Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Icho no Ki" Farm Guesthouse

The wide fields in front of the guesthouse.
The Innkeeper at "Icho no Ki" Farm Guesthouse
   "Icho no Ki" Farm Guesthouse in Yusuhara Town was the first of its kind in Kochi establishing itself in April of 2000. 75% of guests who have stayed have come from outside the prefecture, and they have had guests from all 47 prefectures of Japan. The innkeeper; Mrs. Tomoko Ueta was selected in the "top 100 Moms who run agricultural, forestry or fishermen lodging" and keeps going every day, working to greet those who come with hospitality in her usual style to increase the fans of Yusuhara. She hopes that lodgers can spend their time leisurely, and that they can have a relaxing chat about what a great day they had.

"Miyamaru" – A Bed and Breakfast Fishing Experience

Scott and Mrs. Myōjin making dinner.
Managing as a Married Couple
   “Miyamaru” is near the beautiful seashore of the town of Kuroshio. The lady of the house, Mrs. Miya Myōjin, used to work at a nursery school. After she retired five years ago, she opened a bed and breakfast with the thought that she wanted to promote and bring visitors to Kuroshio, as well as teach people about the town’s fishing-driven way of life. Mrs. Myōjin’s husband was a fisherman, but he also retired 6 years ago due to back pain, and now he helps her with the bed and breakfast. Most of their customers are from outside of Kochi, and there are even some people who come from abroad.

Amazing Kochi

Aser Chapigas Berting
   Hometown: Province of Benguet, Republic of the Philippines
   Trainee on the Local Government Officials Training Program in Japan

   Visiting Japan especially Kochi was a dream come true through my 6 month training on agriculture. It was so very exciting and interesting. Kochi is a beautiful and safe place to live in. Clean roads, green parks, beautiful mountains and loving people. I have attended parties, joined fireworks viewing and visited tourist spots around the place. I observed that the places where parties, fireworks and other events were held were even clean after. Everyone who participated in the event must clean up their mess before leaving the area. I salute the Japanese people on having this kind of waste management system. It doesn’t end there, the garbage is then separated according to type, before finally disposing of it.

   Kochi is a mountainous area with limited agricultural land. This is surprising because despite its limited farmlands, farmers still produce enough, high quality vegetables. I was amazed when my boss informed me on paprika production in Kochi. He said the production of paprika is 20 tons per 1,000 square meters which is far behind the production in my town, 20 tons per hectare. And it is not only paprika, other vegetables too have the same yield like cucumber. Japanese agriculture is really very interesting.

   Kochi transportation is also interesting. Most of the people have their own cars because it’s a necessity, especially those who have jobs far away from their homes. What makes me surprised is that old people can still drive their cars properly. This means that they are healthy and have strong eyes. I also saw ladies driving large vehicles like trucks by themselves.

   People in Kochi are the most surprising, they are kind and hospitable. When I arrived in Kochi I was welcomed with smiles reassuring me that everything would be alright. They always offered their hand should I need their help. I was so very happy and thankful that I didn’t encounter any problem dealing with my workmates and other Japanese even though I only know and understand a little Nihongo. I didn’t experience feeling homesick and I felt at home because of their kindness. Japan is really a beautiful place to live in, blessed with loving citizens. How I wish to come back to Japan again and live in Kochi someday.

Kinkon Tosanikki ⑫

A series of four-panel comics called Kinkon Tosanikki appears the evening edition of the local Kochi Shimbun newspaper.

Takumi: Joro Spiders are amazing! 
They make string from their back-sides…

Takumi: The one that moves a lot is probably the dad.

Boy: That’s not the dad!

Boy: The big, colorful ones are all female.
The males are these small ones.

Takumi: Today I spent the whole day looking at girls’ butts!

