• 日本語学習と国際交流

    [From December Issue 2010]

    A survey about Japanese language education at overseas academic institutions was conducted by The Japan Foundation from September 2009 through January 2010.

    It was found that in 2009, 125 overseas countries and 8 regions taught the Japanese language. Total numbers indicated that 14,939 academic institutions with 49,844 teachers taught the language to 3,651,761 students. Compared to the 2006 results for the same survey, all number were up with an increase of 1,300 more institutions (up 9.5%), 5,523 more teachers (up 12.5%) and 671,941 more students (up 22.5%).

    East Asia was the most active area accounting for 44.1% of the institutions, 54% of the teachers, and 57% of the students involved in global Japanese education. The number of Southeast Asian students studying Japanese also increased significantly. Their percentage rose from 14.8% in 2006, to 24.9% in 2009. East Asia and Southeast Asia alone account for over 80% of the total number of students studying Japanese worldwide.

    The neighboring country of South Korea is the most active. Currently there are approximately 960,000 Koreans studying Japanese, or about 26.4% of the total students worldwide. Second is China, another of Japan’s neighbors. Approximately 830,000 Chinese students, or 22.7%, are learning Japanese. Coming third is Indonesia with 720,000 students, or 19.6%. Students from these three countries together account for 70% of the total number of global students learning Japanese.

    So what kind of academic facilities are these students studying the language in? According to the survey, most students are studying at secondary schools, consisting of approximately 2 million students: equivalent to 54.9% overall. The next highest number is found in higher educational institutions at approximately 970,000 students, which is 26.5%. The third highest number is at approximately 47,000 students (13.0%), who are at non-academic institutions. And as for primary school children, there are approximately 20,000 pupils (5.6%) studying the Japanese language.

    And why is Japanese being studied internationally? The top 4 survey reasons given were (multiple responses): “to gain knowledge and information about the Japanese culture (history, literature, etc.),” “to gain knowledge and information about the Japanese culture (anime, manga, J-pop, etc.),” “interest in the Japanese language,” and “to be able to communicate using Japanese.”

    “To gain knowledge and information about the Japanese cultures (anime, manga, J-pop, etc.),” was a newly added response to the most recent survey. As a result, it can be concluded that Japanese pop culture has become one of the prime motivators for people to study the language. Additionally, primary and secondary educational institutes replied that, “students are required to learn it by their country or government” resulting in the increase/decrease in the number of students who are affected by government policies.

    And who teaches the Japanese language in all these countries? According to the survey, out of the 49,844 Japanese language teachers, 14,044 (or 28.2%) people are actually native Japanese speakers. As for the remaining 35,800 (71.8%) teachers, Japanese is not their mother tongue.

    And what concerns do international institutions face when teaching Japanese? Many cite inadequate teaching materials and equipment as their primary concern. While on the other hand, the newly added choice of “possibly, Japanese will be replaced by other languages” was not as concerning to these institutions.

    Hiragana Times magazine offers a service called “JACS-Japanese Assisting Coach System” (free) to its subscribers. ISHIKAWA Shinobu, a public worker living in Tokyo, teaches Japanese to Tokyo resident Helio Galvao CIFFONI who is Brazilian. They meet for lessons once a week after work at a nearby coffee shop and use Hiragana Times as their textbook. After their lesson ends, they discuss their own cultures in English.

    “A volunteer had taught me English while I was studying abroad in the USA. So because of that experience, I wanted to return the courtesy and decided to become a volunteer,” says Ishikawa.

    In contrast, Helio says, “I do not use Japanese for work, but I am studying Japanese so that I can better communicate with my Japanese friends and colleagues. I go on business trips a lot, so it is hard for me to attend language schools regularly. But with this system, I can have lessons when it is convenient for me. And since we use Hiragana Times as our textbook, I can also learn about news in Japan which is a topic I can then discuss with my colleagues,” he explains.

    SANO Hitomi is also teaching Japanese and interacting internationally via the Internet. She uses Skype to teach Japanese to a North American man, saying that “It is a social contribution that I can make while working during the day. And it strengthens my communication and teaching skills, so I am learning as well.”

    Sano has already taught Japanese to 4 people. During her first class with a new student, she asks them their reason for wanting to learn Japanese, and then adjusts her teaching method accordingly. She also creates a quiz based on each lesson for her students to take during their next session. “I feel that Japanese education has broadened its horizon with the help of the Internet and with language teaching volunteers. As a Japanese person, I would feel proud to know that people think kindly about the Japanese language, and I would be even happier knowing that I have contributed even a little in spreading that thought,” she says.

