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Kagoshima-gov.-news 2008 vol. 19


Kagoshima Prefecture Foreign Language E-Newsletter
"Kagoshima-gov.-news" (27/2/2008 vol. 19)
- Latest happenings in Kagoshima
JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Youth Training Camp (Thailand: Youth Welfare Section) Acceptance
"Kagoshima through the eyes of a foreigner" revised and posted online!

- Kagoshima municipal report
Shubushi City, Kagoshima Prefecture

- Introduction to Kagoshima
A "Sports Island" stretching 600km from north to south (No.1)
Introduction to sports camp facilities by region in the sports tourism mecca that is Kagoshima.

- Kagoshima through the eyes of a foreigner
Report from Prefecturally-sponsored overseas student Rie Koba (from closing ceremony speech)
Report from Nathalie Ng, who visited Kagoshima as winner of the Singapore Japanese Speech Contest


Latest happenings in Kagoshima

<JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Youth Training Camp (Thailand: Youth Welfare Section) Acceptance>

The Kagoshima Prefecture Youth Centre "Sosya" played host to the JICA Youth Training Camp this year from January 22 to February 4. The training focused on child welfare in Kagoshima Prefecture for 16 Thai members that included police, government workers, and social workers who are all involved with child welfare in Thailand.

Beginning with a lecture presentation on initiatives taken by the Children's Affairs Division of the Kagoshima Prefecture Health and Social Welfare Department and the Life-Long Education Division of the Kagoshima Prefectural Board of Education, the JICA members then went on to observe initiatives taken by the Juvenile Division of the Prefectural Police Headquarters and the Youth Support Centre. Discussions with volunteer members of BBS (Big Brothers and Sisters Movement) Kagoshima and Kagoshima Prefecture's youth were held at the Kagoshima Prefectural Youth Training Centre. Some of the JICA members were thrilled at seeing snow for the first time as there was a thin layer of snow at the Prefectural Youth Training Centre (Yoshida). Throughout the following week, the JICA members went to observe the Kagoshima Prefecture Juvenile Counseling Centre, initiatives of Satsuma Sendai City, and various child welfare facilities and schools such as Wakakoma Academy. The JICA members exchanged opinions concerning current youth issues.

The final weekend was a three day homestay experience. Everyone was able to feel the genuine warmth of a typical household in Kagoshima. It seems that the JICA members learned a great deal from this year's training camp thanks to the meticulous coordination and response of the various government, police, and private organizations that deal with issues surrounding youth in Japan. Moreover, the JICA members were enthusiastic about introducing community volunteer activity initiatives other than BBS in Thailand. We received thank you emails from the JICA members after they had returned home saying that they would like to apply the  experience and knowledge gained in Kagoshima to their current work. The Kagoshima Prefecture Youth Centre "Sosya" made it clear that it will continue to actively receive youth from around Asia in order to expand the circle of international exchange throughout Kagoshima Prefecture.

<"Kagoshima through the eyes of a foreigner" revised and posted online!>

Due to positive feedback from readers, the "Kagoshima through the eyes of a foreigner" feature article that is serialized in the Kagoshima Prefecture Foreign Language E-Newsletter "Kagoshima-gov.-news" has been revised and posted on the Kagoshima Prefectural Government homepage in PDF format with all the articles from vol. 1 to vol. 18 included.

Japanese PDF :
English     PDF :
Chinese   PDF :
Korean     PDF :


Kagoshima Municipal Report

<Shibushi City, Kagoshima Prefecture>

The vegetable and stockraising town of Matsuyama-cho, the so-called "Senge" town of Shibushi-cho, and one of the leading tea regions of Japan, the town of Ariake-cho, merged together on January 1, 2006 to form Shibushi City.  The newly born Shibushi City is a port town blessed with blue waters and verdant green land that brims with nature and the friendly faces of local inhabitants.

Surrounded by mountains and sea, Shibushi City experiences stable weather all year round. Agricultural produce, heavily influenced by marine products and mineral-rich sea breezes from the Pacific Ocean, has a taste that is particular to Shibushi City.

-Introduction to the delicacies of Shibushi City-

1. Osumi-bred "Eel" is raised on superior quality water and boasts the highest output in Japan
2. One of the leading "tea" producing regions thanks to plentiful sunlight
3. The greatest "melon, strawberry, and green pepper" producing region in the Prefecture
4. The Shibushi-bred "Conger Eel" is very fresh and popular as stamina food
5. Please taste the "Satsuma-age" that is made from ingredients unique to a port town!