● Tosaben Tidbit ~ sentence-final “ya” and “de” ~
   One of the characteristics of Tosaben is the way its sentences end. The “ya” in this comic’s “otosan ya” and the “de” in this comic’s “nai de” and “na ga de” are often used sentence-finally in Tosaben. If written in standard Japanese, one could change “ya” to “da” and “de” to “yo”. Both are used as emphasis in Tosaben!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Japanese Cultural Experience-Incense Ceremony (Kōdō)-

   Each year, the Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives provides opportunities for foreigners to experience traditional Japanese culture. This year you can learn about the history and rules of “Incense Ceremony”, and experience “kumikō” one basic style that takes the form of a guessing game. With explanations in English, even beginners will easily understand. Please come and experience the wonderful Japanese art of Incense Ceremony.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Before I knew it, 20 years had passed

   We recently went to Kagami in Kochi City to Michael Kahn’s house. Michael is originally from Arizona in America, and lives with his wife and three children.
Michael looking back on 20 years in Kochi

What was the reason you decided to come to Japan?
   My father was a university lecturer of Japanese history. We came over for his work when I was 8 years old, and lived in Tokyo for one year. I went to a Japanese elementary school and learned to speak a reasonable amount of Japanese, but gradually forgot it after I returned to America. However, I really wanted to be able to speak a language other than English fluently, so I applied for the JET programme* when I heard about it at university.

The Air in Kochi is Beautiful

   We recently visited Akiko Matsuyama’s house in a rising residential area of Kochi City. Akiko is an immigrant originally from Shandong Province, China who lives with her husband and three children.

What was the reason you came to Kochi?
   My older sister married in Kochi. At a celebration banquet after she gave birth to her child, my husband to be was there. My sister introduced us but 20 years ago it was difficult for me to go to Japan, so he made his way to Shanghai to see me.
   After we decided to wed, it took over a year and a half to get the proper residence qualifications for Japan.

The Move That Changed My Life

The Ogishima Family whose romance
 began at the Yosakoi festival
   We talked with Takahiro Ogishima, who is from Yamato City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and is now a Tourism Ambassador for Kochi Prefecture. Mr. Ogishima opened his home in Kochi City to us, where he lives with his wife, their one year old daughter, and his parents-in-law.
How did you first come to Kochi?
   A friend of mine from Kochi used to tell me all about the charm of Kochi and the Yosakoi Festival back in my days at vocational school. I was able to make my own schedule when I got an independent job as a designer, so when my friend invited me to participate in Yosakoi, I agreed, and that’s how it all started. At that time, I had zero prior knowledge about Yosakoi, and I thought it was something like the Obon Festival dance.

My Life Studying Abroad

Zheng Min
   Hometown: Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, China
   Kochi University Graduate School Exchange Student

   Two years ago I was blessed with good fortune and was able to spend one year abroad as a foreign exchange student at Kochi University. I would take Japanese classes, go to parties with other exchange students, spend my summer and winter breaks traveling, going on camps / retreats, and I even did a home stay. Those were stress-free, fun-filled days. After a year back in my home country, I decided to enter Kochi University Graduate School with the expectation that I would be able to repeat the fun days I had in the past.

Kinkon Tosanikki ⑪

A series of four-panel comics called Kinkon Tosanikki appears the evening edition of the local Kochi Shimbun newspaper.

Grandpa : You know, November 15th is the anniversary of Ryoma’s birth as well as his death.
Takumi : Wow.

Takumi : When was grandma’s birthday again?
Grandpa : What!?

Grandpa : Ummm…. it’s…
Takumi : You remember Ryoma’s but you forget your wife’s?
Grandma : Hahaha…. That’s quite….

Grandma : TROUBLING!!
Grandpa : Oh no… today will be the anniversary of my death.
● Tosaben Tidbit ~ metta ~
   When the grandmother says “metta” this is the past tense of the Tosaben verb “meru”. This tosaben corresponds to ① “meiru (to feel depressed)” or to ② “mairu (to be annoyed)” in standard Japanese. In the case of ② it is being used as “komatta (to be troubled)”. Also, in front of “metta” there is “kora”. This is the tosaben form of the standard Japanese “kore wa”. So the grandmother is actually saying “this is troubling” when she glares at grandfather.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

International Day

   International Day is a special day for foreigners presented by the Kochi Fighting Dogs, a baseball team in independent Baseball League of Japan.
   Why don't you take this opportunity to enjoy watching a ball game in Kochi?

