About this Guide

Kochi Prefecture, on southern island of Shikoku, is one of the more remote locales in Japan and I’ve lived here long enough (since 1992) to think of it as my home. I suspect I’ll die here and be shoveled into the family tomb up on the hill above the Asakura Shrine. But I have sooooo many questions: “What’s this tree that sorta looks like an oak?” “Who or what does this stone marker mark?” “What is that bug that looks like a firefly but doesn’t fly.” “Why does Tosa-ben sound like it does?” “What’s the deal with Sakamoto Ryoma and why is there another drama about him?” Oh, my ignorance is vast and terrible!

No more! I’ve finally decided to find out about this place by asking the people here to explain it to me. And since there’s precious little English language information on the web about this place, I’m going to share it with other folks who might want to know more too.

Also, this site serves an academic purpose. Writing, whether in one’s native language or in a learned foreign language, is something that is accomplished only through a series of steps, the final of which is Publication. This forum exists to give my students a real venue for their writing, and to give them a sense that they are, in fact, writing for a wider audience than just their teacher. My hope is that the students will surprise themselves and discover that, yes, they actually can communicate something important and difficult in English.

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