    The Japan Foundation

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo






    これらの国の学習者たちは、どのような機関で日本語を学んでいるのでしょうか? このアンケートによれば、一番多いのは中等教育の機関です。54.9%にあたる約200万人が、中等教育で日本語を学んでいます。次に多いのは高等教育機関で、26.5%にあたる約97万人です。3番目に多いのは学校教育以外の機関で学んでいる人たちで、13.0%にあたる約47万人です。そして初等教育の人たちが約20万人、5.6%います。











    文:砂崎 良

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  • おしゃれな女性たちのランニング・ブーム

    [From December Issue 2010]

    The Imperial Palace, where the Emperor of Japan resides, is located in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Here, among the lush greenery, and somewhat out of place in the city center, is the Palace moat, where swans and geese can be found swimming about. Recently, the path encircling the Palace has become a popular place to go jogging.

    The Palace path has been critically acclaimed by running enthusiasts as being “a perfect practice course” because one lap is approximately 5 km, with no traffic lights, making it ideal to accurately time a run. And, since the police guard the Palace 24/7, runners can feel safe even late at night. Area resident SAITO Minoru says, “Someone I know has been jogging there everyday for about 50 years,” adding that “there are also a lot of non-Japanese runners and others who are training hard, aiming to participate in the Honolulu Marathon. Some people even stop by the sentou (public baths) and hotel gyms around the area afterwards.”

    The sudden jump in the number of runners around the Imperial Palace was triggered by the Tokyo Marathon, which was first hosted in 2007. It became very popular because anyone could register, and participants selected by lottery could see famous sights around Metropolitan Tokyo as they ran. The marathon’s popularity continues, as the 5th edition, scheduled for February 27, 2011, received more than 335,000 applicants. This is 9.2 times the event’s maximum allowable capacity.

    And the running fad has spread well beyond the Tokyo Marathon. More and more similar events are being organized, including the Lake Biwa-Otsu Relay Marathon and the Koushuu Fruits Marathon. Other, more events, such as “RunGirl Night,” a running event and after party exclusively for women, are also being organized.

    IKEDA Miho, a technical staff member at ASICS Store Tokyo, says: “With the Tokyo Marathon boom, we saw a rapid increase in the number of runners. Now, running has become entrenched in daily life. Today’s runners are people who truly love the sport.”

    “Previously, ASICS customers were predominantly men. Their aim was to break their previous record, and they were looking for highly functional sportswear. But now, we have more female customers. They run for various reasons including having fun, health, and to make a fashion statement. Their styles are very tasteful, combining running skirts or running dresses with other items,” she explains.

    New facilities called “ran-sute,” short for “runners’ station” have also popped up around the Imperial Palace. They are equipped with lockers and showers, and cost between 500 ~ 800 yen per visit, or 2,000 ~ 8,000 yen per month. After satisfying run, drop by the “ran-sute,” shower, freshen up, fix your hair and makeup (with the supplied cosmetics), and then head out on a date or for dinner. This seems to be the new after 5 PM lifestyle of today’s health-conscious fashionistas.

    Tokyo Marathon
    RunGirl Night
    Asics Store Tokyo

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo










    文:砂崎 良

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  • 進化するパン焼き器

    [From December Issue 2010]

    While rice remains Japan’s staple food, many people are now also eating bread. In response, various electrical appliance companies are selling bread-making machines, also known as home bakeries. Their general function is to easily bake bread by adding the ingredients, setting the timer and flipping the switch. But recently, these home bakeries are performing many more functions.

    For instance, Panasonic Corporation’s Home Bakery SD-BMS102 offers many different functions. Not only can it bake a loaf of bread, but it can also steam bread and bake cakes. Additionally, it can make pizza dough, Japanese udon noodles, and “mochi,” or rice cake made by steaming then pounding the grains into paste before molding them into shape.

    Also added is a new option that teaches how to make “anpan,” a popular Japanese sweet bun filled with red bean paste. Furthermore, responding to people who think that “one loaf is too much,” a half-loaf baking option is now available.

    “The biggest challenge for us was perfecting French bread,” says HORIUCH Miwa, a member of Panasonic’s cooking software team. “With the simple combination of flour, salt, water and yeast, we had to successfully bake French bread with its particular crust and crumbs. We repeatedly experimented daily in developing the program, continually adjusting the subtle combination,” she explains.

