Tuesday, June 27, 2017

English Rakugo recital in Kochi by Kimochi

   Do you know Rakugo? It is a traditional Japanese entertainment. It is a combination of storytelling and seated comedy.Kimochi Honno, an English Rakugo Performer, will have a Rakugo Performance in English in Kochi! Soon, you can fully understand the experience of Rakugo.
   Saturday 22nd Jul.2017
   Open 9:30 Start 10:00 am (~11:30)
Ticket fee:
   Kochi-shi Obiyamachi 2-2-14 OKAMURA Obiyamachi BLDG. 5F
   ※Upstairs of the Starbucks Coffee
   ※50meters from the Hirome Market
   Additionally, we are going to have a lunch session with him at a restaurant after the recital. Why don't you come and meet him? If you come, please let me know in advance. Lunch will cost around 1,000 yen.
   Please call me or send me a short message, how many tickets you need, are you coming to the lunch, in advance to reserve your seats.
   And also keep this leaflet by your camera. Please get in touch with me again if you need to cancel your tickets.
   090-7783-3911 Hashimoto

Friday, June 23, 2017

Shikoku Kochi, Bakumatsu Restoration Exhibition

   March 4, 2017, saw the opening of a grand event involving the whole of Kochi Prefecture; “Shikoku Kochi, Bakumatsu Restoration Exhibition”. Many of you may have seen flags and fliers in various places across the prefecture, but did you know about the restoration exhibition? We really wanted the foreign community to hear about this event as well, so we decided to take it up as our topic for this issue.
Q1. What is this event about?
   Going back to the time of the Bakumatsu, the end of Edo Period (the latter half of the 19th century) many of the famous historical figures that emerged and who are still talked about today, came from the Tosa Domain (Kochi Prefecture), including Sakamoto Ryoma, Nakaoka Shintaro and Iwasaki Yataro. The exhibition “Shikoku Kochi, Bakumatsu Restoration Exhibition” helps people learn about Tosa’s wonderful food, nature, climate and culture which are connected to the era that these great figures nurtured.
Q2. Where and when is it being held?
   The first installment is from March 4, 2017 to March 31, 2018, and the second is scheduled to be held for a year starting April 1, 2018. There are two main venues; “Kochi Castle Museum of History” and “Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum (at present, with the renewal of the current building and the construction of the new building, the grand opening is scheduled for spring of 2018 in time for the second installment)” and the sub-venue is “Kochi Tabi Hiroba”. Additionally, exhibitions of valuable historical materials are being held in 20 other local venues such as historical and cultural facilities related to the warriors of the Bakumatsu Restoration.
   This time the CIRs and KIA staff went and visited “Kochi Castle Museum of History” and the places connected to “Iwasaki Yataro” and “Nakaoka Shintaro” who were alive during the Bakumatsu era.

Kochi Castle Museum of History

You can see a sweeping view of Kochi Castle from the 3rd floor lobby
   This museum opened this March, coinciding with the start of the Shikoku Kochi, Bakumatsu Restoration Exhibition. Surely many people have noticed the uniquely designed building located at the foot of Kochi Castle. There are many set ups that will let children and adults learn about Kochi’s history and culture through the exhibit items! Special exhibit items of the Bakumatsu Restoration Exhibition and planned exhibitions are also on display.

The ambition of Iwasaki Yataro, the unprecedented eccentric of Tosa

   Iwasaki Yataro was born in Aki City, Inokuchi. He was one of the most prominent businessmen of  he end of the Edo Period and built the foundation for the Mitsubishi Group. It is said that in 1854, in order to let Yataro go study in Edo, his parents raised the necessary funds by selling a mountain that had been passed down for generations. It’s a very brave act even in this day and age, and it became clear why Yataro had developed such a bold personality. In 1855, Yataro returned home because his father had unfortunately gotten hurt. When he went to the magistrate’s office to lodge a complaint against the village headman who had injured his father, he drew graffiti on the walls and was thrown into jail. His experience in jail stirred up his rebellious spirit (perhaps he was hot blooded by nature), and he changed course from studying to be a Confucian scholar. This event made him decide to go into business for the Tosa domain and for the country. Additionally, it is said that he met a merchant and was able to learn sales tactics. This is a perfect example of the saying from the classic Chinese text Tao Te Ching, “Disaster is that upon which good fortune depends, and good fortune is that in which disaster lurks.” After this, Yataro enrolled in Yoshida Toyo※’s Shaolin cram school, became friends with Goto Shojiro※, and was mentored by Yoshida Toyo as he began his new life in business.

Nakaoka Shintaro- an ally of Sakamoto Ryoma

   Sakamoto Ryoma※’s ally Nakaoka Shintaro※ was also one of the heroes of the Bakumatsu who drove the era forward. The Nakaoka Shintaro Museum is surrounded by green mountains and is an ideal location for getting a feel for Shintaro’s way of life. Taking a bus along the mountain roads, there is a sense of calmness as if you’ve gone back in time.

Foreigners working hard in Kochi

   Introducing two of the ※trainees working in agriculture from the Northern Philippine Province of  Benguet, with which Kochi Prefecture has a sister city relationship.
(※ The system of taking on trainees, for which the period of training is a maximum of 3 years, aims to transfer skills, techniques and knowledge to developing countries, and to cooperate with their economic development. As of April 2016, approximately 920 trainees are contributing to industry (agriculture, fishing, industrial production, food manufacture etc.) within the prefecture and learning techniques on a daily basis.)
Q:What’s your daily life like?
A:“I work on a farm in Susaki City, cultivating, harvesting and packaging Chinese chives. I live in a dormitory and my friends and I often take it in turns to cook for each other. On my days off the other trainees, farmers and I plan events, such as holding traditional dances.”