   For more info about the Kochi Fighting Dogs, please go to vol.47.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Employment Advertisement for Foreign Lecturer

(Ehime-ken) Ehime University in Matsuyama city is seeking four contract English instructors for the English Education Center beginning in April, 2014. Each contract is for one year and three contract periods may be allowed based on program needs and evaluation of work performance.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Niyodogawa Tea Pudding

Refreshing flavors that go well with a cup of tea
   Niyodogawa Town, located near the source of the beautiful Niyodo River, is well-known for its production of tea. Recently, the desserts made from the tea here has been attracting attention from near and far, so we traveled from Kochi City on train and bus to where these desserts are manufactured to discover the secret of their popularity.

Manten-no-hoshi Daifuku

Manten-no-hoshi Daifuku is popular with females aged 20-40!
  Located near the source of the Shimanto River, the last pristine river in Japan, Tsuno Town is looking to put itself on the map by using its locally-grown hojicha (roasted) tea in a variety of desserts, including the recently introduced Manten-no-hoshi Daifuku.

   Manten-no-hoshi Daifuku is the brainchild of Ichiro Ohara, a “Food Producer” from Kochi who is famous for his “Aguri Kubokawa Meat Bun”(Shimanto Town) and his café “Kaze Koubou”(Kure, Nakatosa Town). Manten-no-hoshi Daifuku strikes a delicate balance between the bitter taste of hojicha and the sweet flavors of bean jam and fresh cream.

Yasuda Town’s Mango Daifuku

Yasuda Town’s new dessert,
Mango Daifuku
  Mango Daifuku (named Anta-no-shiroi-yume) is a new dessert being sold to represent Yasuda Town. We interviewed the head of the Yasuda Town Office’s Economic Development Department, Kazunori Teshima, and asked him about Mango Daifuku and the process of growing mangoes.

Why did you choose to sell mangoes in Yasuda Town?
   Yasuda Town is known as the birthplace of greenhouse horticulture, and for a long time we were very successful with the harvesting and selling of eggplants. However, in recent years the market price of eggplants has waned, and the price of fuel has seen a marked increase. Due to these tightening economic conditions, we decided to grow something in addition to eggplants-our old mainstay-and in 2009 we started a trial growth of mangoes, which have a relatively high market value.

International Exchange Column

Kemper Johanson
   5th-year Kochi City ALT

   An extended stay in Japan is all about overcoming the little things before they add up. It’s like having a bad day. It isn’t just a disappointing breakfast, an annoying boss, a traffic jam, or a family emergency. It all just adds up as I remind myself over and over, I’m having a bad day.

Kinkon Tosanikki ⑩

A series of four-panel comics called Kinkon Tosanikki appears the evening edition of the local Kochi Shimbun newspaper.

Takumi : Dad bought an iPad!
Dad : You know, to keep up with the times.
Grandpa : I what?

Dad : Using this board, you can check the Internet, email, take photos… You can even read books!

Grandpa : How do I get to the next page?
Dad : Try turning the page like you normally would with a book.

Grandpa : *lick* Whoa! It flipped!
Dad : Ack! You don’t have to lick your finger!

● Tosaben Tidbit ~ shitemiiya ~
   When the dad encourages the grandfather to turn the page, he says, “…shitemiiya.” This amounts to “shitemite” in standard Japanese, and is a casual command. In Tosaben, the imperative form becomes an i-ending for standard e-endings (drink: nome>nomi, go: ike>iki) and “-i” for “-ro” endings (look: miro>mii, do: shiro>shii), and verbally often ends with -ya.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lecture "Commodore Matthew C. Perry's Expedition to Japan: His Life as a Sailor and a Diplomat"

A Public Lecture By Dr. Matthew C. Perry
Descendant of the Commodore
English with Japanese interpretation

The lecture will be held at 6:30pm - 8pm on July 12 (Fri.), at the Eikokuji campus of the University of Kochi.
** Participation is free. **

