Life in Kochi, Japan: a student-written journal

A birthplace of smiles, “Obiyamachi”

A birthplace of smiles, “Obiyamachi”“Hey, Let's go to the Aeon!” I said to Satoru-kun. I remember it was a cold day on 23rd December 2000 when the Aeon Mall Kochi opened. I was only 12 years old then. On the way home from school and holding a 100 yen coin, I went there with my friends. We saw the mall from outside. It looked really big. We Read on...

Tosa's Sunday Market: The most heartful market in Japan

Tosa's Sunday Market: The most heartful market in Japan One clear sunny day in June, I decided to go to Sunday Market by bike. Before I got there, I could hear cheerful voices from each shop’s owner. “Irasshai” says an old woman on the right standing under a green tarp and selling green peppers. “Would you like to buy fresh vegetables?” says a man on the other side Read on...

Sports Festival in Nanasato

Sports Festival in Nanasato It is a beautiful sunny day and on the small elementary school’s athletic field, about 200 people have gathered to join in a “sports festival”. Many children and adults play running race, a tug of war, and KIBASEN (knights on horseback) and so on. We can see some University students and exchange students too. Many Read on...

Why you'll love Kochi Castle

Why you'll love Kochi Castle On a sunny day in the morning, I go to a Kochi castle by bicycle from my house. It takes only a few minutes. Wondering where to park my bike I looked up the castle. I walked through the park under the castle. I found a few people walking, sitting on the bench and feeding birds. It was full of green so felt like time goes on very Read on...

A Little Journey to Ekin

A Little Journey to EkinIt’s one in the afternoon in the Ekin Museum called “Ekinkura” in Akaoka city. A woman in the museum says to me, “Watch your step. This way, please.” She passes me a paper lantern. When I turn on its switch, in the darkness, a blazing red color called “Chiaka” spreads out as far as the eye can see. Some look of pain on Read on...

Welcome to Sawa-man

Welcome to Sawa-man After a heavy rain in the evening, people are heading up a big slope to go back to their apartments. Somewhere, some people are chatting. Everyone who goes by is greeting each other. “Good evening. How is it going?“ one of them says. In a restaurant on the first floor is a party. They are singing, playing the music and Read on...

Gendai Kigyosya: loved in Kochi

Gendai Kigyosya:  loved in KochiAbout 55 years ago, one couple opened a café at a street corner in Kochi. The café, named “Chopin”, was really small one. One day, the husband felt his café to be too simple, so he tried to paint its windows like stained glass by watercolors for children. This led him to try to make it more and more wonderful. Some time Read on...

The Tosaben Musical

The Tosaben Musical On a Sunday evening in April, when the sky is getting darker, some people, old and young, Japanese and foreigners, gather at a big hall in Outemae high school. Hundreds of people (maybe more) are waiting for the show to start and feeling excited. Then, at 6:30 pm, the show finally begins. The spotlight finds two foreign women Read on...

Blue Water Lily

Blue Water LilyIt is a rainy day and the sky is gray. We are deep in the forest. There are no sounds except bird voice. We drive about one and half hours from Kochi city. There is a beautiful garden called Mone no niwa (“Monet’s Garden.”) This is located in a small village, Kitagawamura in Kochi. We keep driving along the coast to the east. Read on...

Dear Bear, From Dabada

Dear Bear, From DabadaOnce upon a time, there was a bear which was kept in a bar in a big city. One night, one of the customers got very drunk and approached the bear. For a joke, he gave his alcohol to the bear. The bear sniffed it, then turned away from it. Other customers also started to give the bear different kinds of drink, but the bear wasn’t Read on...

Local Produce and Consumption

Local Produce and ConsumptionHere is Shimanto city, my grandmother’s home. Kochi in March, in the early morning around 4 o’clock, chickens are clucking,and people wake up. Walking along the river, people are cutting grass, plowing a field and picking rape blossoms. They work hard under the shining sun, on their head with sweat. Around noon My grandmother Read on...

Wanpa-ku Kochi

Wanpa-ku KochiOne day in 1993, all of the animals in a zoo which was near the Kochi castle moved to another place. It was like a big caravan. The people’s place of rest and relaxation was really loved. Everyone watched over that event. A lot of families are spending a good time in Wanpa-ku Kochi. A father is watching his daughter not to Read on...

