Harumi Kurihara (born on March 5, 1947) is a Japanese TV personality, author, business owner and chef.
Known as the "Charisma Housewife", she has popularized homestyle Japanese cooking via her show, Your Japanese Kitchen, in addition to her numerous cookbooks, magazine, restaurant, stores and products, under the business name "Yutori no Kukan". This has lead her to be refered to as "the Martha Stewart of Japan".
She was born in Shimoda City, a coastal city in Shizuoka Prefecture. As she has no formal culinary training, her cooking skills came from observing her mother cooking from a young age.
In 1973, she married Reiji Kurihara, a former television newscaster and had a daughter and son. Being a shufu (housewife), she often welcomed her husband's co-worker who were visiting with her home cooking. To her delight, many of them praised her cooking and suggested she could make a career out of it.
In 1983, though the recomendations of her husband's co-workers, she became an assistant chef for a cooking program.
In 2007, she debuted with her own show, Your Japanese Kitchen, an English language based show, filmed inside her home kitchen, where she and her co-hosts (George Williams and Daniel Kahl), teach a guest how to make Japanese cuisine.
Recently she has debuted a new show, Harumi's Family Cooking, which is similar to her previous show, with the exception that it features George Williams and his young daughter, Vivianne, co-hosting and it is filmed in different locations. Plus as the focus is to teach young children how to make quick and easy meals alongside their parents, each adult guest is accompanied by one of their children.
In 1989, 6 years after working on television, she was able to begin writing a cookbook titled “Kondate ga 10 Bai ni Naru Tare no Hon” (“A book on various kinds of sauces to enjoy your dish in 10 versions”). In 1992, it was followed up with "Gochisosama ga Kikitakute" (“I want to hear you say: That was delicious”) and "Moichido Gochisosama ga Kikitakute" (“I want to hear you say once more: That was delicious”).
In 1996, she began her own magazine, “Suteki Recipe” (“Nice Recipe”), a quarterly magazine that shared her favorite recipes and lifestyle tips. In 2006, the magainze was re-named "ha_rumi", but continues the same format of introducing recipes, lifestyle tips and ideas for crafts, gardening and other things to make life fun and creative.
In 2005, her first English language cookbook, "Harumi's Japanese Cooking" was released. It was awarded "Best Cookbook of the Year" at the 10th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She later released "Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking" in 2007 and "Everyday Harumi" in 2009.
In 1995, she, alongside her husband, began to operate her business “Yutori no Kukan,” managing shops and restaurants. The shops sell kitchen items, interior goods, aprons, and clothes that she has produced. The restaurants use her original recipes and are divded into 7 restaurants (located inside her stores), 5 cafes and 1 deli (which serves prepared box lunches instead of cooking to order).
She has also done commericals and tie-in for companies such as NTT and Toho Gas, for which she introduces her recipes on their "Gas Gohan TV" program on Youtube.