Matsuya’s 88 Years

by 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 we stood, I noticed a little bit hidden, small cake shop. Colorful cakes and pies were displayed at the front of the shop and a lot of kind of biscuits and cookies were arranged at the side. All of them were glittering so shiningly in my eyes and the strong, sweet, creamy smell made me felt a sudden crave to eat something sweet. We went to the shop and struggled for quite a time. I did not know what to choose! There were so many delicious-looking cakes to choose from. Continue reading Matsuya’s 88 Years

Kanzashi & the Yosakoi-bushi

by S. Minami

Harimayabashi, present day

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 is a regulation that priests mustn’t fall in love with someone, so it was very weird that a priest was even in the accessories shop. Then suddenly he entered the shop again like he determined something and gripped one kanzashi (a long ornamental hairpin ; Japanese women had used it to have their hair dressed in traditional style,) and bought it while hanging his head shyly. When he came out the shop, his face was full of delight and satisfaction.

土佐の高知の  (In Kochi of Tosa)

はりまや橋で  (At Harimaya-bashi)

坊さんかんざし買うを見た  (A priest bought a kanzashi)

よさこい よさこい  (Yosakoi, Yosakoi)

Continue reading Kanzashi & the Yosakoi-bushi

The Most Earnest Biscuits on Earth

by Hanis Asmadi

Mire Biscuits

“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 air,”she started her story with a big smile on her face.

She remembered that they will stop playing after their grandmother called them to come over to the engawa. “My grandmother will called us while carrying a tray filled with a plate of Mire biscuits and a jug of cold juice.” Yukiko reminisced her grandmother will watched them eating deliciously with her rough lips smiling happily.

Nomura Factory

Continue reading The Most Earnest Biscuits on Earth

The History of the Big Cedar in Otoyo Town

by 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”. Continue reading The History of the Big Cedar in Otoyo Town

Boushi pan

by 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 smell of bread. He was amazed with the new product that was produced unexpectedly. He really liked it and decided to sell the new product. Continue reading Boushi pan

Nabeyaki ramen

by 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 can see the rice fields, the mountains, the sea and a single stray cat. We can only hear the sound of the wind through the rice fields. We walk about 1 kilometer from the station and pass through a tunnel. After we reach the exit we can see cars heading to one shop. There it is! Continue reading Nabeyaki ramen

Otoyo Town’s Special Product

by 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. So, let’s make Ginburo sushi too! I’m sure every worker gets happiness.” says woman. Just then, her child come back home and says “I’m home. Hey, mom. I’m really hungry!” “I thought you would say just like that. I made Konchin. Eat it and wait a dinner time.” Continue reading Otoyo Town’s Special Product

The Fish Story of Katsuo

by 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 desire for the fish that was maybe the most delicious fish we have ever eaten. Continue reading The Fish Story of Katsuo

The Phantom Fermented Tea: Goishi Tea in Otoyo

by 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 roadside…along the road from Otoyo interchange, we can find roadside station, Osugi. Half of the place is a restaurant, the other half is shop. It is a little smaller than other roadside stations, but like other stations, some products were sold as usual.. Continue reading The Phantom Fermented Tea: Goishi Tea in Otoyo

Tosa Jiro: Jiro to be like Jiro

By Keisuke Toda

It is a sunny day that the sun beats 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 house “Hatayama onsen ikoi no ie” (畑山温泉 憩の家)” run by Mr. and Mrs. Komatsu of Aki city, Kochi, Japan. Continue reading Tosa Jiro: Jiro to be like Jiro

Nature Parks in Otoyo

by 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.”

“Why did she say such a strange thing?” he thought. He stealthily opened a sliding door of the room she was sleeping in and in his doubt stole a glance at her.

Surprisingly, a big snake coiled her up!! Continue reading Nature Parks in Otoyo

Japanese Sake in a Small Town

by 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, Nishioka-Syuzo, and a Japanese sake is made in here. Continue reading Japanese Sake in a Small Town