Postcards from the Heart

第12回 大賞

“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.”

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Tosa-Korea between People

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”

Juku: Shaping Attitudes for Life

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?”

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Katsuo no tataki: Kochi’s Most Famous Dish

IMG_1151It 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”