a huge, devastating earthquake in Japan, that changed my feelings about my home country forever.

We lost my mother in law, Martha, in 2007.

And my father, Masamichi, in 2011.

I got cancer. And recovered. And...now I have it back again, a bit.

Through it all, and despite several lapses in regular updates, this site has been a constant presence. The many readers who have been supporting it throughout the years have been a source of inspiration and strength to me even during the toughest times.

Ten years is a very old age for a blog I think. It's still here, and so am I.

Thank you to everyone who has read these pages, and sent me support in the form of comments and emails. I couldn't have done it - in many ways - without you.

Here's to more years to come!

By the way...The Guy just surprised me with this. I couldn't wait to take it out of the box to take a photo.

10thanniversarycake1.jpg

I think I'll keep him, too ^_^.

10thanniversarycake2.jpg

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Re: 10 years.

I don't think I have ever commented here before. That's sort of surprising, since I return here regularly. This blog, as well as your Bento Book, have kept me company, fed me and my family and my friends, over and over again.
I enjoy reading what you write. I enjoy cooking what you propose. I get sad for you and worry about you when things are hard, and I am always happy to see a new post.
Ten years, wow! Happy blogbirthday, I hope you get 100 more. And I hope you always enjoy it, like you did the day you started it.
Thank you for all the great times - and all the food!
Maria, Greece

marikaki | 29 November, 2013 - 20:07

Re: 10 years.

Wheee! It's been a great 10 years -- I know, because I've dug back into the archives from before I started reading about seven years ago.

Here's to you, and here's to the Guy!

meg | 29 November, 2013 - 20:29

Re: 10 years.

I have never commented here, but I feel the need to thank you for your work, the honest way in which you express your opinions and your zeal. Happy Birthday, Just Hungry! You're an inspiration, Maki. ^_^

anon. | 29 November, 2013 - 20:30

Re: 10 years.

Happy 10th anniversary! Thanks so much for the great stories and recipes. Here's hoping for 10 more years, as illness-free as they can be!

Mikeh | 29 November, 2013 - 20:43

Re: 10 years.

マキコさん, 10年 おめでとうございます!!! Life is full of ups-and-downs, but you're still posting strong. Your site is required reading for me -- how else would I learn to prepare some of my favorite foods if it wasn't for your blog, ne? ("Hmm... I ate the best okonomiyaki in Kyoto/Shimoda/Sendai. I wonder if Maki-san has a recipe on her site?") I hope you continue to fight the good fight -- sending well-wishes your way always! ありがとうございました!!! ♥

cheryl | 29 November, 2013 - 20:49

Happy Anniversary!

I just wanted to let you know that more than anyone, you've made home-cooked Japanese food accessible to me. I have two grandmothers who are excellent Japanese cooks, who didn't pass on their skills to their children or grandchildren. But thanks in large part to you, I can re-create the taste of my childhood. Thank you for your amazing site! And here's to another ten years and more!!!

Cathy @ Chief Family Officer | 29 November, 2013 - 20:53

Re: 10 years.

Quel parcours. Happy anniversary! All the best.

Anna | 29 November, 2013 - 21:08

Re: 10 years.

While your own life has had ups and downs, think about how many lives you have affected! For those who comment and the many who don't but just enjoy your blog, thank you for 10 years of education and commentary. You have left a trail of happiness in the world and will continue for many, many more years. Hai!

Sylvia S. B. S. | 29 November, 2013 - 22:19

Re: 10 years.

Makisan,

Thank you so much for this blog! It has made my move to Japan much more smoothly. As a person who suffers from a severe legume (soy), nut and seed (sesame) allergy, the knowledge about Japanese food I got from this blog is what made my transition living and eating in Japan possible! I am also able to make several allergy friendly versions of your delicious recipes at home for friends and family...I look forward to keeping up with your posts now. Personal and food related!

My <3 from Japan!

Kristina | 30 November, 2013 - 00:42

Re: 10 years.

I fell in love with Japan since the first time I've been there. Japanese cooking was a shock to me, and it completely shake up my vision of cooking.
I've been following your blog for quite a while, and it is for me the best food blog I know. It is so authentic, with very interesting analysis of Japanese culture, that it has became a reference for me. Even when I am reading a cooking book from famous Japanese chefs, I always think "is there something about that in Just Hungry?". Your point of view is always valuable, because you go beyond the recipe, through Japan history or your personal history.
I hope you will go on for at least 10 more years! Happy birthday Just Hungry!
I wish you the best
Phil

Phil | 30 November, 2013 - 00:43

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations (to you both) :-)

Mawb | 30 November, 2013 - 01:00

Re: 10 years.

Many happy thanks and congratulations from a Danish reader infatuated by Japanese language and cooking, both of which you have made more possible and fun. May you live and cook and write for the happines of us all many years to come. Iwai! Domo arigato!

