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.”

Continue reading Postcards from the Heart

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?”

Continue reading Juku: Shaping Attitudes for Life

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

A place for memories: the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower

image02 (1)
The beautiful approach

The first time I saw the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower was last year when my family took a 3-hour trip down the coast to enjoy the beautiful weather. We drove through Nakamura and the Hata district and enjoyed looking at the streets and buildings which were old and in the Showa* style. Continue reading A place for memories: the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower

“John Mung”, Kochi’s First Cosmopolitan

image00Tosashimizu is a really rural area in Kochi. There is little but the beautiful ocean and the tiny ports. Sea birds circle gracefully. In such a place, there is a little museum. The museum has a large parking area, however, almost no cars are there. But this museum is actually really wonderful and interesting. If people go inside and walk around, they will engrossed to see exhibitions. What is inside of the museum is Nakahama Manjiro’s history. Continue reading “John Mung”, Kochi’s First Cosmopolitan

Blue-and-White Flycatcher

flycatcherThe Blue-and-White Flycatcher is called ‘oruri’ in japan. It is one of three Japanese  songbirds of the order Passeriformes that can twitter very beautifully. The other two species are Japanese Bush Warbler ( uguisu) and Japanese robin (komadori) In summer we can listen Blue-and-White Flycatcher’s beautiful twittering.
Continue reading Blue-and-White Flycatcher

Lanius bucephalus : butcher bird

butcherbirdThe bird which imitates the cry of various birds is in the world. Performing a complicated song in imitation of the call of various birds (100 birds) which is the origin of the Japanese name, mozu (百舌鳥). Lanius bucephalus’ English name is butcher bird and a (bull headed) shrike. The origin of the name of this butcher bird stabs a twig with meat becoming the bait, and this is because it puts it in the turning point of the branch, and it covers it. By the way, a scientific name is Lanius bucephalus. Continue reading Lanius bucephalus : butcher bird

Atago Theater: Kochi’s Cinema Paradiso

Entrance to Atago Theater

The sun is nowhere to be seen but I feel sweat myself because of humidity, a ticket collector of the theater is opening the door for me to enter the room. He leads me upstairs along a dark narrow staircase like that in the movie “Totoro”. It feels like many soot gremlins are there. That stairs are made from wood and make a groaning noise. Continue reading Atago Theater: Kochi’s Cinema Paradiso