The "Oshaka Festival", one of the three largest festivals in Kagoshima Prefecture, will be held on April 29.
Please come and visit Shibushi City!


Introduction to Kagoshima
A brief introduction to the geography, climate, history and various industries of Kagoshima.
<A "Sports Island" stretching 600km from north to south (No.1)
Introduction to sports camp facilities by region in the sports tourism mecca that is Kagoshima.>

Central Satsuma Region (1) [Kagoshima City]
Average Temperature Jan-Feb  10.6°C [Observation Point - Kagoshima City    Elevation 3.9m (Meterological Agency Observation Data for 2007)

1. Kagoshima Prefecture Kamoike Park
National level competitions and professional sports matches are held regularly. In addition, professional sports teams also hold training camps here.

(Comment on Spring Camp 2008) Atsushi Uchiyama, Jubilo Iwata Team Coach

This year marks the 11th spring training camp for us in Kagoshima.
The food and hot spring facilities help to refresh the mind and body and are both really excellent.
The practice grounds are really well looked after, and the lodging facilities are easily within walking distance so I am very satisfied.
Every time I stand on the soft but stable ground I can sense the warm feelings of hospitality coming from the locals and it makes me very grateful to be here.
The team usually finishes training here each year at about 70-80% of peak form and then returns to Iwata to complete training and get into top form before welcoming in the new season.

[Access by Car] JR Kagoshima Chuo Station >15 minutes    Kagoshima Airport >60 minutes
[Closest Grocery Store/Convenience Store] 3 minute walk
[Kamoike Stadium] Winter Grass
-400m X 8 lanes (weatherproof: Type 1 Licence)
-Soccer: 1 Field, -Rugby: 1 Field
[Kamoike Baseball Stadium]
-Both Wings 98m, Center 122m, Covered Bullpen (4 people standing), Covered Batting Practice Ground (serves 3 people)
[Kamoike Secondary Stadium] (Clay) - Soccer: 1 Field, Rugby: 1 Field
[Kamoike Tennis Court] - OmniCourt: 7 Courts


<Kagoshima through the eyes of a foreigner>
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<Report from Prefecturally-sponsored overseas student Rie Koba ( closing ceremony speech)>

(Ms. Rie Koba lives in Brazil but is of Japanese descent with ties to Kagoshima. She stayed in Kagoshima for 10 months during this fiscal year in order to study at Kagoshima University as a Prefecturally-sponsored exchange student.)

My name is Rie Koba, and I come from the State of Amazonas in Brazil. My father was born in Kagoshima but left the former Koriyama-gun area to emigrate to Brazil around 50 years ago. I graduated from the Department of Management at the Federal University of Amazonas in Brazil. After graduating, I worked for a Japanese company and taught Japanese at a Japanese language school on the weekends.

There are several reasons why I wished to study overseas in Kagoshima.
The first is that I had an interest in the homeland of my father. Listening to stories of how life was before emigrating to Brazil, I came to hold a dream of someday visiting Kagoshima with my father.
I also had a dream to study in Japan ever since elementary school. I wanted to study about Japanese language and culture. I taught Japanese for eight years at a Japanese language school in the city where I live, Manaus. As I received questions from students about the culture of Japan, I felt that information gleaned from books and media was not enough; I felt that it was necessary to experience Japanese culture firsthand. This is also one reason that I wanted to further my study of the Japanese language.

In addition, working for a Japanese company made me realize that I needed to improve my Japanese while also developing an interest in the differences between Japanese-style management and Brazilian-style management. I'm very interested in the differences in work procedure and the decision-making process.
Therefore, I decided to do research in the differences between the organization culture of Japan and Brazil. I took lectures on management from the school of law and literature in Kagoshima University. I also studied Japanese. Besides my studies, I interacted with the local people by doing things like introducing my country at the university.

The thing that made the greatest impression on me during my stay in Japan was the summer holiday. My father came to Japan at that time for training. He stayed in Fukuoka for one month, but on the final weekend of August he came to Kagoshima and took me to the house where he used to live a long time ago. My father's cousin now lives there. It appears that the house had been renovated, but it was still surrounded by mountains and felt very countryish.
It was a nice quiet place and the air was very clean. I was quite moved by being able to see the place that my grandparents lived in with my own eyes.

I experienced many other things during my stay in Kagoshima. I participated in Kagoshima City festivals, New Year's celebrations, and a traditional Shinto-style Japanese wedding.