    SANYO Electric Company, Ltd.’s GOPAN machine bakes bread from grains of rice. While other companies have machines that also bake bread from rice powder, this ingredient is not always readily available, and can also be expensive. So the people at SANYO asked themselves, “Can we make bread from common rice grains?” and soon developed the GOPAN.

    “Since rice is quite solid, it is difficult to transform it into powder. We have tried pounding, roller-grinding and other ways but repeatedly failed,” recalls Sanyo spokesperson TAKIGUCHI Takahisa. “One time, when we thought we had finally succeeded in making rice powder bread, we sampled it and discovered that it was a terrible product. The powder had little shreds of the ceramic blades used to pulverize the rice. We almost gave up when a colleague of mine who was developing rice cooker technology asked us to, ‘break down the rice while it soaked in water.’” We did that and eventually succeeded.

    “Since Japan’s food self-sufficiency ratio (the ratio of food consumed daily that is supplied by domestic production) is low, GOPAN is valuable because it widens the usage of rice. Moreover, people who don’t like flour can enjoy it too,” explains TAKIGUCHI. And not only can GOPAN make bread from rice, but also from various other grains. It can also make dough for pasta or udon, rice cakes, jam, and many other food items.

    So with the evolution of Japan’s home bread-baking machines, it can now be said that bread has now become an integral part of the Japanese diet.

    Panasonic Corporation
    SANYO Electric Company, Ltd.

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo











    文:砂崎 良

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  • 人力車の新たな道を提案する

    [From December Issue 2010]

    KURUMAYA Co., Ltd.

    Jinrikisha, or the “rickshaw” in English, were created in 1870 in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. They became a popular means of transportation that soon faded after the advent of the train and automobile. Today, rickshaws are still seen at places of scenic beauty and historical interest such as Asakusa, Hakone and Kamakura, where they are used by guided sightseeing tours for visitors. Three years ago, KURUMAYA Co., Ltd., a new breed of rickshaw company, started spinning its wheels.

    Kurumaya’s key difference is that in addition to providing guided sightseeing tours mainly around Asakusa, they also manufacture, sell and service rickshaws. “Our objective is to develop various different types of rickshaws while also providing support for them,” says company founder MATSUOKA Fumitake. He thinks that his company’s role should be to respond to the needs of the changing times. “We believe that by providing new products, new needs and new services will develop.”

    Matsuoka is one of only four rickshaw-meisters left in Japan, and as Kurumaya’s lead rickshaw developer, he says that “We have received orders from tourism bureaus, an Edo Period Japanese theme park, and the chairperson of a senior citizens’ group who wanted to entertain their elderly homebodies, all while doing something good for his own health.”

    Matsuoka says that his hobby of collecting antiques when he was younger eventually led to his fascination with the rickshaw, or what he calls, “a running antique.” “Although they were made more than 130 years ago, I think they were quite close to perfection. We add small improvements, but remain careful about keeping their original form in order to maintain the riding comfort and the ease of operation,” he explains.

    Their popular guided tours mainly around Asakusa and Nihonbashi take people to shrines, temples and other historical buildings, and they now also visit Tokyo Sky Tree, presently under construction but scheduled for completion sometime next year. Kurumaya rickshaws also take newlyweds between the hotel where their reception is hosted and the shrine where their wedding ceremony takes place. Responding to the demand, Kurumaya provides service right across Japan.

    Matsuoka calls himself a “rickshaw meister,” and manages the company while working as both rickshaw driver and craftsman. He actively promotes his business at festivals and other events by offering opportunities to ride on and pull rickshaws, with the aim of increasing the rickshaw’s appeal. And his efforts have not gone unnoticed, as Kurumaya now services various kinds of events, including trade shows.

    With inquiries coming from as far away as South Korea and Australia, Matsuoka has realized his dream of “creating a small, but world-famous company.” Quite recently he has even exported a rickshaw to an individual customer in China who placed an order via the Internet. But he resolves that “making high-quality rickshaws and providing better service” is much more important than merely growing the business.

    KURUMAYA Co., Ltd.











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  • 古い着物に新しいスタイルを

    [From December Issue 2010]

    Kimono Panel Artist
    Crystal MOREY

    Originally from Dallas, Texas, USA, Crystal MOREY, who has been living in Tokyo for the past 13 years, only began creating her kimono-art in 2001.

