A Big Catch

It's a peaceful, overcast day down by the sea. My friend N-san sees something in the water.

"Wait here," he says. He runs back to the car and comes back with a long pole.

He pokes at something in the water, and whatever it is, it's putting up a big fight.

With a seasoned eye, N-san knows when to give up the pole and get down on his knees to wrest his quarry from the shallows.

Its innards must go.
N-san successfully removes the parts with the ink, but I don't get a photo.

Later I ask, "Weren't you afraid it might bite you?"

He answers, "If it bit me it would hurt, of course, but I'm a sucker for good food. (oishii mono ni wa me ga nai)"

Even without its innards, the octopus goes on writhing and fighting.

N-san pulls it off to set it down on the pavement; I hear the pop-pop-pop of the suction cups detaching.

It's still trying to prove something.

Now, I don't like octopus myself, but a lot of other people do, and this one was well appreciated by N-san and his family. I was lucky to have my camera with me that day. Ickiness aside, the finding and catching of an octopus was absolutely fascinating to watch.

This has been a snapshot of life in the Japanese countryside. Thank you.


Food! ~Tabe-mono 食べ物~

(Above is a salad called kinpira-renkon. Kinpira refers to a finely chopped vegetable, usually burdock and carrot, and renkon is lotus-root. Actually, this is one of my favorite dishes. 上の写真はきんぴらレンコンのサラダです。きんぴらは、細く切った野菜のことで、普通はゴボウとにんじんですが、レンコンはロータス・ルーツです。実は、これが私の大好物の1つです。)

Let's learn some food-related words! 食べ物の単語を覚えましょう!

◆What food(s) do you like?
Skina tabemono wa nan deska?  *(this should really be "sukina" and "desuka", but the u sound is dropped to almost nothing in spoken Japanese)

◆What do you like for breakfast?
Chōshoku wa nani ga tabetai deska?

◆Do you like octopus?
Tako ga ski deska? *, (and yes, "tako" = octopus!)

◆Would you like to try some octopus?
Tako wo chotto tabete mimasenka?

◆I like pretty much anything!
(Watashi wa) hotondo nandemo daijōbu des!

◆I can eat anything!
Watashi wa nandemo taberaremas.

◆I'm sorry, but I'm full.
Sumimasen ga, onaka ippai des. 

Be careful not to say "onaka itai des"!  It means "my stomach hurts."



Here is an example of some real Ikata cuisine!

Whitebait (very young and small fish, called alternatively shirasu or chirimen in Japanese) are boiled and served whole and cold with white rice, or fried with vegetables in batter as tempura.

These are featured items at the newly established Shirasu Park cafeteria, in Ikata's Seto area. We are hoping to take you there to observe the preparation process. Now, how many of you might be interested in trying shirasu-don (chirimen on rice) or shirasu tempura?

Don't be shy, I would like your honest opinions! :)








Laundry in Japan

The majority of Japanese home washing machines run with only cold water. They are usually not accompanied by a dryer, so clothes and towels hang outside to dry, while unmentionables hang in an indoor room with good ventilation. As you can imagine, this is a good energy-saving step (or, as we say in Japan, "eco," pronounced echo) for the environment. However, if you need their services, there are a lot of dry cleaners in Tokyo, and a few around Ikata as well.

Since there isn't exactly a lot of space in people's homes for mounds of dirty clothes, families have to do the laundry every day. When you meet your host family in Ikata, you will certainly have some dirty clothes from your travels. Don't by shy; your host mother will expect you to give them to her. If you wait until the next-to-last day and then empty your backpack to reveal 14 days' worth of unwashed clothes, they probably won't be completely dry in time for your flight. (Not to mention, what mother likes that kind of surprise?)

To avoid unnecessary rough handling by the machine, people put clothes and linens inside mesh bags before washing them.

While I have heard stories from other people about clothes ripped up by a washing machine, I've never had that unfortunate experience myself, and I like to think it's because I religiously protect my garments in mesh bags. The worst that I've ever encountered was a couple of times when clothes came out with a bleach stain.

The bottom line? The unadventurous would be well advised to leave expensive, one-of-a-kind, absolute favorite clothing behind… or at least out of the washing machine.


Your suggestions, please! :)

Some of our Ikata students would like to know:

"What should we know before going to America? What should we do to prepare?"

Of course, they know all about getting their passports in order and completing the U.S. ESTA form online. But so far, they don't know what they don't know yet. What advice would you give them-- to lessen culture shock? --to enable them to have more fun? --to make it easier to talk with people (i.e., through a simple catchphrase or new slang? --to prepare them for new sights, sounds, or foods? Or anything else!

Leave your answers in the combox, and I will translate them in another post.

We're all looking forward to reading your advice!

食事の写真 ♪お願い♪







(写真は添付ファイルにして、ikataドットcirアットマークgmailドットcomへ送ってください。 ^^)





サイトはこちら:http://www.runredwing.com/  (残念なことに、英語のみ)




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Good news! いい知らせ!

I've just changed the settings to allow comments to be made anonymously or just with your name. You don't need a gmail or AIM account to comment anymore! Please go ahead and make good use of this capability.



