Friday, December 19, 2014

Foreigners Working in Kochi ①

Dana Berte
(Aki City, from America)
   The first person we will introduce, Dana Berte, was a Coordinator for International Relations with the JET Program in Aomori Prefecture for 3 years, and now works in product development at Kikusui Sake Company.

Foreigners Working in Kochi ②

Rogier Uitenboogaart
(Yusuhara, from The Netherlands)

   Next is Rogier Uitenboogaart, a washi (traditional Japanese paper) maker who has lived in Kochi for over 30 years. We traveled northwest two hours by car to the town of Yusuhara to hear his story.
   The workshop where Rogier makes washi and the attached bed & breakfast are settled in a quiet agricultural village at the base of a mountain, perfectly blending in to its surroundings. Travelling there felt like we were visiting our grandparents in the countryside.

Foreigners Working in Kochi ③

Mie Seki
(Kochi City, from Shangdong Province in China)
   The last person we will introduce is of the nationality that likely occupies the top spot for number of foreign spouses of Japanese people in Kochi and maybe even Japan. Mie Seki came to Kochi from China, had children here, and now works hard every day to balance her work and family.

Kochi Life Q&A : New Year’s Cards (Nengajo)

Q:At New Year’s I’ve received some unfamiliar-looking postcards. What are these? What should I do about them?
A:These postcards are called nengajo. They are greeting cards sent out at the New Year to say "Happy New Year,” thank the recipient for their friendship in the previous year, and express hopes for the relationship to continue in the future. In the olden days, it was customary in Japan to go around the neighborhood at New Year’s and give your greetings in person. However, partly because it was difficult give in-person greetings to people who lived far away, it became common to send New Year’s greetings in a letter instead. As the Meiji Period began, the nengajo postcard as we know it today gained popularity.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Totsuka Embroidery Exhibition

Date: 17(Mon.) - 20(Thur.) November 2014
Time: 10am - 7:30pm (4pm on the last day)
Brief Introduction of Totsuka-method embroidery:
   Ms. Kiku Totsuka, the present chairwoman encountered Ms. Inu Miyagawa at a university hospital in Fukuoka after she had graduated from Women's high-school of Hagi. Ms. Miyagawa initiated her European embroidery which was just introduced to Japan. This is how Totsuka-method embroidery was born.  Later, Ms. Totsuka was introduced by Ms. Miyagawa to Ms. Iwamurayama, a handicraft artist, who had just returned from America, and learned genuinely French embroidery from her. Ms. Totsuka not only yielded a lot of work, but modified the stitching method to suit Japanese women by arranging a variety of combination to enable luxurious color scheme, and succeeded to express seasonable design based on Japanese tradition and climate with European embroidery. Today, the feature is called individuality and characteristics of Totsuka-method embroidery.
Further information about Totsuka-method embroidery:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Explore the Natural World—Without Leaving Kochi City!

By Clare Marks

   In 2005, the mountain villages of Kagami and Tosayama became part of Kochi City, which means that you can enjoy nature without ever leaving the city.

One-Point Advice from Seki-san ①~③

One-Point Advice from Sekisan ① - How to Blur the Background to Emphasize a Subject -
   By changing the aperture (F-number), you can change the amount of light that enters the lens, and thus the range of focus. The smaller you make the aperture, the smaller the range of focus becomes, so you can really make the subject stand out.
At Yakeno Forest Park

Hiking Courses That Let You Have it All—Hiking, Fall Colors, AND Onsen

   Here we introduce two day trip hiking courses for those people who want a little more out of hiking than just, well, hiking.

Kochi Life Q&A : Japanese Sake

   Starting this issue, we will be including a section in Tosa Wave called “Kochi Life Q&A”, where we answer various questions from foreigners living in Kochi about everyday life here. We’re not sure how long this section will last, but we are celebrating our first installment by writing about one of Kochi’s famous products—Japanese sake (pronounced saké).
Q:When I try to order sake at an izakaya, I see the sizes “1合 (1 gō)” and “2合 (2 gō).” But how much sake is in each of these? Also, at what temperature should I drink sake, and what do the temperature words “atsukan” and “nurukan” mean?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Visit Rural Areas involved in Nippon Green Tourism  

Shimanto 3 days (15-17 October (Wed.-Fri.) 2014, 3 days/2 nights)
   This Monitoring tour is a program in which you will visit the rural areas involved in Green (Agritourism or rural) Tourism, experience the actual lifestyles in these areas such as production activities and food culture, and interact with the local people. An English-speaking guide will accompany you on the tour and help with the exchange.
Accepted Applicants: 10
Meet: 15 October (Wed.) at 9:30 at Kochi Ryoma Airport (or at 10:00 at JR Kochi station)
End: 17 October (Fri.) at 16:00 at Kochi Ryoma Airport (or at 15:30 at JR Kochi station)
Tour Organizer: Taiheiyo Travel (Kochi Prefecture)
For further information, please see the attached file.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Japanese Cultural Experience-Gagaku-