    “I feel that kimonos should be displayed, so I started piecing them into panels,” she says. “In Japan, kimonos are no longer worn very often, and the more beautiful silks are only brought out on special occasions – the rest of the time they just sit in closets,” laments this part-time artist and full-time owner/operator of a small Japanese publishing company focusing on Japanese-inspired tattoo art and design books.

    Morey collected kimono and wanted to display them so that others could appreciate the skill and craftsmanship involved in their design. “I wanted to find a way to bring them into the public eye, without sacrificing the enormous wall space that hanging an entire kimono requires,” she explains.

    For her panels she uses more than just kimonos. In fact, Morey regularly scours Tokyo’s vintage clothing stores, while also making special trips to Kyoto, in search of silk, wool, rayon, antique furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods) and tenugui (a thin Japanese hand towel made of cotton). She says that the process, while seemingly simple, does take some practice, skill, and a good eye.

    “The most difficult task is piecing the fabric together – the colors must compliment one another and so must the patterns. Cheaper materials stretch and their colors become compromised. Embroidered materials look amazing but are really difficult to work with because they mess up my straight lines. Slippery silk can also be a nightmare! Each piece is really like a huge puzzle, but once solved, the construction part is easy,” she confides.

    Depending on the labor and materials involved each art-panel takes roughly two weeks to complete, and retails for between 10,000 yen and 50,000 yen. Commissioned pieces, her favorite projects, cost more because of the specificity of the request. But these days, she is so busy that there is a six month waiting list for her work.

    So how do traditional Japanese people feel about her kimono panels? “I honestly wasn’t sure how they would respond. Kimonos are an art form in and of themselves and I wasn’t sure if they would appreciate me cutting them up! But I showed my work at Design Festa in 2008, and their uniqueness was well received. I got loads of positive feedback,” she beams, adding that at that time a gallery in Chiba bought one for display, while a Kyoto-based interior design company contacted her about selling them as well. Now, Morey holds exhibitions in and around Tokyo, across Japan, and as far away as Australia, the USA and Europe.

    Crystal MOREY
    Photos: Seishiro Jay TOMIOKA

    Text: Stephen LEBOVITS







    「最も難しい作業は織物をつぎはぎする部分です。色は互いに引き立て合わなければならないですし、柄もそうです。生地は安いほど伸びますし色も変わります。刺しゅうした生地は、見た目は素晴らしいですが、作業するのは本当に難しいです。だって私の引きたい直線の通りになりませんからね。つるつるした絹は最悪です! 布の一枚一枚がまさに大きなパズルのようですが、一旦パズルが解ければ、組み立て作業は簡単です」と明かします。





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  • 札幌―あふれる冬の魅力

    [From December Issue 2010]

    It takes about an hour and a half to fly from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. Located in the northernmost part of the Japanese Archipelago, Hokkaido is a large, roughly diamond-shaped island. While cool there in summer, the prefecture is better known as a mecca for winter sports, featuring an abundance of natural scenery, hot springs and delicious seafood. As such, Hokkaido attracts a great number of tourists, both from other parts of Japan and abroad. Approximately 40 minutes from New Chitose Airport by rapid train, sits Sapporo, the largest city north of Tokyo, with a population of roughly 1.9 million.

    In a country-wide survey, Sapporo, with its various, regularly scheduled seasonal events, was chosen as Japan’s most attractive city. The largest of all these events is the Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place each year for one week between early and mid February. Started in 1950 by high school students who built six snow statues in Odori Park, the festival now welcomes 2.43 million annual visitors, and is so popular that booking flights for this time has become extremely difficult.

    Odori Park, the festival’s main site, stretches 1.5 kilometers from east to west through the city centre. Festival visitors are enthralled by the 12 sections (numbered 1 ~ 12-Chome) featuring large, dynamic and precise snow and ice sculptures modeled after world-famous buildings and characters, as well as a variety of smaller models skillfully created by the locals. The annual International Snow Sculpture Contest is also held there. Last year 14 teams from around the world participated with the team from Thailand winning the contest.

    And snow sculptures are not the only thing you can enjoy at the festival. Scheduled to open in the 1-Chome section, is an ice skating rink located just below the landmark Sapporo TV Tower. Another attraction will include a huge snow ramp off which professional snowboarders and skiers will soar through the air. When you get hungry, you can visit the Food Park. There, a number of stalls will serve local specialties from across Hokkaido, including ramen and seafood.

