Small tomato farmer’s big decision

When customers enter through the wooden door, the many tarts and pies dazzle their eyes, sweet smell comes to their nose, the bell signaling just done baked tarts rings in their ears. In this store, time moves very slowly and filled with happiness and good atmosphere. The owner, Ms. Hikaru Nomura, and workers welcome customers warmly. Once a tomato farmer,  she and her daughter now run this store they have created on their own. Continue reading Small tomato farmer’s big decision

Yuzu: the fruit that made a village famous

This citrus fruit was brought from China long time ago. It almost looks like an orange, but its thick yellow peel is rough and irregular. It’d a difficult fruit to harvest because of the sharp long thorns on the tree. Moreover, its taste is hardly delicious. It’s Yuzu.

“I can’t eat this! It’s too sour!” a 5-year-old boy says. “I want a sweeter one!” Continue reading Yuzu: the fruit that made a village famous

Onomi: a place of wonderful products

It’s the year 586, and a famer named Chozaemon is climbing a mountain ridge. He looks north from top of a tree and finds a wide,  beautiful plain between two mountains where no human has so far set foot. A beautiful river is flowing. There are also various wild animals. He is so pleased he names it “Onomi”. [o] meaning [big, 大], [no] meaning [field, 野] and [mi] meaning [look, 見]. All these years later, his find gives us many good things. Continue reading Onomi: a place of wonderful products

Agri-Kubokawa

Near the exit at the end of the express way in Shimanto township, there is a crowed place. Some people are eating grilled pork and ice cream, sitting and talking and smoking. In the wooden building, some local agricultural products are sold and there is a restaurant. There is a wonderful place of natural bueauty. It is “Agri-Kubokawa”. Continue reading Agri-Kubokawa

Grilled eggplant ice cream?!

nasu_exteriorAlong the road to Aki city, perched beside the ocean, there is a small shop with an orange advertisement: “Grilled Eggplant Ice Cream”. Inside, a sweet vanilla smell is drifting, and there are various ice creams in the showcase. With the first bite of grilled eggplant ice cream, the charcoal-grilled flavor spread to the mouth, never before tasted. After that first bite, the mouth demands one more.
Continue reading Grilled eggplant ice cream?!

Kochi Organic Market in Ike: Let’s Eat Organic!

There is endless conversations between customers and sellers. There’s children’s laughter, and a clear singing voice by a local performer that makes a more relaxed air. There are fresh organic and familiar vegetables, daily dishes made of organic vegetables, sugar free sweets and handmade crafts. But there are no northern European vegetables. Continue reading Kochi Organic Market in Ike: Let’s Eat Organic!

Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company

Hamamachi, owner and dreamer of Kochi Ice
Fumiya Hamamachi, owner and dreamer of Kochi Ice

“If you don’t beat the drum, you can’t know what it sounds like.” (utan taiko ha saran) These are the words that inspire Fumiya Hamamachi, president and CEO of Kochi Ice, a local ice cream company. “My mother taught me these words”, Hamamachi said. “They are my treasure.” He believes in this saying so much that it led him to become the producer of handmade premium ice cream. Continue reading Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company

Dear Bear, From Dabada

image06Once 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 interested in any of them. One night after that, a man from Kochi came into the bar. When he heard about the interesting story about the bear, he remembered he had a bottle of alcohol which was produced in his home town. He put the bottle in front of the bear as the other customer has done. At first, the bear gave one glance at it and sniffed it slightly. His reaction was no different from other times, but in the next moment, things were totally different. After sniffing the drink, the bear tasted it a little bit. Suddenly, the bear took a hold the bottle and started to gulp it down! All people who were drinking in the bar were surprised about it. At last, the bear finished drinking and fell asleep. The next morning, the bear had bad hangover. The amazing alcohol’s name was a Japanese shōchū called “Dabada Hiburi (ダバダ火振り)”. Continue reading Dear Bear, From Dabada

Local Produce and Consumption

Here 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 harvests rape blossoms and got on the car and went to JA to sell product.

Continue reading Local Produce and Consumption

Yamamomo : Myrica rubra

By M. T.

Introduction

ƒ„ƒ}ƒ‚ƒ‚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 Kochi.

Description and Taxonomy

Yamamomo can grow to a height of 10~20 meters. The leaf is 10 cm,dark green with cortex. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The root system is 5~60 cm deep, with no obvious taproot. The fruit is spherical, 1.5~2 cm in diameter , with a knobby surface. The surface color is typically a deep red, red , it seemed to display small red beads. It matures in July from June. The flesh is sweet and very tart. At the center of the flesh is a big signal seed.

It called Morella rubra Loureiro; Myrica rubra var. acuminata Nakai. It is usually cited as Myrica rubra. Yamamomo is a small family of about 30 types. For a long time it was said that family was separated by three genus, and many kinds were classified in the Myrica genus, and Yamamomo was included.

Range and Ecology

Yamamomo is native to eastern Asia, Japan, China. It grows in the warm place and is strong in heat. In Japan, it grows wild in lowland and the mountainous district from Kanto and to the south in Japan. In the south in southern Honshu, it is an important tree class constituting the forest in unproductive land such as the shore or the dry ridge of the low mountain. . It tolerates poor acidic soils, because it lives together with bacteria called franckia performing nitrogen fixation.Therefore it may be used for tree planting.

Use

The fruit of the Yamamomo is eaten fresh and is processed into jam and wine. There are two main types of Yamamomo, a sour type used for making dried fruit and a sweet type used for juice and fresh eating. So the bark include a lot of tannin, it may be used as medical use. It might be planted a tree in the fields and moutains. Nowadays it is planted in a park and the street as a roadside tree. How to propagate is by grafting and layering.

Viewing

The main producing center is Tokushima and Kochi in Japan. The seasonal time of Yamamomo is a short period of less than one mouth. So it may be said that Yamamoto is a precious fruit letting you feel the season. If you would like to eat Yamamomo, go to Kochi (or Tokushima!) in the rainy season.

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