MotherOwl | 30 November, 2013 - 01:46

Re: 10 years.

Bravo! Happy Anniversary! (and thank you for entertaining and educating us!)

Zombiwoman | 30 November, 2013 - 02:44

Re: 10 years.

Happy happy 10th anniversary! I started following right around your year 3 mark, I don't remember what recipe I was looking for when I followed a link to your page but I think it was udon soup. I quickly had to catch up on all your previous posts and then always looked forward to new posts on both sites, whether it was about food, or bento boxes, your explanations on very Japanese things, and your personal updates. One of the main reasons I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer was so I could make fresh mochi, and I'm so glad I did. Your mochi recipe, as well as many others, were able to help me connect even more with my aging grandmother - they would bring forward relatively strong memories of her growing up and living in Japan until she was in her late 20's that she would tell us about (she was in early stages of dementia so anything that we could get her to remember about that far back was a pretty big deal for us). Thank you so very much for your dedication to this site, I'm fairly confident I would be a slightly different person if not for your insight and courageous posting of your journey.

Miss Angie | 30 November, 2013 - 04:31

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations on ten years! This blog and its sister blog have been useful in helping me eat better, especially with adding new vegetables and ways to eat them. Also, the miso tahini nut paste is one of the most addicting foods I have ever found.

Here's to another ten.

Leira | 30 November, 2013 - 05:40

Re: 10 years.

congratulations on the anniversary. best wishes to you and your health!

Mike De Guzman | 30 November, 2013 - 12:45

Re: 10 years.

I love your blog Maki!

Lalaine
Manila, Philippines

Lalaine | 30 November, 2013 - 13:04

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations! I owe so much to your good work, many many thanks!

jan | 30 November, 2013 - 15:16

Re: 10 years.

I am able to make Japanese food at home, thanks to you. :)

MN | 30 November, 2013 - 15:54

Re: 10 years.

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 years and counting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Best of wishes to a great communicator.

anon. | 30 November, 2013 - 16:04

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations! You've opened the how's and what's of Japanese culture and its food internationally. And I think the personal ups and downs you share have also given me a sense of communality - something we readers value. Thank you for being this open and informative.

suz | 30 November, 2013 - 16:45

Re: 10 years.

I've moved to the US 12 years ago, got married 2 years later and lots of things happened to me too. I discovered your blog about 6-7 years ago and I know it sounds weird, but it feels like we kind of shared a journey. Ups and downs, losing people in our lives, acclimation to new places, and the Japanese culture in common.
Get well soon, please!!! Wishing you all the best to you and your blog. Cheers!

m. | 30 November, 2013 - 16:45

10 years.

Ten years of giving so many people so much pleasure is not mean feat! Wishing you many more years (the Jewish blessing on a birthday is - 'until 120!') - of health and happiness. ANd of course, thanks so much for your brilliant blog!

Diana | 30 November, 2013 - 16:51

Re: 10 years.

I've only been with you(r blog) for about two years, but what a great two years.

My daughter and I are bento-fanatics; I've gotten the cookbook and taken the two courses (Bento and Japanese 101). I have earned (well, you have, but I get the credit) the household accolade of best dashi maker, best miso soup maker, even best rice maker.

I love your site. Keep well and bring this 10-year-old through adolescence and well into adulthood.

:)

John Corbally | 30 November, 2013 - 17:20

Re: 10 years.

Long-time reader, but first time commenting :)

Happy 10th birthday to your awesome blog! I learned a lot about Japanese food (one of my favourite cuisines) and so much more. Keep it up, and here's to many more years!

Cheers from Singapore :D

YY | 30 November, 2013 - 17:40

Re: 10 years.

Your blogs and cookbook have been a major source of inspiration in my life. Your writing has helped me get through some dark times in my life and I grateful that you choose to share your passion with us.

Congratulations on 10 years.

anon. | 30 November, 2013 - 17:50

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations on making it 10 years!!

What a story of survival! Wishing you all the best of health, grace, prosperity and love!

Keep plugging away. You are an inspiration to us all!

Athena | 30 November, 2013 - 17:58

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations on your ten years of blogging! I have enjoyed so many of your recipes, and the extensions of Japanese dishes, like broccoli or carrot kinpira. One of my favorites to cook is cranberries, garlic, and cabbage, when I have no other veggies to make.
And your cookbook is great for cooking for one, so I bought one for my mother after I saw the recipes in my own copy of your book.
Sending you hope where your health is concerned.
Thanks for all the great recipes you've posted.

anon. | 30 November, 2013 - 18:18

10 years!

Thank you for your faithfulness in writing this blog for 10 years, Maki! There is so much good info. in it to refer back to. Congratulations and best wishes to you.

Nance | 30 November, 2013 - 18:39

Re: 10 years.