    A little south of Odori Park is the Susukino festival site where more delicate, artistic ice sculptures are displayed. Created by uniquely molding hairy crabs, squid and salmon into ice, some people take commemorative photos in front of these popular displays. Families with children usually visit the Tsu-dome site, where giant snow slides and kid’s shows take place.

    Another popular, snow-related attraction is Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium. Located on the eastern slope of Mt. Okura, it hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics. Visitors riding the lift up to the top of the ski jump can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city. The stadium also houses the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum, where in addition to seeing the Olympic exhibits visitors can also experience what it feels like to be a professional athlete by simulating bobsled racing and figure skating.

    From December through February, the average Sapporo temperature is below freezing. So, even if dressed warmly in heavy winter clothes, when walking outside, you will inevitably feel the chill. So to warm up you can enjoy some of the local specialties, such as Sapporo ramen or jingisukan (Genghis Khan) barbecue. Traditionally, Sapporo ramen features miso-based soup with relatively thick noodles, but more recently some shops are serving different varieties of the same dish.

    The origin of jingisukan dates back roughly 70 years, when Hokkaido’s residents first began eating the meat from sheep that they sheered for their wool. Now, the typical jingisukan dish consists of mutton or lamb cooked with plenty of vegetables in a round metal skillet with a bulge in the middle. A soy sauce, fruit and vegetable paste dipping sauce adds to the dish’s tastiness, making it very popular among Hokkaidoans.

    You may also want to try some winter sports if you visit Hokkaido at that time. Sapporo offers several alpine areas where you can fully enjoy skiing all day long. If you prefer ice-skating, rinks can be found in Makomanai Park and Maruyama Stadium, which are both located just a few kilometers away from city centre. If you are not very confident about trying either one of these sports, you can enjoy cross-country skiing through Nakajima Park, just south of Susukino, where rental equipment is readily available.

    As a lighter outdoor activity, “kanjiki walking” is highly recommended. Kanjiki are traditional Japanese snowshoes made by curving tree branches and vines into circular shapes then binding them. Also located not far from the city centre is the outdoor sculpture garden Sapporo Geijutsu no Mori (Sapporo Artpark), which is free and open to the public every winter from January through March. There you can rent kanjiki and boots to visit over 70 sculptures while crunching snow under your feet.

    If you would rather appreciate historical Japan, visiting Hokkaido Kaitaku-no Mura (Historic Village of Hokkaido) is strongly recommended. This open-air museum exhibits reproductions of early Hokkaido settlements. Among the traditional town scenery are about 50 old buildings including City Hall, private residences and retail shops that seem so real that you may feel as if you stepped back in time. It is also fun to take a weekend ride in a horse-drawn sleigh during the winter holidays (Saturday, Sundays and national holidays). Skis made of wood or bamboo and wooden sleighs are also available.

    Niseko – A Powdery Snow Paradise

    About a two-and-a-half-hour drive from New Chitose Airport, the Niseko area has garnered a lot of attention over the last 7 to 8 years, as a wonderful winter resort area, especially for Australians. The area’s dry powdery snow is so highly regarded by skiers and snowboarders that it ranks among some of the best in the world. At numerous ski areas and hotels, many staff members also speak very good English.

    Offering three different ski areas, Mt. Niseko Annupuri is the highest peak in the Niseko mountain range. Skiers and snowboarders of all levels can choose runs ranging from gentle, family-oriented slopes to longer distance courses stretching 5,600 meters with a vertical drop of about 1,000 meters. Niseko is also famous as a hot spring resort. After enjoying skiing or snowboarding, you can relax while soaking yourself at a local onsen.

    Sapporo City (Sightseeing Photo Library)
    Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu

    Text: TAKAHASHI Akiko













    パウダースノー天国 ―― ニセコ





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  • 日本人との会話

    [From December Issue 2010]

    When you have the opportunity to speak with a Japanese person, you will usually be asked where you are originally from. You can reply in English as Japanese people generally understand the pronunciation of foreign country names. However, there are some countries whose names in Japanese are different from their English ones, such as Chuugoku for China, Kankoku for Korea, and Igirisu for Britain. Other country names also expressed a bit differently, include Suisu for Switzerland, Oranda for the Netherlands and Amerika for the USA.