Balaenoptera brydei

Balaenoptera brydeiBy R. Fujimoto Introduction In the Pacific Ocean which spreads off Kochi, there is the grand Balaenoptera brydei.  In Kochi prefecture famous for whale watching a whale is sightseeing material. While there are several kinds of whales, Balaenoptera brydei is a kind currently liked by many tourists.This Balaenoptera brydei is Read on...

Etrumeus teres: ウルメイワシ

Etrumeus teres: ウルメイワシBy Y. Iwata Introduction A round herring is a fish often eaten in Japan. However, few people know very much about a round herring. Therefore, I think that I would like to introduce a round herring. Description&Taxonomy The round herring belongs to order herring clupeidae herring, and if it grows, it will be set to Read on...

Lycoris radiata: Higanbana

Lycoris radiata: HiganbanaBy T. Nakamoto Introduction   Bulb plants perennial toxic whole plant.Six pieces of petals arrive radially distributed in the form of inflorescence.The clumps such as roadside, red-flowered in mid-September, but some white rare.The figure is unique, during the late summer and early fall, height 30 - 50cm scape leaf also Read on...

Yamamomo : Myrica rubra

Yamamomo : Myrica rubra By M. T. Introduction Myrica rubra is called yamamomo. It is a subtropical tree grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red, edible fruit. Its fruit is a sweet-sour delicious. The Japanese name suggests the word peach, but Yamamomo and peach are totally different plant. Yamamoto is a Prefectural flower of Read on...

Vinegaroon: Sasorimodoki

Vinegaroon: Sasorimodokiby Riku Minei Introduction Do you know vinegaroon? They are insects that are like scorpions. They are in Kochi. In night, if you smell vinegar in forest, please look  where you are stepping. Probably you can see them. Description & taxonomy Its average size is from 20 to 25mm. It is called `scorpion` because of its Read on...

Cissites cephalotas: Hirazugensei

Cissites cephalotas: Hirazugensei by K. Seo Introduction In 1935, an insect like small beans of about 3cm was discovered by Mr. Sasaki, a teacher of Ali junior high school. It is called Cissites cephalotas. The common Japanese name is Hirazugensei. It means Gensei of Read on...

Red-billed leiothrix:ソウシチョウ

Red-billed leiothrix:ソウシチョウby E. Fukugawa Introduction Red-billed leiothrixes is kind of sparrows. They are animals of foreign origin. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Now they live in Kanto, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. They look so pretty, but they are feared to break the ecosystem. They expel bush Read on...

Hammerhead shark

Hammerhead sharkby S.Y. Introduction A common Hammerhead shark is living the coast of the warm seas of the world. And they are living the sea of Kochi. I touched Hammerhead shark with a neighboring fishmonger for the first time in the days of a high school. I was fascinated what attractive. Hammerhead shark is called “Shumokuzame” from Read on...

BUNA: Japanese Beech

by S.saiki Introduction Buna is a kind of wood. Buna grows high area of mountain. Shirakami mountain range is famous for Buna. So Buna is one of the important plants. But they were cut down by people after war. Their range is diminished. Description & Taxonomy Buna’s scientific name is Fagus crenata Blume. Buna is Read on...

The division Ginkgophyta and the species Ginkgo biloba

The division Ginkgophyta and the species Ginkgo bilobaby Do Ngoc Anh Introduction Ginkgo biloba is a very special and old species of seeding plants. They grow fast and are incredibly strong trees. Four Ginkgo biloba trees in Hiroshima were reported to survive after being bombed. The four trees are still now living and growing well in Hiroshima. The origin of the group's Read on...

Matsuya's 88 Years

Matsuya's 88 Yearsby Diyana P. It was the sweet, creamy smell that attracted me first to the shop.Yes, if it was not because of the smell, I would not have noticed the small shop.When my friend and I stopped at the red light, the smell was so inviting that my eyes ran around the area, searching for the cause. Then, there it was.Not far from where Read on...

Kanzashi & the Yosakoi-bushi

Kanzashi & the Yosakoi-bushiby S. Minami One day during Edo period, a Buddhist priest named Junshin was in a small accessories shop at the foot of Harimaya bridge with strained look. He wanted to buy a present for his girl friend Ouma. He had been hanging around the shop for a long time so he was become the focus of public attention. At that time, there Read on...