Snacks are a huge industry. Think about it. There are chips, puffs, bars, cookies, muffins, candy, chocolate, licorice, gumdrops, gum, and endless variations on each of those categories.

There are snacks here in Japan, too. You probably won't find licorice, but there is an army of sweet breads and various instant noodle cups in addition to the above.

However, I ask you to please try to resist snacking while you are here, and if you can, don't bring snacks along with you, either (unless they are gifts for your host family).

Relatively recently, nutritionists in the U.S. have begun to advocate eating more small meals throughout the day rather than three large ones, and it seems to me that U.S. society is geared toward that kind of diet. But in Japanese society you will find a more traditional concept of "three square meals."

Before I lived in Japan, I think I had a notion that an Asian diet = less food. Now, I know that isn't the case. There are smaller amounts of particular foods, such as red meat, but the total amount and variety of food in a single meal is nothing to sneeze at. Be prepared. If you can't finish a meal, your host family will worry that you don't like the food, and that you are going hungry (or eating your own food on the sly). They'll worry about sending you home thinner than when you came; a mere shadow of your former self!

Yes, even if you tell them everything is delicious and you are full to bursting.

Don't make them worry like that. Work up a big appetite; don't snack. Unless you find that they like a nice bite in between meals just as much as you do-- in that case, go to town!





「Leave your comment」の下にある箱は、自由に記入できます。また、その下に「Choose an identity」があります。Gメールにサインインして、いつでも気軽にコメントができます。この場合は、「Ikata CIR」(私のアドレス)にサインインしているから、自動的に「Ikata CIR」のオプションが出てきます。Gメール以外は、オープンIDというものがあります。もし「AIM」にアカウントがあれば、それを使ってサインインして、コメントの投票ができます。







よろしくお願いしますm(_ _)m


第1回 英語研修



とても楽しみにしています ^v^






 特に、化粧品や洗面道具は、機内でも使われる人が多いものだと思います。化粧品としては、香水やローション、クリーム状のものに限らず、 マスカラや、リップグロスもその対象になりますし、洗面道具であるペースト状の歯磨き粉や、ヘアクリーム、ヘアジェルもその対象です。

 こういった「液体物」は、「100ミリリットル以内の容器に入れられていること」が第一条件になります。同じ種類のものでも、個々の容器 が「100ミリリットル以内」である容器に入っていて、持ち込むことができますが、これらの容器を入れる袋にも制限がありますので、その袋に入る量である ことが第二の条件になります。

 これらの液体物は、「容量1000ミリリットル以下の再封可能な密閉式の透明なプラスチック袋(ジップロップ式)」に入れれば、機内に持 ち込むことができます。この袋は「一人につき、一袋まで」になっていますが、「袋の中に複数個のものを入れることは可能」です。袋のサイズとしては、「縦 と横の合計が40cm以内」を目安にご自分で用意される必要があります。』

more packing tips

--Take compact-size toiletries, brushes, shaving razors, etc. You can find travel size toiletries anywhere from pharmacies to grocery stores. Alternatively, you can fill small, empty bottles with product from your regular-sized containers of shampoo, body wash, etc. Pack all your liquid toiletries in a 1-quart size plastic bag. You will need it for the security checkpoint, if in your carry-on, but just as importantly, you don't want the liquids to burst out all over your clothes.

--Bringing electronics from the US to Japan: The voltage in the US is 120Vac RMS (60Hz), while the voltage in Japan is 100Vac RMS (50-60Hz). Essentially, this means that if you bring a hair dryer, it won't run as powerfully here in Japan as in the States.


--The key word is versatility. Bring a couple pairs of lightweight pants, a pair of exercise shorts, a few T-shirts, and one nicer outfit to wear if you go out somewhere special. If you only have one or two options, you will spend less time worrying about your clothes and more time having fun. Plus, if you like Japanese fashion, you can buy clothes here to wear and bring home.


--Shoes: The best shoes are the ones that are comfortable to walk in. If you bring gym shoes, wear them on the flight and pack sandals in your bag. You can bring indoor shoes/slippers if you like, but honestly, you will be just fine without them.


--Pack empty plastic bags to hold things like dirty laundry and wet towels/swimming suits in a pinch.


Last word on luggage: less is more.


♪~~★☆photo call!☆★~~♪

There are only so many photos I can take on my own!

Please send your photos of Red Wing, favorite hang-out spots, foods, snacks, landmarks, neighborhoods, stores, etc. to ikata(dot)cir (at) gmail.com.  And then tell me about the photo! This way, we can start introducing Red Wing to the Ikata students who largely don't know what to expect there this August.


お願いがあります! 伊方町やこの周辺の好きな近所、店、レストラン、散歩道、公園などを私に送っていただけませんか?アドレスはikataドットcirアットマークgmailドットcom. 写真について教えてくれるのを忘れないでくださいね♪ あなたの写真を通して、7月に来町するRW学生に町の紹介ができます! 彼らは伊方町がどういう所なのか、まだよく分からないようですから、ご協力お願いいたします。m(_ _)m