    You will most likely also be asked what it is that you do. And while westerners generally answer with their job title, such as “engineer” or “sales clerk,” most Japanese simply say “company staff,” unless they are professionals, such as a “doctor” or “lawyer.” Those who work at leading companies may also inform you of their company’s name.

    You may also discuss your family. In doing so, you should clearly distinguish between your brothers (kyoudai) and sisters (shimai), older or younger. When Japanese refer to them, generally they say “ani” for an elder brother and “otouto” for a younger one, or “ane” for an elder sister and “imouto” for a younger one. “Kyoudai” means also “siblings,” but it is written in hiragana when it refers to “siblings.”

    The English words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are also usually well understood. However, in the case of a steady boy/girlfriend, while using the term “koibito” in conversation is a little bit old fashioned, nowadays, “kareshi” or “kare” for a boyfriend and “kanojo” for a girlfriend are more common. “Kare” also means “he” while “kanojo” means “she.”

    Expressions describing a person’s appearance may also be used in conversation. A beautiful woman is “bijin” while an ugly woman is “busu,” which, in Japan, is considered an extremely rude word, so don’t use it. A handsome man is “ikemen.” But the word “hansamu,” adopted from English, is also commonly used.

    “Shumi” (hobbies) are also good conversation topics. Those who are obsessed with anime and manga are called “otaku,” and have been regarded as being hesitant to communicate with people, preferring to escape into virtual worlds, with Akihabara, Tokyo as their headquarters. But nowadays, they are no longer considered odd, while Akihabara has become a well-known tourist attraction.




    家族のことを話すこともあるでしょう。注意すべきことは、 兄弟、姉妹が、あなたの年上なのか年下なのをはっきり言うことです。日本人は一般的に、兄と弟、また姉と妹を区別して言います。「きょうだい」は「シブリング」(兄弟、姉妹を含めた意味)としても使われますが、「シブリング」を意味するときにはひらがなで書きます。




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  • けんちん汁

    [From December Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 1/2 block (150g) momen (cotton/firm) tofu
    • 40g chicken thigh meat
    • 2 dried shiitake mushroom
    • 50g daikon radish
    • 20g carrot
    • 1 mid-sized (80g) satoimo (taro) potato
    • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 5cm Japanese leek
    • Pinch of 7-flavor chili pepper



    • 1 tsp (powdered) Japanese soup stock
    • 1.5 cups water
    • 1/3 cup shiitake mushroom soaked water


    • 1 tbsp cooking sake
    • 2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1/6 tsp salt

    Kenchin: Originates from the Chinese dish of chopped vegetables wrapped in yuba (soy milk skin) and abura-age (deep fried tofu) cooked in oil. It is also said that “Kenchin” is a derivative of “Kencho-jiru” which originates from the “Kencho” temple in Kamakura.

    • Hyoushigi-giri: Cutting vegetables into rectangular bars. Used for boiled, dressed, vinegar-based dishes.
    • Hangetsu-giri: Cutting vegetables into semicircular (half-moon) slices when rings are too large. Used for boiled or soup dishes.

    1. Soften dried shiitake mushrooms by soaking them in 1/2-cup of water (20~30 mins). Lightly squeeze out excess water and cut off stems, then slice thinly. Save soaking water for later use. Cut daikon radish and carrots into 3~4cm hyoushigi-giri pieces. Cut satoimo (taro) potatoes into round or semi-circular 5~6mm slices (hangetsu-giri).

    2. Dice chicken thigh meat into 2cm pieces.

    3. Gently wrap momen tofu in clean kitchen towel to drain any excess water.

    4. Heat sesame oil in pan, then on high, stir-fry vegetables prepared in (1). Add diced chicken and cook. Add tofu and cook until the oil blends thoroughly with the other ingredients.

    5. Add broth (A). Scrape the lightly burnt residue from the sides of the pot into the broth to add fragrance. Bring to a boil and remove the scum. Lower heat to medium, partially cover and then let cook for 12~13 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft, flavor with the broth (B).

    6. To serve, first thinly slice the Japanese leeks. Then pour soup into a bowl and sprinkle the sliced leeks, along with the 7-flavor chili peppers over top.