Inquries: 088-873-2152
University of Kochi Fac. of Cultural Studies
More info (PDF)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lecture "Africa & Japan: History"

A public lecture by Roger NgatU Nlandu MD, PhD
Democratic Republic of THE Congo
English with Japanese interpretation

The lecture will be held at 6:30pm - 8pm on June 21 (Fri.), at the Eikokuji campus of the University of Kochi.
** Participation is free. **

Inquries: 088-873-2984
University of Kochi Fac. of Cultural Studies

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The 10th Mizukiri International Competition at Niyodo River

   'Stone skipping' is a sport in which you toss flat stones towards a river in such a way that they skip across the water's surface.

   The competition is divided into three divisions: men, women, and children. Scores are based on the number of times the stone skips, overall distance, and beauty of the throw. This competition is open to people of all nationalities!

   Join us this summer at Niyodo River for your chance to become the Stone-skipping World Champion!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Genki Seinenkai Scholarship for Overseas Exchange

   Genki Seinenkai was founded in 1995 by JETs in Kochi Prefecture. Its main activity has been the Tosaben Musical – a small production by foreigners in Kochi that has since grown into a widely known music and theatre performance, entertaining the old and the young across the prefecture. The friends and participants in the musical make everything from scratch, from the script and posters to the costumes, dances and songs. With the assistance of local support, we take the musical on the road for 2 weekends, showing at 7 venues from the east to west and from the mountains to the cities. The donations we receive on tour are made into a scholarship for students who wish to go on an overseas exchange. We have benefited over 20 students in the past years that have gone to America, Australia, Britain, Finland, France, Korea and New Zealand. Over 3.5 million yen has been given out as scholarship since its foundation. In 2005 we received the Japan Foundation’s Global Citizenship Prize for our program.
2013 Scholarship amount and number of awardees
   • 100,000-200,000 yen
   • 1-2 awards

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Japanese Language Lesson for Foreigners

   We want to support you with Japanese language studies.
   This class is for intermediate level and higher level learners.
   You can study for JLPT examination too.

  Term: 2013-5-8 ⇒ 2014-2-9 ※you can start any time.
  Place: NISHOO FUKUSHI KORYUU Center (Tamura Nankoku city)
             There is parking avarable.
  Fee: 100yen per class.
  To apply and if you have any questions for this class, please contact NIA Secretariats Tomonaga 
  TEL:  090-4332-7652


   We want to support you with your Japanese learning!
   This class is for biginners.You can also join some Japanese culture activities in the term. Our class has many Japanese volunteers that will help you study. They will provide you with information about the Japanese culture and KOCHI city. The classes main aim is to speak as much as you can in Japanese, your speaking will improve in our class.
   Let’start learning Japanese!

  Time: 19:00~21:00
  Term: 2013-5-8 ⇒2014-2-9  (you can join any time.)
  Place: NISHOO FUKUSHI KORYUU Center (Tamura Nankoku city)
             There is parking avarable
  Fee:100 yen per class.
  To apply and if you have any questions about this class, please contact the NIA Secretariats Tomonaga.    
  TEL: 090-4332-7652

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Monuments of Life –Earthquake and Tsunami Monuments in Kochi" Exhibition

A monument in Hagidani, Tosa City
   There are monuments of earthquakes and tsunamis erected in Kochi. Exhibiting primarily their rubbed copies, we seek to learn what people in those days wanted to transmit to posterity through these monuments, and think about the actions of people after the earthquakes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in High Schools

March 12, 2013
Evergreen English School, a well established language school in Kochi, is seeking experienced and qualified teachers in High Schools as an ALT.
We have full time positions starting in April 8th, 2013 (1 year contract).
Monthly salary  annual salary ¥2,400,000~
Bonus:  performance Bonus at the completion of the contract
Working days: Monday~Friday
Paid leave: Long summer holidays and winter, spring
Travelling expenses: ¥16/km for fuel. up to ¥10,000 /month
Location:  Sukumo City, Shimanto City
A candidate must have a university degree and be a native English speaker.
Previous ALT experience is an asset but not required.
We help you to find accommodation and buy an automobile.
Please come and meet us, it is 5 minutes walk from Kochi City Hall. We offer you a good salary package and excellent working conditions.
Please apply with a cover letter together with CV, or you can just simply call us @088-872-3188 or send an e-mail to