   Each year, the Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives provides opportunities for foreigners to experience traditional Japanese culture. This year we will introduce gagaku, one type of traditional Japanese music. In addition to learning about the history and types of instruments used in gagaku, participants will hear a gagaku performance and try playing the instruments themselves.
   With explanations in English, even beginners will easily understand. Please come and experience the wonderful Japanese art of gagaku. 
   Later that day, a gagaku performance by the Gagaku Music Society of Tenri University will be held at the Sansuien Hotel near the Yamauchi Archives. Please feel free to join.
<Date>  Sunday November 9, 2014  10:00~12:00 a.m.
<Place>  Yamauchi Hall (2-4-26, Takajo-machi, Kochi, Japan)
<Capacity>  20 people
<Cost>  free
-How to apply-
   Send a post card, or a fax, or call us with your name, address, and telephone number.
   We’ll send you a ticket.
Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives
2-4-26,Takajo-machi, Kochi, Japan 780-0862  TEL/FAX 088-873-0406

Monday, September 29, 2014

Intercultural Communication Bus Tour in Yasuda Town & Aki City - Explore the Treasure of Kochi -

Date: 11/3 Mon 2014
Meeting Time: 8:30
Meeting Place: Kochi Station North Entrance
Fee: 1,500 yen (Student Fee: 500 yen)
25 people. First-come-first-served
Please bring your own lunch.
   Please apply by e-mail with your name, nationality, address and phone number, and please put "Bus Tour 2014" in the subject line.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Introduction to the Shikoku Pilgrimage

   There are many famous religious pilgrimages in the world, such as the Way of St. James in Spain and the Mecca Pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Rivaling these is a pilgrimage in our very backyard: the “Shikoku Henro” (Henro = Pilgrimage). This year is the 1200th year since the year that a man named Kobo Daishi (Kukai) from present-day Kagawa Prefecture is said to have selected 88 temples in Shikoku to be part of the pilgrimage, thus founding it. Today, this “Shikoku Henro” is being thrust into the limelight domestically and abroad.

   We looked into why there are 88 temples in the pilgrimage, but it seems that there is no clear answer. Some explanations are that perhaps it is to ward off the bad luck that comes with “unlucky ages” that add up to 88 in Japan (42 years old for men, 33 for women, and 13 for children), or perhaps it is to cleanse a person’s 88 worldly desires one by one.

   This issue of Tosa Wave is for readers interested in the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Even if your current age isn’t one of the Japanese unlucky ages and even if you aren’t plagued by worldly desires, living in Shikoku is a great opportunity to experience the pilgrimage. We cover everything—from pilgrim clothing to the conditions at three of the 16 temples in Kochi handpicked by our staff—and everything in between.

Staying Overnight at Iwamotoji!

Front view of the temple lodgings.
   Four of the temples in Kochi Prefecture that are part of the Shikoku Pilgrimage offer lodging for visiting ohenro-san. For this article, we visited one of those four temples, Iwamotoji in Shimanto Town, where we stayed the night at the lodging facilities for pilgrims.

   Iwamotoji was built in the Tenpyo era (729-749), and it was established as the 37th sacred temple in the Shikoku Pilgrimage by Kukai during the Konin era (810-824). Iwamotoji is home to several historical structures, such as the main temple where the temple’s principle object of worship is enshrined, which is across from the building that houses lodging accommodations.

The Famous Tosa Temple - Chikurinji

The origin of Chikurinji
   The origin of Chikurinji begins when Emperor Shomu had a dream where he was awarded with the teachings of Buddhism from a Manjusri (wisdom entity) at the known Manjusri sacred grounds after ascending to the top of the Tang Dynasty Mt. Godaisan (currently Shanxi Province). Emperor Shomu was extremely moved by this dream and ordered the famous monk Gyoki to search throughout Japan to find a sacred ground like that of the Tang Dynasty Mt. Godaisan, and build a temple there. After that, Kukai gathered much knowledge and it became one of the pilgrimage sites of the 88 sacred grounds of Shikoku, and was also used for prayer by the Yamauchi Family of the Tosa Domain during the Edo period.
In front of the Main Temple where the unveiling will occur.

No 29 Pilgrimage Site Kokubunji

The History of Kokubunji
   Kokubunji was constructed under the imperial decree of the 45th Emperor of Japan, Emperor Shomu. It was established in 741 by the high priest Gyoki, and restored under Kukai. Back then, the area surrounding Kokubunji was part of the Tosa domain, and a provincial governor better known for his work as an author of the Tosa Diaries stayed there for 4 years.
The roof where work has been completed on the main temple structure.

Interviewing an American Ohenro-san

   We Talked with Adam Chamness, an American living in Kochi who has completed the Shikoku Pilgrimage. He walked the entire distance during August and September of 2010, taking about 50 days, and he finished off his journey with a trip to Mount Koya in 2011. Let’s hear what he has to say about his experience!
Adam during the ohenro.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Do you want to participate in a Diaster Drill? - “How to protect yourself in a disaster” -

The Disaster Drill in 2012
   Sunday, June 8, 2014. 9:30 - 12:30am
   1) How to be prepared for a disaster
   2) What you can do if you are injured
       How to use a tourniquet to stop bleeding
   3) Foot bath or hand bath
   What should we do when a disaster happens?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Quality Farming Activity in Ochi-Cho ~Enjoy a baseball game and 100% pristine nature~

Date: Sunday, 1st June, 2014

Venue: Ochi-cho Baseball Stadium
   Free shuttle bus is provided
   *Tour is based on tentative schedules and subject to change due to weather

Price: ¥2000
   Includes: Agricultural activity, Lunch, Game ticket, Insurance
   Special goods of Kochi Fighting Dogs

Friday, May 2, 2014

Experience Kyōgen!