Hi Maki,

I've been a regular reader (though not so good at leaving messages) and I'm looking forward to reading your posts for a long time to come. Congratulations and all the very best.

Nath | 30 November, 2013 - 19:02

Re: 10 years.

Happy 10th anniversary!! Your blog has been a constant resource to me over the years and I am glad you are still here. Thank you for sharing your love of food with us. Stay strong! I wish you and Just Hungry the best for many more years to come.

Kay | 30 November, 2013 - 19:20

Re: 10 years.

happy anniversary! may you have another glorious 10 years & many more!

m | 30 November, 2013 - 20:43

Re: 10 years.

Congrats on 10 years in the blogosphere! Just Hungry has been a such a great source and thank you for sharing your knowledge and your life with all of us readers. And the photos - awesome!

hoodedzippy | 30 November, 2013 - 21:41

Re: 10 years.

I'll never get to Japan but you take me closer, Maki, with each post of JustHungry. So Happy JustHungry 10th Birthday and Best Wishes for your personal health and happiness. Looks like The Guy is a keeper.

anon. | 30 November, 2013 - 23:52

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations for the many milestones (from yet another long time lurker).

Live Strong! Eat Well! Be Happy!

Janice

Wagashi-grrl | 30 November, 2013 - 23:53

Re: 10 years.

To keep a blog AND a marriage going for 10 years is highly impressive - especially as it hasn't been plain-sailing. Many congratulations and thanks for your generosity in imparting so much considered knowledge and skill to your readers.

Maire

Maire | 1 December, 2013 - 03:28

Re: 10 years.

Happy 10th anniversary! Thank you for inspiring and enlightening us - and for sticking with the blog. May you have many many years of happiness, love, and food!
thank you,
sandy

Sandy | 1 December, 2013 - 08:53

Re: 10 years.

Happy 10th anniversary! Thank you for inspiring and enlightening us - and for sticking with the blog. May you have many many years of happiness, love, and food!
thank you,
sandy

Sandy | 1 December, 2013 - 08:53

Re: 10 years.

Maki, keep it going 10 more +. You have been an inspiration to me. Now I have bento boxes & yummy recipes from your wonderful cookbook. I too am a cancer survivor (ovarian) for 10 years now - you can kick it's butt! You are funny, informative and REAL. Go Girl!

lizardz | 1 December, 2013 - 10:01

Re: 10 years.

Congrats! The cake looks delicious and very pretty! :)

yamilisa | 1 December, 2013 - 10:56

Re: 10 years.

Happy Anniversary and I hope you will celebrate many more blog birthdays. Your writing and cooking are always inspiring and really special in the blogosphere. Best wishes.

anon. | 1 December, 2013 - 22:15

congrats!

10 years on and still hungry! Looking forward to your next 10 years, Maki.

cooking.eating.carousing. | 2 December, 2013 - 00:47

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations! I love both your blog and your book! You are an inspiration. Here's to the next 10 years!

sherd | 2 December, 2013 - 10:52

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations! Ten years is a long time for a blog - it's awesome that it's still going strong! JustHungry, JustBento and the Cookbooks have given me so much inspiration in my cooking and helped me create many a healthy and beautiful meal. There was a time a few years ago when I heavily relied on my homemade bentos every day, and without your blogs I probably would've starved. So thank you for providing inspiration and fool-proove recipes for such a long time. Here's to the next 10 years!

Best from Germany!

Ataya | 2 December, 2013 - 16:28

Re: 10 years.

Thank you, Maki! Get better soon and please keep writing!

Caroline | 2 December, 2013 - 20:09

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations on all you have learned and all you have taught these ten years. I've been a reader and big fan for much of that time, and have never said thank you for the wonderful recipes, cultural wisdom, and life lessons you have shared with such a generous and open heart.
Thank you. You're an inspiring and joyful presence on the web.

anon. | 2 December, 2013 - 22:03

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations on 10 years!

I think what makes your blog unique is your real interest in Japanese food. The fact that you have a Japanese background definitely has informed you, but you also seem interested in learning more. Maybe it's because you spent some of your childhood outside Japan and look at Japanese food a little bit as an outsider too. Reading your posts make me feel like I have a Japanese friend that knows a lot about the food and culture.

kingyo | 2 December, 2013 - 23:10

Re: 10 years.

Hi Maki:

Congratulations on ten years of wonderful food writing. You've been through a lot over the past decade, and your strength and fierceness permeate your writing.

Best wishes for continued success in your blog. Thank you for providing me with much reading pleasure.

rokorox | 3 December, 2013 - 16:36

Re: 10 years.

I don't even butter my bread; I consider that cooking.

Katherine Cebrian

Risa L | 3 December, 2013 - 18:05

Re: 10 years.