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Prefectural Government Hospitality Division

  On May 11th (Saturday), the movie “Kencho Omotenashi-ka (The Prefectural Government Hospitality Division)” will be released! It is based on the actual Hospitality Division in the Kochi Prefectural Government, and features many of the prefecture’s sightseeing spots, such as the Niyodo River and Cape Muroto.
   Everyone is eagerly awaiting this movie, which was made thanks to the cooperation of all of Kochi Prefecture! With that in mind, we would like to take some time to talk about the work of both the real and fictional Hospitality Division.

Here’s the real Hospitality Division

   Since the novel “Kencho Omotenashi-ka” is being made into a movie, we have decided to interview the deputy director of the Hospitality Division, Machi Yukimune.

Spring Recipe in Tosa

   Itadori (Japanese knotweed) is a large, herbaceous perennial plant, and is also called Sukampo, Itampo or Dongui. Its stem has uniquered mottles and peeps out from the ground. You can find itadoris easily and pick many of them since they grow in colonies. Itadoris are gathered early spring, preserved in salt and served year round only in Kochi. Itadori has oxalic acid, making it a bit sour.
   Here is a simple itadori recipe cooked in Kochi.

Genki Seinenkai Tosaben Musical 2013 “Tosa Wars”

A scene from Tosaben Musical 2012 "Ekin in Neverland"
This year’s theme is “Star Wars”!
   Luke has been forced to do strict study by his workaholic father so he can get a good job. One day, he decides to run away to his grandfather’s house in Kochi. Luke’s grandfather decides to show him “Star Wars.”
   When he falls asleep, he dreams that he is in the Star Wars universe. There, he joins the rebel forces, who are fighting against an evil corporation working to destroy the countryside. In order to become stronger, Luke must become one with his roots and master the “Tosa” power. Will he be able to save the countryside?

Kinkon Tosanikki ⑨

A series of four-panel comics called Kinkon Tosanikki appears in the evening edition of the local Kochi Shimbun newspaper.
Takumi: Oh, look at that person!
Grandpa: Don’t stare!
Takumi: Wow, you can see their belly button!
Grandpa: (Cat-calling)
Grandpa: …

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hotpot Cuisine and Mochi

   How have you been? This winter is very cold in Kochi, isn't it? In such cold nights,warm yourself up with Nabe-Ryori (or just nabe), which is a dish of meat, fish, tofu and vegetables boiled in broth in a big pot (a nabe) and eaten when boiling. The best way of eating nabe is sharing it with your family and friends. So set a portable hob on a kotatsu table and have a good time enjoying the warming nabe.

   You can get some nabe soup bases at supermarkets. Popular tare, which is a dipping sauce for Nabe-Ryori, are goma-dare (made from sesame) and ponzu (made from yuzu, which is a kind of citrus fruit, and soy sauce).

CHIGE-NABE: This comes from Korea and is hot and spicy with chili pepper. Chige means a boiled dish in Korean. The main ingredient is thinly sliced pork, cod or tofu.We also boil hakusai (Chinese cabbage), nira (leek) and mushrooms together in the soup.

YU-DOFU: We put konbu (a kind of seaweed) in a nabe and put tofu on the konbu and warm them. You dip the tofu into ponzu or some other kinds of tare before eating.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Setsubun (The eve of the first day of spring)

Setsubun actually signifies “the parting of the seasons;” especially nowadays it falls around February 3rd, the day before the first day of spring. On the evening of this day, people yell, “Out with the devil! In with happiness!” while scattering parched soy beans inside and outside of their homes.

People decorate the entrance of their homes with holly leaves with a dried sardine in order to protect their family against the devil. This custom comes from the tradition that the devil will be wounded by holly leaves and will be surprised by the smell of sardines, so he will be repelled from your house.