Watch live kyōgen and learn about traditional Japanese entertainment with foreigners!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Second Annual “Shout Gomennasai in the Heart of Nankoku city”

   We say ‘gomennasai’ every day, right?
   The word ‘gomennasai’ is a magic word.
   When you say this word with courage, the person who says it, and also the person it is said to, get the feeling of being saved.  A heartfelt ‘gomennasai’ is not just a simple apology to another.  In it there surely exists a feeling of compassion for the other person.
   In saying the one word, ‘gomennasai’ you can forgive each other.  In this word there lies the power to make everyone happy.
   Here in Nankoku City there is a town called ‘Gomen.’  In “Nankoku City, The Sacred Land of Apologies,”  won’t you throw aside your vanity, pride, and prestige and try shouting ‘gomennasai’ with honesty from the bottom of your heart?
   Surely you will discover a self that is different from yesterday.

Monday, April 21, 2014


   We are here to support you with your Japanese learning!
   This class is for beginners. 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 class’s main aim is to help you speak ability will improve in our class.

Japanese Language Lesson for Foreigners in Nankoku City

   We are here to support you with Japanese language studies.
   This class is for intermediate level and higher level learners.
   We are also ready to assist you in your JLPT examination.
Every Wednesday
  Term: 2014-5-14 ⇒ 2015-2-11
*We do not have the class in the summer holiday ; <the whole month of August>
and the winter holiday ; <in December 24th 31st>
*You can start any time.
  Place: NISHOO FUKUSHI KORYUU Center (Tamura Nankoku city)
       *There is parking available.
  Fee: 100yen per class.
*To enroll for this class or if you have any questions for this class, please contact NIA Tomonaga 
  TEL: 090-4332-7652     

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nankoku City’s Shamo Hotpot

Shamo hotpot, born from the
locals pride for Nankoku City.
Revitalizing Nankoku City—The Gomen Shamo Research Consortium’s Initiative
   Shamo were originally bred and raised not for consumption, but for cockfighting. In the old days, birds that lost their fights were used for food in hotpot dishes, but today they are hardly ever eaten. However, we wanted to do something to make Nankoku City into a place that children could be proud to call home! We wanted to revitalize our city! The people of Saitani in Nankoku, had a custom of making shamo hotpot as a memorial to Ryoma Sakamoto (※), so in 2008, five other volunteers and I started city revitalization efforts by combining our “impressive local history” and “bountiful and fresh vegetables”.
(※ It is said that Ryoma Sakamoto loved shamo hotpot and was making it right before he was assassinated.)

Nabeyaki Ramen in Susaki City

Nabeyaki Ramen is served in an
earthenware pot with boiling broth.
   There is a project underway to nationally promote Susaki City, located in the Midwest of Kochi Prefecture, by campaigning for its Nabeyaki Ramen. Nabeyaki Ramen is ramen served in an earthenware pot with boiling broth. A staff member from KIA and a CIR from China visited the Susaki City Tourism Association to interview one of the project’s key people to hear the story behind Nabeyaki Ramen.

Shimanto Pork Donburi Strip in Shimanto Town

The Shimanto Pork Don with balsamic
vinegar with its addictive taste.
We want you to enjoy the “Food” in Shimanto Town
   When you hear the name “Shimanto” the first thing that comes to mind might be the Shimanto River or the popular tourist establishment, the Kaiyodo Hobby Museum. Shimanto is not only rich in tourist destinations, but is also a treasury of food. The town’s society of commerce and industry decided to bring more tourists to the area with the proposal of the “Shimanto Pork Donburi Strip” which started in November of 2012 in preparation for the completion of the Expressway to Shimanto which was completed in December of the same year.

GENKI Seinenkai Tosaben Musical 2014 - Hogwarts Tosa Style School of Witchcraft and Wizardry -

A dance scene

Kinkon Tosanikki ⑬

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

Takumi: *aaah*
               “Hot tea is delicious”

Takumi: *another one please*
Grandpa: “But, no matter what you think, haven’t you had too much tea?”

Takumi: *slosh slosh*
Grandpa: “You see, look at your belly…”

Takumi: “I’ve become a human hot water bottle so sleep next to me ♡ ”
Grandpa: “Yeeeeh, I will, I will!”

●Tosaben Tidbit ~ nanbo yutachi ~
The grandfathers line “nanbo yutachi ” in tosaben can be replaced with the standard Japanese “ikura nandemo (no matter how much)” to indicate that the degree of something is too severe. This expression is always followed by a negative comment. In this case the grandfather kindly warns his grandson that he might be “nomisugi (drink too much)” in the cartoon.