After returning home, I would like to teach the language and culture that I have learned in Kagoshima to Japanese Brazilians and Brazilians.
Japan and Brazil have continued to have exchanges for many years. However, I feel that with each passing generation the link between Japanese Brazilians and Japan continues to weaken bit by bit. Presently, I think that many people believe that the Japanese language and culture, along with the attitude of Japanese, is difficult to understand.
On the other hand, I would like Japanese people to know more about Brazil. Brazilian people are very open and warm-hearted. Many people also want to learn more about Japan.

I believe that the year 2008 was a chance for both countries to reaffirm ties because it was the centennial anniversary of Japanese emigrants to Brazil. I would like to contribute to the ongoing exchange between our two countries and try to help in deepening mutual understanding in any way that I am able.

I am very grateful for all the support that I received from everybody in Kagoshima and the Brazil-Kagoshima Prefectural Association, not to mention Kagoshima University for accepting me and all the professors that instructed me. Finally, I would like to thank all the people that made my stay in Kagoshima very fun. Thanks to all of you I was able to fulfill my dream and spend a very productive 11 months in Kagoshima.

Thank you very much for everything!

<Report from Nathalie Ng, who visited Kagoshima as winner of the Singapore Japanese Speech Contest>
(Nathalie Ng participated in a Kagoshima homestay as an extra prize for winning at the Japanese Language Speech Contest that is carried out as an exchange project between Singapore and Kagoshima Prefecture.)

Kagoshima Homestay Report    Nathalie Ng
"Kotatsu Story"

It is in Kagoshima that I've had my first opportunity of enjoying the warmth of a kotatsu (small table with electric heater underneath and quilt). In the bitter cold of the mornings, the warmth when you sit on a kotatsu is the best feeling in the world - warm and comfortable, it makes you not want to leave it! I think Kagoshima, and its people, are like the kotatsu, you definitely don't want to leave the place!

When Amanda and I first arrived in Kagoshima, we wondered what our host family would be like, and what Kagoshima would be like. Most importantly, we wondered what kind of experiences we would have in this place.

Before we came to Kagoshima, the information we found on the internet was about how it was a wonderful place, set against the backdrop of Sakurajima and with gentle weather. It was famed for its excellent agricultural produce like the kurobuta (Berkshire pork) and hot springs. But nothing was said about the warm and friendly nature of its people. Our host families remained as names and numbers in an e-mail we received.

We were met by Mr. Uchiyama and Ms. Xinjuan at the airport, and they brought us to the Prefectural Government Office to meet with the director and assistant director of the International Affairs Division before heading out to the Atsuhime museum, and the Kagoshima Aquarium. During this time, we had a wonderful time together. Although my Japanese level was very low, everyone, from the director to our fellow Singaporean Ms. Xinjuan, was very patient with me, and I didn't feel left out at all.

In the evening, when we finally met our host family, it was something that I felt was an especially "guzen no deai" (chance meeting), because Nori-chan also loved kimono, and her family is also comprised of three daughters, and she also has a Labrador as well!

The precious few days that I had spent with Nori-chan and her family will always be treasured in my heart. They have been very good to me, hosting me for three days, bringing me around to Sakurajima, shopping in Tenmonkan, to the supermarket, to see mochi being handmade for the new year, and Oshima Tsumugi being hand-woven and dyed in Amami no Sato. We shared a lot of delicious food together - Japanese-style breakfasts, Japanese-style MacDonalds, shabu-shabu, freshly-made mochi and zenzai. It was truly an unforgettable experience. It was truly a blessing that I thank from the bottom of my heart.

It is my honour to say that I've fallen in love with Kagoshima's lovely scenery, its wonderful history, and also, its wonderful people. The warmth of the people that I have not been able to fully experience, the many places that I could not visit in my short four day stay, the different wonders that Kagoshima has to offer - these are the things that will keep me coming back again to this place I have fallen in love with.



Editor's Note (International Affairs Division, Kagoshima Prefecture Tourism Promotion and International Exchange Bureau)

How was this month's edition of the "Kagoshima-gov.-news" E-Newsletter?

In order to better connect Kagoshima with readers from around the world, we are always striving to enrich and expand the contents of the articles and reports in the Kagoshima Prefecture Foreign Language E-Newsletter "KAGOSHIMA-gov.-news".
We would greatly appreciate any feedback, comments, or suggestions that you may have concerning the way that "Kagoshima"-related news is covered abroad.

Questions and Inquiries;
 International Affairs Division
 Tourism Promotion and International Exchange Bureau
 10-1 Kamoike Shinmachi, Kagoshima City
 Kagoshima Prefecture 890-8577, Japan
 Tel: +81-99-286-2306
 Fax: +81-99-286-5522
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