“It was a momentary feeling, but I doubted your kindness long time ago. I offer you my sincerest apologies. One spring in the 21st year of Showa (1946), I left Sasebo, Nagasaki to Niigata Station by a demobilization train. On the way to Niigata, I had a long break at Osaka Station, and had a ration of rice. At that time, you started to collect the rice and said, “I’ll boil them for you.” I feared that you would steal my rice away. But one hour after, you returned to the station with steaming white rice. I was reduced to tears then. I never forgot your kindness.”
Four girls of the band “Sympathy” are performing a set of original songs at a popular live house in Osaka. The audience is made up of about 200 people from the Kansai, Nagoya, and the band’s hometown of Kochi. Everybody is smiling and swaying to Sympathy’s music.
In a classroom in the Sole Community Center in Kochi, my three students sit quietly trying to write their diary entries in Korean. While they write, I’m happily munching snacks. I have been teaching them for 8 months and they are making slow progress. After their work is finished, I listen to what Tsunoda-san has read and shake my head.
“No, in that kind of sentence, you have to use a different expression.” I explain.
“Oh, I see. “Neomu” can be used in here also!” Yamamoto-san claps her hands and replies. Continue reading “Tosa-Korea between People”
Sitting at a long table, a woman in her fifties is checking children’s answers. Her hand draws a lot of red circles quickly on student’s papers. Elementary school pupils are studying at a few tables in a small room.
“There’s no room for me to be senile,” says Naoko Machida, a teacher at the Gakken Kyoshitsu juku, “I have to study hard to teach children, you know?”
It is a nice warm afternoon, perfect for visiting the restaurant ‘Katsuo Fune’ near Katsurahama Beach on an empty stomach. In the huge ship-shaped building, visitors have a chance to experience grilling katsuo no tataki. The staff greets you at the front door and asks which course you would like to eat: Katsuo no tataki teishoku (with rice and miso soup) or Katsuo no tataki tanpin (a la carte). After ordering visitors are handed a long pole with a huge slab of katsuo (“bonito”) skewered on the end. Then Nishimoto-san, the head cook, guides you to the grilling station and prepares the rice straw fire for grilling. Continue reading “Katsuo no tataki: Kochi’s Most Famous Dish”