The Most Earnest Biscuits on Earth

The Most Earnest Biscuits on Earthby Hanis Asmadi “I can remember a hot mid-summer evening in Kochi,” says my classmate Yukiko. “The sun was shining brightly in the blue summer sky and the wind blow slowly, thus triggering the sound of wind bell. It is a noisy evening where the sound of cheerful kids that are playing near the engawa filled the humid Read on...

The History of the Big Cedar in Otoyo Town

The History of the Big Cedar in Otoyo Townby Chisa Kawakami The Osugi michinoeki is a two-story blue building with many banners flying outside advertising many different foods and drinks. Nearby stands a map with a picture of the late Misora Hibari (a very popular Japanese enka singer) along with a monument and explanation of “michinoeki”. Then there is a very big Read on...

Boushi pan

Boushi panby Y. Nishimura One hot and humid afternoon, an exhausted baker in Kochi’s factor found that he forgot to put cookies on meronpan. He usually returned it to uncooked dough, but this time he didn’t. He decided to eat it for his snack and he put it on castella  and popped it in the oven. As it baked it produced good and sweet Read on...

Nabeyaki ramen

Nabeyaki ramenby A. Sakakibara We are on a train to Susaki, about one and a half hours from Kochi city. It’s a humid Sunday in the middle of July. The view from the train is a rural scene. It’s getting more rural and more rural with a lot of nature. “Where are we?” My mind is full of this question. As we arrive at the station we Read on...

Otoyo Town’s Special Product

Otoyo Town’s Special Productby H. Hattori “What a hot day!” says one woman in front of her house. She and her neighbor are talking with. “Well, do you remember that today is Hange (半夏)?” says neighbor. “Of course. Why don’t we make Hange dango together for our workers? And also, Ginburo, a kind of black bean, are overgrowing here and there. Read on...

The Fish Story of Katsuo

The Fish Story of Katsuoby Jyo Syowai Villa “Oh, you are here already!” said the fisherman with his professional smiling reception, “Please wait a minute for I am a little busy” “No problem,” responded by four of us in the typical polite Japanese styles, “we have plenty of time” Actually, though, we really could not control our Read on...

Chirimen Don : looking at me

Chirimen Don : looking at meby M. Yuki Something is looking at me with the glare of eyes from a plate.....It’s a Chirimen Jako!!! I loved it before, but without notice, I became not to like it, even feel gross. Their eyes look like as if they are blaming me. About one month ago, I went to Aki city with my friends for sightseeing and ate lunch there. We Read on...

The Phantom Fermented Tea: Goishi Tea in Otoyo

The Phantom Fermented Tea: Goishi Tea in Otoyoby M. Watanabe The women are talking cheerfully. “Irashai! Come in, welcome!” they say when we enter the roadside station (道の駅) named Osugi (大杉). It’s a very humid day in June, and it has rained violently in Otoyo town, about one hour from Kochi. Beautiful river, green forest...and a little lonely Read on...

Tosa Jiro: Jiro to be like Jiro

Tosa Jiro: Jiro to be like JiroBy Keisuke Toda It was sunny day that the sun beat down unsparingly, as if it was a sign of summer. I visited Mr. and Mrs. Komatsu to eat phantom chicken that is called “Tosa Jiro”. The bus moved through a steep, narrow mountain road for 40 minutes from Aki station, to the little village of Hatayama where there was a guest Read on...

Nature Parks in Otoyo

Nature Parks in Otoyoby Y. Nakagoshi Once upon a time, a young girl went to visit a house under a waterfall at night. “May I spend the night?” she asked the master. “Yes, of course,” he said. However, he began to distrust her because of the strange request she made next. “While I am sleeping, please pour water over my body.” Read on...

Japanese Sake in a Small Town

Japanese Sake in a Small Townby K. Miwa “Welcome, please come in,” says a smiling man in his 60’s who sticks his out out of the window. The place was where the wonderful smells of a “history”. There were few lights, a little dark, and a cool air touched skin. There were a lot of tools and bottle of alcohol, around. The name of this place, Read on...

A birthplace of smiles, “Obiyamachi”

A birthplace of smiles, “Obiyamachi”“Hey, Let's go to the Aeon!” I said to Satoru-kun. I remember it was a cold day on 23rd December 2000 when the Aeon Mall Kochi opened. I was only 12 years old then. On the way home from school and holding a 100 yen coin, I went there with my friends. We saw the mall from outside. It looked really big. We Read on...

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