    • 木綿どうふ 1/2丁(半分)150g
    • とりもも肉 40g
    • 干ししいたけ 2個
    • 大根 50g
    • にんじん 20g
    • さといも 中1個 80g
    • ごま油 大さじ1/2
    • 長ねぎ 5cm
    • 七味とうがらし 少々



    • 和風だし(顆粒)小さじ1
    • 水 カップ1+1/2
    • しいたけの戻し汁 カップ1/3


    • 酒 大さじ1
    • しょうゆ 小さじ2
    • 塩 小さじ1/6


    • 拍子木切り:角柱形に切ります。煮物、和え物、酢の物に使います。
    • 半月切り:輪切りを半分にした物、輪切りでは大きすぎるときに使います。煮物、吸い物に使います。

    1. 干ししいたけは、水カップ1/2につけて(20~30分)戻します。水気を軽くしぼって軸を取り、細切りにします。戻し汁は取りおきます。大根、にんじんは、3~4cm長さの拍子木切りにします。さといもは5~6mm厚さの輪切りまたは半月切りにします。

    2. とりもも肉は、2cm角に切ります。

    3. 木綿どうふは、ふきんに包んで軽く水気をしぼります。

    4. 鍋にごま油を熱し、強火で1全部をよくいためます。とり肉を加えさらにいため、とうふを加えて、全体に油がなじむまでいためます。

    5. (A)の煮汁を加えます。鍋肌についた軽いこげも煮汁に落として、香ばしさを移します。煮立ったらあくを取り、弱めの中火にして、ふたをずらしてのせ、12~13分煮ます。野菜がやわらかくなったら、(B)の煮汁で調味します。

    6. お椀によそいます。長ねぎを小口切りにします。お椀に盛り、ねぎを散らして七味をふり、できあがりです。

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  • ゲイ専用老人ホームで描かれるさまざまな愛

    [From December Issue 2010]

    La Maison de Himiko [House of Himiko] (Directed by INUDO Isshin)

    Released in 2005, this film is something of a comedic-drama that’s set in a gay senior home. In it, director INUDO Isshin, who also oversaw the fairy tale, romantic film “Josee, the Tiger and the Fish,” depicts various forms of love, including homosexual, heterosexual, married and parent-child love. Wearing ugly makeup and sporting freckles, popular actress SHIBASAKI Kou plays the daughter who was abandoned by her gay father.

    Saori (Shibasaki Kou) is a clerk at a paint company, who contemplates turning to sex-work in order to repay her debts, when a young man named KISHIMOTO Haruhiko (ODAGIRI Joe) pays her a visit. He claims to be her gay father’s (YOSHIDA Teruo, a.k.a. “Himiko”) lover. She learns that her father, who ditched his family long ago, is suffering from terminal cancer, but she show’s no sympathy stating that “Whether that man’s got cancer and it’s terminal, doesn’t matter to me.”

    Haruhiko then asks Saori if she’s interested in a part-time job. He offers her 30,000 yen a day to help out every Sunday at La Maison de Himiko, the gay seniors home that Himiko, her father, established. Tempted by the money, she visits the seaside establishment. Upon her arrival, she is shocked to find several odd people, including an elderly man wearing a dress and heavy makeup, who talks like a woman.

    Saori is bewildered by being reunited with her father and feels her hatred for him grow even stronger. She reveals to Himiko that she is his daughter, and how she had to borrow money from relatives to pay for her mother’s operation and hospital stay, who eventually died of cancer. When he calmly says that he didn’t know, she yells at him, “Of course not. You are a total stranger!”

    Saori keeps working at the home every Sunday, gradually accepting the gay residents who first disgusted her. She teaches the movements of a female anime character to Ruby, who wants to learn them to please his granddaughter. Wearing a Chinese dress, she also dances with Yamazaki who enjoys wearing women’s clothes. Then, all of a sudden, a company president who supports the home is arrested for tax evasion, putting the home’s future in serious jeopardy.

    Before long, Saori becomes attracted to Haruhiko. He kisses her, but she knows that she cannot have a normal, romantic relationship with a gay man. While her father continues to weaken daily, she eventually confronts him about whether or not he ever missed her, or if he has any regrets about leaving her mother. “I won’t forgive you for what you did to Mom,” she says while glaring at Himiko, who murmurs in return, “I love you.”

    Soon after, Saori quarrels with Haruhiko and the residents over a separate matter and quits her job. Immediately following her departure, Himiko dies. Then, one winter day several months later, the paint company where she works is asked by the home to paint over some graffiti on its wall. Saori accompanies the workers to the home, where the remaining residents all greet her with smiles. The film ends with a final shot of the message “WE WANT TO SEE SAORI” shown across the wall.


    メゾン· ド· ヒミコ(犬堂一心 監督)








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