By the way, is that chocolate cake with caramel topping and a macaron? if so, where's mine??? oh, wait... I don't have a blog... duh! I did get a chocolate mousse cake from the Cake Boss' bakery for my 10th wedding anniversary though... ;)

m. | 3 December, 2013 - 19:48

Re: 10 years.

Thank you for your food blogs; I have learned so much from them and you keep me inspired. I refer to your book over and over again, and love the ideas. Congratulations on 10 years, and wishing you health and happiness.

Caireen | 4 December, 2013 - 02:46

Re: 10 years.

Omedeto gozaimasu! Thank you for sticking with us, too, through thick and thin. Reading your blog makes me feel natsukashii about Japan. I'm also happy to hear that you and Le Mec are still together. Please do get better. Sending you best wishes.

Jasmin | 4 December, 2013 - 16:51

Re: 10 years.

Congratulations!

Thank you for teaching me how to prepare and cook japanese rice and another dishes!

Keep the amazing work. :)

Live long an prosper!
Cheers from BRAZIL!

Rafael R. | 4 December, 2013 - 18:08

Re: 10 years.

Thanks for being here, Maki. You're one of the main reasons I check my RSS feeds:-)

Carla B. | 6 December, 2013 - 16:54

Re: 10 years.

Maki, I've been a chronic lurker of this site since I was a high school student, maybe around 2008 or so. Ever since the day I have stumbled upon JustHungry/JustBento, I've been in love with the site. I'm now on my way to graduating from a university, still eating from bento boxes and all so I suppose that means I'm still in love! Heh. Had it not been for you, I don't think I'd be so interested in cooking at all. Cooking is now an integral part of my life now and I have you to thank for that.

Anyway, in these past 10 years, it's amazing what you've been through. I really do hope in the next 10, 20, 30, whatever more years, you'll have all the happiness you truly deserve. You're a great writer who has touched the hearts of so many people, myself included, so I'll be cheering for you. がんばって!

anon. | 7 December, 2013 - 06:08

Re: 10 years.

Congrats on 10 years for your blog! I'd like to thank you so much for your delicious recipes, great insight, interesting articles-- everything. I've been checking your blog regularly for 6 years or so and I always look forward to seeing new posts. I always referred to your site/cookbook when I was learning to cook for myself in college, and none of your recipes have disappointed yet ^_^ Hope you get well and regain your strength, so you can continue what you are doing and get through this difficult part in life.

Jinann | 7 December, 2013 - 09:44
anon. | 8 December, 2013 - 21:24

Congratulations!

Thank you for such an awesome site! I have largely you and another cook's youtube to thank for being able to cook at all!

I wandered into the site a couple years back when I was fed up with bagged ramen and expensive Hibachi grills being the only Japanese-styled food I could get a hold of. I was not much of a cook then, aside from a couple desserts I knew how to bake, but now I have branched off into random recipes all over the net because I had the courage to try yours.

Your easy to follow illustrated instructions and guides to the essential Japanese pantry have made everything very accessible to me, when I had literally lived off microwave boxes, popcorn and spaghetti in college. Now I'm able to impress my mother! Again, thank you.

anon. | 9 December, 2013 - 03:13

Re: 10 years.

HaPpY AnNiVeRsArY!!!

thefuj | 9 December, 2013 - 21:04

Re: 10 years.

This is my first comment after so many years of "our acquaintance." I want you to know that your writing sparkles with originality, generosity, and passion. I am awed at your productivity and longevity over the last ten years amid personal challenges. Since I'm here, I will add that your essay on the Cookpad about Japanese food and our expatriate existence thoroughly resonated with me! I treasure your blog as it is one way for me to reconnect with my home country in a perspective I can embrace. Congratulations and may you continue for many more years! Your Seattle, Washington fan.

MFB | 9 December, 2013 - 22:00

Re: 10 years.

It's amazing it's already been ten years. I still remember starting out on Typepad, and seeing a recommendation for "I was just really very hungry." My blog writing has waxed and waned over the decade, but your dedication to writing about food continues, and I've been a loyal fan. I wish you good health and much inspiration for the future.

yoko | 10 December, 2013 - 20:08

Re: 10 years.

Congrats on your 10 year blog anniversary and best wishes for your continued success and health. You have done many wonderful things here and in your life, and I hope you will have many more good adventures.

anon. | 7 January, 2014 - 08:01

Re: 10 years.

I have not been following you for the 10 years but it has been at least a year. Love your blog and glad you are still here. Life and our struggles are a pain but they make us better people in the end.

Jess | 20 February, 2014 - 21:50

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Just Hungry is a site about Japanese food and home cooking, healthy eating, the expat food life, and more. [log in] or [register]

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maki Just Hungry is a site about food. There are lots of recipes and much more. You may want to read about Just Hungry, or contact the site owner, Makiko Itoh. To dive in real deep, try the site map.

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